2010年12月31日 星期五

Lincoln Center’s renovated Face

A Citadel of Culture Shows a Friendlier Face

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

Lincoln Center’s renovated plaza, whose main stairs slope gently down to Columbus Avenue and welcome those attending performances with flashing LED messages in several languages.

While trudging up a snowy Broadway sidewalk Tuesday night en route to a concert by the New York Philharmonic, I ducked into the new David Rubenstein Atrium just north of 62nd Street and was surprised to find the place hopping.



The latest on the arts, coverage of live events, critical reviews, multimedia extravaganzas and much more. Join the discussion.

Richard Termine

The string quartet Ethel performing in the large public space at the renovated Alice Tully Hall, which reopened in 2009.

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

Lincoln Ristorante, the new two-story dining place that recently opened at Lincoln Center, left, has a popular tilting grass roof. There is a less expensive dining option, ‘Wichcraft, at the nearby David Rubenstein Atrium.

Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times

A grove of trees and a reflecting pool (foreground) dot the West Plaza of the renovated campus, which now blends in more with the neighborhood.

The atrium is intended as an entry point for Lincoln Center. There is an information desk where you can buy discount tickets; restrooms; vertical wall gardens; and a ’Wichcraft cafe, where you can get some of the tastiest sandwiches in the city. Also, along with the entire 16-acre campus of the renovated Lincoln Center, the atrium has free Wi-Fi access.

On this wintry night, with much of the city still being dug out, there were people in the atrium just gathered there, working on laptops, having a snack and chatting. On Thursday nights there is free live music and dance. Family concerts take place the first Saturday of every month, also free. Whatever Lincoln Center was before the recent, and continuing, redevelopment of its campus and facilities, it was no one’s idea of an inviting place to hang out.

This $1.2 billion renovation project is about 90 percent complete, according to Lincoln Center officials. The reviews from urban planners and architecture critics are in, including that of my colleague Nicolai Ouroussoff, The New York Times’s architecture critic, who had a very positive assessment of the striking renovation of Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard School from boxy to bold, and strongly mixed reactions to the overall remaking of the plaza and the campus south of 65th Street. I gladly defer to those who know more than I about things architectural.

But as someone who grew up going to Lincoln Center in its early years (if I remember, my first Philharmonic concert at what was then Philharmonic Hall was in 1964), I am delighted and surprised that the center has been able to make itself so much more inviting, to blend into the neighborhood.

Lincoln Center used to look and feel like a citadel of culture, with imposing concert halls and opera houses buttressed by travertine walls and columns. In 2009, reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony for the center, I argued that the whole idea of a cultural complex was out of date, that today performing institutions cultivate strong individual identities and prefer to have their own urban turf.

Of course there are potential advantages to the all-in-it-together concept of a cultural center, but only if the physical place encourages dynamic interaction. There used to be something oppressive about Lincoln Center. For me that is no longer so.

It was a terrific idea to claim some of Columbus Avenue at the entrance to the plaza and sink a car drop-off lane below ground, with direct access to the basement concourse. Now the main stairs to the plaza slope gently down to the Columbus Avenue sidewalk, creating an entrance to the center that practically shouts, “Step right up.”

To emphasize the point, strips of LED messages scroll across the stairs, announcing the night’s performances and welcoming visitors in what seems like every living language. Some have found this a tacky, silly gimmick. But I like the touch of flash, which counters the grandeur of the plaza.

People seem to love the tilting grass roof that covers Lincoln Ristorante, the new two-story dining place that recently opened by the reflecting pool. My colleague Sam Sifton, the Times restaurant critic, reports that Lincoln has some fine dishes at very expensive prices. Well, the center must also cater to people of means. And there are alternatives, like ’Wichcraft, where things are more affordable.

And, as I reported when the renovated Alice Tully Hall opened in February 2009, the radical transformation of that lobby is a triumph. What used to look like a bunker hidden under a pointless pedestrian bridge has become an airy, spacious gathering space with tall windowed walls.

As you approach the hall from across the street, you can look through the glass wall above the entrance and see student dancers practicing in a studio at the Juilliard School, oblivious to the concert taking place below, which is rather inspiring. The work of art goes on all the time.

But what matters most to someone like me who spends a lot of time at Lincoln Center hearing concerts and going to operas, is the quality of the halls and houses. The renovated auditorium of Alice Tully Hall now feels warm and commodious, and I find the acoustics lively and faithful, though not everyone agrees. George Steel, the general manager and artistic director of New York City Opera, is understandably excited by the results of the extensive renovation that turned the acoustically dull New York State Theater into the livelier David H. Koch Theater. Mr. Steel has been calling the place “the best theater in New York.” Though having a booster like Mr. Steel at its helm is good for City Opera, few people would go that far. Still, the house is a much-improved place for opera. And, ding dong, the wicked sound system is dead. And gone. Good riddance.

In a recent phone interview Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center, said that even a major renovation project like this one could not address all the needs of the 12 individual constituents. Moreover, he added, different institutions have their own timetables for capital projects. A major renovation of the Metropolitan Opera was never part of the overall concept, though last summer the stage was fortified with steel girders to support the 45-ton set for Robert Lepage’s new “Ring” production.

Yet, since it opened in 1966, the Met has basically been happy in its home, which it owns. Peter Gelb, the general manager, probably has a wish list of improvements he would like to see. But he has more immediate priorities, like bringing opera to a worldwide public through ever-expanding media resources.

The major question that still hovers over Lincoln Center is what to do about Avery Fisher Hall. The Philharmonic, which opened Lincoln Center with a concert in 1962 , has long been dissatisfied with it. On any given night, when the Philharmonic is inspired, the orchestra can sound terrific in that space. Still, the acoustics are nothing special, the hall looks dingy, and the backstage facilities are insufficient.

The $1.2 billion price tag for the center’s renovation did not include any major work on Avery Fisher Hall. And before anything happens, agreement must be reached about what is needed. The hall seats more than 2,700. The Philharmonic would like to make the auditorium more intimate, with 2,400 or fewer seats. There seems to be consensus that the experiment tried out for the last few Mostly Mozart Festivals, which involved extending the stage on a platform into the hall, has been very promising. Some such configuration is probably the way to go.

But the Philharmonic is a tenant in the hall, which is rented to touring ensembles and even used for graduations and conventions. For those purposes, the more seats the better. It will probably take years for the Philharmonic and Lincoln Center to come to a consensus about the extent of the renovation, which could range from a fix-up job to a redesign that would involve gutting the place. Hundreds of millions would have to be raised. And what would happen to the Philharmonic during that period, perhaps two full seasons?

Meanwhile, on their way to Avery Fisher, the Philharmonic’s audiences pass through a Lincoln Center Plaza that is more pleasant than ever. Indeed, by concert time on Tuesday, the plaza had been plowed clean, with snow piled into a mini-mountain near the fountain. You could not say the same about some of the side streets in the neighborhood that night.

