Sunday, June 26, 2016

Seen on a T shirt:

SYMBOLIC JEWS

Friday, June 24, 2016

說這些,也許有點無聊‧‧‧
我剛來臺灣那幾年,當然喜歡到處走走、看看,盡量搭便車。一則我沒錢買那麼多車票,一則我不喜歡被班次、路線綁死,一則上車可以跟司機聊天,學到很多。我在臺灣沒看過其它人在路邊倒著走伸出大拇指,可是很多司機看懂,所以我可以到處跑。(很多司機說,看到我是外國人,他們才停下來:外國人好認,如果需要報警,比較能抓到人。)我甚麼車都坐,只要司機肯停下來,從名貴轎車(只有那麼一次)到牛車,我都坐過。甚至不一定要停下來,軍車、貨車,至少慢下來,讓我助跑幾步跳上去,我也開心。
今天寫這段,是因為想起我剛來華不到兩個月,跟來自日本的澳洲室友Phillip環島旅行。我們往日月潭,一台聯合國的車停下來載我們:白色廂型車,有聯合國的標誌、「外」字車牌,司機一位四十幾歲的華人,英文尚可,人很和氣;當時中華民國從聯合國退出來才幾天,很多人不知何去何從,尤其在華的辦事員。正好順路,司機看到我們就停下,送我們一程。(日月潭到了,濃霧,只能隱隱約約看到路邊的房子、樹。大白天,商店、住家裏都開燈,跟我們說絕對看不到湖。我們走到湖邊,果然看不到,算了,回臺中。)
好玩的是,過了三年,我在花蓮又遇到同一台車、同一位司機。我跟他說我三年前坐過他的車,他有點惆悵,說聯合國的事已經辦完了,辦事處要結束了,車要賣了,他要失業了。他認為開聯合國的車是一件很有意義的差事,可是時事如此,他無能為力。我到了目的地,下了車,彼此講幾句勉勵的話,揮手,我知道我再也見不到他。
但三年搭到同一台便車,僅此一例。
A memory sprang up. This may seem a bit pointless, but it’s a story to be told.
When I first came to Free China (as it was called then), I traveled all over the island, mostly by hitchhiking. Actually, I was the only hitchhiker I ever saw, but when drivers saw a kid walking backwards down the highway, thumb out, enough of them figured it out, that I got around quite readily, if not always comfortably. I preferred hitchhiking partly because I didn’t have money for tickets, partly because I didn’t want to be tied down by schedules and routes, and mostly because this way I could chat with drivers, and learn a lot. I wasn’t picky. I rode on any vehicle that would stop, or even slow down enough for me to jump on.
What brought all this on was this story: shortly after I arrived, my friend Phil (an Aussie my age who grew up in Japan) and I went on a trip around the island. When we were hitching to Sun Moon Lake, we got picked up by a United Nations van: a white van with the UN logo, diplomatic plates, driven by a nice middle aged man who could speak some English. The Republic of China had just removed itself from the UN a few days before. A lot of people were in shock, and didn’t know what the future held in store.
We had a very pleasant ride, but Sun Moon Lake was so socked in by fog we were lucky to be able to see the road.
Three years later, I was hitching my way through Hualien, on the east coast, when the very same van stopped and picked me up again! Same driver. He was a bit melancholy, because all the loose ends had been tidied up, the office was closing, and the van would be sold in a few days. He would lose his job, but he felt that driving for the UN was a job that meant something, and he would miss it. I arrived where I was going, we said some good words to each other, and waved goodbye. I knew I would never see him again.
That is the only car that ever picked me up twice. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

耆老唱lmuhuw,即泰雅族史;現代能唱者,鳳毛鱗爪。Tayal history, lmuhuw, sung by Watan Tanga (b 1930) of Taoyuan. Very few know how to sing this way anymore.

Monday, June 20, 2016

人的自欺能力很強。聽到四十幾歲的阿姨跟朋友說,「我都有運動,我打麻將,麻將是很好的運動。」
我確定沒聽錯,因為講時,手擺出「桌游」樣,接下來都在討論麻將的輸贏。

Saturday, June 18, 2016

民意代表代表民意嗎?為民謀福嗎?或者享受權力?講政績,不講德政,浪費公帑,空有建設,不處理重要問題。

Thursday, June 16, 2016

有朋自遠方來,不亦樂乎!二十年的筆友,終于見了面。楊愛國先生是濟南山東石刻藝術博物館的副館長,我們一直通訊,交換研究心得、話家常,但是都沒有機會見面。他這幾天第一次來臺,在台北101卅二樓的「中國藝術館」展覽漢魏碑拓,我們當然趁機會去! Yang Aiguo has been my pen-pal for about twenty years, but we have never met. He researches stone carvings, mostly from the Han dynasty (about 200BC to 200AD). The other day he wrote and said he was coming to Taiwan for the first time, to set up an exhibit, so of course we went and got together. We had a wonderful time.

展品不多,但是全是精品,從鼎鼎大名的「乙瑛碑」到近年出土的「任城王黃腸石題記」;有興趣,不妨去看看。

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Have you ever wondered why Russians drink so much? Here’s your answer, a sampling of Russian playgrounds.
I admire that so many are obviously handmade by the locals, and not just plastic pumped out by an anonymous factory, but some of these are still really spooky.