2021年5月31日 星期一

Cutting It Close

I love my older daughter very much, but sometimes she can be unpredictable.

It's not that there's anything wrong with her, just that she tends to brood on things for a long time, and then, after everyone else has forgotten what she was brooding over, she'll react to it.  It's like watching an old teapot on a slow boil.  You know the water's going to boil over sooner or later; you're just not sure when.

At the end of her last year of elementary school my wife decided to cut her hair.  I can't remember if my wife did this to "punish" her or not, or whether it was simply a well-intended haircut gone wrong.  Whatever the case, my daughter's hair was cut very short.

I didn't think it looked that bad.  Yeah, it was short, but not that much shorter than her other haircuts.  She also seemed fine with the haircut, if a little unhappy.  Her hair was cut on a weekday afternoon, we did our usual weekday things, and then we all went to bed, thinking nothing of it.

The next morning my daughters and I rode our bikes to school. My older daughter was in the sixth grade, her younger sister was in the first, and I was an English teacher in the same school.  We chatted off and on, and I said goodbye to each of them near the front entrance.  They went off to their classrooms, and I went upstairs to my desk in the Curriculum Department.

After that I taught a class or two, and got lost in other aspects of my work.  Then the phone rang at another teacher's desk, and I was told the phone call was for me.

I picked up and it was my older daughter's teacher.  "She's gone," said this teacher, "Have you seen her?"

"Who?" I asked, "Who's gone?  Have I seen who?'

"Your daughter," answered the teacher.  "She ran out of class.  I don't know why.  She just disappeared.  She's not with you?"

A series of semi-frantic phone calls followed.  A party of us searched the school grounds.  I went back to where we parked our bicycles that morning, and found my older daughter's bicycle missing.  A couple hours passed.  We thought about calling the police, but then someone suggested I go home and look there.  I bicycled home, looking for her at a couple places she might have gone to.  Nothing.

Arriving at my apartment, I found her room empty and no sign that anyone had been there since that morning.  The cats were sleeping just as they'd been sleeping earlier, and all the lights were still off.

Where could she be?  I was trying not to panic, but as any parent knows, when you can't locate your child it's terrifying.  It's one thing if they're 20 and getting home late from their job, it's quite another when they're 12 and have vanished under mysterious circumstances.

Unable to think clearly in the confines of our apartment, I decided to go up to the roof, where I often went for a think.  I wanted to think about where my older daughter might be, and why she might be there.  Taitung City wasn't that big after all, and she couldn't have gone far.

I walked up the steps to the roof and noticed a red storm door already open.  There, cowering behind one of the rooftop vents, I found my daughter.  "What happened," I said, "Why are you here?"

It wasn't easy to figure it out at first, but after talking things through I few times I realized that it was because of the haircut she'd received the day before.  It had been cut too short, she'd felt embarrassed, and she hadn't said a thing to us about it.  Then, overcome by the shame she'd thought awaited her at school, she'd fled back home without a key to get in.  She'd been on that roof for at least two hours by the time I got there.  The security guard hadn't even seen her go in.

Later that evening my wife and I had a long talk with our older daughter about telling us when something bothered her, and also about how much she'd scared us by disappearing from school.  She agreed that she'd never do that again, and to her credit she never did.  We've had our disagreements since, but she's never disappeared, and she's been very conscientious about telling us where she goes.

Maybe you've got kids, and maybe they've done something similar.  Maybe they've scared you in the same way.  We parents try our best - or at least I hope we do - but it's a big world out there, and you don't always know what's going on in your kid's mind.  In the greater scheme of things, disappearing from school isn't an unforgivable sin, but even thinking about it now makes me a little shaky.

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2021年5月27日 星期四

Pingtung in the News 屏東的新聞 (South 南) 3


There are 29 townships, 3 municipalities and one city in Pingtung County.  It's exhausting to include news from every township, municipality and Pingtung City every time, so what I'll do instead is include news items from eleven different townships or municipalities in each entry.  This way I should be able to work my way through Pingtung County every three entries. 屏東縣包含了29個鄉, 3個鎮還有屏東市.  每次討論所有鄉鎮的新聞太累了, 所以我會每次討論11個鄉鎮的報告.  這樣子我每三篇新聞文章就會涵蓋到全縣內鄉鎮的新聞.