2010年12月30日 星期四

2011台北 新年煙火?


101 的經營者換手之後 已開始贏利
再問一下 2011年煙火秀的出資者是那些國營機關

Fireworks explode from Taipei 101 (Paul Chen, 2009, Creative Commons)

我跟大凱說 可從台灣大學的農業試驗場/生態池處 (或山上墳墓區)
看煙火 幾乎零目障
他們就不用凍完還要徒步到和平東路-敦化南路處才有 Taxi 搭

2010年12月26日 星期日

The many faces of Kyoto

Japan: The many faces of Kyoto

With graceful geishas, towering temples and manga mania, it’s little wonder that the ancient city of Kyoto is seen as Japan’s cultural heart, says Simon Horsford.

The vibrant colours along the Hozu-Gawa river, Kyoto
Image 1 of 3
The vibrant colours along the Hozu-Gawa river

'Harrison Ford, Harrison Ford…” bellowed my taxi driver into his mobile.

We were on our way to a shop in downtown Kyoto and he was giving instructions to the manager. It was only after I inquired why he was uttering the name of the Hollywood actor that we established he thought I was Harrison Ford or, rather, that was how he pronounced my surname. When we arrived at the shop there was a distinct air of disappointment. Lost in translation, indeed.

The experience captured the strange sense of unreality that often pervades Japanese culture, at least to a foreigner’s eyes. I’d arrived in Kyoto after an effortless transfer from Tokyo airport to the main station and on to the “bullet” train for the journey south – 320 miles in just two and a quarter hours. Super slick and right on time, too, with the bonus of a glimpse of Mount Fuji in the distance.

Japan: Travel essentials for Kyoto

Kyoto was the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, until 1868, when a power struggle between the shogun and Emperor Meiji swung the way of the latter and the country’s political focus moved to Edo, now Tokyo.

In many ways the city still represents old Japan. Yes, you are never far from the cutting edge – witness the stunning steel and glass of the main station, the National Museum of Modern Art and the fact that the city is the headquarters of Nintendo. But ancient and modern are never far apart and there’s a definite awareness of the benefits of preserving the past, and not just for the sake of visitors – height restrictions on new buildings, for example, and strict rules on billboards.

Kyoto has been described as the most Japanese part of Japan and the centre of its culture. And no wonder, with mesmerising temples such as Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion) and its beautiful garden, or Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), which shimmers in the adjacent lake.

Then there’s the 13th-century Sanjusangen-do, which houses 1,001 wooden statues of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. It’s also home to the statue of Senju-Kannon, which has 1,000 arms; bottles of sake are placed beneath it as an offering and you can burn a prayer stick for good fortune.

Temples aside – and there are 1,600 of them – Kyoto is a city that lends itself to being explored on foot or by bicycle. For a start, it’s laid out on a grid, it’s flat (locals call the city tray-land) and lies between three mountains (Arashiyama, Higashiyama and Kitayama).

Kyoto’s districts form a loose rectangle and each offers contrasting insights into local life. In Higashiyama, I made for the Tetsugaku-no-Michi, a lovely, cherry tree-lined canalside walk known as the Path of Philosophy, dedicated to the 20th-century thinker Nishida Kitaro. Residents by the canal not only make sure the path is litter free, but also clear the water of rubbish. It was a sight I found common in Japan where cleanliness is an essential part of the culture.

To the west, the district of Arashiyama and Sagano offers something different: a wander through a towering bamboo grove just outside the north gate of Tenryu-ji temple; it can get busy, but a walk among these incredible photogenic trees, with their strange, smooth trunks, is enchanting.

Nearby, the Hozu-Gawa river is dotted with flat-bottom boats, their boatmen armed with poles steering passengers along the steep-sided valley; down river, cormorant fishermen can be seen using their birds to catch fish.

I lunched late at Kurama Onsen (hot spring), tucking into a beautifully prepared bento box lunch, before stripping off and venturing outside to immerse myself in one of the sulphur spring baths – being sure to shower and rinse first (it is considered impolite to get soap in the bath).

The springs are meant to help with rheumatism, high blood pressure, backache and much more, but I simply felt cleansed and refreshed, if a bit flushed and slightly conspicuous.

Back in town, as the light began to fade, I hopped on a local bus and headed for the Nishiki food market, a riot of weird Japanese delicacies, the oddest of which was an octopus head stuffed with a quail egg, dyed red and served on a stick – I declined.

Even though the street was crowded everyone was unfailingly polite. It was the same at pedestrian crossings: hordes of people waited patiently for the green light, then crossed in unison.

A while later, I was among the busy, narrow streets of Gion, lined with traditional small shops, an area once known as the city’s “pleasure district” but now the place for drinking, entertainment and exquisite, kimono-clad geishas who shuffle demurely down the road.

Nagasaki: On the trail of Madame Butterfly

Later that night, the right connections at my hotel, the Hyatt Regency, got me into a teahouse to watch a performance by a maiko (an apprentice geisha). We were led into a simply decorated backroom where I sat cross-legged as she introduced herself, offered sake and then sang and danced accompanied by an older geisha playing a three-stringed samisen. It was an delightful, slightly surreal experience during which – again – everyone was incredibly well mannered.

Alongside the onsen, the geisha and manga (a visit to the Kyoto International Manga Museum didn’t get me any closer to fathoming Japan’s obsession with cartoons and animation), the tea ceremony is also traditional to Japanese life, as I discovered the next day in the pristine setting of the Nishinotoin Tea House. Here, as I sipped from chawan (cups) of powdered bright green matcha and viscous koicha, I learned about the medicative/Buddhist roots of this strictly choreographed and ritualised event.

Suitably refreshed, I took a final wander through a city that is synonymous with all things green – despite the traffic and many visitors. With 200 gardens, 17 Unesco World Heritage Sites and the legacy of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change, it is a place of obvious beauty, history and culture.

And yet an evocative contrast to all this refinement was provided by my YouTube-obsessed taxi driver, who, as we sped past another revered temple, captured the flip side of the Japanese character by showing me ever more ridiculous clips on his hand-held computer. In a way, it summed up the two main faces of Kyoto.

2010年12月25日 星期六


Ken Su 的齋明寺訪櫻

(日)道元 (1200-53) 正法眼藏Zen Master Dōgen: An Introduct...

Welcome To "Eiheiji"

  Eiheiji, the "temple of eternal peace" is one of Soto Zen's two head temples.  It is located deep in the mountains near the rugged west coast of Japan, not far from Fukui City.
 Dogen zenji, the founder of Eiheiji, was born in 1200 A.D. When he was 24, he went to China and devoted himself to true Zen practice under the strict guidance of Nyojo zenji at Mt. tendo.  After having "dropped off both body and mind, "realizing the way of the Buddha, he returned home in 1228.  He lived at Kenninji temple for 3 yers, then founded his first temple, Kosho-Horinji, in Uji, Kyoto.

