2009/06/08

[轉] 台灣的愛與寂寞~一位瑞士記者眼中的台灣

via http://loco-loca.blogspot.com/
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以下轉載自南方電子報

作者:David Signer
譯者:顏敏如

此篇文章原刊登於2006年七月一日荷蘭的報紙

寫在翻譯前 :

這篇原文Love and Loneliness in Taiwan的作者David Signer是曾在台灣待過兩個星期的一位瑞士人,在歐洲所發表為荷文、德文的文章。筆者知道此文章是一位歐洲友人口述給我聽的。當時我聽到此文章時,對歐洲人以自己文化來看台灣的觀感時震懾住了。但思之再三卻又時感驚訝又時感慼慼。我請友人為我翻譯為英文,我們也去函詢問TROUW該報轉譯中文發表在網上的可能性等等,接著去函給原作者,原作者應允中文翻譯公開發表後,筆者開始著手,但因為私人因素所以延遲了工作。

作者David Signer ,1964年生,是一位歐洲的人類學家,專研人類學與社會學。走訪過中東、非洲各國,對文化有深入的研究。其以歐洲人的文化背景與觀點來看台灣,讀者可以得見作者著實下了番工夫去瞭解台灣的歷史背景、政治經濟與教育現況,尤其是其以不偏不倚的人文立場客觀地看台灣的現象。在翻譯過程中,筆者與原作者通過 mail。他告訴筆者無意為文使任何人不悅,但是以一個外國文化來看台灣,在某些特定事情上確實讓他吃驚。筆者不是專業翻譯者,且轉譯了兩次不同語言,字字計較地去深入瞭解作者的寫作感情與文化背景是我努力的。

在您讀過這篇文章後,是否也正思索著作者所述的某些點正巧也碰觸到深愛台灣的你我的寂寞與愛呢?


T.Y. (Jade) Lee於 Jan. 5, 2007

How is Taiwan? There is no country in the world where the people make so many working hours as in on – 2282 hours a year. Over 30% of the people work more then 62 hours a week.

世上沒有任何一個國家的人像台灣一樣,工作時數每年高達2,282小時,30%的人每週工作超過 62小時

Taiwan is the second densest populated country in the world. Only in Bangladesh live more people per square kilometer. Although Taiwan is smaller then Switzerland it belongs to the 20 most successful industrial countries; Taiwan is market leader in notebooks and there is no country that has more mobile phones (1,14 per citizen of Taiwan).

台灣人口密度高居世界第二,只低於孟加拉。雖然台灣面積小於瑞士,卻是20個最成功的工業國家之一。台灣是筆記型電腦製造的領導先驅,有世界第三大外匯存款,也是手機密度最高的地區(平均每人擁有1,14支手機)。

Furthermore there are only three countries that have less sex then the Taiwanese, and according to the French magazine "Elle", Taiwanese women are the unhappiest women in the world. Taiwan has also the most near sighted people. So how does this all relate to each other?

然而,只有三個國家的性生活是少於台灣,且根據「Elle」雜誌研究指出,台灣女性是世界上最不快樂的。台灣同時也是最多戴近視眼鏡的國家。這些現象之間彼此有何關聯呢?

Twenty years ago Taiwan changed from a dictatorial country to a democracy and speeded up the modernization in a fast pace. And now we see the strong Confucian working-moral besides gay-clubs and piercing studios. Colorful Taoist temples along side big glass skyscrapers and supermarkets that are open 24 hours a day. Since Tsjang Kai-sjek, the rival of Mao, fled to Taiwan in 1948, Taiwanwas seen as a rebellious province. Taipei as capital, with all direct surrounded sub cities, has a population of around 8 million people and is in a sense a post modern version of Peking .

20年前台灣從獨裁轉型為民主,現代化與自由化同時快速進行。也因此,嚴謹的儒家工作倫理與同志酒吧、刺青商店同時存在。多彩的道家廟宇,就在電子產業的玻璃維幕高樓及24小時營業的超市旁邊。自從毛澤東的對手蔣介石1948年退守到台灣,中國就一直把台灣視為叛逆的一省。如果自由化繼續進行,二十年後的中國可能就像現在的台灣。而連同附近城鄉合計約有800萬人口的台北,就是北京現代化後的願景。家庭是台灣社會變遷中特別引起注意的生活範疇。

In many households the man and woman both have a job, they not only make long working hours, but also even in different cities. They only see each other in the weekends. The children are often raised by the grandparents who display a worldview that has almost nothing to do with current reality. For Taiwanese there is almost nothing more important then good education for their kids, therefore they are overloaded with courses and extra classes after regular school often till late in the evenings.

在許多家庭中,夫妻兩人不只是長時間工作,甚至在不同城市工作,且保有各自的住處,只在週末見面。由祖父母帶大的小孩,其價值觀也因此來自幾乎是與現實脫節的世界。對台灣人來說,沒有任何事比給孩子更好的教育來得重要,因此孩子們常常在晚間也必須承受許多額外的課程


In Taipei I visit a surgeon at his home. His 6-year-old daughter is taught English at school, but she has extra classes English in the evenings besides painting, dance and piano lessons. With proudness she plays classic piano parts without music paper. In August the whole family goes to the USA to improve her English even more at a summer camp.