1. Linbian Township 林邊鄉

1a. The local water utility informed residents of Linbian and nearby Donggang that the pressure of the water entering their homes may be reduced as a result of the recent power plant failure in Kaohsiung. 分區供電水公司預防性通知  林邊東港部分用戶可能減壓供水

1b. When it (doesn't) rain it pours?  Linbian was among several areas affected by recent power outages.  There may be more such outages on the way. 南高屏花東5縣市  停電17萬多戶

1c. Banana insurance!  The Department of Agriculture is now insuring the banana crop in certain cities and townships.  Linbian Township is among the townships hurrying to apply for this type of insurance. 香蕉收入保險理賠率達233%  農糧署籲14日前投保

2. Jiadong Township 佳冬鄉

2a. Several men illegally disposed of construction waste in connection with a solar panel installation project in Jiadong.  They are under investigation at the time of writing. 屏東佳冬魚揾周邊太陽光電整地  竟回填非法廢棄物 (1)

2b. The Pingtung County Government has spent a lot of money to remodel Jiadong Junior High School.  The Pingtung County Magistrate was recently on hand to inaugurate the new facilities. 屏東佳冬國中新建校舍啟用  潘孟安盼學子能惜福認真學習 (2)

2c. The Pingtung County Magistrate also visited a restaurant serving "soup rice" in Jiadong.  This dish, which is considered "home cooking" in the area, consists of rice served in pork broth, with fish and bamboo shoots. 屏東人的家鄉味  市長潘孟安帶你吃 "飯湯" (3)

3. Fangliao Township 枋寮鄉

3a. This article is nonsense bordering on paid advertising and/or propaganda, but the Shengli Corporation has been hosting activities throughout Fangliao for "the benefit" of elderly residents.  They're obviously trying to smooth the way for future solar panel installations, and reduce opposition to their plan to install panels near Xinkai Village, where a large swath of land has already been deforested. 生利能源前進枋寮社區關懷據點  陪伴地方長者 (4)

3b. Kind of embarrassing.  Several Mother's Day couplets were spotted outside the Fangliao Township Mayor's office, but two of the words/characters on one of the couplets are often used in connection with funerals.  The Township Mayor later admitted that these couplets had been outsourced from another area. 模範賀榜題母得長昭  枋寮鄉長挨批

3c. COVID-19 has been on everyone's mind lately.  One of the confirmed cases visited Loong An Temple from another area. 屏東公布2確診者足跡  曾至車城 , 枋寮 , 東港華僑市場 (5)

4. Chun Rh Township 春日鄉

4a. The Mayor of Chunrh Township recently complained about tourists visiting the area, climbing local trails, barbecuing and playing with water in local rivers.  According to him the residents there have been wearing masks and staying home, while many tourists are using it as a playground. "同島一命 , 有嗎 ?"  屏東春日鄉長看到遊客戲水怒了 (6)

4b. Residents of Chunrh have even taken to cordoning off the road into Gueichong, and turning away visitors from outside the township. "春日部防衛隊"  為家鄉把關  竟遭登山客譙三字經 ! (7)

5. Fangshan Township 枋山鄉

5a. One of the recent COVID-19-positive cases stopped to have coffee on the beach in Fangshan. 屏東今新增3例 , 朋友出遊感染  匡例21人採檢隔離

5b. Military personnel were recently thanked by the mayor of Fangshan Township for their assistance with a recent train accident in Jialu. 586旅官兵義助車禍傷患  鄉長致謝

6. Shrdze Township 獅子鄉

6a. No recent news out of Shrdze.

7. Checheng Township 車城鄉

7a. Fu An Temple in Checheng seems to be a hotspot for COVID-19.  This article only mentions two cases, but there have been others since it was written.  Many other temples as well.  2確診者南下屏東進香與訪友  足跡爆光

7b. The Pingtung County Government has designated three "youth bases" in the county.  One of these is the old Hot Spring Police Station in Checheng.  These youth bases will focus on youth-oriented farming, economic and travel innovation. 屏東再造3處青創基地 (8)

8. Mudan Township 牡丹鄉

8a. Residents of Xuhai Village recently complained that the Mudan Bay Villa is still accepting guests, and that many of these guests are from the north of Taiwan, where the epidemic is most serious.  Villa staff responded that disinfection work is ongoing, and that many reservations have been cancelled. 屏東疫情 !  居民控牡丹灣villa訂房仍有7成  還接疫區客  業者喊冤 : 快退光了

8b. This article links to a podcast about the Mudan Incident Monument in Mudan. 原民聚落系列 : 屏東排灣高士部落  昔日古戰場今日文化寶地

8c. A student in Mudan won a Presidential Education Award. 不畏困境奮發向上  屏東排灣學子獲總統教育獎

9. Manjhou Township 滿洲鄉

9a. A driver in Manzhou lost control of his vehicle and drove into a house.  Both he and his female passenger received minor injuries. 屏東滿州小客車撞進民宅  車頭全毀

10. Hengchun Municipality 恆春鎮

10a. Staff at the Hengchun Municipality Office took to the streets to alert local restaurant owners that dining in is not acceptable. 疫情升溫仍有遊客  恆春鎮公所廣發僅共外帶公告

10b. Many tourists patronizing local homestays haven't been wearing masks, and the Pingtung County Government has called in people to investigate. 恆春民宿遊客遭指不戴口罩群聚開趴  縣府派員稽查

10c. The mayor of Hengchun Municipality recently visited Kenting's famous night market in an attempt to encourage patrons to wear masks. 墾丁大街人流管制  恆春鎮長上街呼籲戴口罩 (9)

11. Liuqiu Township 琉球鄉

11a. Homestays operating on Xiaoliuqiu have closed their doors, and restaurants there now only offer take-out service. 疫情警戒提高  小琉球業者聯合響應休業

11b. I have no idea how to say "ma hua juan" 麻花捲 in English.  However you say it, those twisty cookies associated with Xiaoliuqiu are advertised in this article.  Is it just me, or is the English name of their beer different now? 小琉球  "海島伴手禮"  推薦 ! 在地人都愛的麻花捲 , 超Q凍凍果 , 澎湃干貝醬 ..