 In 1244 Dogen zenji and his followers visited Shii-no-sho in Echizen (now Fukui prefecture) to build a mountain temple. He was offered land and other help for this by Yoshisige Hatano, a samurai who was one of his most devoted lay followers. Dogen thus founded Eiheiji, where he devoted himself to training his followers in the perfection of Zen practice in every action of daily life.

 He died on September 29, 1253, leaving a number of noted books including the Shobogenzo, Gakudo Yojinshu, and Eihei Dai Shingi.

 Dogen zenji's authentic Zen has been scrupulously observed by his successors. Even today, both priests and lay people devote themselves to his practice of Shikan-taza ("just sitting").

Message from Dogen Zenji
Eiheiji's Buildings



【地 址】:大溪鎮員林里齋明街153號
【始 建 年代】:道光30年(1850)
【古 蹟】:內政部於民國74年(1985)指定為桃園縣第三級古蹟
搭 車 族:搭乘桃園客運往龍潭線至齋明寺站下車,沿齋明街步行約8分鐘左右。

齋明寺舊稱「份仔城」,嘉慶年間林本源家曾招墾於此。道光30年(西元1850), 李阿甲法號(性悅),自南海普陀山法雨寺出家受戒返台後,見此地山水靜逸適清修,乃結草庵而修,供奉南海觀音菩薩,名曰「福份宮」。同治12年(西元 1873),後改建廟宇,易名「齋名堂」。大正元年(1912)擴建正殿與兩側廂房完竣,並舉行盛大落成典禮,昭和4年(1929)於廟之後方興建「萃靈 塔」,供民眾安奉祖先遺骨。昭和12年(1937),齋名堂改為齋明寺。主祀觀音菩薩外,另配祀金童玉女、哪吒太子、韋馱菩薩、五顯靈官大帝。

齋明寺沿革 正殿 齋明貢桌 齋明飛罩
齋明寺入口 正殿中脊 齋明抬樑 齋明魚板、雲板

齋明寺是一座三合院的寺廟,屋頂、牆身酷似一般的民房,裝飾平素,皆無一般廟宇繁華富麗,正殿無檐廊亦為其特色,整體而言,令人有古樸與家風之感,正與齋 教在家持齋修道之精神相映合。齋明寺佔地約3甲,全區草木扶疏,清心靜逸。寺後滿植茶花,秋冬兩季一片白色花海,秀麗可觀。緊臨大漢溪,對岸大溪街的建築 歷歷可見,遠方山嶺層層而上,可觀河階地形之美,亦可憶想當年日軍在此砲轟大溪街之情景。大溪八景之一「靈塔斜陽」即在寺後,時至今日斜陽依舊在,然靈塔 已改建為鋼筋混凝土建築,與齋明寺建築古樸,大異其趣。

-------------------- --------------------
齋明燕尾 石燈籠 齋明御路

..... 升旗台


崁津歸帆 齋明山門 齋明寺敬字亭

位於靈塔斜方的斜坡下,座西北朝東南,建於同治5年(西元1867年),是石板塊砌成之三層仿木建 築,高約一丈三尺餘,上層供奉倉頡神位,中、下層為焚燒字紙的爐體,亭頂塑為葫蘆狀,頂層與中層皆有對聯,其意涵為對文字奧妙之讚嘆與對敬字惜紙行為的重 視。另有一條石階古道,為往昔本地居民通往大溪的要道,可抵山腳下的栗仔園,再行渡河至大溪。


..... 卒靈塔
民國十八年齋明寺特別在寺後增設建了萃靈塔,此萃靈塔為寺廟增建納骨塔的先驅,由於齋明寺的清幽環 境,景色秀麗,臨大漢溪,居福份山,因而吸引了許多的信徒存放先人的遺骨,目前塔內存放有數千位信徒的遺遺骨。每年春季(農曆三月十九日、二十日)及秋季 (農曆九月十九、二十日)齋明寺中就會舉辦超薦法會,根據【地藏王菩薩本願功德經】的描述,若為往生者誦經、念佛,可以超度亡者出離苦趣,更可以利益生 者,為生者祈福,這就是所謂「冥陽兩利」之佛事也。


齋明寺原名福份宮,後改為齋明堂,民國前一年改建成今日建築風貌,日據時代民國二十六年,日本人擔心台灣人私下聚眾謀反,遂強迫齋明堂對外開放,第五代住 持江澄坤居士(法號普乾)為保存齋名堂之完整,乃與日本曹洞宗連絡並更名為「齋明寺」,民國七十四年,內政部評定為三級古蹟並整建寺體,八十八年在第七任 住持法鼓山聖嚴法師的帶領下,重新規劃庭院設計,乃成今日之風貌。

Lost in Chongqing , China

Lost in China

Matt Gross for The New York Times

In Chongqing many buildings are marked with a “chai” character, meaning that they are to be demolished. More Photos »


To address a letter to a city of any kind is folly. To send a letter to a metropolis of your immensity — 32 million residents! — shows, as we say here in New York, chutzpah. Also it’s a bit weird. And yet I’m writing anyway, because I don’t quite know how else to get a handle on the six days I spent with you in October — six days in which I felt embraced and ignored, beloved and rejected, entrapped and, in the end, liberated. Please let me explain:

When I stepped off the train from Chengdu, the laid-back capital of Sichuan Province 200 miles to the west, I felt (I imagined) just like one of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese migrants who flock from the countryside to your crowded streets every year: at once energized and terrified, awed and optimistic. All over, skyscrapers were rising, with spindly cranes adding new stories by the minute, their windowless walls vanishing in the mist (O.K., smog). Beyond them, when the sunlight strengthened, I could see the craggy outlines of mountains, and sense the distant dips that heralded the conjunction of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers.

To lighten my load for the first day’s wandering, I left my luggage in storage, then went next door to the bus station, where I muscled past the map vendors — “Don’t want,” I told them in dicey Mandarin — to find the No. 601 bus, which would take me into your heart. From my seat at the rear of the vehicle I gaped at your sheer physicality. Your streets curved and climbed, circling around gleaming, Prada-billboarded shopping malls and racing down through construction sites at whose edges I glimpsed neatly terraced vegetable gardens. As the bus crossed a bridge high above the muddy Jialing and curlicued through cloverleaf overpasses and tunnels toward what I took to be downtown Chongqing, I had to admit: You were not pretty, but I was enthralled.