我在台北時拜訪了一位外科醫生,他六歲的女兒已經在學校學英文,但是在晚間,她除了必須再學英文之外,還有畫畫、舞蹈和鋼琴。她很驕傲地不用樂譜就彈得出古典曲子。八月,他們全家會到美國去,讓女兒參加兩週的暑期營隊,以增進英文能力。

I ask the father if he is not afraid that the pressure on the kids might be too high. From Japan more and more stories are heard of children who commit suicide because of the shame of failing an exam. "Yes, sometimes all the effort is for nothing," says the surgeon. "Sometimes the musical wonder kids play virtuously when they are 14, but when they become 25 the difference fades between the kids who started only at the age of 10". The father also mentions the competition between the parents that cannot be avoided.

我問這個父親,難道他不怕給孩子太多壓力?不是常聽說,日本孩子因考試失敗感到羞恥而自殺嗎?「是的,有時所有努力會化為烏有。」醫生說,「比如有些鋼琴神童,十四歲就能將琴彈得很完美,但到了25歲時,他們彈琴的技巧則無異於從十歲才學起的水平。」這父親也提到在他的週遭環境中,父母與父母之間無法避免的競爭,他甚至用了「全副武裝」這樣的字眼。

And on top of that there is the 1 child policy – in Mainland China> obligatory, inTaiwan based upon choice and quite common. So of course there is more money and energy spent on the child to stimulate it even more. The emphasis upon educating and performance of the kids is characteristic for all Confucian countries like country-region China, Japan, Korea and Singapore

一胎化在中國是政策,在台灣則成了可以自由選擇的目標,和大家庭比起來,當然就會把更多時間和金錢花在提昇唯一的孩子身上。強調教育與成就是深受儒家思想影響國家的特質,例如中國、日本、韓國和新加坡。

But in Taiwan the people want the world to show that they are the better than China . From 1895 till 1945 Taiwan was occupied by Japan, after that period it belonged to China. After the Second World War when Mao's army defeated the nationalistic army of Tsjang Kai-sjek, they fled with 1,5 million citizens (mostly of them high developed and upper class), 500.000 soldiers, and the national treasure to Taiwan. Mao as well as Tsjang Kai-sjek saw themselves as the one and only representation of China. The official name of Taiwan is still "Republic of China".


台灣不僅也是如此,更由於歷史背景因素,台灣人希望展現給世界的是一個更好的中國。從1895年到1945年台灣被日本佔據,接著被中國接收。二次大戰後毛澤東戰勝國民黨的蔣介石,蔣介石帶著150萬人民眾(大多數是有高教育水準的上層階級)、50萬軍人和國家寶藏來到台灣。毛澤東和蔣介石都自視為中國的唯一代表。至今台灣的正式官方名稱為「Republic of China」。


The USA armed Taiwan as a buffer against communistic China and Tsjang Kai-sjek never gave up his goal to conquer China again up to his death in 1975. Taiwannowadays has a population of 24 million people, China 1,3 billion. The island country is economically a world power but politically isolated. Taiwan does not even have the status of "observer" in the UN and is only recognized as a country by 27 other countries like Palau, Kiribati and ,Swaziland .

美國高度武裝台灣以對抗共產主義的中國大陸,蔣介石直到1975年過世為止,不曾改變他收復中國的目標。台灣有2,400萬人口,大陸13億,這個海島有世界超強的經濟,但是在政治上卻是孤立的,台灣甚至沒有聯合國觀察者的身份,只被27個國家所承認,像是帛流、吉里巴斯共和國和史瓦濟蘭等。

This is because China refuses any political relations with countries that recognize Taiwan as an independent country, and who does, especially today, want China as an opponent?

這是因為大陸拒絕和承認台灣的國家有外交關係,特別是今天,誰承認了台灣就無異與大陸為敵。在台灣可以感受到中國以一種矛盾的方式存在。

Continuously Taiwan experiences the presence of China like a big brother you want to push off but always keeps the lead no matter the distance. Taiwan always stipulates that it respects human rights, nobody will die from starvation, there is freedom of thought and press, Taiwan is progressive, democratic, liberal, cosmopolitan, post-industrial and post modern; the better China. But is seems like the citizens of Taiwan situate themselves in a jumbo jet: if the pace slows down below a certain speed, then it will crash.

在台灣可以感受到中國以一種矛盾的方式存在。中國就像一個大哥,台灣想要和他保持距離,可是這位大哥卻又權威性地不肯離開。台灣尊重人權、沒人苦於饑餓、有言論與媒體自由;台灣進步、民主、自由、國際化、後工業化、後現代化;總之,是一個更好的中國。在台灣可以察覺到一種清醒、一種警覺,這情形讓人想起以色列。這個中東國家除了強調它的合法性之外,也要表現得比敵對的鄰邦更好。可是台灣人民則更像是一架使勁飛翔的噴射只要把速度減慢到某個程度,就會墜落。

Sheena Chang is editor at the China Times. Her daughter of four is having extra courses in English. Sheena is keen on getting her daughter to a national University. These are better then the private universities and even cheaper. This leads to the fact that especially children born from highly educated and rich parents, who can afford the extra courses, can enter the 'better' Universities. The fee is low there and children of the lower class have to pay extra for the 'lesser" Universities.

