無論是遊訪花蓮的旅客或是在地的居民,對於太魯閣和七星潭絕對不會陌生。由入口的東西橫貫公路牌樓一路往內,歷經砂卡礑步道、長春祠、布落灣,穿過燕子口、九曲洞、慈母橋,而達天祥,這些地名即使如回來兩年的我也如數家珍。

  七星潭也不例外,從這一端到那一端,來來回回走過無數次,即使近海,久了也不足為奇。每當清晨或深夜人煙稀少時,在那聆聽海聲也是一種享受;一旦太陽升起,熙熙攘攘地,這段海岸便不知怎的俗氣了些。

  我很喜歡閱讀O’Rip的雙月刊,無論是攝影或是文字敘述,都有一種活在當下的美,和歷史人文的雅。最新一期的O’Rip主題是新城與秀林,七星潭也是此次介紹景點之一。翻閱時,看到一張雙面的手繪地圖,很有意思,畢竟任何拋棄科技回歸純樸手工的事物都令我臣服。讀了幾頁,發現一些從未聽聞的景點,尤其是看到一位老外在七星潭開了一間手工Pizza店,這就勾起我的興趣了。

  「夏太熱」是這一位老外Terry為自己取的中文名稱,源自於他的姓氏Sommers與Summer音似,便以夏為名。喜於涉獵花蓮美食的我,不可能錯過這間手工Pizza店,尤其是對於一位遠渡重洋落腳異鄉者如他,我非常有興趣認識。

  夏季的開放時間是星期五、六、日下午至晚上,於是和女友挑了星期五晚上的空檔欲前往用餐。我事先撥了幾次電話,想詢問確切的用餐時間,卻無人接聽。後來決意依原訂計畫,按照手繪地圖那象徵大過於實際的指引,一路殺到七星潭碰碰運氣。

  停好車,我開始尋找路標,果然在不遠處就看到夏太熱的木製路標。實際上也並不遠,走不幾步路就看到店的招牌。當時Terry正站在幾桶油漆旁,手持著畫筆,在一面紅磚牆上面作畫。他以藍為基底,點了一個混雜黃色、紅色和白色的碎花也似的大圓形。

  我等待和Terry聊天的兩位客人離去後,上前以英文攀談。他先是訝異,隨即笑開來了。

  後來他解釋說,他想要把天未破曉時,佇立在海岸眺望遠方天空,曙光乍現的那一刻,透過畫筆重新呈現。他又笑說,如果畫作不幸失敗的話,點兩個大眼睛,一個紅鼻子和一抹誇張的笑容,就沒有人會知道這是一幅失敗的畫作了。聽罷,我也大笑。

  夏太熱的現址是古意盎然的舊式建築,聽說是花蓮早期的建築之一,中間一塊大空地,就是餐廳本身,既是廚房,也是客人用餐的地方。說是廚房,不過就是幾張長方桌子架著,草棚子加塑膠布搭著,和一個傳統吃木頭的烤爐。幾張舊的小學課桌椅擺這,幾張長椅擺那,就成了餐廳,很隨性,也很愜意,非常適合在花蓮海邊的氛圍。

  所有Pizza的食材都是以蔬果為主,沒有肉,對於吃素的人特別適合。墨西哥和青醬有洋蔥,如果不吃洋蔥的話,就可以點義大利醬的口味。尺寸分大、小兩種。對我而言,小的尺寸只是嚐鮮,大的尺寸才勉強能飽。

  我們點了兩份Pizza,一份大的義式風味,一份小的墨西哥口味。比薩的餅皮是現點現擀,塗上醬汁,撒點配料,立刻送入旁邊的烤箱,烤好了就直接端上。第一份的餅皮偏軟,有點出乎意料,需要捲起來吃比較方便。餅皮有馥郁的麥子香味,搭配蕃茄和青菜的清爽甘甜,咀嚼起來很舒服,沒有負擔。

  一份大份的Pizza兩人分食,對我而言的確少了些,吃完以後還是很餓,於是點了第二份。咬了一口墨西哥口味的Pizza,才知道原來指的是墨西哥的Chili,味道很香,很好吃,而且有挑起一些過去在美國留學的記憶。

  其實菜單還包括了墨西哥捲餅,不過不想一次嚐盡所有口味,留下一些缺憾,以便日後再訪。

  和Terry閒聊之際,他提到左近有一位台灣的中年男子,每次就愛嚇他,而且每天都要嚇他那麼一次。做事的時候嚇他、做菜的時候嚇他、繪畫的時候嚇他,甚至連他拿電鋸做木工的時候,也不知好歹的嚇他。我們都不太確定那人究竟在想什麼,不過想必每天的這個時候,是那位中年男子最期盼的時刻吧。

  Terry有一台自行車,似乎頗有年歲,因為某些零件壞損,現在正處於罷工狀態。他在市區找了幾家自行車行,想問問有沒有零件可以修理,別人卻只是一味勸他買台新的,汰換舊的。Terry認為他們不懂,不懂他的生活哲學和對於物件的態度。

