The most isolated person I can think of is the guy who lives somewhere in the mountains behind the village where I live. He's very far up there, with only the forest stretching away from him in every direction. 我想最與世隔絕的人應該是住在我們村子後面的某座山裡某個地方的那個先生. 他住在遠離人煙的深山樹林裡.
Less isolated than that guy is the village where I live. How many people live in this village? I'm guessing a few dozen. In this village there are a few small temples and a couple tiny stores. When the people running the stores don't feel like opening them I have to go down the hill, to Shuidiliao, to buy things. 沒有那麼封閉的是我居住的村莊. 村裡有多少人? 我猜是幾十個. 這個村子裡有幾間小廟和兩間雜貨店. 雜貨店的老闆不想做生意的時候, 我就要往下去到水底寮買東西.
More convenient than my village is Shuidiliao. Shuidiliao has two 7-11s and two Family Marts. Shuidiliao has a few restaurants, a grocery store, and a market where we sometimes buy vegetables. Shuidiliao also has a night market, but not many people go there now. 水底寮比我住的村莊方便多了. 那裡有兩家7-11, 也有兩家全家和幾家餐廳, 一家超級市場, 還有我們偶而去買菜的菜市場. 水底寮有觀光夜市, 可是最近去夜市的人不多.
Central Fangliao, on the other side of Highway 1, is more developed than Shuidiliao. It has a fishing port, a train station, more stores and restaurants, and two electronics stores. Perhaps most importantly of all, Central Fangliao has a hospital. Is there anything to do in Central Fangliao? Not really, but a lot of people live there. 台1線另外一邊的枋寮市區比較發達. 它有漁港, 火車站, 較多的餐廳, 其他商店和兩家電子商店. 最重要的是, 枋寮有醫院. 枋寮哪裡最好玩? 好像沒有, 可是很多人住在那裏.
More developed than Central Fangliao are the three municipalities: Donggang, Chaodzou and Hengchun. These municipalities have Starbucks, Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut. They have bigger banks and more Western food. They also have their own tourist attractions. Donggang has the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area, and Hengchun has Kenting National Park. Chaodzou, definitely the least interesting of the three municipalities, is nevertheless an important transit point in central Pingtung. 比枋寮更熱鬧的地方就是屏東的三個鎮: 東港, 潮州跟恆春. 這三個鎮有星巴克, 達美樂跟必勝客. 它們的銀行比較大, 還有更多的西方料理. 這三個鎮都有旅遊景點. 東港有大鵬灣國家風景區; 恆春有墾丁國家公園. 潮州是景點最少的鎮, 可是它一樣是重要交通樞紐.
More developed than the municipalities is Pingtung City. Pingtung City has department stores and museums.* Pingtung City has two Carrefours and a university. The traffic in Pingtung City can be terrible, the air quality can be bad, but it's an interesting place to explore if you're in that kind of mood. 最熱鬧的是屏東市. 屏東市有百貨公司跟博物館. 也有兩家家樂福, 還有一所大學. 有時候屏東市的交通很糟, 空氣品質較低, 可是市區還值得逛一逛.
More "exciting" than Pingtung City? That would be downtown Kaohsiung. Downtown Kaohsiung has an MRT, Dream Mall, the Sanduo Shopping District, Costco, Ikea, an airport, several universities, and is near other attractions like E-Da World and Foguang Mountain. Kaohsiung is as modern as any Taiwanese city with the possible exception of Taipei. 比屏東市熱鬧的地方呢? 這個地方就是高雄市. 高雄市有捷運, 夢時代, 三多商圈, 好市多, 宜家, 飛機場, 幾所大學, 義大世界跟佛光山也在附近. 不與台北比較, 高雄跟台灣其他的城市一樣現代化.
Taipei is as modern as Taiwan gets. Taipei has everything, or nothing, depending on how much money you make and how you like to spend it. 台北是台灣最現代化的地方. 台北什麼都有, 也可能什麼都沒有. 這取決於你賺多少錢, 和你如何花錢.
I sometimes miss the excitement of places like Taipei and Kaohsiung. I sometimes miss the lights, the crowds, and the energy of a place that's always trying to reinvent itself, that's always trying to out-compete whatever other cities, in other countries, are in slightly different ways. 我有時候很想念台北和高雄的那種熱鬧感. 我想念燈光, 人群和那種大城市一直在進步並與其他國家的大城市競爭所散發出來的活力. 每個城市都以些微不同的方式做著一樣的事.
But at the same time I feel happy when I hear the rustling of the trees outside my windows. This, and there's always time enough to visit those places, wherever they may be. They might have a few things my village doesn't, and they might offer the biggest version of everything, but those things are likely to remain where they are for the time being, and I'm in no hurry to visit them. 同時, 我聽到窗戶外面的樹葉沙沙聲時覺得很開心. 我想到自己會有機會去到那些地方. 那裡的東西比我村子裡的東西豐富, 比我村子的東西更大, 那些東西應該會繼續存在, 我不用急著得去找到它們.
I'm pretty sure the guy up in the mountains feels the same way. Maybe I'll ask him sometime, if I ever meet him. 那位住在山區的先生應該也是這麼想的. 如果改天碰到他, 我會直接問他是不是這樣.
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*The Pingtung Bible Museum! Hell yeah!