我打河岸走過

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1987 / 6月

文‧張毅君 圖‧邱勝旺



不知從什麼時候開始,淡水河的水,變了顏色。畫家望著手中五顏六色的調色盤,卻無法派上用場,因為「黑,是她唯一的顏色!」

曾經舟楫往來,千帆競過

台北在陸上交通未發達之前,主要靠海上舟楫往來。淡水河系沿岸的幾個鄉鎮,滬尾(淡水)、八里坌、甘答門(關渡)、大龍峒、大稻埕、艋舺(萬華)、新莊、大嵙崁(大溪)……等地,從明末清初開始,陸續開闢為商港,進出口貿易鼎盛,出入於淡水河系上的汽、帆船,不計其數,一時構成商旅雲集的河面景象。

黃昏河堤上,一位九十三歲高齡、祖籍福建省晉江縣的高老太太,形容她小時候所目睹的盛況:「那時候,淡水河是『正港』」老太太說,每天來來去去的大小帆船,有幾百艘,直到日本人統治以後,開了基隆港,淡水的船才少了一點。「現在的少年人還以為淡水是個漁港,七、八十年前,大家做生意都來不及了,那有時間去捕魚!」言下竟還帶著幾分驕傲。

洗菜、淘米、洗衣裳

屬於大稻埕範圍內的貴德街,以前聚集的大多是茶行。當年大宗輸出的茶葉,即由文山(今坪林)用牛車運到大稻埕上船出口。柯成興茶行是如今僅存的幾家茶行之一,七十有餘的老店東指著茶行門口說:「以前站在我這店頭,看出去就是淡水河;河上帆船、汽船來來去去,從這堙A大船可以到新莊,小船可以到大溪呢。」順著他手指的店門口,如今一片高樓重幛。

除了對外貿易,路上交通尚未發達之前,台北市區內的貨品也多靠船隻運送。茶行老店東回憶說,三重是種花、種菜、種筍的地方,蘆洲則是台北青菜蔬果的主要供應地。為了保持新鮮,蔬果都靠運菜船送到河岸旁的各個集散地。

等到公路、鐵路也開始在此地蜿蜒盤旋,淡水河逐漸失去她在交通上的功能,但是並沒有被遺忘。

站在關渡宮前埕往下望去,淡水河圍起了一片豐潤的仙渡平原。沿堤行去,河岸仍散聚著零星的菜畦,老農彎著腰整理他的小白菜。他在關渡住了卅幾年了,「做囝仔的時候,每天在河堿~澡,要不就跟鄰居到河媞N『蜊仔』,或在岸邊釣魚。那時候還常常有人釣到十幾斤的鱸魚咧!……」他說得頂興奮,「後來老婆洗米、洗菜、洗衣服,都到河堥V水來做;我種田、種菜也是」,眼前的淡水河依然川流,卻不再照顧這片菜畦了,老農腳邊接著長長的水管,「現在不行了啦!再拿河水澆菜,菜都會活不了,人那堹鄏Y?」

講古、唱戲、談戀愛

淡水渡船口賣蝦卷的阿伯記得很清楚,那是民國六十三年,他在河邊看到一群翻了肚子的魚,從中游漂過來。

他隱約感覺到這條河即將面臨的命運了,「在那以前,我常常在岸邊跟朋友比賽釣魚,釣到就拿回家煮。現在別說沒魚可釣,就算有魚,也不敢吃嘍」,離他左側十幾步路,兩個年輕人正拿著釣竿坐在河岸上,「像他們,釣一下午了,還沒有魚上鉤,現在的年輕人,沒福氣啦!……」