Sheena Chang是中國時報的編輯,女兒四歲時已經上英文的課外補習。她希望女兒能讀國立大學。國立比私立大學更好而且更便宜。這導致一個弔詭的現象:特別是受高等教育且較有錢的父母,他們能提供孩子額外的課程學習,讓孩子能進入收費少的「好」大學;而低社會階層的孩子則只好去「壞」的大學。久而久之,自然會加深貧富懸殊與城鄉差距

Sheena Chang comes with another Taiwan-record: nowhere in the world kids sleep less then in Taiwan. She calls people like her 'pm-people', coming from post meridian. 'I am going to work at 2 pm (14:00) and return at 10 pm (22:00)'. Most people working in the IT business work at night, because their customers in Europe and USA are then in their daytime. The children of these 'pm-people' stay up till midnight with them: they eat together, watch TV and play computer games. But the kids in contrary to their parents have to get up at 7 am to get to school.

Sheena Chang還展示了另一個台灣紀錄:根據她的統計,世界上沒有一個地方的孩子睡眠像台灣孩子那麼少。她把自己和與她同樣的人稱為「pm people」。「我從下午兩點開始工作,在晚上十點回家。」大部份資訊科技產業的人在晚間工作,因為這剛好是歐美客戶的白天時間。「pm people」的孩子和他們一起熬到午夜,一起吃東西、看電視、玩電玩。但是和大人們相反地,孩子又必須在早上七點起床。

She tells the story so business-like that I carefully ask if that does not hurt the health of the kids. 'Maybe so', she says, 'but it makes them also stronger. This way it makes them stronger to cope with pressure later. The biggest concern is the grandmothers who spoil the kids. They only stuff them with food, but don't teach them anything.'

她這種不帶情感的客觀陳述,讓我小心地問,這樣不會損害孩子的健康嗎? 「也許是。」她說,「但這讓孩子有更強的抵抗能力,也能學會處理將來的壓力。最大的問題是,祖母寵壞孩子,她們只餵給食物但不教任何事。」

One evening I meet a psychiatrist in a hot spring spa ( besides visiting karaoke bars one of the favorite free time fun activities for Taiwanese). At 10 pm he says he has to go home to help his daughter with her homework. 'At this hour?' I ask surprised. 'Sure, tomorrow she will have chemistry exam, and I will take over the theory with her once more.'

某晚我和一位精神科醫生一起泡溫泉(就在卡拉ok旁邊。卡拉ok是台灣人喜歡的娛樂活動之一)。晚上十點時,他說他必須回家去幫女兒複習功課。「在這個時間?」我很驚訝。「當然,明早九點她有化學考試,我得幫她再複習一次。」

A Swiss woman who lived in Taiwan for a long time says: 'the only thing that counts for these people is food and making money. Love and sex are not important. If somebody says 'I love you', then it means nothing, but if he gives you a big piece of his meat then you know you are important for him.'

一個長時間住在台灣和中國的瑞士女人告訴我:「對這些人來說,重要的是錢和吃,愛與性不重要。如果有人說我愛你,那是沒有意義的。但是如果他給你一塊盤子裡的肉,你就知道,你對他來說很重要。」

The Taiwanese eroticism is not easy to understand. The people are prude; besides the city center of Taipei you hardly see any couples hold their hand or exchange other tender behavior. But at the other hand if you look at the sales girls of betel nuts, they sit in their bikini in a glass box, which you can recognize easy by the green neon-star along side the road. You stop your car, she comes out, bends over in front of the window so you can have a good look at her décolleté, she walks wiggling her bum to the get the order and gives you the nuts with a tempting smile. The euphoric feeling and the sweating that comes after chewing the betel nuts, makes the happiness complete.

台灣人的情慾是不容易瞭解的,人們不善於表現情感。除了台北市中心之外,很難看得到成雙成對的人手牽手或是交換溫柔情感。但另一方面,卻可以看到檳榔西施穿著比基尼泳裝坐在玻璃櫥窗裡。由於有個綠色心形霓虹燈,所以遠遠就可以認得出來。你停下車,她走出來,彎下身軀面對你打開了的車窗,你可以從她深裁的前襟看到裡面。她踩著高跟鞋,扭動臀部,走回去拿你訂的東西,然後帶著誘惑的微笑遞給你檳榔。嚼檳榔後出汗與暈眩的快感則是完全的快樂。

These nuts cost two times as much when bought from these girls then normal, but especially the taxi and truck drivers don't care to pay the difference. These sales girls are mostly found in the countryside; the mayor of liberal Taipei tries to ban them from the city center.

這些檳榔西施以雙倍的價錢賣出檳榔,計程車和卡車司機則視為當然。檳榔西施通常散佈在看不到溫柔的鄉間,自由台北的市長則試著阻止她們在市中心營業。

Also traditional healers sell their wonder medicines accompanied by sparsely clothed girls. But the most funny is the performance of these 'sexy girls' at weddings and even funerals. You can see a long row of cars and trucks; on one of them is the coffin with the deceased, on another there are the hired mourners, and on a third you see the dancing 'sexy girls'. It seems that the audience, including children, experiences no conflict between the table-dance atmosphere and the mourning about the deceased. 'The surviving dependents pay a lot of money for such performances in order to have a lot of people attend and honor the deceased', so people tell me.

