[緬甸 Myanmar] 曼德勒「篤篤」見聞 More than dust

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當google 搜「Mandalay」的時候,通常會搜到一大堆負面的關連,多半是呻苦、叫悶、喊沙塵…… 我並不反對這方面的描繪(事實我的鼻子得靈敏不消數小時已領教得到其塵土飛揚的特性),但我只想在網路空間上為曼德勒盡一點綿力,為這個可愛的城市營造一丁點正面的資訊。坦然我這次旅程沒有把她看得很深入,但仍希望愛好深入遊歷的旅人會發現她的妙處。我慶幸是以下一程短短45分鐘的tuk tuk路程,竟給予連連驚喜,令我對曼德勒大大改觀!可惜車程上的見聞都是稍縱即逝,沒有機會圖文並茂寫出來。

When you google Mandalay, depressingly most search results are more or less the same description: Dusty.  I cannot defend this fact (as my nose told me ever earlier than my brain knew) but I wish to supply some positive and substantial associations to this amazing city in the online universe, so that it can be discovered by more discerning travellers.  A memorable 45-minute tuk-tuk ride has surprisingly gave me more reasons to believe this.   (However, my camera nor I were fast enough to take pictures of everything encountered during the speedy tuk-tuk journey, so this post may not be as visually enticing as others did)

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先駛過長長一整列貌似中古時期的菜市場,攤販把新鮮的農作攤在地上,連續超過十五家都售賣著同類蔬果,狀觀得很。另有魚蝦家禽、還有無盡的地攤食肆,很是熱鬧墟市。

Passing through wet market of the local neighbourhood, our tuk-tuk wheels spun along fresh crops spread on market floor.  At least 15 consecutive stalls displaying extremely similar mix of vegetables and fruits was totally spectacular glimpse to eyes.  We couldn’t spot the boundary of market space but only flocks of dusk shoppers making a truly bustling scene as we passed by.

Mandalay

然後又駛到比較寬敞的馬路,這裡的馬路仍是有馬!兩旁及中間分隔都種有高而密的樹木,久不久就見一群群牛隻自在遊走,坐著,低著頭吃草,或發著呆,無視身邊四圍的交通,相映成趣。

We then arrived at a wider road for cars and- horses.  On both sides of road are tall and densely planted trees with occasional spot of cows sitting, eating grass or just procrastinating, so ignorant of busy traffic a few metres besides them.

沿路亦見多種手工藝:竹版編織用以當作圍板或小屋牆身、藤織傢俱用品、石雕佛像、木雕裝飾、橡木傢私等等,都以路旁地方作為工地,讓紮實無謬的工藝展現人前,可惜只是短短幾秒的遇見,未能停下細看。

Abundant handicrafts are also available along the way which caught our mere glimpse.  Bamboo-woven board is used as hoarding or wall of little hut.  Rattan wares, stone sculptures of Buddha, wooden crafted decorations, osk furniture, etc all laid out at road side, showcasing the real and dedicated craftsmanship to the public.  However it was a rapid encounter that we could not take a closer look at them.

Mandalay

把視線穿過右方路邊的樹木,便能隱約看到廣闊的瓦河泛濫平原,田原的農作早已被收割,光頹的平地更能清楚看見田野。多處飄起縷縷輕煙,應為耕期完結後把餘下的根枝燒掉,保留養分準備來年的作物。此畫面整富詩意,深深感受到歸園田居的絲絲感興。

Attention was then switched to the far view behind the trees and barely could we see the harvested floodplain of Ayeyarwady River.  It was a bare field which enabled us to see the happenings more clearly.  Burning smoke was elegantly visible and was from agricultural burning to dispose vegetative debris and crop residue so as to maintain the nutrient within the fields for next crop.  Such poetic view has triggered a slice of curiosity and emotion relating to farming lifestyle.

曼德勒既是可愛又可憎的中部城市,可愛是其歷年來政治及宗教地位所帶來的皇室故事及數以千計的佛塔古蹟,屹立千年的廟宇佛塔雖受氣候、天災及戰火不同程度的破壞,其觀賞價值亦不受動搖。此行令我感覺到,曼德勒是人傑聚集之地,傳統工藝集中並得已保留,遑論那龐大古蹟群及各自所遺傳下來媄媄道來的故事。可憎是由於平原缺乏強風,無論日間還是入夜都是沙塵交集,空氣比其他城市明顯污濁。

Mandalay is a place full of love and hate in the heart of Myanmar.  The affection rooted from Mandalay’s historical significance in politics and religion which brought countless royal stories and thousands of stupas scattered around outskirt. Despite of destruction at different stages due to climate, natural disasters and war, their values have never been challenged.  I am personally fond of Mandalay, unlike many travelers in the country.  To my shallow knowledge, it has been the place where talents clutter and traditional handicrafts cultivated, let alone the massive heritage sites and the discoveries that come along with… which enriches the essence behind this last royal capital of Burma.  The notorious fact is about the dusty weather resulting from its climate pattern and location – dry, flat land and lack of wind.  No matter in day or night, it appears to be dusty and has more severe pollution problem than in other cities.

其實,所有事物均有令人愛惡的種種原因,過份著眼於其不善之處,確實埋沒了一個獨特又具內涵的小城市,只希望緬甸在漸漸被更多遊人發現的同時,曼德勒所帶出的價值可慢慢覆蓋那「沙塵滾滾」的片面描述。

Every coin has two sides.  However, over-emphasizing the negatives has entirely covered up the beauty of a unique city with plentiful contents.  When Myanmar has been visited by more travelers, I only hope that the positive values she embarks can gradually overlay the single description of being ‘dusty’.

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