I was also overwhelmed, just as I’d hoped. It had been a very, very long time since I’d felt so dominated by a city — if I’d ever felt that way at all. Years of living in New York had inured me to the challenges (and wonders) of urban living, but years of travel had taught me that other people were still intimidated by cities: their size and density, their crowds, their dirt and chaos and almost arbitrary rules of conduct. Recently, I’d begun to ask myself: How would it feel to be a migrant abandoning the countryside for the urban unknown, or a small-town tourist facing off against the metropolis?

To find the answer I first had to find the right city — no, the right mega-city, a place whose very city-ness was its attraction, whose size and structure warped reality like a black hole, whose impenetrability would reduce me to that gawking, dreaming yokel I maybe never was.

And then, last August, I read “Chicago on the Yangtze,” an article in Foreign Policy magazine that laid out your brief but impressive history. A century ago, you were but a minor port on the Yangtze, a backwater of south-central China with a slightly different name, Chungking. But by World War II you’d become the Republic of China’s temporary capital, and the postwar years saw enough growth that in 1997 you broke away from Sichuan Province to become what’s humbly termed a “direct-controlled municipality” — a heaving, swirling industrial nexus that upends our traditional notions of what constitutes a city. More than 30 million people spread through a mountainous, river-cut, quake-prone area twice the size of Switzerland, and you call yourself a mere municipality? Intrigued, I yearned to lose myself among such multitudes.

And for my first few hours, I did. I got off the 601 ... somewhere, and asked a passing schoolboy where to find lunch. He pointed me down a side street, where I discovered an ad hoc, open-air noodle shop and ordered a bowl, crimson with chili oil, fragrant with numbing, citrusy Sichuan peppercorns, studded with bits of pork and intestine. I added a dash of black vinegar and slurped it down, grateful to have had such a literally warm welcome.

From there I wandered. Up a tower to a defunct revolving restaurant, where I snapped photos of the hazy skyline. Into a shop selling warning signs for construction sites, where I bought a “Danger! High voltage!” placard. Through one of the few neighborhoods of historic and beautiful buildings, where viney-rooted trees scaled brick walls and brass plaques championed the deeds of Communist Party heroes. As afternoon began shading into evening, I arrived by chance at People’s Square, a broad plaza where I heard the twanging of guitar and erhu, the two-stringed traditional instrument, and the warbling voice of an amateur chanteuse.

At first, I worried that I’d stumbled into a tourist trap. Then I looked around: there were no tourists. Nor had I seen any all day. The senior citizens making music beneath a sheltering tree were simply locals enjoying their favorite hangout. I sat down, listened to songs from (I think) the 1960s and was utterly charmed. Here in the heart of the sprawl, I’d found, well, heart.

The mood lasted only until the sun went down, which is when I began to make mistakes — none catastrophic, but together they added up to misery. First, I found a hotel nearby that looked promising — clean, affordable, well situated — so I checked in, barely noticing that every other room on my floor was set up to host mah-jongg players.

Hungry, I set off for dinner — and filled my belly with regret. Down the street, big groups clustered around caldrons of spicy broth, dipping meats and vegetables in to cook them; this was hot pot, Chongqing’s specialty, a meal that is absolutely no fun to eat alone. Instead, I ate chili-slathered pork dumplings in the fluorescent glare of a noisy restaurant.

What I needed was new friends, so I grabbed a taxi and asked, in Mandarin, for an area with lots of bars. The glitzy night-life district into which I was deposited was all big, loud clubs (i.e., not my scene), and I resented the expensively dressed youngsters who moved so easily through the neon alleys. At the five-star hotels nearby, I asked concierges about quiet bars where I might meet people; they directed me to places I’d already rejected.

Finally, I returned to the hotel, where I discovered my floormates click-clacking away at mah-jongg. What’s more, I could sense a hovering aura of sleaze: you don’t play at 2 a.m. without gambling, and the men who bet big often have “company” for the night. (Ah, that explained the condoms in the bathroom!) Trying to make as little contact with the sheets as possible, I slept.

In the gray dawn, I was ready to check out, but first I needed to retrieve my bags from the train station. There began an interminable series of slow, traffic-snarled bus trips, a waste of hours and hours, during which there was nothing to do but run each successive failure through my head.

Gaudy but boring, rich but indifferent — that was the Chongqing I felt consigned to, an endless concrete-and-steel maze of copycat karaoke halls and fluorescent noodle shops. I could quiz passers-by — in English or Mandarin — and learn nothing. This was not New York, where every straphanger, hot dog vendor and stoop-sitter has extraordinarily specific ideas about what visitors should see and do. Where in the sprawl could I find the oddballs able to see through the glare and take advantage of the city’s unmatched energy?

I despaired, but I did not give up. Instead, I cheated. On the bus back from the train station, I used my iPhone to Google up a new place to stay. (In Chengdu, I’d bought a local SIM card with a cheap 3G plan.) I felt guilty at violating my own “Getting Lost” commandments, but surviving a city means learning when to break the rules.

And this crime paid handsomely, for I found Tina’s Hostel, a warren of rooms an easy cab ride away, at the edge of the 18 Steps, an old, central neighborhood whose every building (I believe) bore the character “chai,” which means destined for demolition. My private room was acceptable, if small; there was a roof deck with a pool table, and an enclosed cafe space. Most important, there was the spunky crew of young Chinese men and women who operated the hostel, showed a genuine interest in its guests and invited me to join them that evening for what I’d been wanting to eat ever since I arrived: hot pot.

At 8 o’clock, eight of us left the hostel, crossed busy Zhongxing Road and found a stairway that ascended a hill. Up we went, going ever deeper into a poorly lighted neighborhood, until eventually we arrived at a small, dark, secluded shack. Two circular tables stood outside, each with a gas heating element at its center. An older man, the proprietor, hurried out with a pot of broth so red it was almost black, and as it began to bubble we dunked with our chopsticks every ingredient imaginable — slices of pork and bundles of enoki mushrooms, lotus root and tofu skin, duck intestines and cow stomach and pig brains — all of them emerging aflame with chili oil.

We drank cheap Shancheng Beer, we joked around, we took turns singing songs. (I proudly busted out the Chinese nursery rhymes that my daughter, Sasha, loves.) And we did it mostly in Mandarin — a language I speak poorly at best — with occasional forays into English when my comprehension skills failed. For some, I imagine, this would be a disconcerting, frustrating experience, but I quickly got used to this linguistic interzone. Billboards heralded the municipality’s future: “Livable Chongqing” and “Safe Chongqing,” but also “Forest Chongqing” and “Iatrical Chongqing.” Announcements made on the new, multibillion-dollar light rail were delivered in English almost as creaky as my Mandarin. I even spotted a warning sign, next to an elevator, that read, “Nihil obstat elevator.”

