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full moon, total lunar eclipse

Apr 4 in Tainan


水调歌头·明月几时有 – 苏轼
明月几时有,把酒问青天。

不知天上宫阙,今夕是何年。

我欲乘风归去,又恐琼楼玉宇,高处不胜寒。
起舞弄清影,何似在人间。
转朱阁,低绮户,照无眠。
不应有恨,何事长向别时圆?
人有悲欢离合,月有阴晴圆缺,此事古难全。
但愿人长久,千里共婵娟。

Thủy Điệu Ca Đầu – Tô Đông Pha
Minh nguyệt kỉ thời hữu?
Bả tửu vấn thanh thiên:
“Bất tri thiên thượng cung khuyết,
Kim tịch thị hà niên?”
Ngã dục thừa phong qui khứ,
Hựu củng huỳnh lâu ngọc vũ,
Cao xứ bất thăng hàn.
Khởi vũ lộng thanh ảnh,
Hà tự tại nhân gian!

Chuyển chu các,
Ðê ỷ hộ,
Chiếu vô miên,
Bất ưng hữu hận,
Hà sự trường hướng biệt thời viên?
Nhân hữu bi hoan li hợp,
Nguyệt hữu âm tình viên khuyết,
Thử sự cổ nan toàn.
Ðãn nguyện nhân trường cửu,
Thiên lý cộng thiền quyên.

Trăng có tự thưở nào
Nâng chén hỏi trời cao
“Không biết bên trên cung khuyết
Ðêm nay là đêm nao?”
Ta muốn bay lên theo gió
Chỉ e lầu quỳnh gác ngọc,
Cao thẳm lạnh làm sao.
Nhảy múa cùng bóng nguyệt,
Trần gian thú biết bao!

Đi quanh gác tía,
Vào song lụa,
Soi bóng sầu,
Đừng nên oán hận,
Dù trăng đầy ánh lúc xa nhau.
Người có buồn vui tan hợp,
Trăng có tỏ mờ tròn khuyết,
Xưa nay toàn vẹn bao giờ.
Chỉ nguyện người trường cửu,
Thuyền quyên muôn dặm bên nhau.

Prelude to Water Melody – Su Shi
How long will the full moon appear?
Wine cup in hand, I ask the sky.
I do not know what time of the year
’Twould be tonight in the palace on high.
Riding the wind, there I would fly,
Yet I’m afraid the crystalline palace would be
Too high and cold for me.
I rise and dance, with my shadow I play.
On high as on earth, would it be as gay?
The moon goes round the mansions red
Through gauze-draped window soft to shed
Her light upon the sleepless bed.
Why then when people part, is the oft full and bright?
Men have sorrow and joy; they part or meet again.
The moon is bright or dim and she may wax or wane.
There has been nothing perfect since the olden days.
So let us wish that man
Will live long as he can!
Though miles apart, we’ll share the beauty she displays.

I lay silently on the hotel dorm bed, with a sheet pulled over my head to cover my tear-stricken face. You and the other 2 girls that occupied the rest of the beds in the room talked lively with each other in Chinese. Of course I couldn’t understand, and I really did not care to. I didn’t even say hi when you checked in,  pretending to be sleeping at 4pm.

You must have taken pity on me. I never asked. But when I finally got up and had some energy to move around the next morning, you asked if I wanted to go somewhere because you could drop me off with the electric scooter you’d rented, and you even invited me to tour the peninsula with you. I said yes.

You recently graduated from an engineering school in Hangzhou, while I’ve been working for a few years already, and you’d still not let me split the bike rental with you. We talked about life for you in China and for me in Vietnam, about salary and consumption and real estate market, about family and obligations. You told me to go home from university you’d have to take a 50 hour train or a 7 hour plane ride; I almost couldn’t comprehend that distance within a single country. You broke off the contract of a good job in Beijing and had to pay a hefty fine because you wanted to take another job in Chengdu where apartments are much cheaper and with your salary maybe you can buy your own place within 3 years so your widowed mom can come visit you a few months of the year. You studied English really hard from 2002 till 2008, when you started university. You’re in no way fluent but your English is very good for an engineering student that has never been to an English speaking country. And you use such American phrases like “you freak me out” or “watch out” that’s from watching American movies. I realized you’re the first Chinese that I’ve talked with in depth that’s not one of the study abroad crowd. You’re in a way so typically Chinese and at the same time do lots of things that I’d not expect from a mainlander. I know it’s such a silly thing to say; the country has a billion people after all.

We ate noodle, rode scooter, drank sugar cane juice, went to the night market and played darts. Your simple way moved me. You’re one of those kindhearted people that I might never see again but will think of often with warm wishes from the bottom of my heart. I hope you’ll get to travel more, save enough to buy an apartment soon, maybe get a gf. I’ve been touched so many generous people all these years, and I always tell myself that I need to be kinder to others to pay it forward. And yet I’m still cold and distant and standoffish. This needs to change. I hope I can be so unassumingly graceful like you.

Jialeshui beach, Manzhou, Kenting, Taiwan

Longpan park, Kenting, Taiwan, East CoastKenting, east coast, Taiwan

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