11c. As a further measure against the spread of COVID-19, all of the tourist sites on Xiaoliuqiu have been closed. 守住屏東海外淨土  小琉球封鎖全景點

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1. There have been lot of shady dealings in connection with these solar panel developments.  They tend to target local farmers, urging them to "grow electricity."  These developments are also creeping closer and closer to protected areas, and there is little oversight.  Catching guys doing this kind of thing in coastal Jiadong would be especially hard, given the mazelike nature of the roads around there.

2. Not in the news, but they'll be getting their first foreign teacher next year too.  Barring COVID-related complications of course.  I ride by the place every Tuesday and Friday, and there's a big banner celebrating the arrival of this foreign teacher next year.

3. The title of the article misidentifies Pan Meng-an as the Pingtung City mayor.  The text of the article uses his correct title.  

The county magistrates and city mayors pop up a lot in the local news, for one of three reasons: 1) they wanted to promote themselves (or local industries/events), and called journalists in to attend an "event," 2) someone else wanted to use the county magistrate or city mayor's presence to help promote something, and 3) there was a newsworthy event that the county magistrate or city mayor was involved in.  The first two types of articles tend to be more "local," and reveal more about local people's lives.  The third type of article is ALWAYS more interesting, primarily because the city mayor or county magistrate had less control over the content.

4. This has been an ongoing thing.  Refer to the last Pingtung in the News (South) for further details.  That company is getting a lot stealthier at doing this kind of things, and one can only hope that local farmers see through their tactics.  I'm not against solar power by any means, but this corporation's way of doing business is very suspicious.

5. This report is a bit out of date.  It mentions a confirmed case visiting Checheng and Donggang as well, but there have been other instances of confirmed cases visiting other parts of Pingtung.

6. In fairness to the tourists, it's not all them.  Someone in Chunrh invited me to an "activity" there not long ago.

7. Most of these visitors would be hikers headed up to the Jinshuiying Historic Trail trailhead.  Most hikers take a taxi or bus through Gueichong and start their hike very high up in the mountains.

8. The Taitung County Government tried this kind of thing when I lived there.  It didn't work well.

9. This article was written on May 15, before Pingtung County officially went to "Level 3."

10. The funny thing is that 99% of this stuff isn't made on Xiaoliuqiu, but rather in nearby Kaohsiung.  Xiaoliuqiu is only about 12 km around - where would they make all those cookies?  Brew all that beer?  Make all that candy?

2021年5月23日 星期日

Fish and Fishing 屏東的漁業

Fishermen at the southern end of Pingtung County are represented by the Hengchun Fishing Association.  North of that is the Fangliao Fishing Association, headquartered in the Fangliao Fishing Port.  Still further north is the Linbian Fishing Association and the Donggang Fishing Association. 屏東南端的漁民代表是恆春區漁會 .  恆春區漁會北是位於枋寮漁港枋寮區漁會 .  再往北有林邊區漁會東港區漁會 .

Fishing (and fish farms) is a big subject.  What follows are bits of trivia gleaned from the four local fishing associations' web sites.  I may revisit this topic in the future. 漁業 (還有養殖魚) 牽涉廣泛 .  下列的資料是我在這四個漁會的網頁上找到的 .  我未來可能還會繼續討論這個題目 .

1. It's flying fish season.  Flying fish season occurs between April and June. 現在正值每年四月到六月的飛魚季 . 

2. The Hengchun (District) Fishing Association dates back to 1940.  It started as a subgroup within the Kaohsiung Fishing Association. 恆春區漁會的歷史始於西元1940年 , 原來是高雄漁會的分會 .

3 The Hengchun Fishing District includes Hengchun Municipality, Manzhou Township, Checheng Township and Mudan Township. 恆春漁區的範圍包括恆春鎮 , 滿州鄉 , 車城鄉牡丹鄉 .

4. The Hengchun Fishing District extends along the west coast up to Jhukeng, and along the east coast to Xuhai. 恆春西岸的邊界在竹坑 , 東岸的邊界在旭海 . (1)

5. There are 12 ports in the Hengchun Fishing District. 恆春漁區總共有十二個港區 . (2)

6. There are over 500 boats registered in the Hengchun Fishing District. 恆春漁區計500多艘漁船 .

7. The Hengchun Fishing Association Headquarters is in Houbihu, not far from Kenting National Park. 恆春區漁會的漁業大樓在墾丁國家公園附近的後壁湖 .