還有,賣傳統中藥的人把情慾當成促銷的工具,同時提供神奇的中藥及「輕裝」的女孩。最讓人驚奇的是,這些「性感女孩」也在婚禮甚至葬禮上出現!那通常是由汽車和卡車組成的車陣,其中一部車上是亡者的棺木,另一部是哭號的女人,在第三部車上,則可以看到跳豔舞的性感女郎。包括孩子們在內的觀眾群,顯然不認為,一場「桌上熱舞」的氣氛與對死者的哀傷有任何衝突。「家屬付許多錢給這樣的表演,才能讓許多人來參加葬禮並懷念亡者。」這是當地人所告訴我的。

By the official prude it is hard for love couples, and even spouses, to find a private space. One of the favorite places to get some intimacy was the MTV, cabins where you can watch movies. But at a certain moment the police intervened, the cabins could not be closed anymore and a guard could at any moment intrude the cabin. So the love couples changed to the parks and the KTV's: buildings with lot of rooms where you can sing karaoke as a couple or as a group. But also here a waiter could enter any time. At least each room has a surprising big closable toilet. Nowadays the motels are doing good business, they are quite cheap, 20 euros for three hours. But there is one disadvantage, they are mostly situated outside the center, so you need a car.

因著窄小的空間,情侶或甚至是夫妻要有個獨處的地方,並不容易。直到上學年齡,孩子都還和父母親睡在一起。長久以來,MTV是個深受喜愛的,可以私密約會的地方。在包廂中依自己的喜好選擇要看的電影。不知從什麼時候開始有了檢查制度,包廂不再可以關門,檢查人員隨時可以進入,所以情侶改到公園或KTV。 KTV是有許多房間的建築,情侶或是親朋好友可在裡面唱卡拉OK,也可以點飲食,但是服務人員依然可以隨時進來。不過每個包廂中又有一個引人注意的,很大,且可以上鎖的洗手間。人們對Motel的需求已有好一段時間,可以相當便宜地在那裡築起愛之巢,三小時約二十歐元。缺點是離市中心較遠,需要自己有車。

It's easier to find a nice restaurant. In Taipei there are thousands of food facilities. Even on the top of the chimney of the garbage burning installation you can find a rotating restaurant, called 'star tower'.

相較之下,要找個好的餐廳就容易得多了。在飲食方面,台北有著地理上的優勢。日本、中國、韓國、泰國、美國、歐洲及台灣原住民的菜餚錯綜交織。台北有無數個餐館,甚至於焚化爐煙囪頂端都還有旋轉餐廳,叫做『摘星樓』。

Apparently there is a close relation between food and sex according to the Taiwanese. Continuously you hear what good the different dishes will do for, in general, men. Especially local dishes like: cow eyes, bee larvae, swallow nests (the spittle of birds), grasshoppers, dried elk penis, shark fin, sea cucumber, mushrooms, dried human afterbirth, unborn chicken from the egg (raw), ginseng, bear bone, duck tongue, sea horse, but above all snake. On the Huaxi night market a market salesman hangs a still living snake on a rope and cuts it open in full length, he catches the blood in a glass and offers the audience to have a taste. After that he also removes the gall bladder and squeezes it out in a glass. The gel slimy substance is said to work extensively on the libido, as the salesman demonstrates by moving up and down chopsticks between his legs.

對台灣人而言,食物與性之間顯然有某種緊密的關係。每上兩道菜就可以聽到,「這是特別對男人重要的食物」。這些地方上的珍饈,包括牛眼、幼蜂、燕窩、炸蟋蟀、鹿鞭、魚翅、海參、香菇、胎盤、未孵化的生雞蛋、人蔘、熊掌、鴨舌、海馬、尤其是蛇。週末在華西街夜市可以大開眼界:一條掛在繩子上面活生生的蛇,被人完整地將皮剝下來,滴在杯中的蛇血則提供觀眾品嚐。然後殺蛇人也取出蛇膽,把膽汁擠入杯中,黏黏軟軟的膠狀物據說很健康,能提高性慾;宰蛇的人還用筷子在他兩腿間清楚地示範。在他後面是些老饕就著露營的小桌子,正在喝蛇湯、龜湯。

The women however will not get happier by it.

不過女人並不因此而快樂。

For instance take Chang Mei-Ling. She is in her mid thirties, studied French litterature and works for a French company. She is single. Everything that would be in man's favor is in her disadvantage, a good education, good job, high income, all in her disadvantage. And besides that she is taller then average. A man in Taiwan wants to be better educated then his wife, have a better income, and to be at least one head taller. She herself would like to have a husband like that. But there are not many that will meet these criteria, besides the fact that she has hardly time for a relation.

Chang Mei-Ling,三十多歲,單身,讀羅馬語言學系並在法商公司工作。她說,高教育、好職業、高所得等等在男人身上加分的條件,在她卻成了減分;此外她也長得相當高。但是台灣男人要教育程度比太太高,收入比太太高,而且也要比太太高過一個頭。她自己或許也同樣這麼希望。而能夠符合這些條件的少數人往往有許多工作,所以沒時間去找另一半。

Chang Mei-Ling has been married before. She wanted children, he did not. He said that he wanted to earn a million first. They hardly saw each other. When she noticed he had a love affair with a colleague she divorced. 'Everything you do here is for the purpose of making a career' she says. 'Most Taiwanese men are like that. Some try to change for their woman, but after a while they get fed up by her because they have the feeling that the woman has taken away something from them.' Her parents were always out for business when she was a kid. Mostly the oldest daughter took the responsibility for the younger kids. 'That is why we are so clever and independent', says Chang Mei-Ling. 'Because we grew up alone'.

