照片的故事之一

 

       這張照片的小女孩的名字是「Sinsela」,她是Boldoo 跟Xishgee這一對夫婦的女兒。我們每天都要在太陽下山之前尋找適合扎營的地方。根據當地蒙古人的建議,我們要住在跟接近當地人的房子或蒙古包,但又不能太靠近。原因是每戶人家都有養狗,而在蒙古的狗不是寵物,是守衛。狗狗可能會因為這樣叫一個晚上,會無法入眠。

       我們剛好看到路邊有一個大房子,旁邊的草坪感覺非常適合露營。剛好遠方有四個男子騎著馬從門口出來,等到他們越來越接近時,我們跟他們打過招呼後,就指著房子,然後比著睡覺的樣子,用比手畫腳的方式詢問我們可不可以在房子附近扎營。他們請我們直接到他們的房子裡。但我們不敢擅自靠近,我實在太害怕他們家的狗會跑出來咬我們。

       正開始要準備搭帳篷的時候,我們注意到一個帶著孩子的年輕媽媽,跟一位身材中等、五官深邃的男士從房子的側邊緩緩地走出來,他們指著屋子的另一側,我們猜測他們的意思是請我們到裡面搭帳篷。我們牽著我們的單車緩緩地向屋子的另一側走去。

       原來在房子後方,有一個蒙古包。他們示意我們把帳篷搭在蒙古包旁。後來男主人回來了,原來就是我們剛剛遇到騎馬的男子其中之一。他來邀請我們跟他們一起吃晚餐。

       蒙古包的格局是,一進去的右手邊是廚房,右後方是床。中間後方通常可能是電視、照片、或是掛著騎馬的獎牌。中間是火爐跟煙囪,左邊是客人坐的位子。要從左邊到右邊,必須繞過整個蒙古包,不可從中間的火爐穿過通通常一進到蒙古包裡面,女主人會先遞上蒙古奶茶還有小麵包給客人。幾乎每戶人家都會有這種麵包,口味是甜的、偏乾硬,易保存也跟微鹹的奶茶很搭。在蒙古吃飯是所有人會聚在一起,隨地坐在地上一起吃。第一次晚上,我們其實不知道除了我們在蒙古包裡其他人之間確切的關係。加上語言不通而且網速慢無法用Google 翻譯的關係,我們能彼此了解的很有限。但是我們離開首都烏蘭巴托後,最棒的一餐。蒙古包裡面非常的溫暖,我們完全感受不到外面的大風沙跟夜晚驟降的溫度。

      隔天一早,他們就開始餵食和幫每一隻馬梳毛。我們拿出相機,解釋著我們是攝影師,想要幫他們照相。大家看到相機都很開心、每個人都很大方的站在相機前展現他們最自信最驕傲的樣子。這是我最喜歡蒙古人的地方。馬仍佔蒙古人生活很重要的一部分,蒙古人跟馬之間有種特殊的連結,似乎他們天生就屬於在馬背上。蒙古的天空是我看過最乾淨、最沒有邊際、最多藍天跟白雲的天空。無邊無際的天空、一望無際的草原跟在馬背上意氣風發的他們,這就是我看到的真實的蒙古樣貌。

       這張照片是我最喜歡的作品之一,我在蒙古包裡面,跟站在蒙古包外的Sinsela 。在這一個她看著我、我也看著她的瞬間。她今天穿得特別漂亮,因為要跟爸爸媽媽出門。她帶著粉紅色滾花的帽子跟有金色花朵在底邊的紫色蒙古傳統服飾。特別是在藍色的天空跟綠色草原的背景下,陽光斜照著門口形成乾淨的光影對比,橘紅藍綠的顏色都變得好有生氣。這一幕就是我心中那個最純真、最友善、最多彩的蒙古的樣子。

       雖然我總覺得我獲得的遠比起我能給還要多,我還是很感謝我能用幫他們拍照的方式來回報他們幾天的招待。我還深刻的學到一件事就是人與人之間的連結是可以超越語言不同的困難的,只要雙方都有心、努力的要了解彼此。

What is the purpose of Travel?

People often ask us questions like how can we afford travel? Why didn't we book our journey from tour company, choosing riding the bikes across Mongolia instead? Why we didn't stay at hotel but camping in the public park near Metro Station, pavilion, and elementary school in Taiwan? Why we rent the car driving around Europe instead of riding the train and staying at hotel. Why we didn't go to the restaurant but buying groceries from supermarket and cooking ourselves every meal?

For us, travel is an adventure. It is a way of life. We sell and give up everything we can in order to travel. We live in a very little budget. We have to eat lots of instant ramen and camp for free in order to keep this journey going forward. We want to experience the culture in depth. We want to see the place that tourists wouldn't see. We want to go the farmers market where locals buy their food. We want to sit down and share meal and drink with local people. We want to see the truth, the whole picture of the country.

Travel is not all about pleasure. Mostly it is uncomfortable. We put ourselves into a new environment with different culture and people don't share same language with us. We have to step out of our comfort zone, giving up our ego to learn from what we have seen and what we have experienced. We have to deal with fear, insecure, doubt, physical exhaustion, frustration, fury, tears, feeling betrayed, and discouraged. Sometimes, it is hard to not letting others change who we are when we were taken advantage of. It is painful to look back and reflect on our ignorance and prejudice. We grow as a better person by going through the process of reflecting the past with different insights. Travel is the process of humbling and healing. We grow as we travel.

We are not running away from our life or responsibility. On the contrary, we are running into life. We are trying our best to share our experiences, acknowledging that we are the citizens of the world, and spreading the positivity to make this world a little bit better.