I tried to write this blog entry in English as I always do. But this time I find myself unable to produce anything nearly close to my true feelings in this language. Most of the thinking I’ve done during this trip was concreted in the form of Chinese language. So to come up with English descriptions would require an extra step. And that does not guarantee the essence of thoughts would not be lost. Maybe that’s an obstacle of language translation. There’s always something fluid that gets sifted out readily through the process. Therefore my friends, please excuse me for leaving most of my writing of this trip in Chinese.
Taroko Gorge (太鲁阁）
We traveled to Hualien from Taipei by train. Took a day-trip to Taroko gorge on the second day.
我们从花莲坐计程车到天祥。下车后开始晃荡。 在那附近不远就有座佛教寺庙。这些地方都是敞开大门不收钱让人任意出入。 这令在中国内地旅游习惯了的我和 Jacob 感到既讶异又欣慰。
I’ve seen numerous temples in China welcome their guests with widely-opened gates only if you show your dollar bills. Religious sites are more like tourist sites than sacred places for people to worship. How glad it is for us to see the differences in Taiwan.
很可惜的是从天祥通往白杨瀑布的路听说因为去年台风的缘故封闭了。我们只好沿着公路往下走。本来我们是打算一直走到山下，看看路途中的景点。可是我和Jacob都不喜欢景点观光似的旅游方式。我们大概走了40分钟，在公路边上看到一条往下延伸的小路。走到底看到了难得的美景。（图2） 这里除了天空流水草树还有远处几只猴子之外就只有我们三人。不需要再走了，我们都认为。 已经找到了让人流连忘返的地方。而且这一刻，它只属于我们。
“不要问我从那里来 我的故乡在远方 为什甚流浪 流浪远方
为了宽阔的草原 流浪远方 还有为了梦中的橄榄树”
Hualien had a 海滨公园 (Harbour Park), and a night market close by. It was here where we played music facing the wide ocean. After the sun had completely set we would roam around the small night market. 记得有次我们坐下吃饭. 旁桌的人看到Jacob便跑过来问我们从哪里来的. “美国,韩国, 还有哦,我是台北人.” 我有时会说自己是大陆人,有时说是加拿大华人,这次我冒充本地人. 他看起来有几杯下肚,拉起Jacob的手说,”谢谢你来台湾! 能讲流利中文不容易啊! 我们台湾就靠你们宣传了! 你看我们台湾, 国家不像国家! 人们没有尊严. 不像个国家啊…” 然后转头对我说了几句我听不懂的闽南语. 他离开后, 我有种说不上来的感觉.
After Hualien our team had severe addiction to sugarcane and bubble tea. I think it somehow started by me, which I’m really proud of.
We took the bus from Hualien to Fugang harbour and stopped by Chenggong for two hours. The town seems to have nothing except for betel nuts and fish. Everyone we saw there chewed the green nuts. The old the young, the men the women. I didn’t realize that until we saw their teeth. I tried to keep my composure when they opened their mouths to talk to us, revealing their stained and degenerated teeth. We brought some betel nuts and tried them for the first time. I didn’t expect it to taste so awful. Like a mixture of fresh bitter melon and cinnamon, leaving your mouth a soapy aftertaste. Gyongrim and I couldn’t stand it for more than half a minute. Jacob held on to it longer, but not long before we all spit them out.
Chenggong is a coastal town. People here make living by fishing. The time we arrived there luckily was when the fish market auction began. Fishermen dragged fish around by a long hook. Among those fish the most outstanding ones were the sharks. It was mind-blowing to see them cut up the sharks the way I chop carrots at home, they did it so expressionlessly and effortlessly. Besides the pile of sharks we saw a hammerhead shark, which had a sticker labeled with the buyer’s last name on its pulse-less body.
I tried my best to be an observer so to see whatever I encounter during my travels without judgments. This was the time when I had to remind myself of this attitude. Later that afternoon before we left the town we had shark meat for dinner. It was my first time eating shark.
这里的人除了渔夫们都好闲, 无所事事的坐在家门口嚼着槟榔消磨时间. 让我想起我小时外婆住的凭祥的样子. 有点伤感. 有力气有能力没机会无所作为大概是人生最悲哀的事情之一. 这作风和”成功”这个名字形成鲜明对比.
Green Island (绿岛)
I probably won’t be able to emphasize enough — The green island is so scenic! From the 19km-road along the coastline on my bike to underwater world I saw when snorkeling. The views were purely breathtaking.
有些经历是平时无法体会到的. 这些, 应该是旅途当中最让人难忘的. 我和Jacob吃完晚饭骑着脚踏车要去泡温泉. 骑着骑着我把开着的手电筒熄了,想看看是什么感觉. 如何去形容那黑暗呢？ 天上有星星点灯，不至于伸手不见五指。因为黑的缘故不敢尽情地去。前面的Jacob在我视野中消失. 我双腿踏着脚踏像是失去了知觉, 只是在机械性的划着圆圈地前进. 多少有被黑暗的恐惧包围着. 沿着海岸的路上有海声陪伴, 还有从那方向吹来的海风, 夹着泥土.草树.和咸咸海水的味道. 虽然不能舒缓那恐惧, 却给人一种莫名的感动.
温泉在海边, 而且是露天. 我第一次在星空下泡温泉.
要离开绿岛当天的早上, 我的两个朋友还在熟睡时, 我在爬起来环岛骑脚踏车然后泡温泉. 清晨的感觉又是完全不一样. 这之后我体力透支. 但感觉像是身上的体力完全排出体外后, 自己又被那能量包围着. 痛快.
在绿岛上还有一段小插曲, 我们和一群当地小朋友聊天时,一个五年级的小男孩问我们从哪儿来. “美国,韩国和加拿大.” 我们回答说.
“台湾太小, 没办法.” 他老成的笑着说.
P.S. I had venison (deer meat) on this island for the first time in my life.
Jacob and Gyongrim walked me to the harbour that day. We said our goodbyes. How sad it was to leave them. Especially with Jacob I’ve developed strong bond with him that I could share my deepest feelings with him. People say a trip together can either break your friendship or bring people closer. We absolutely had done the latter. 他说每次和朋友旅行,总有一首歌是弹得最多的, 而这次我们的旅程中弹唱最多的是刘若英的”后来”. So this trip is called “后来”.
我多次抬头看皎洁的月光,想要从那光芒中得到答案, 哪里才是我的归宿. 这么多年来我一直穿梭于东西文化之间. 我大概一直都未曾了解古人”望月思乡”的情怀. 我这次来台湾莫名其妙的居然有回到家的感觉. 熟悉的语言是原因之一. 还有台湾人的友善热情, 宗教的自由让我过得很舒服. 台北的诚品书店,和水果小吃都好想念哦. 最后谢谢疼我的Jerry大姐, Allen大哥, 和老姐. 你们都让我觉得好窝心. 我都好爱你们哦. 如果有机会, 我还蛮想以后在台北小住一段时间.