場景轉向淡水河九號水門內的公園。幾位坐在那堻鳦龤B聊天、啃瓜子、下棋的老先生、老太太,談到淡水河這個話題,竟像孩子般,七嘴八舌地搶著要說話。

「古早也沒電影、沒電視,大家一吃飽飯,都跑到河邊來散步,或是坐下來喝茶、聊天。」

「中秋夜,從岸上望過去,月光河清,別處看不到的!」

「想要聽人講古、唱戲,來公園堶惕銦A絕對錯不了,聽得你耳朵會出油!」

「……………」

「以前我們不流行自由戀愛,不像現在,暗時都有『愛人仔』來這散步,卡有情調喲」,老太太說著笑眯了眼,推推旁邊的老先生「噢,對不對?」幾個人相顧笑了起來。

他們一回到記憶堙A就彷彿與離他們不遠的一堆堆垃圾,和隨風飄來的一陣陣濁臭毫不相干。

淡水夕照,入畫最美

七十三歲的老畫家呂基正在迪化街出生,長大後又在環河南路住了卅幾年,「從這兒推開窗戶,就可以看到淡水河、觀音山,……,吃完中餐、下班以後,淡水河是最好的畫畫題材。淡水夕照早年是台灣八景之一,喜歡畫畫的人,都不會放過這片美景的。」

曾幾何時,「碧綠」的水色成了「濁黑」;清澈的水面,推開窗,眼前布滿了「垃圾、塑膠袋、保特瓶,偶爾還飄來幾具雞、鴨浮屍」,呂基正形容,兩岸原本清悠的景緻,被罩上了一層灰濛的煙霧;淡水河的上空,時時飄著一股濃臭的溫風,……。呂基正搬家了。

河水默默,蹣跚東流。

不時地,她也聽見過人們鏗鏘允諾,要為之喚回昔日風華,但允諾總在風中消逝。

倒是關切的聲音多了起來。

百萬人上街頭簽名,願意「拯救淡水河」;學者們舉辦一系列的座談會商討對策;畫家紛紛拿出作品,以「淡水河的悲歡歲月」喚起大家「愛河護河」。

畫家王南雄有不少有關淡水河的作品,但是他在「理想」與「寫實」中掙扎。在回憶堙A淡水河的水是綠的,但眼前看到的顏色卻是黑的;雖然他總在畫作中保留了淡水河最美的景色,卻難免會有「自欺欺人」的感覺。「要談整治,應該讓河水恢復她本來的顏色」,他說。

畫家最在意的是「顏色」。那麼,淡水河邊的老朋友們希望喚回怎樣的河水?

起碼要「不臭」吧!

淡水龍山寺旁,一家海產店的老闆說:「河堛熙蝸憐袙閬n不好,我們賣海產的心裡最清楚。廿多年以前,淡水的海產遠近馳名,因為那時候淡水河的水質好、養份夠,捕來的魚又肥、又鮮,有口皆碑。現在淡水河已經沒有魚可捕了,店婼瑼熙翩A都是從近海或是南部魚塭運來的,味道真沒原來的好。」

「那倒是真的!」店堶掖傿菄諝堻蓬鰝漲悀茪蚋I點頭,同意老闆的說法。

「所以說,要是能再從淡水河捕到甘鮮的魚蝦,才表示這條河已經沒問題了。」

這是海產店老闆的期望。

淡水往八里的渡輪上,乘客陳先生指著油汙的河水說:「一條河,和人的身體一樣需要有新陳代謝。人要是幾天不上廁所,肚子積了一大堆排泄物,一定很不舒服;淡水河也是如此,河底淤積了這麼多爛泥,影響她正常的流速與排泄,自然就會發臭啊!」他認為,要整治淡水河,必需先使那些惡濁的空氣消失。

她不是條排水溝!

建築師李乾朗世居淡水,對河水自有一份深情。他指出,要恢復淡水河的舊觀,除了在河水顏色、氣味上做到和未受汙染前一樣,讓人們樂於去接受她,更重要的是觀念,「讓大家瞭解這是一條活生生、有生命的河流,而不只是一條排水溝!」很顯然,現在的孩子恐怕根本不知道他每天喝的水與淡水河有啥干係,也不知道河奡慦a是啥滋味……,還有空氣、游魚、蔬果……,人與河水的關係是何等親密。「有了『利用厚生』的觀念,大家才會懂得愛惜這條河,否則,光談怎麼整治,只不過消極地延長淡水河的風燭殘生罷了!」李乾朗仍然憂心。