8. The Fangliao Fishing Association dates back to 1927. 枋寮區漁會始於西元1927年.

9. The Fangliao Fishing Association's website is one of the most broken down websites you'll ever see.  It looks like something from the mid 90s. 枋寮區漁會的網站是最爛的 , 很像1990年代的網站 .

10. The Fangliao Fishing Association has its own fishing fleet, but a much larger proportion of locally produced fish come from the fish farms that stretch from Fangshan to Jiadong townships.  Grouper, shrimp and mangrove red snapper are all raised in local fish ponds. 枋寮漁區也有漁船 , 可是當地的漁產主要來自枋山佳冬間的養殖魚場 , 例如石斑魚 , 蝦和銀紋笛鯛 .

11. The Linbian Fishing Association dates back to 1931. 林邊區漁會始於西元1931年 .

12. Although headquartered in central Linbian Township, the Linbian Fishing Association is involved with "fisheries" as far away as Wutai and Ligang townships. 林邊區漁會的大樓在林邊市區 , 可是它服務的範圍遠至霧台鄉 和里港鄉 . (3)

13. The Linbian Fishing Association has only one fishing port, and this port easily silts up.  Almost all of the fish from that area are raised in fish farms. 林邊區漁會只負責一個漁港 .  這個港常常發生淤積 .  這裡大部分的漁產來自養殖 .

14. Here's a picture of the types of fish raised in the Linbian Fishing District. 在這裡可以參考林邊漁產 .

15. The Donggang District Fishing Association is the oldest of all, dating back to 1903. 東港區漁會的歷史是最長久的 , 起始於西元1903年 .

16. The Donggang District Fishing Association has the largest fishing fleet, with over 1000 boats of various sizes. 東港區漁會的漁船最多 , 有1000多艘船 .  任何大小的漁船都有 .

17. Five types of tuna are caught in Donggang.  For a a catalog of everything caught in that area click here. 東港的漁民打撈的鮪魚有五種 .  他們打撈的海生動物種類在這裡 .

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1. Another part of the same website says that the Hengchun Fishing District only extends up the east coast to Chufengbi 出風鼻, but that can't be right.  If the fishing district includes Mudan Township it would have to extend much further north.

2. Another part of the same site says 13, yet their map only shows 12.  Is there a 13th port not on the map?

3. Sorry to be vague.  The website has a map, but there's no way to determine from the map what these "fisheries" are.

NOTE: Interested in Taiwan's fishing industry?  I've explored this topic before.  Those interested can read this and this.

2021年5月16日 星期日

Roaming Around Shrdze Township 獅子鄉遊記

Shrdze Township is east of Fangshan and south of Chunrh.  It's Pingtung County's largest township, and has a population of 4,817.  Anyone going from Kaohsiung to Taitung passes through Shrdze on their way through the mountains. 獅子鄉位於枋山的東部 , 春日的南部 .  獅子鄉屏東縣內最大的鄉鎮 , 統計人口是4,817人 .  從高雄台東的旅客都要經過獅子山區 .

Shrdze means "lion."  According to Wikipedia, the township is named after a rock in Shrdze Village which resembles a lion. 維基百科解釋 , 獅子這個名稱是從獅子村附近的石頭來的 .

At the southern end of Shrdze Township is the Liloong Mountain Trail.  It's a very remote, very quiet place that few people visit.  My only complaint about it is the monkeys.  I really don't like monkeys. 獅子鄉的南部有里龍山步道 .  那個地方很偏遠安靜 , 到那裏的觀光客不多 .  我唯一不喜歡的部分是猴子 .

Further north is Xinlu Village, not far from the Southern Cross-Island Highway.  往北邊一點點就是靠近南迴公路新路村 . (1)

They grow a lot of mangoes in Shrdze.  Fields like this can be seen all over south Pingtung County.  獅子鄉到處都是芒果園 .  芒果是屏東縣南部很重要的農產品 .

That bridge in the background is a new section of the Southern Cross-Island Highway.  This road has been under construction for years.  背景的橋就是南迴公路最新的一段 .  那條公路已經施工好幾年了.

Many of the roads branching off from the Southern Cross-Island Highway lead to the Fenggang River, which still holds a surprising amount of water.  從南迴公路延伸的幾條山路都通往楓港溪楓港溪裡面的水還不少.

Still further north is Shrdze Village.  Like Xinlu it's also surrounded by mango fields.  北邊一點有獅子村 .  這個小村落跟新路一樣芒果園多 .

This particular field had signs around it warning that it was "electrified."  I'm still not sure what was being electrified - if anything.  Farmers get super paranoid just before it's time to harvest the fruit.  這個果園有告示牌說 "有電 ."  我還不知道哪裡有電 .  隨著採收芒果的時間來臨 , 農夫們對小偷都很警惕 .

