Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - the length and breadth of Taiwan|又中又英

As I said in a previous column, I am now in Taipei on an Asian holiday. I hope to travel the length and breadth of Taiwan, just like I did in the US. It’s been a wild ride ever since I left Hong Kong in August of 2021. I visited so many cities while travelling the length and breadth of the US that I can’t remember how many I visited. I am sure my trip in Asia will also be a wild ride. When you travel the length and breadth of a place it means you visit every part of it.
  The expression “a wild ride” can be used in different ways but used this way it means an exciting trip. Some friends have asked me to compare Hong Kong with Taipei. Both cities have a majority Chinese population. That’s the only big similarity. Taiwan people speak Mandarin. Hong Kong people speak Cantonese. Unlike Hong Kong, many buildings in Taipei are low-rise and old. Taiwanese dress very casual compared to Hong Kong people. Hong Kong people on average earn more than the Taiwanese but everything is much cheaper in Taiwan.
One very noticeable thing in Taiwan is that the streets are full of scooter riders who drive haphazardly, which means lack of order or plan. Many even drive up to the sidewalk (pavement in British English). But Taiwanese people are very polite, especially restaurant staff, compared to Hong Kong people. A waiter in an Italian restaurant asked if I wanted my pasta to be al dente. It surprised me because I have never been asked that in Hong Kong restaurants. Restaurants in Italy always serve pasta al dente, which means the pasta is firm, not soft and overcooked.

正如我在之前的文章中說過,我正於亞洲度假,現身處台北。我希望可以踏遍台灣各處(the length and breadth of Taiwan),一如我在美國遊歷的一樣。自我於二○二一年八月離開香港,一路走來實在是一場瘋狂刺激的旅程(a wild ride)。我走遍美國各個角落(the length and breadth of the US),遊歷過的城市多得我已記不清我去過多少個城市了。我相信我的亞洲之行同樣會是一場刺激的旅程(a wild ride)。若你 travel the length and breadth of a place,意即你遊遍了某地方的每個角落。

習語“a wild ride”可以有許多用法,但在這裏是指一場刺激的旅程。一些朋友叫我比較香港和台北。這兩個城市的人口主要由華人所組成,這就是唯一一個較大相似之處。台灣人說國語,香港人說廣東話。不像香港,台北許多樓宇都是低層而老舊的。跟香港人相比,台灣人穿着得非常輕便隨意。香港人平均比台灣人賺得多,但台灣所有物事都比香港便宜。

台灣一件非常明顯的事,是滿街都是機車司機,駕駛得很 haphazardly,即雜亂無章法、非常隨意。他們許多人甚至會將機車駛上行人路(sidewalk,英式英語為pavement)。然而,跟香港人相比,台灣人卻是非常有禮,尤其是餐廳員工。在一間意大利餐廳裏,侍應問我是否希望我點的意大利麵食為 al dente。這令我非常驚訝,因為香港的餐廳從來不曾問過我這個問題。在意大利的餐廳,麵食上碟永遠都是 al dente的,意即有嚼勁的,不會煮得過軟、過熟。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