Compared with some other parts of China, like Shanghai and Beijing, this was a raw and unrefined experience. And happily so. Those other places spend so much money and energy trying to impress outsiders (see Shanghai’s war on outdoor pajamas) that I wonder what’s left over for locals.

But now I was in a Chinese city for Chinese people. Native urbanites walked their well-groomed collies on the hills, waltzed in parks at dusk and practiced martial arts on rain-swept plazas at midnight. And rural migrants took up bamboo poles and skeins of rope to join the so-called “stick-stick army” of porters, looking to haul bags of groceries or sacks of concrete mix along unnavigable inclines. What could it matter to any of them how the city appears to transient foreigners like me?

As far as I could tell, Westerners were rarities, and for good reason. Apart from being a departure point for Yangtze River cruises, Chongqing had little to see. One morning I went to the Three Gorges Museum, but the exhibits — about the massive hydroelectric dam, 118 miles downriver, that has changed the landscape throughout the region — were too boring to bear; I left within 30 minutes. And a World War II air raid shelter, where 4,000 people were asphyxiated during a bombing, was closed until 2015 because of construction of the subway system.

But so what? I was done trying to make the city give me what I wanted; now I would let the city show me what to do. So one day, just before lunch, I rode the light rail 45 minutes to the end of the line and walked to a bus stop, where, after studying the route map (another breach of my rules, but it was in Chinese, hence unreadable), I boarded a bus that passers-by assured me would not go anywhere I’d been before.

Never have I been so relaxed on a bus. With no destination in mind and no timetable to keep, I simply rode and looked out the window at the gray sky and the towers topped with Italianate domes or mansard roofs (and sometimes, I think, with both). I rode for at least half an hour until, at last, my hunger persuaded me to get off the bus. So I did, at a stop facing five small, open-fronted restaurants. Which to pick? The one whose owner called out to me first. What to order? Whatever the owner thought I should. Could I eat spicy? Of course! Soon I was chopsticking shredded pork with green chilies into my mouth, and chasing it with stir-fried white cabbage. Chongqing, you were treating me well.

A postprandial stroll took me through areas I never expected to see: the Paint District, where buckets, tubs and barrels of Chinese, American, German and Dutch colorings were sold from dozens of shops. Then to the Bathroom Fixture District, and uphill to the Roll-Out Flooring District.

And then up another hill, in a fine, cold rain, to a residential neighborhood whose vegetable gardens grew on steep slopes trailing down to a newly cleared construction site. One plant caught my attention: a chili bush whose fruits pointed straight up. These were chao tian jiao, a supposedly out-of-season pepper I’d sought without luck in Chengdu.

I chatted with a woman who asked what I was looking for, stunned her by tasting one of the chilies (very, very, very hot), then followed her directions to a nearby park, outside of which an older couple had set up a target, decorated with balloons, and were renting BB rifles. I took them up on the offer and blasted balloons with such concentration that (aided by the lingering, hallucinogenic heat of the chilies) I entered a strange trance state in which nothing else existed but the crosshairs, my trigger finger and the exploding balloons. Bang. Bang. Bang.

Finally, I flagged down a taxi and went to the nearest light-rail station, knowing that, when I returned to the hostel and people there asked what I’d done all day, I’d have no clue how to explain myself.

Luckily, one of the hostel’s guests understood. He was David Wu, a Shanghai native who had spent the last decade working in Japan and was now traveling overland to India and Nepal. In some ways, David was as out of place as I was. Chongqing’s fiery, food didn’t always please his Shanghainese stomach, and the local dialect was a mystery. The Three Gorges Dam — whose construction on the nearly 4,000-mile-long Yangtze was responsible for much of Chongqing’s growth — gnawed at him. He claimed that it interrupted the flow of qi energy throughout China. “It’s the dragon river,” he said, using the Yangtze’s nickname, “and they cut it in half.”

David also shared my yearning for unpredictable adventure, whether it was a spontaneous excursion to the neighborhood of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, where we admired the artfully graffitied buildings on “Doodle Street,” or an attempt to see how far we could travel in one day yet remain within Chongqing proper.

THAT second jaunt did not go as planned. After more than three hours in cramped vans and buses, we gave up on our hoped-for destination, a supposedly lovely town called Wanzhou, and debarked, at lunchtime, in Liangping, a gray, homely town we’d never heard of. In the October chill, we evaluated the restaurants near the bus station and picked the busiest, called simply 789, where we warmed ourselves with tomato-egg soup, stewed tofu and “water-cooked sliced meat,” a fantastic dish of bean sprouts and astoundingly sweet, fresh pork in a cauldron of spicy liquid.

Then, because we had hours to kill, we jumped in a taxi and asked the driver what to see. Shuanggui Hall, he said, the biggest Buddhist temple in Sichuan Province! (Never mind that Chongqing left Sichuan in 1997.) He took off, and right away we were in the countryside, passing wet, green fields crossed by the prim brick arches of an aging aqueduct. The air smelled clear, life felt unhurried. Strange as it seemed, this too was Chongqing: a multiple-personality municipality.

“Do you believe in Buddha?” the driver asked me (through David).

“No,” I said, tensing up as he removed his hands from the wheel to mime a Buddhist prayer. “But I believe in luck.” Then, as he dropped us off, he overcharged us for the ride.

At more than 300 years old, the temple was gorgeous, primarily because it hadn’t been overly restored, repainted or otherwise gussied up to attract visitors. Rather, it looked used, and well loved. A festival had taken place there that morning; near the entrance, votive candles melted (David lighted one for his father), and inside the temple mighty sticks of incense smoldered in iron urns. Monks’ yellow robes, freshly laundered, hung on railings to dry, and a woman napped at her desk.

At the rear was a fortunetellers’ chamber, and though I usually shun such things as silly, only-for-tourist displays, by that point I knew this was no act. Following instructions, I kowtowed to the goddess Guanyin and shook a wooden container filled with long sticks until one of them escaped and fell to the ground. No. 23, it was marked, one of the rarest fortunes — a guarantee, I was told by the rotund official who interpreted such things for a fee (10 renminbi, roughly $1.50), that all would go well with my family and my career. For a secondary fee, he hinted, he could tell me much more.

But what more could I want to know? I had come to you, Chongqing, seeking my fortune like any other of your millions, and you’d embraced me, given me a place in your streets, revealed to me a few of your close-held secrets and showed me your multifarious nature — at times ugly, at others remarkable, uncaring to be sure, but with unimpeachable ulterior motives. You spurred me, as great cities do to those of us who brave them, to rely on nothing but myself, to trust that the improvisational moment will arrive, if only I submit to your will, wait patiently and figure out when and how to break the rules.