Chang Mei-Ling曾有過一次婚姻,她要小孩,但他不想要。他說要先賺到一百萬美金。他們很難得見到面,當她發現,他和女同事有曖昧的關係時,她便離婚了。「這裡所有的事情都是為了事業。」她說,「大部份的台灣男人都如此,一些人為了女人試圖改變他們自己,但一段時間以後他們便放棄了,因為他們覺得,女人從他們身上帶走了一些東西。」當她還在孩提時,她的父母總是力圖打拚事業,家裡通常是長女負責照顧弟弟妹妹們。「這就是為什麼我們這麼伶俐和獨立。」她說,「因為我們是在沒有父母照應下長大的。」

When she goes out she only attends business dinners and karaoke nights with her customers. She does not care about shopping nor expensive brands of clothes; she spends her money on traveling – last year she went with her mother to a 5 star hotel on an island in the pacific ocean - and her collection of plushy pigs.

下週Chang Mei-Ling會參加一個「驅動旅行」。她的公司請最好的十二個員工去夏威夷。她還和家人住在一起,外出的活動就只是和客戶吃飯或去卡拉OK。她不像大部份坐辦公室的女人去逛街或買高價的名牌衣服,而是把薪水花在小豬毛絨玩具的收集及旅行上。去年她和母親到一個太平洋上的小島去渡假,住在五星飯店裡。

She says 'you think that our society is so colorful and free but it looks like that because we don't have roots. Our parents were immigrants, they were lost when they came here and nowadays they don't understand anything anymore. We are all orphans, and our children will be like that as well.' She also says 'Many people don't work till 10 pm because they have to, but because of inner emptiness. They dream to have earned to retire at the age of 50, and when they reached it they die of boredom.'

有一次她說:「你以為我們的社會是如此多彩多姿與自由?其實它只是看似如此,因為我們沒有根。我們的父母移民來台灣,卻沒有家的感覺,今天他們不再試圖去瞭解來由。我們都是孤兒,我們的孩子也會一樣。」她也說:「許多人工作到晚上十點,他們必須如此,是因為內心空虛,他們夢想在五十歲時存夠錢以便退休,然後死於無聊。」

Compared to the hypermodern state of Taiwan, Europe looks ancient. Half of Taipei has a wireless Internet zone; even in the MRT you can check your email. The mayor of Taipei wants to make Taipei the first wireless city in the world. Many people have a GPS system on their mobile; they might feel lost but they can at least localise themselves geographically.

台灣社會的差距與不同時代面貌並存的情形令人感到困惑。一種超現代,而讓歐洲顯得老態龍鍾的情形是,台北一半面積都已是無線區域網路的範圍,甚至在捷運裡也能收發電子郵件。台北市長要建造世界上第一個無線網路城市。許多人的手機有GPS系統,即使迷路了也可以從手機中找到方位。過馬路時,綠燈裡一開始有個小小的人閒適地走著,在他上面是倒數計時器,然後那小小人越走越快,直到最後像發瘋似地狂奔。

In many taxis you will find screens in the headrest of the front chairs, so you can follow the news during your trip. This efficiency you experience everywhere. A Taiwanese lady told me that she was once at a German wedding. She experienced it as awful, it took ages. Even a wedding is supposed to happen fast.

在許多計程車裡,你還可以在前座椅的頭靠上看電視,所以才不會浪費時間,就是講求效率。一個台灣人告訴我,她曾在德國參加婚禮。「妳覺得怎麼樣呢?」「真可怕。好像永遠不會完!」對她來說,甚至連婚禮都要講求快速

There are restaurants where every table has a screen where you can watch hundreds of programs while eating, and in a lot of hotels there are rooms where the room and bathroom are split by a glass wall. Not to watch your spouse taking a shower but the other way around, so you can even watch television from the bath.

有些餐廳中的桌子有電視螢幕,可以邊吃邊看百種節目。許多飯店房間裡的臥房和浴室用玻璃分隔。是要讓人從床上就可以看到美女入浴?不,正相反,你甚至可以從浴室或廁所裡看電視!

Another technical wonder is the 508-meter high skyscraper "Taipei 101"; it has the fastest elevator in the world; at 60 kilometers an hour you are taken up to the 80th floor in a few seconds. But you hardly notice it; the cabins are under regulated pressure.

另一個驚奇科技是508公尺高的台北101,它擁有每小時60公里,世界上最快的電梯,在幾秒內就可以抵達80層樓高,你卻沒什麼感覺。電梯內有壓力平衡的裝置。

「我們必須一直是最好的」,Chang Ming-Lei簡單明瞭地做評論。

The 'Taipei 101' is constructed according the Feng-Shui principles; that is the traditional knowledge of architecture that adjusts to the invisible flows and ghosts at a certain place. According to this knowledge it is forbidden to have the entrance exactly facing the exit; otherwise you take the risk that the visitor of the building will enter it and immediately will exit it. According to the Feng-Shui principles it is bad for the inhabitants of a building if a street directly points at your apartment block. To deflect these bad influences an 8-cornered mirror will avoid the bad influence. It will reflect back the negative.