夾雜在假日淡水河岸穿梭往來的遊客堙A一位世居此地的中年人反倒顯得特別了,「以前淡水的居民,假日就往台北跑;現在一到假日,台北人滿車滿車的來!我們想在河邊找個清靜的地方都沒」,他希望河水整治好了之後,淡水河畔處處可以欣賞風景。

「淡水河這麼長,大家有很多地方可去,就不必把噪音、車子的煙,都擠來淡水了」,他說。

不信風華喚不回

熟諳史蹟的老前輩林衡道很贊成這個看法,在他眼堙A淡水河兩岸,保存了不少先民開發台灣時留下來的痕跡,「如果好好利用,一定能增加淡水河的觀光價值,也可以讓年輕人直接感受到,我們與河水血脈相連的感情」,他說。

河水有知,她當歡喜聽到這些。但人們究竟準備怎麼做呢?淡水河靜靜等著。

〔圖片說明〕

P.6

夕陽西下,為淡水河披上金衣,此情此景,不應好好珍惜嗎?

P.6

早期的淡水河,河寬水深,舟楫往來,台北市區的交通都得仰賴它。(劉還月提供)

P.9

鄭善禧的作品「淡水河口」。(大自然雜誌提供)

P.9

陳銀輝的作品「淡水風光」。(大自然雜誌提供)

P.8

清澈、碧綠的水色,何時重現?

P.10

臨河濯衣——人與河川親密關係的最佳寫照。(劉還月提供)

P.11

他們的難題能找到答案嗎?(環境品質文教基金會提供)

P.11

垃圾與觀音齊臥,汙水共藍天異色。

P.12

水筆仔在泥沼中,以堅韌的生命力,等待河清之日。

P.13

面對成堆的垃圾,你能漠然嗎?圖為台北—藝術團體在美術館前的表演活動,希望喚起民眾對反汙染的重視。(鄭元慶攝)

P.13

「我支持拯救淡水河運動」百萬人簽名活動反應熱烈。(鐘永和攝)

P.14

由高處俯瞰,台北市與淡水河互依互存,關係分外密切。

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近期文章

EN

A Walk Along the Bank

Jack Chang /photos courtesy of Ch'iu Sheng-wang /tr. by Peter Eberly


Some time ago the Tamsui River began to change color. The painter no longer has any use for his palette, because "black has become it's only hue."

Before transportation to Taipei became developed on land, it was mainly by sea. From the 17th century on, several villages along the banks of the Tamsui grew into thriving commercial harbors, and countless steamships and sailing vessels plied the river's busy waters.

Ninety-three-year old Mrs. Kao stands on a dyke near the town of Tamsui at sunset and describes the prosperous scene she used to see as a child: "At that time Tamsui was a 'real' harbor," and several hundred boats a day would sail in and out. Not until the Japanese opened up the harbor at Keelung did the number begin to fall off. "Young people today think of Tamsui as a fishing village, but seventy or eighty years ago people here were so busy doing business they had no time to catch fish!" she says rather proudly.

Kueiteh Street in Tataocheng used to be lined with tea shops, the tea was carried down from Pinglin by oxcart and loaded onto ships there for export. The owner of one of the few remaining shops, in his seventies, points to his door and says, "You used to be able to see the river from here. The big ships went as far as Hsin-chuang, and the small ones all the way to Tahsi." The view now is one of high-rise after high-rise.

Ah Po, a shrimp roll seller at the Tamsui ferry, remembers quite clearly the day in 1974 when he first saw a school of fish floating bellies up down the river. He felt then that the river was facing its doom. "Before that my friends and I used to catch fish there and take them home to cook. Now, even if you could catch one, you'd be afraid to eat it."

The scene shifts to the park at the river's sluice gate number nine. The old-timers sitting there sipping tea, chatting, and crunching melon seeds become as animated as children when the subject turns to the Tamsui.

"There were no movies or television back then. After dinner, everybody would run down to the riverside to go for a walk or drink tea and chat."

"One the Mid-Autumn Festival, you'd look out and see the clear river under a full moon that filled the sky."

"Boys and girls weren't supposed to choose their own fiances back then, it wasn't like now. After dark, the place was full of twosomes taking strolls together; it was a pretty amorous place," says one old lady, her eyes crinkling with mirth, and nudges the old man beside her.