For that, and for all the chilies, fresh, dried and pickled, I remain,

Sincerely Yours,




Within neighborhoods, walking is fine, but to get around, you have to rely on buses, taxis and the light rail. The bus system is efficient and cheap, with fares from 1 to 3 renminbi, or about 15 to 46 cents at 6.5 renminbi to the dollar. But reading bus-shelter maps and dealing with drivers requires some familiarity with Chinese. The same goes for taxis — ubiquitous and affordable; I rarely spent more than 12 renminbi on a ride. The light-rail system is easy to use for non-Chinese speakers, but consists of only one line. A second line connecting to the airport is scheduled for 2011, and a third should be finished by 2013. Fares top out at 5 renminbi.


Chongqing’s big hotels, like the Marriott and the InterContinental, may be comfortable, but they lack personality. In the absence of family-run or smaller hotels, I’d opt for a private room at a hostel. Tina’s Hostel (149 Zhongxing Road, Yuzhong District; 86-23-8621-1988; www.cqhostel.com; doubles from 100 renminbi) is scheduled for demolition but will remain open through January and may relocate afterward.

There’s also the big, well-situated Yangtze River Hostel (80 Changbin Road, Yuzhong District; 86-23-6310-4270; chongqinghostels.com; doubles from 90 renminbi).


Chongqing is full of proper restaurants, but I didn’t eat in them. I turned to noodle shops and open-air streetside restaurants, where pointing and basic Mandarin generally got me great meals. Hot pot restaurants are everywhere; just look for the telltale steam rising from the tables.


In the end, I did find three interesting places to have a drink.

My favorite was Cici Park (Kuixing Plaza, Linjiang Road, Yuzhong District; 86-23-6303-6940), a den of trance music, foosball and Sichuan-peppercorn-flavored potato chips. True Love Club (De Yi Shi Jie, basement, Yuzhong District; 86-23-6379-7337) is bizarrely entertaining: flirty, scantily clad bartenders serve good German beers while a live dating game takes place behind them. And Cotton Club (Meili Building, Jiaochang Kou, Yuzhong District; 86-23-6381-0028; cottonclub.com.cn) is a slick bar with a rocking band and lively clientele.


Other than wandering around, there are few worthy tourist attractions in Chongqing. Huangjueping, the graffiti street near Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, is reachable by many bus routes (and taxi), and the galleries in the area deserve a peek (they’re closed Mondays). Foreign Street, an amusement park whose theme is, simply, foreignness, has a windmill, an upside-down house and what is billed as the world’s largest bathroom.

Finally, there’s the Chongqing Planning Exhibition Gallery (86-23-6373-2777; www.cqghzlg.gov.cn), where you can see a massive scale model of what the municipality might look like in 2020.

2010年12月21日 星期二


老舗「加賀屋」が台湾で開業 すべて和式サービス(12/18 17:41)



「テレ朝news」 http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/ann
YouTube ANNニュースチャンネル http://www.youtube.com/user/ANNnewsCH

2010年12月9日 星期四





畢業自東海大學景觀系、曾任職「居家雜誌」的作家林黛羚(東海大學42屆景觀系,2000年畢),近年來遍訪全台大城小鎮,為自力造屋的夢想家們留下紀 錄。自2007年出版《蓋自己的房子》,迄今已走訪超過200位造屋達人,出版4本著作,本本暢銷並引發風潮。





2010年12月5日 星期日

理想的澡堂 ──斯德哥爾摩洗浴風景

這是少數沒親歷的:理想的澡堂 ──斯德哥爾摩洗浴風景
  • 2010-12-06
  • 中國時報
  • 【陳文芬/文】












 建築家柯雷明一心一意要造出北歐最大的公共澡堂,他在斯德哥爾摩王后街八 十八號一個大院落裡尋得一個十八世紀新藝術代表性的樓房,改建頗花心力與金錢。樓房的房頂浮雕刻有兩條美人魚,長髮披肩,魚鱗片片。入門的沿池是一海神騎 在海豚的雕像。花園維持了柯雷明當年的規模,鬧中取靜,好宜人的花園。


 我原以為桑拿(Sauna)源出芬蘭,不過《瑞典百科全書》對「洗澡」(bastu) 的來源說的是「badstuga(洗澡的小木屋)」。中世紀瑞典人就在房屋的邊間之外造一間小木屋,屋裡生了柴火,小爐筒熱起來,爐筒擺滿了一顆顆鵝卵大 石頭,用冷水澆灑燒得火燙的石頭,蒸氣瞬間溫度上升攝氏八十到一百度。瑞典人也喜愛用白樺樹的樹枝拍打背部,熱氣蒸騰汗流浹背時,枝葉拍擊背脊,促進身體 新陳代謝。夏天你在森林裡僻靜海邊的紅色小木屋,洗過九十度到一百度之間的熱蒸氣浴以後,走出木屋。屋外有一棵大樹,樹幹上拴著一條粗繩。你抓好繩纜,一 步步跳進海裡,夏天海裡的溫度約十七度,冷冽到足夠讓你尖叫得痛快,要是湊巧有一隻喜歡笑的海鷗飛過來,跟海裡洗澡的人一起笑,這是世間絕美的澡堂。

 〉〉愛情聖堂 友情廳堂

 柏格曼的電影《處女之泉》描繪了中世紀瑞典人喜愛洗澡有著宗教儀式般的禮敬。劇中的主人翁意外得知家裡收容的三個流浪牧人,在森林裡作惡 姦殺他十五歲的女兒。主人從女傭口中證實女兒確實為牧人所殺,悲愴反應他只說了一句話:「燒熱水!」……下一個畫面他步出屋外走入森林,獨自一人蒼茫面對 白樺樹的風景。他胸中有厚重的塊壘,怒吼一聲便跳上枝頭,扯住樹頭然後將整棵樹奪倒在地,鋒劍剁下一叢叢的樹枝。這一段風景拍得幽美、蒼勁。主人翁等待著 報仇的悲憤痛苦在後頭的熱水浴跟樹枝摔背通體舒暢,暫時紓解鬱抑之氣。復仇以後,他向上帝許願,要用雙手打造一座石頭教堂。

 我結婚以前,我的丈夫告訴我為甚麼選擇在一個海島上舉行婚禮。島上有間小木屋,他盼望著跟自己所愛的人在小木屋一起洗浴。洗澡這件事跟宗 教有相同的潔淨感,那時我很為他這個懸念所感動。我慢慢懂得洗澡是愛情的聖堂,或者還是友誼的廳堂,至於是不是親情的場所,我要再想想。傳統的鄉間裡,如 果家裡沒有小木屋,友善的鄰居會邀請前往同浴(穿泳衣或披長浴巾)。我聽過最可愛的鄰居聚會是大雪天坐進小木屋裡蒸浴,漫天黑夜,白雪藹藹。眾人一一步出 小屋躺在雪地上各人滾各人的,滾盡一身的熱燥紅燙,雪涼清爽,碎瓊亂玉。那時眾生好像回返維京時代的豪邁純情,寒鴉飛去,海盜合唱。