台北101是依照風水理論建築而成的,那是以傳統原理避免無形沖煞的知識。根據這樣的知識,入口和出口處不可相對,否則就會有訪客進入大樓後又立刻出門的風險。根據風水理論,居住在路沖的大樓中是很不好的,可是對一樓的商店卻有好處。轉化負面的影響是把八卦鏡掛在窗上。台灣人很小心,儘量避免生活上不好的事情發生。街上到處是監視器和緊急紐,大部份的陽台裝設鐵欄杆,不過有個居民對我說,發生火災時,這些鐵欄杆卻讓人無法逃走。這人還說,八卦鏡的作用就像光線,可以轉移不好的東西或反射回去。

'Taipei 101' is build up from 8 segments, and each of the consists of 8 floors; 8 is the lucky Chinese number. Four is the unlucky number that is why there is no 4th floor. The 101 looks like a piece of segmented bamboo. Bamboo – flexible and easy to bend, but still strong – is an old symbol for resistance and fortune. 'Taipei 101' is build with a 660 tons steel sphere as a damper within, so that in the case of an earthquake the building will not break but swing only, like a bamboo stick in the wind.

台北101由每節八層樓的節段所構成。八是中國人的吉祥數字,四是不吉祥的,所以沒有四樓。台北101看起來像是一節節垂直重疊內插的竹子,中空而有彈性,卻仍然堅固,象徵堅毅與進步。內部有個660噸重的鋼球,地震時會晃動卻不斷裂。就像在風中佇立的竹子。

Another surprise you can see in this hyper capitalistic society – more and more I hear 'Only the one who is to lazy or has to many children is poor' – is the burning of money. However it is not real money, but 'money papers' that are specially made for ritual offerings, produced and sold for that purpose. The owners burn it in metal cans in front of their stores and pray for good business. For environmental reasons nowadays there is also "money" available that does not smoke that much, but it is somewhat more expensive.

我不斷聽人說:「只有懶惰和孩子多的是窮人。」這個超資本主義社會裡,在店前燒錢的那些人也是個驚奇點。這種錢不是真正的鈔票,而是看起來像錢的紙鈔。他們在商店前的鐵桶裡燒紙錢,祈求好財運。不久之前出現所謂的「環保紙錢」,煙較少,但賣價也就更貴。

In the middle of the IT city of Taipei you can find an overload of Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist temples that serve as oracle places. For example there is the City of God temple; in large numbers, young women with Gucci or Louis Vuitton handbags put flowers and fiancée cookies on the altars on Saturday morning before shopping. Here the god of marriage is residing, and the young women use oracle sticks to ask questions about their upcoming spouse.

在資訊科技產業大本營的台北,有許多孔廟、道宮和廟宇,這些往往也是取得神諭的地方。和瑞士教堂不同的是,年輕人也來廟宇。例如週六中午,許多帶著Gucci或LV皮包的年輕女人在購物前到廟裡來,供上鮮花和訂婚餅。這裡也有管姻緣的神,女人就在那裡求籤求問她們的未來。

One night I visit a temple. In front of it there is a movable shrine on wheels. 'God can be placed in there and moved around, for example on someone's birthday', people tell me. 'Now God is in China, but tomorrow he will be back and there will be a procession.

有一晚我到一個廟裡,在廟前有一種可以行駛的神龕。「神過生日的時候,把神放進車裡,到處開著走。」有人這麼告訴我,「現在神在大陸,明天回來,到時候會有遊行。」

The procession is a big spectacle with lots of firecrackers, red bangle torches, riding light organs, fireworks, drums and screeching loudspeakers. The 'God' is a colorful painted wooden figure in a chair with long bars that is carried around the neighborhood rocking up and down on the shoulders of the bearers.

第二天的遊行是個盛大的熱鬧場面,有鞭炮、紅色孟加拉火把、可行駛的、裝飾燈光的電子琴、閃爍不停的強光、煙火、鈸、鼓、吵雜的擴音器。神是彩色的木雕,坐在左右晃動的長轎子裡,被抬著到處走。

And all this in an atmosphere of bright neon light. The stars in the procession are Hsie and Fan who are normally the guards of the temple annex statues. Hsie has a black face, Fan has a down hanging tongue as long as the man who wears the costume, and he looks through a hole in his shirt. Everything from the torso up the performer wears on his head.

轎子有刺眼的霓虹燈管,電源是由一個在後面推著的,發出難以忍受噠噠聲的發電機所提供。范、謝兩人通常是廟裡的守護神,在遊行隊伍裡卻成了主角。
謝,有張黑臉。范,有長長外吐的舌頭,而且身體高得讓打扮成他的人只能從衣服上的洞向外看,並且要挺胸,以頭來保持平衡。

The appearance can be explained by a legend. Hsie and Fan once wanted to meet on a bridge, Hsie was somewhat early and was watching the water below the bridge and fell over in the water when he lost his balance. When Fan arrived he found his friend dead and Fan strangled himself with his bare hands. That is why his tongue is so far out of his mouth, while Hsie became black in the water. In Taipei people say that the spirits of the two roam the Manka region with heavy chains and eat the tramps and thieves. And yes in the Manka neighborhood there is less crime then in the other regions of the city.