"That's right, isn't it?" she asks him and the crowd breaks into laughter.

Their memories seem to have nothing to do with the garbage and stench so close at hand.

The 73-year-old painter Lu Chi-cheng lived on Huanho South Road for over thirty years. "You could see Kuanyin Mountain and the Tamsui out the window. . . . Sunset over the Tamsui was considered one of Taiwan's eight great scenes, and painters were sure to give it a try."

Somewhere along the line, the river's "torquoise green" turned to a "murky black," and the view from the window began to display a procession of garbage, plastic bags, and dead animals floating downstream. Lu moved away.

The river kept on flowing to the sea.

Every once in a while, it would hear the voices of people promising to return it to its former splendor, but the promises vanished with the wind.

Until the voices of concern grew louder.

A million people signed a petition to "save the Tamsui"; scholars conducted a series of seminars to discuss measures of action, and painters held an exhibition called "The Tamsui's Years of Joy and Sorrow" to arouse public concern.

The artist Wang Nan-hsiung, who has done a number of paintings of the Tamsui, says that he finds himself caught in a struggle between "idealism" and the "reality." He remembers the river as green, but what he sees before him is black. "If they're talking about reclamation, they should get the river back to its original color."

Painters pay attention to the color. What kind of river do other old friends of the Tamsui hope to see return?

The elderly owner of a seafood store near Tamsui's Lungshan Temple puts it this way: "Twenty or more years ago, fish and shrimp from the Tamsui were famous far and wide for their flavor and freshness. Now the stuff in the stores all comes from offshore or down south, and it doesn't taste as good.

"So if they can catch fresh fish and shrimp there again, then I'll say there's no more problem."

A passenger on the ferryboat at Pali points to the slimy water and remarks: "A river's like the human body; it needs metabolic action. If a person doesn't go to the bathroom for a few days, he'll feel uncomfortable. This stuff just sits there on the bottom, so naturally the river stinks." He thinks that reclamation should first mean eliminating the odor.

Architect Li Ch'ien-lang has lived all his life near the Tamsui and has a deep feeling for the river. He believes that the most important thing is concepts. "People have got to understand that a river is a living thing, not a sewer! Until we learn the concept of returning to Nature's bounty what we take from it, reclamation will be nothing more than prolonging a dying flame."

A middle-aged Tamsui native looks at the visitors crowding the river's banks on a holiday and remarks: "The people here used to run into Taipei on weekends; now it's the other way round. There are all kinds of places they could go to along the river without bringing their noise and exhaust fumes here."

Lin Heng-tao, an elderly historian, agrees. In his view, the banks of the Tamsui contain countless relics from an earlier age. "If they were made use of properly, they could increase the Tamsui's tourist value and help young people appreciate our intimate historical ties with the river."

If the river heard all this, it would naturally be pleased. But are people ready to act? The river is quietly waiting.

[Picture Caption]

The Tamsui at sunset is clothed in gold. Shouldn't this river be treasured?

The Tamsui of an earlier time was broad and deep, and many boats plied i ts water. (photo courtesy of Liu Huan-yueh)

Mouth of the Tamsui by Cheng Shan-hsi. (photo courtesy of Nature magazine)

Ch'en Ying-huei's A Tamsui Scene (photo courtesy of Nature magazine)

When will the clear, blue waters return? This picture was taken on the Tamsui's upper reaches.

Man's close relationship to the river is illustrated in this clothes washing scene. (photo courtesy of Liu Huan-yueh )

"When can we get away from this dirty, dark place?" Can an answer be found to their problem? (cartoon courtesy of the Environmental Quality Foundation)

Kuanyin Mountain and the blue sky are set off against a river full of trash.

Tough Formosan kandelia hold on in the muck waiting for a better day.

Can one be indifferent toward heaps of trash? Pictured is an art group's performance in front of the Taipei Museum of Fine Arts. (photo by Arthur Jeng)

The response to the movement "I support cleaning up the Tamsui" was enthusiastic. (photo by Chung Yung-ho)

The close interrelationship of Taipei and the Tamsui is apparent from this overview.

 

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