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2005/01/02

在檀香山和關西幾個小時的雜感

一篇零三年二月寫的電郵,因為保存了當時的一些感想和心情,可以和大家分享。本是用英文寫的,在此稍事編輯,幾乎是原貌。
Dear, Many thanks for your kind e-mail with grateful greetings. Right before last Christmas, I felt lonely and thought of the idea of wandering to San Francisco and Chicago via Armtrak with the cheaper ticket for foreigners. I was lucky enough to get a ticket back to Taipei almost in the last minute. It is really rewarding and like being refueled to spend severl days with [my son] and [wife]. Though it was only a half year from early summer, [my son] was much older and talkative than six months ago. His health seemed to be better than before and less likely to have colds. It is also very lucky that I have also gotten some hours to enjoy leisure time in Hawai'i and Japan during the transfer intervals. I wasted my Christmas eve alone in Chinatown and Waikiki in Honolulu. Actually it was quite entertaining and I would like to call you from Chinatown, but it was about 9 to 10 pm central time and I had no your home number and I forgot to bring my phone card. I think that probably the Chinatowns in Honolulu, Vancouver, San Francisco, and New York are the most historic and worthy ones to visit in North America. I look forward to visit more. There is a good news center staffed by people from HongKong and a small statue of Kuan-yin in the same main building in their Chinatown. I was really touched by the statue of Kuan-yin and paid my respect to her. Later on when I visited there again on Jan 6, I found there is also a statue of Confucius in another building. In some sense there is quintessential core of Chinese culture in the Chinatown. And the experiences of visiting Chinatowns in Vancouver and Honolulu are really enlightening for me. I also met with Professor [CCY] for one hour since I was one of his daughters' calssmates in NTHU, Hsinchu. Originally I planned to visit the philosophy department there on Jan 6 to try my luck of encountering Professor [RA]. After learning of they only began the semester from Jan 13, I gave up this idea. I also spent some hours in Kansai (unexpectedly) and Tokyo (expectedly). I only got 2 to 3 hours to take JR to a station close to Osaka and then back to the hotel just outside the Kansai airport. In one sense there are many things modern in Taiwan really similar to the equivalents in Japan a few decades ago. For example the railroad and train and even the drinks sold in train station. It suddenly makes sense for me why so many Japanese come to Taiwan as tourists. And I also understand the postcolonial or neocolonial situations of Taiwan and perhaps other third-world countries. I also got an opportunity to take JR from Narita to downtown Tokyo and happened to visit Meiji Jinguo and took their subway. The first Shinto shrine that I visited was in Honolulu, if the former one in Taoyuan did not count. The astrology column around 12/24 on Honolulu Weekly (a free local weekly in Honolulu like Seattle Weekly here) says that Acquarius is going to have their old friends and experiences irrelavant make new sense. It is very interesting to notice that it makes perfect sense for me at least. Best regards to you and your family, T'ang-jen


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