這兩人的外表可由民間傳說來解釋:范、謝曾約好在橋上相見,謝早到了,在等候時,因看橋下的水身體失去平衡而跌入水中。當范抵達時,發現他的朋友早已死去。痛苦之餘,范用雙手勒死自己。這是為何他的舌頭吐出這麼長來,而謝的臉在水中成了黑色。台北人說,這兩人夜裡帶著鐵鍊在艋舺附近巡邏,看到了小偷就把他們吞掉。艋舺一帶的犯罪率的確比其他地區低。

Taipei has different monuments for their country heroes like Tsjang Kai-sjek and Sun Yat-sen. One of these places is a huge memorial hall with a more then living height statue, guards in official uniform and a lot of free space around the immortals mark the distance between them and every day life. It's amazing how the people of the city interact with these places.

台北有好些紀念國家英雄的地方,中正紀念堂和國父紀念館也在其中。這兩個建築物內有巨大的廳堂和大於常人的塑像,塑像前面站有衛兵,塑像四周空曠,彷彿讓不朽者和平常人的生活有了適當的距離。令人驚訝的是,居民如何對待這種強烈要求展現崇敬的地方!

If you go there at 5 in the morning, when the city is still silent, you will be surprised by a grotesque carnival. From many loudspeakers you will hear all kinds of music at the same time, marching music, hip-hop, Chinese classics, country, tango and new-age noise.

只要在整個城市還相當安靜的清晨五點去到紀念館,會突然看到某種型態的嘉年華會。從許多不同的擴音器傳出進行曲、嘻哈、國樂、鄉村、探戈等等不和諧的刺耳聲音。

Hundreds of people are gathered. Some performing taichi, others do sword fighting, some dance in the morning mist. A man and a woman of age throw over a pink frisbee. There are people in kimono, in cheerleader look, a rapper with oversized trousers and a shirt with hood. Many people there are of age and ask, "how old do you think I am?". Mostly they are twice as old as they look.

有的團體練太極拳,有的練劍,有的就在晨曦中跳社交舞。一對銀髮夫婦互丟粉紅色飛盤。這裡有幾百個人。有人穿和服,有人穿得像啦啦隊,也有人穿像唱饒舌歌的人,有特大的褲子和鴨舌帽,背後還印著「Gung Fu New Fashion very good」。好多人都已經上了年紀,他們對我說:「你猜猜我幾歲?」大多數人的年齡看起來比實際年輕一半。

You can also see younger people dancing Salsa. All this happens at the foot of the 'Taipei 101'. Businessmen in suit and tie hurry through the kungfu fighters and shadow boxers. Nothing of this is organized, a lot of people come regularly, but the groups change constantly.

也有年輕人練習目前最流行的薩爾薩舞。這些熱鬧場面都發生在台北101底下。上班族穿西裝打領帶,急行穿梭在練習功夫和太極拳的人群中。沒有人去組織這些活動,有的人雖規律地來參加,團體卻也常有異動。

At 7 o'clock the guards appear in parade marching steps. They raise the national flag and the national hymn starts. In a split second everybody stops with what he is doing and takes the formal pose when the national hymn is heard. It takes a few minutes and then everything goes on as nothing happened: Chinese ballet, aerobic, rock-n-roll and chi-gong. And meanwhile in the park Sun Yat-sen, 'the father of the nation', one time in bronze another pose in stone, looking straight forward to all the fuzz.

七點,衛兵踢著正步出現。他們在國歌聲中升旗。霎那間每個人都停下來,做敬禮姿勢。幾分鍾後,紙傘舞、有氧舞蹈、搖滾、氣功等又再度開始。石雕的、青銅的孫逸仙(也就是「國父」)正坐在公園四處,恬淡地看著這一切。

Peng Wu Chih is one of the most famous taichi- and kungfu masters in the country. He was the last apprentice of the famous martial arts master Liu Yun-Qiao (who was the head of security organization under Tsjang Kai-sjek). He took care of Yun-Qiao in his last months of his life, when he was so weak that he only could lecture using his chopsticks.

在一個下雨的午後,我去拜訪了Peng Wu Chih,他是台灣著名的太極和中國功夫教鍊之一。Andy Hug也曾經是他的學生。他原本是醫生,後來改學中醫,最後專注於亞洲各種武術。他是功夫大師Liu Yun-Qiao(蔣介石的首席護衛)的最後一個學生,在Liu Yun-Qiao生命中的最後幾個月照顧他,而Liu Yun-Qiao在最虛弱時也只能用筷子教他。

One of the specialities of Peng Wu Chih is 'rapid taichi'. He claims that taichi originally was not, as nowadays, done in a turtle slow movement but fast. In between the main course and desert at a restaurant he gives a small demonstration. It only takes a few seconds. Dr. Peng loves speed in general. Before we step into his car he says, "buckle up, because I drive like James Bond", and he does not exaggerate. He talks about 'chi', the life power and says: "meditation is not to withdraw from the world environment, but being present in it. Get to your opponent in half a second where others need two seconds. Never lose your midst, not even when you are busy.' One time he holds my wrist, not firm, but I feel an immense power. He could kill me in a split second.

快速太極是Peng Wu Chih的一個專長,他強調,原始太極並不像現在的龜速慢移,而是快速的。在餐廳中主菜和點心之間的空檔,他在桌子旁邊示範給我看。整套拳只花了幾秒鍾就完成。Dr.Peng喜歡速度,也因此而成名。在我們上車之前,他說:「扣緊安全帶,我開車像007」。這當然是有那麼點誇張。他談到「氣」– 生命的力量,說:「冥想不是從世界撤回,而是留在那裡。對手需要兩秒,你必須在半秒內便完成。再忙,也不可失去中心點。」有次他握住我的手腕,不緊實,但我感到那無窮的力量,就像是踩下法拉利的油門:只要願意,他可以在瞬間殺了我。

One of his apprentices says: 'during the first lesson he said to me: I will kill you, and he did. During the teachings I died inside; he destroyed my value scale. The most important in martial arts is awareness, and therefore you have to get rid of your past.'