You may have noticed this when traveling through Fangshan.  It's on the hill just above the highway.  "I Love Shrdze Township."  你經過枋山的時候大概看過這個東西 .  它位在公路旁邊的小山坡 .  "我愛獅子鄉 ."

Closer to Fangliao is Jungxinluen Village.  The train line from Taitung runs along those mountains in the distance.  靠近枋寮中心崙村 .  南迴鐵路經過後面的山坡 .

I even found an abandoned botanical garden with its own abandoned temple.  The trees were pretty, and I wanted to walk further inside, but I was worried about snakes. 我甚至找到無人管的植物園 .  裡面也有一所被人遺忘的廟 .  裡面的樹很漂亮 .  我想走進去 , 可是我怕有蛇.

Just south of Fangliao is Neishr Village.  It's another place surrounded by mangoes. 內獅村靠近枋寮鄉的南部 .  這個村一樣外環都是芒果園 .

And this bit of Paiwan tribal art is to be found at Neishr Elementary School, where I taught a lesson not long ago.  The kids there have a lot of energy. 這是內獅國小排灣族藝術品 .  我最近在那裏教過一堂課 .  那邊的孩子很有精神 .

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1. And that stretch of road between Xinlu and Tsaopu 草埔?  There's a lot of construction on that road now, and riding the scooter up to Tsaopu seemed like more trouble than it was worth.  If you follow the road further up you'll pass by Shuangliu Forest Recreation Area, and for those interested there are some pictures of it here.  Aside from Shuangliu (and another trail) there's not much up there.

2021年5月9日 星期日

A Glass Half Empty

In 2007 I was not a happy camper.

This seemed strange to my friends at the time, and it seems even stranger to me now.  I was just not happy.  I was, in fact, feeling very dissatisfied with my life, and I was wondering what to do about it.

At the time I was between my first and second year at Tunghai Junior High School, which is located in Taitung City.  I had been married for seven years.  My older daughter was seven, and her younger sister was two.

After years of fretting about life in one of Taiwan's big cities, and after years of worrying about the air I breathed and my perceived distance from "nature," I was finally living on the east coast of the island, breathing fresh air and soaking up the subtropical sunshine.

So why wasn't I happy?  I had everything I'd always wanted.  I had a beautiful wife who loved me and whom I loved, I had two beautiful daughters who I also loved immensely, I had the kind of job I'd been steadily working toward for years, and I was living in the kind of place I wanted to live in, without having to worry about money or the immediate future.

Why wasn't I happy?  I'm still not sure.  Something just took the wind out of my sails in 2007.  Something made my personal victories less sweet.  Perhaps it was the websites I was visiting.  Perhaps it was the people I hung out with.  I really don't know.

What I do know is that I was unhappy with almost everything outside my house.  I'd go outside and complain about the way people drove.  I'd go to a restaurant and complain that people were being rude, or that they were staring.  I'd notice garbage everywhere, and wonder how people could be so dirty.

Then of course I'd think about the country I'd come from, and my dissatisfaction would become even greater.  Back home people would never drive that way.  Back home people would be nice, and wouldn't stare.  Back home there wouldn't be so much garbage.

Back home, back home, so many things were "better" back home.  And when I'd think about back home I'd never question the accuracy of my memories.  I wouldn't ask myself if that place I remembered still existed or not.  For me the memory of that place was beyond reproach, and Taiwan was bound to suffer by comparison.

Thinking about it now, I can only sympathize with my wife at the time.  I must've been difficult to be around.  Yet my wife, being the forgiving person that she is, allowed me to persist in this delusion, perhaps thinking that I'd come to my senses sooner or later.  Even so, it couldn't have been fun listening to my complaints about Taiwan all the time.

You can probably guess what happened soon after.  We wound up back in the USA of course, trying to work multiple jobs, pay for childcare, and save up for rent in one of the most expensive cities in the Pacific Northwest.  It didn't go well.  But of course it didn't.  We were doomed to failure from the beginning, not because we weren't able to survive there but because that place I so desperately wanted to be, that place that seemed like the answer to all my complaints, didn't exist anymore.

Whether it ever had existed is something I'm still not sure about.  Either the places I missed had changed or I had changed.  Either the things I missed weren't popular any longer, or I had grown bored of them.  And even if it had all somehow stayed the same, I would've probably been unhappy with it regardless.

Why?  Because in the years between leaving my hometown and returning to it I had failed to notice one important thing - that I was living somewhere much better.  And it really was better; I'd come to realize that.  It was only that my sense of dissatisfaction had blinded me to what was good about Taiwan, and had led me into a very expensive error.

Sure, I managed to remedy that error in ten months or so, but it remains one of the most expensive and frustrating missteps I've ever taken.  Why WAS I so unhappy with Taiwan in 2007?  Why WAS I so convinced that going "home" was better?