 〉〉一絲不掛 自由暢談

 鄰人同浴的風俗,可想而知有經濟的考慮,不要浪費柴火,要兼愛。農民的小木屋兼備生活上的需求。農莊製麻所需原料要乾燥,也靠澡房木屋柴火來烘乾;製啤酒的酵母,以及保存肉類的處理都在木屋裡做好,有一種火腿就叫澡房火腿(badstu skinka),爐火擺上草藥,燻出特殊的芳香。

 十八世紀瑞典與芬蘭同為一個國家,大量的瑞典人搬遷到芬蘭居住,至今芬蘭還有三十萬人口說瑞典語。我從鄰居海利克那裡學到關於芬蘭與瑞典 人文化的差異與巧妙。海利克是一個標準的「芬蘭─瑞典人」,我能聽懂他的瑞典語。「芬蘭─瑞典人」將瑞典語創造成一種沒有聲調的語言,這使得瑞典語所保有 的兩種聲調,更容易聽懂;還有一個原因是大半的瑞典男人不曾在澡堂與異性聊天,而海利克態若自如。芬蘭人在酒吧在餐廳,如果是互不相識絕不交談,然而他們在澡堂赤身裸體時卻能彼此侃侃而談。且也能一家人男 女老幼同浴,芬蘭人對於裸體洗浴毫無色情之想像,好像是與生俱來的能力。瑞典畫家Anders Zorn有一張美女森林洗浴的名畫,那女子汗津津的水滴流在瓷般的裸體上誰能不做情色的念想,依其故事編作的電影演這女子的演員是高行健戲劇《逃亡》的女 主角,她的父親說他在電影院看到這一段時,把眼睛閉緊了。而海利克說,芬蘭人認為人生出來一絲不掛,自由自在一如洗澡,洗浴時沒有衣著的牽掛,談話最為自在。而在飯館在酒吧服裝穿得齊整,最不宜隨意說話與人攀談,思想受服裝拘謹,這是很自然的事情。

 〉〉澡堂之前 人人平等

 中世紀瑞典有了公共的澡堂,斯德哥爾摩環繞海洋,城裡人夏天在海裡洗澡,聖誕節以前總該到澡堂好好洗浴梳妝一番。十六世紀以前天主教的信 仰在瑞典產生一定的作用,而且整個歐洲已對性病的流傳深懷畏懼,當局明令澡堂的禮儀。瑞典第一個國王瓦薩發動宗教改革,從天主教會奪回大批產權以後,將基 督教改為國教,屬路德教派。王權掙脫了宗教分權的威脅以後,他對禮教的準則毫不鬆動,達蘭那省中部的小木屋農民澡堂他不計較,首都澡堂禮儀是他以政代教的 產物,市民自知進退分寸。

 西元一八六七年瑞典慢慢從歐陸邊陲小國的農業國家有了工業國的雛形,大量移動人口從鄉下到首都來找工作, 同時帶來社會問題與傳染疾病。跟歐土許多城市比起來,斯德哥爾摩的衛生情況很差,國民平均壽命低,兒童死亡率高,整個首都也沒有自來水可洗澡。有一個醫生 庫爾曼(Carl Curman)夢想了好幾年,想要造一個公共澡堂。他先在西部大城哥德堡附近造了一間歐洲最有名的療癒澡堂,接著他寫了一本書《洗澡》:他認為不管有錢沒 有錢的人脫了衣服是一樣的平等自由與健康。 一八六八年他在斯德哥爾摩開了一家澡堂公司,就在乾草廣場,現今頒發諾貝爾獎的音樂廳旁。人們在那裡用餐跟洗澡,周日可以游泳。只有中夏與聖誕兩個節日休 息,全年營業。七年以後,澡堂公司在首都擁有五千個土耳其澡盆,五萬個桑拿間。來洗澡的人越來越多,多數是男人,五分之一是女人。女人洗澡時間上午十點到 十二點,下午跟晚上是男人洗澡。一八七○年即使是王宮也沒有澡堂。奧斯卡二世太子常常上澡堂,人們遇見太子立刻迴避。太子卻很願意跟庶民同浴。幾次勸說無 效,他才作罷。澡堂公司還有「送到家」服務,有一名婦女送上刷子跟熱水盆,由馬車送來,一年有一千車次。此時,庫爾曼醫生聚足了資本,財力雄厚可在城裡最 富貴的地段Stureplan開澡堂,市府得知即刻阻撓,擔心對於上層階級出入的這一條城街造成壞影響。庫爾曼醫生到威尼斯去找了一個美麗宮殿的藍圖來, 他以此來建造公共澡堂,政府這才接受了。一八八五年斯圖爾澡堂(Sturebadet)開張,是歐洲最現代化的澡堂之一。分三種收費層級:有桑拿與土耳其 浴,五十二個按摩機,游泳池一座十四米長七米寬,最低消費每人收取二毛五,那時有錢人收入是一月二百元,每個家庭裝暖氣費是七十元,吃飯是六十元。


 一八九○年斯圖爾澡堂有六十三間小房間,四十三個澡盆,一間土耳其浴,一間桑拿房。洗澡盆以後廢棄了,只用壓水器洗澡與桑拿烤房並用。澡 堂的底層可以洗衣服,當人們進去洗澡時,有工人替你洗衣服,刷鞋子。斯圖爾澡堂成功了!有心人覺得這還不夠,做為一個國際都會瑞典應該有一個真正理想的澡 堂。建築家柯雷明Wilhelm Klemming(1862-1930),認為一個理想的澡堂要坐落在擁有花園院落的大房子。

 柯雷明家族以雅好花園與書籍而備受瑞典文人推崇。柯雷明的叔父Gustaf Klemming(1823-93)是瑞典文化史的傳奇人物,當年王宮極需要一座新的大花園,柯雷明建議在花園裡蓋王家圖書館,獲得王家青睞且全權授命館 長一任四十年,他的弟弟Henrik Klemming創辦了瑞典最有名的珍本書舖Klemming Antikvarait,書店的聲名一直維持到一九六八年。

 柯雷明考察旅行好多國家,一心一意要造出北歐最大的公共澡堂。他在王后街八十八號一個大院落裡尋得一個十八世紀新藝術代表性的樓房,改建 頗花心力與金錢,他自己還是一個激烈主張城市要有高度鳥瞰視野的建築師,他造的澡堂有兩個游泳池,泳池的長度是二十三米,分男女各一處游浴,有一個大浴 缸,另有桑拿間,最高一層樓還有兩間網球室。