一個他的學生說:「在第一堂課他告訴我說:我要殺了你!他也做到了!在這堂課裡,我的內在死了,他毀了我的價值觀。武術最重要的是謹慎專注,所以你必須擺脫你的過去。」

Peng Wu Chih ends the meeting with a short anecdote: "two people die and god asks them what they wish in a next life. The first says, "I want to get lots of money", the other one says "I want to give lots of money", the first is reborn as a beggar, the second as an millionaire."

Peng Wu Chih 以一個小故事結束談話:「兩個人死了,上帝問他們,希望來世有什麼?第一個說:我要有許多錢!第二個說:我要給許多錢!第一位轉世成為一個乞丐,第二個成了百萬富翁。」

On the 1st of May I am in search of demonstrating people, but in vain. Taiwan does not know of demonstrations of workers. Taiwan is the dream of every neo liberal: up to a short time ago there was nothing like income insurance (for that matter, officially there were no people out of a job), no sickness insurance, no pension insurance, no social service. Everything is insured from private arrangements or by family. Some workers even give holidays to their company as a gift. Furthermore it seems that there are no building regulations; Taipei is the dream of every architect but also a nightmare, everything is possible (highlight: a building formed like a woman's handbag).

我在五月一日尋找示威的群眾,卻徒勞無功,這裡沒有工人示威這回事。台灣是新自由主義者的夢想,不久前都還沒有失業保險(因為幾乎沒有失業人口–至少官方是這麼說)、沒有健康保險、沒有退休保險、沒有社會福利。每件事都由家人自己安排。有些人甚至把一部份休假「送」給公司。建築法規似乎也不太明確。對於建築師而言,台北既是夢想也是惡夢,因為什麼都可能(女人手提包形態的建築。業界的高潮!)。

During the visit of the Chinese president Hu Jintao to the USA Falun Gong people in Taipei organised a demonstration. This spiritual movement is forbidden in China. Lately a doctor witnessed that he had been in a Chinese concentration camp. He says that tenth of thousands of Falun Gung people have to do hard labor. He also records that these people are operated on and taken away organs, while they are alive, and sold for transplantation purposes.

雖沒有工人示威,卻恰巧是中共國家主席胡錦濤在華盛頓期間,所以台北法輪功有個遊行活動。這個亞洲最大的精神性組織,在中國是被禁止的。最近有個醫生公開說,他曾在中國的一個集中營裡工作,數萬名法輪功成員不但必須做苦役,有些還被活生生地把器官取出來賣掉。

Anti-Chinese propaganda or not, such news remind the Taiwanese over and over again that their welfare is highly vulnerable; like a small garden on an overhanging rock. Up to 10 years ago Taiwan still had higher expenses on their military defense system then China, while nowadays China is spending triple the budget of Taiwan. 600 rockets are pointed towards Taiwan, and every year another 75 are added. A politician who mentions the taboo word "formal independence" in Taipei - and in some place in Peking someone might push the red button.

是反中國的宣傳嗎?無論如何,這樣的新聞嚇壞台灣人,也讓他們記得,自己的富裕生活不時遭受威脅,就像是站立在懸岩上的小花園。直到十年前台灣仍有比中國還高的國防費用,但今天中國卻有台灣三倍之多。600枚飛彈指向台灣,每年還要再加上75枚。只要台北在「正式獨立」的禁忌議題上有一個政治上錯誤的用字,或許在北京就會有人按下紅色按鈕。

Even lately China paid the small island nation of Nauru in the Pacific Ocean the amount of 150 million dollar to change their diplomatic affairs from Taipei to Peking. Taiwan can hardly cope with this process. Taiwan can only try, behind the political scene, to keep them indispensable in economical way. But that takes a lot of energy and is a lonely task.

最近中國付給太平洋的小島諾魯一億五千萬美元,讓他們放棄台北而和北京建交。台灣很難跟得上,只能試著在正式關係之外,讓自己(特別在經濟上)無可取代。這就要花更多的精力並且也是寂寞的工作。

On the last day we drive to a "children's recreational center". It looks like an Asian Walt Disney park. A luxurious place, however there were no children, not one. 'Nowadays they prefer to play at home on their computer', a supervisor tells us; another supervisor says "most kids have courses at night"; and the guard at the entrance says: 'The parents don't have time to come over here with kids.

最後一天我們開車去「兒童育樂中心」,那是種亞洲華德迪士奈樂園,是一個美麗的、花了相當多錢建造的地方,卻看不到遊玩的兒童。一個都沒有!「現在的小孩喜歡在家玩電腦」,一個管理員告訴我們。另一個則說:「大部份的孩子晚上都還有課。」門口守衛說:「父母沒時間帶孩子來。

On the way back I see a scenery while driving: an empty playground where a man in suit is making a phone call while the rain starts dripping.

在回程的路上我捕捉到一個景象:無人的遊樂場中,一個穿著西裝的男人坐在鞦韆上打著手機,而雨滴也開始落下。