Even now I couldn't tell you.  Now I'm just glad to be here, and when I wake up each morning I remind myself of that fact.  I also remind myself that even the best place - given the wrong attitude - can seem like the worst.

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台灣的老街 Old Streets of Taiwan 2

The Chinese text below was taken from "Old Streets of Taiwan" 台灣老街.  The Chinese was written by 黃诏元 Huang Jhao-yuan, and the English was written/translated by me.  This book was published by Walkers Cultural Ltd. 遠足文化事業股份有限公司 in 2002.  This is the second of two entries from this book.

Fengtian Old Street

清康熙25年 (1686) , 施琅平定台灣後 , 部分土兵被安置在屏東縣一帶墾荒 : 後來遇上朱一貴作亂 , 墾民組成六股義勇團守護家園 , 稱為 "六堆" .  而屬於 "後堆" 的內埔 , 位於平原與山地交界處 , 水源豐沛 , 土壞肥沃 , 逐成為拓展墾務的首選 , 豐田村更是其中開發最早的地區 .  During the 25th year of Emperor Kangxi's reign (1686 on the Western calendar), after he reclaimed Taiwan [from the Ming loyalists], some of the soldiers [serving under the Ching emperor] were resettled in Pingtung.  Later, after [the rebel] Jhu Yi-gui's [uprising] brought chaos to the area, the settlers formed six militias to protect their homes, and these militias were referred to as "the Six Dui."  Neipu, which was at the time called "the Rear Dui," was located in an area where the western agricultural plain and the mountains meet.  It has abundant water resources, the soil is fertile, and it has expanded slowly over time.  Fengtian Village, located in this area, was one of the earliest areas to develop. (1)

到了乾隆初年 , 豐田村已成為鄰近聚落貨物的集散中心 .  日治大正9年 (1920) 的市區改正計畫 , 將傳統的三合院改建為2層樓房 , 演變成現在的模樣 .  豐田老街以寬達12米的新中路為主 , 兩旁街屋風格多樣 , 有巴洛克式的 (鴻祥雲) , (坤協盛) 等商號 , 立面山牆雕飾繁複 , 屋身則仍保留閩式建築的馬背屋脊 ; 也有昭和年間流行的現代主義 , 外觀雖較檏實 , 仍不乏幾何圖案和花草浮雕 .  由老街巷道轉進住宅區 , 古老的建築 , 水井 , 溝渠皆保留完整 , 流露出濃厚的古早味 , 但不少傳統客家夥房禁步起歲月的侵蝕 , 不若美濃 , 旗山等地來得完整 .  In the early years of Emperor Qianloong's reign, Fengtian Village had already become an important center of trade between local settlements.  The ninth year of the Japanese Emperor Taisho (1920) saw the release of an urban renewal plan, and this plan did away with the traditional three-sided courtyard houses in favor of the two-story buildings seen there today.  Fengtian Old Street [was at that time] Xinjhong road, which was 12 meters wide.  Every style of architecture could be seen along its two sides, including the [local] "baroque" style exemplified in Hongxiangyun, Kenxiesheng and other local businesses.  The facades and gables of these buildings display complicated carvings.  The buildings also retained the Fujian-style roof in conjunction with the "modernism" of the Showa period, [as seen in] Japan.  Although their appearance is less than graceful, there are many geometric patterns and plant carvings to be found on these buildings.  As one turns from the Old Street into the lanes of the old residential quarter, one can see the old buildings, wells and ditches which have been preserved intact there.  They give one a strong sense of older times.  It's a pity that many of the traditional Hakka structures have been abandoned to the elements for so long, and are not as complete as those seen in Meinong or Qishan. (2)

豐田村屬於客家聚落 , 三山國王廟自是其守護神 , 國王宮廟埕廣場則扮演吸引人潮的角色 , 每天清早和黃昏都聚集了各式各樣的攤販 , 宛如臨時市場 .  與六堆天后宮同年修築的 "昌黎祠" , 是全台唯一供奉韓愈的廟宇 , 由於整修時未依原貌施工 , 竟遭到撤銷為古蹟的命運 .  附近尚有光緒26年建造的隘門 , 雖被列為古蹟 , 但幾經重漆已失去原貌 , 十分可惜 .  Fengtian Village is a Hakka settlement, and the Lords of the Three Mountains are its protective deities.  The King's Palace Temple attracts many people to the area, and every morning and afternoon a variety of vendors gather there, forming a temporary market.  There is also the Liu Dui Queen of Heaven Temple, which was built the same year.  It is the only temple in Taiwan dedicated to the poet Han Yu.  Originally declared a historic monument, this status was later revoked because its renovated appearance does not conform to what it looked like previously.  There is also a gate dedicated to the Emperor Guangshu nearby, and despite being listed as a monument the original paint has since fallen [from the structure].  This is a great pity. (3)

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NOTE 1: There are only two of Pingtung's old streets in this book, but there are others in the county.