 清人康有為戊戌變法後流亡海外變成世界旅人,來到瑞典時參觀過中央澡堂。這個院落入口左邊的樓房是作家協會旅館,專供外地作家落腳。早幾 年李銳、北島、余華旅瑞皆住過作協。而瑞典文豪作家史特林堡的老家就在幾步之遙。我們走進這院落,眼見這裡花木扶疏,才赫然驚覺康有為百年前遊覽過的「中 央澡堂」還安然在這大院落裡。


 「環浴池以更衣房,上下二層,浴者解衣,自樓上跳池中。游泳皆赤體相見,英人下體則裹小褲,美人浴池皆赤體。男女同浴,乃至大學校之冑子 亦然,此真蠻俗也,宜其好淫歟。此地男女異浴,其女室聞更麗,群女解衣同浴。云有高等沐館,皆白石為之,崇樓三層,極整麗。人各一室,有人為之浴,收一克 郎。樓上皆有大浴池,方廣數丈,皆偉構也。」康有為對英美國人洗浴風俗的描述受限於他個人的認知。對中央澡堂寫得清楚是「男女異浴」了。


 今天澡堂外的大院還記錄著柯雷明將「游泳與洗澡結合為一」理想的澡堂,樓房的房頂浮雕刻有兩條美人魚,長髮披肩,魚鱗片片。入門的沿池是 一海神騎在海豚的雕像。澡堂離我學校很近,下課後常來晃蕩,初秋的花園裡頭仔細閱讀記載。今夏乾旱奇詭,院中八月梨樹到了九月末還結實纍纍。庭院深深深幾 許,兩株酸蘋果樹 滿掛著紅果子。花園維持了柯雷明當年的規模,鬧中取靜,好宜人的花園。王后街是徒步行走區,郵差騎單車行進花園。當年柯雷明不只親手打理了澡堂與花園,更 擔任澡堂經理,管理俗務。花園留下了他的頭像一座,庭院裡人們喝水的快樂亭還完好如新。快樂亭是瑞典花園裡特殊的標記,窗花玻璃是新藝術時期的質材與造 型。柯雷明要人洗浴以後返回自然到花園亭子小坐喝水,忘卻世間俗塵憂煩。

 記起有一年我在西部海邊小屋度暑,散步遇見鄰居她問洗過澡(bada)了嗎。後來我才意會到bada是洗澡也是游泳simma的意思,這 就是柯雷明的想法:在城市裡還給人們洗浴即游泳的權利。康有為記載一九○四年的首都市民有二十八萬人口,中央澡堂這一年有三十八萬人次洗澡的記錄。而這一 年正是俄國戲劇家契訶夫象徵貴族階層瓦解的劇作《櫻桃園》發表,歐俄重要城市的市民階級已經與貴族階級翻轉過來了。柯雷明用他個人的力量,將花園澡堂的夢 想獻給市民階級。一九○五年挪威脫離瑞典獨立。(上)









 斯圖爾澡堂象徵著新城市的中心,中央澡堂則接近王宮議會的老城市中心。兩座澡堂相隔也近,步行一刻鐘內可達。早年的澡堂接濟了許多初來乍到的外鄉人。一九四六年一個原來立志當拉丁文老師的烏普撒拉大學生馬悅然,偶然讀到林語堂《生活的 藝術》而對老子《道德經》產生興趣,向漢學大師高本漢請益以後,決定到他門下斯大習漢學。首都的住房一直都很緊張,空屋難覓。馬悅然白天到大學讀書,夜裡 睡臥斯圖爾廣場的長條椅上,有時搭整夜不停的電車直到天明。氣候是秋天,還過得去。想要洗澡時就到斯圖爾澡堂,一次十克朗。那時大學生每月生活費二百克 朗。

 高本漢與他的六名門生關係非常緊密,這六名男學生都得到美國煤油大王的獎學金到中國去 做方言調查。其中一名是丹麥人,著名的漢學家易家樂。馬悅然請易家樂去斯圖爾澡堂。易家樂躲在桑拿房待了好久不敢出來,馬悅然找他。他說,「哎呀,你沒見 到外頭有女人嗎?你把我帶到什麼地方來了?」澡堂有專門為出浴的客人送大毛巾的女工,多半是達蘭那省來的胖姨,身形碩壯,很能吃苦。

 當時的澡客文明還沒趕上性別平等的社會主義觀念,頭一次上澡堂的易家樂有一點受驚了。現代的瑞典社會最好講究性別與工作樣樣平等,即使是首相部長也不能僱用傭人,那般澡堂風景年輕人 也不能想像。我把故事說給孫子優旺聽,他瞪大眼睛:「哎,爺爺會不會太幸運了。」幸運嗎?呵呵,你閉著眼睛想像。他指著澡堂照片游泳池上端兩扇裝飾澡堂的 弧形凹門給我看。從桑拿間烤箱高溫走出來,烤得渾身滾燙站在凹門底下,有條鐵鏈兩手一抓緊,上頭有冰水醍醐灌頂下來頓時淋得全身發抖,萎頓不堪,兩隻手只 管抓緊鐵鏈冷得渾身直打哆嗦。說時遲那時快,胖姨不知從哪兒飄忽過來站定你身後,兩手攤平展開一條熱燙的,床單一般長卷的大款毛巾,即刻把你冰冷顫抖跟毛 毛蟲一樣軟蹋蹋的紅白一團肉,一層層用熱帕子撢起來,捆過來,把人捆緊了,活像土耳其捲心菜肉包(狀似中菜荷葉排骨)。胖姨捲完浴巾力道非凡,把人推進小 房間,臥床小睡半小時。鐘點到了,有人敲鈴叫醒,送杯熱可可進來。

 二次大戰瑞典未經戰火,戰後快速發展躍升強國,兩座澡堂已漸漸進入歷史。中央澡堂逐漸成為首都的文化地標。我早晨洗澡與鄰居葛娜.梵奎斯 特聊起,正在寫澡堂故事。她是將法國作家普魯斯特小說《追憶似水年華》翻譯為瑞典語的大翻譯家,也是知名的天主教徒敢於與羅馬教廷當局陳述意見。瑞典人多 是國教徒,天主信徒是少數。她說起,一九六八到八二年之間,中央澡堂荒置二十年,天主教徒極力爭取將中央澡堂成為辦公室,與位在國王花園旁邊的教堂遙相呼 應。市府一度答應了,天主教的修女與教徒們人人自帶板凳到中央澡堂聚會,葛娜亦是其中一員,有三百人之多。澡堂成為宗教聖堂乃一大事。社會議論不休,只是 市府最後拍板仍將澡堂設為文化景點。時至今日那門庭上的兩條美人魚長髮相望,顧若自盼。中央澡堂內部已改為療癒Spa與按摩澡堂,庭院花園還維持百年規 模。院落有一著名文人餐廳懸掛一攝影家作品盡蒐詩人與小說家肖像。