NOTE 2: I passed through this area not long ago.  It WON'T blow your mind.

1. The "Ming loyalists" were soldiers under the command of Koxinga's grandson.  They were mostly Hakka people from the same part of China.  Jhu Yi-gui's rebellion had to do with taxes (corrupt) Ching officials were demanding from local farmers and artisans.  At the height of his uprising he managed to wrest control of present-day Gangshan from the authorities.  The "Six Dui" or "Liu Dui" are integral to the history of Pingtung.  Those interested in these militias and the time period should visit the Liodui Hakka Culture Park 六堆客家文化園區 near Pingtung City.

2. "Baroque" in this context is a particular architectural style found in Taiwan.  Maybe also in China?  Not sure.  "Hongxiangyun" and "Kenxiesheng" are the names of two local buildings.  I typed "Fujian style" 閩式 here, while I used "Taiwanese style" in a previous entry.  I'm really not sure which term is more accurate.  Meinong and Qishan districts in Kaohsiung were also part of the Liu Dui settlements, and have retained their original Hakka character far more successfully than Fengtian Village.

3. The Lords of the Three Mountains are usually associated with Hakka people, but not all Lords of the Three Mountains temples belong to that ethnic group.  Near where I teach in Jiadong there are two Lords of the Three Mountains temples, one frequented by the Hakka residents and another frequented by Taiwanese (Hoklo-speaking) people.

2021年5月2日 星期日

Pingtung in the News 屏東的新聞 (Central 中) 3


There are 29 townships, 3 municipalities and one city in Pingtung County.  It's exhausting to include news from every township, municipality and Pingtung City every time, so what I'll do instead is include news items from eleven different townships or municipalities in each entry.  This way I should be able to work my way through Pingtung County every three entries. 屏東縣包含了29個鄉, 3個鎮還有屏東市.  每次討論所有鄉鎮的新聞太累了, 所以我會每次討論11個鄉鎮的報告.  這樣子我每三篇新聞文章就會涵蓋到全縣內鄉鎮的新聞.

1. Majia Township 瑪家鄉

1a. The former Head of the Majia Township Office Finance and Economic Department was convicted of embezzlement after it was discovered that a contractor had been overpaid for a construction project there.  He was given prison time and required to pay a large fine.  瑪家鄉公所前財經課長與包商  不實實核銷工程款遭判刑

1b. An old monitoring station near Liding Mountain will be converted into a tourist and emergency services center.  Four popular mountaineering routes pass through the area.  小百岳笠笠頂山 !  屏東瑪家鄉公所將成立遊客中心與急救站

1c. Here's an article about sights along Pingtung's Mountainside Highway (185).  Two of the places pictured in this article, Linali Village and Liangshan Waterfall, are in Majia Township. 沿沿著山的幸福道路  探索185縣道的清幽與浪漫

2. Wandan Township 萬丹鄉

2a. There's a particularly dangerous intersection in Wandan.  Police want to install a flashing yellow light at the intersection, while residents think a stop light would be better.  Some argue that vehicles turning at the intersection will have difficulty with a stop light placed on such a narrow road. 道路小 , 駕駛搶快  搶快  萬丹鄉路口車禍頻傳

2b. Scary.  A man driving a car struck a local woman's vehicle and abducted her.  She was later found dead in another location.  The man, a reported nuisance to his neighbors, had harassed the woman at her place of employment prior to the abduction. 屏東假假車禍真擄人命案  凶嫌曾性騷擾死者 (1)

2c. Plans to build an interment facility near the boundary between Xinyuan and Wandan townships drew protests from local residents.  Some of these residents, hoping to develop the area for tourism, dislike the proximity of the proposed site to a popular temple in the area. 屏縣今審殯葬設施申請  萬丹 , 新園鄉民反對 (2)

3. Wanluan Township 萬巒鄉

3a. A tourist visiting Wanluan with his family lost control of his car and struck a roadside tree after swerving to avoid a stray dog.  The accident resulted in one death and four people injured. 家庭開心出遊在屏東萬巒閃狗不慎自撞  釀一死四傷悲劇

3b. What was I saying about sugar cane in the Farming in Pingtung entry?  Hmm... nevermind.  A farmer in Wanluan is growing sugar cane and refining it into brown sugar.  He hopes to create a "brown sugar community" in the area, similar to cane-centric communities in Okinawa, Japan. 種甘蔗製黑糖  吳鴻展盼打造萬巒黑糖社區

3b. A KMT legislator recently suggested that the pig's feet sold on Wanluan's famous "Pig's Feet Street" were imported.  Pingtung County's Joint Inspection Team immediately produced documentation to the contrary and demanded an apology. 藍委質疑屏東萬巒豬腳產源  綠委 , 業者氣炸要求道歉 (8)

4. Taiwu Township 泰武鄉

4a. No recent news out of Taiwu.

5. Chaozhou Municipality 潮州鎮

5a. The recent drought resulted in a reduced amount of water in the Minjr River, and the death of thousands of fish.  The local Water Management Bureau recently dispatched a team of workers to clean up the fish carcasses from the river. 溪水減少  屏東潮州鎮民治治溪魚群大量死亡 (3)

5b. Here's an article promoting Chaozhou's Sselin Green Tunnel.  潮州泗泗林綠色隧道生機勃勃勃  民眾打卡熱點 (4)

5c. The puppets created by noted puppet maker Su Ming-hsiung will be on display at the Chaozhou Chinese Opera House (Museum). 蘇明雄師徒  " 潮州尪仔 "  屏東戲曲故事館展出

6. Xinyuan Township 新園鄉

6a. No recent news out of Xinyuan.

7. Kanding Township 崁頂鄉

7a. The Donggang Police Bureau, whose jurisdiction extends to Kanding, convened a community security meeting at Nantian Temple.  Topics discussed included traffic and local crime. 屏東南望安鄉親夜聚廟埕  東港警 + 社區凝聚安全意識

8. Laiyi Township 來義鄉

8a. Not really news, but this article, complete with pictures, talks about the traditional Paiwan way of life, and tribal members returning to the mountain forests to hunt.  Laiyi has the largest number of Paiwan residents in Taiwan. " 山林本事 "  兼顧狩獵與生態  重返森林的排灣族獵人

9. Donggang Municipality 東港鎮

9a. The Pingtung County Magistrate and others are encouraging cyclists to visit local "Welcoming in the King's Peace" festivals.  Those considering such a trip should be aware that cycling into many of these festivals is not fun. 東港區迎迎王祭典  青年軍單車環島號召遊遊子遊子回家迎王 (5)

9b. It's tuna season in Donggang, and the Pingtung County Magistrate treated several prominent friends to dinner at a restaurant there.  Wang Jian-ming.  Remember him? 屏東黑鮪魚季季周六開鑼建仔 , 恰恰東港大啖生魚片

9c. The Chairman of the Donggang Fishing Association voiced concern over Japan's plan to dump irradiated water from the Fukushima disaster into the ocean.  Local fishermen were more ambivalent, realizing that there's not much anyone outside Japan can do about it. 日核核廢水將排海  東港區漁會理事長想起一事事驚驚呼 : 嚇死人 (6)

10. Nanzhou Township 南州鄉

10a. Nanzhou is getting ready for its own"Welcoming in the King's Peace" festival.  The pictures in the linked article indicate how much smaller this festival is. 3年一科屏東溪州代天府王船祭  王船點晴儀式隆重莊嚴

10b. There's no swimming pool in Nanzhou, a situation which presents a big problem for elementary schools required to provide swimming classes for their students.  Students from Nanzhou were traveling as far as Donggang to attend these classes, and during one of their trips to the swimming pool their bus was in an accident.南州鄉內沒永池小學生到外地上游泳課  途中遇驚險車禍 (7)

11. Xinpi Township 新埤鄉

11a. An anthropologist who undertook an ethnographic survey of Datie Village in Xinpi spoke recently at the Liudui Hakka Culture Park.  His book was recently translated into Chinese. 一生最有意義的日子就在新埤打鐵 ...  美籍人類學家專書翻譯出版

11b. An elderly man in Xinpi was filmed killing and burning a dog at his residence.  Police later apprehended the man, and despite evidence to the contrary he maintained his innocence.  屏東男子涉殺狗用瓦斯噴槍燒  違反動保法函送

1. This was a big local news story, and multiple news outlets reported on it.  There is talk of passing laws to prevent this situation from happening again.

2. Sorry for the vague "interment facility."  I assume it's a place to store ashes, given the county government's push to relocate tombs and mortal remains from land in more populous areas, but it could just as easily be a graveyard.

3. This river, flowing through central Chaozhou, is filthy in the best of times.  Of course the drought was and continues to be a problem, but there may be other contributing factors.

4. Want to go somewhere WEIRD?  By all means visit the Bada Forest Park 8大森林樂園 located nearby.  It's easily the strangest, most perplexing "amusement park" ever.

5. There are three of these festivals in the area.  The biggest and most famous of them is held at Dongloong Temple in Donggang, but there are also smaller festivals on Xiaoliuqiu and in Nanzhou.  Firecrackers, temple processions and heavy traffic don't exactly make for a pleasant cycling experience.

6. Not sure how this irradiated water would make it all the way down to Donggang.  Donggang is on the southwest coast of Taiwan, while Fukushima is on the east coast of Japan.  Politically-minded people love to make statements like this, and it was probably taken for what it was worth.

7. I'm sorry but these "swimming classes" are a joke.  A bunch of partially supervised kids splashing around in a waist-high swimming pool?  Not likely to save anyone's life.

8. An especially embarrassing thing to say given the KMT's efforts to court local voters by opposing imported pork.