  過去零件都是分開的,壞了哪個就換哪個;現在的零件都是一體,壞了一處就必須整個換新,Terry感嘆的說。

  我很喜歡他的生活觀,樸實一如許許多多移居花蓮的人們,對於物質的愛護和珍惜;在物慾享受掛帥的生活潮流裡,選擇了最貼近自然純樸的方式,走過每一個日子。

  是什麼樣的理由會讓一個老外落腳在離家鄉千里之遙的台灣花蓮,並且一待就是八年?我希望下次再去,能夠有機會和他深談,並且一面享受依然期待的墨西哥捲餅。


地址:花蓮縣新城鄉大漢村七星潭七星街29號
夏太熱披薩

“Hot Summer”

Whether it be tourists visiting Hualien or local residents, everyone should be familiar of Taroko Gorge and Chisingtan. From the memorial archway of East-West Cross-Island highway located at the foot of the entrance, passing by Shakadang Trail, Ever Srping Shrine, Buluowan, through Swallow’s Grotto, Tunnel of Nine Turns, Cihmu Bridge, and finally arrives at Tiansiang, these names are familiar even to me, an overseas Taiwanese who only resided in Hualien for no more than two years.

Chisingtan is no exception. From this end to that end, I have walked along its shoreline countless times, and even though it is a beach (with the connotation of fun and excitement), after a while the attraction fades. Listening to the waves crushing against the rocky shoreline at dawn or late at night is a luxurious leisure, and yet once the sun is up and the crowds approach, it somehow loses its enchanting vibe.

Before I continue any further, I must confess my love for O’Rip’s bimonthly, because the photography, art design and content communicate a sense of beauty of living in the present, and reveals the history and culture behind the scenes of Hualien-Taitung.

The latest issue of O’Rip introduced Sincheng and Sioulin, which included both Taroko and Chisingtan in their scenic spots. I saw a hand-drawn double-paged map few pages in, which was fascinating, since anything that abandons technology and reverts back to simplistic crafts indulges me. As I read further, I began to discover locations I had never heard or seen before, especially reading a story about a foreigner residing in Hualien and opened a pizzeria; it was something I had to see for myself.

“Hot Summer” is the name of Terry’s pizzeria. The idea of “summer” originated from his last name, Sommers, due to their approximation in pronunciation. For a cuisine explorer such as I, it was impossible for me to miss this handmade pizzeria, particularly when the owner came from a land across the ocean.

The business hour of Hot Summer during summer season is from afternoon till nighttime Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so my girlfriend and I picked a Friday night to dine at Hot Summer. I called several times before we depart, in an attempt to enquire the exact business hours, but no one answered. We decided to stick with our original plan, following the guidance of the hand-drawn map that was more symbolic than specific, and drive all the way to Chisingtan and try our luck.

Once the car was parked, I began to search for signs, and it did not take me far to find a wooden sign pointing towards Hot Summer. It wasn’t far, just few steps up a narrow street, and Terry was right there. He was standing next to few buckets of paint, and with a paint brush in his hand. Apparently he was painting on a red brick wall on the side of a building. With blue as base, he painted a huge circle composed of many small dots of yellow, white and red.

I waited for two of Terry’s guests who he was chatting with to depart, and then approached him with English. He was surprised at first, but soon smiled.

Terry later explained that the painting was an attempt for him to recreate the break of dawn he witnessed on the shoreline staring into the distant sky. If the painting fails, by adding two big eyes, one red nose and a huge smile, and no one will ever know about the failure, he added with a grin. I had to admit, I loved his humor.

The current location of Hot Summer is an old architecture, from what I had heard, it is one of the earliest buildings in the history of Hualien settlement (difficult to confirm). A quad in the middle is the restaurant itself. The kitchen is composed of a traditional oven that feeds on wood, pieced by few rectangular desks, with a canopy of grass and plastic roof overhead. Few student desks and chairs here, some benches there, with several tables scattered around, and there goes the dining area for customers. Everything here is casual, and cozy as well, a perfect fit with the ambiance of Hualien seaside.

Pizza ingredients are vegetables only, no meat; which suit vegetarians very well, as well as those meat eaters who want to take a break from their regular diet and refresh themselves with something light and refreshing. For those who do not eat onions or garlic, Italian sauce is the way to go. For those who do not mind, Mexican and pesto flavors are also great choices. There are two sizes, large and small. To me personally, small is only for tasting, since large barely fed me.

We ordered two pizzas, one large Italian style and one small Mexican style. Hot Summer’s pizza is handmade on order, begins with rolling the dough, then the sauce, ingredients, and finally sprinkled with cheese and straight into the oven. The first pizza we had was a little soft, which was unexpected to me. It was easier to eat folded or rolled. The crust tasted with strong wheat aroma, in combination with the natural sweetness of sliced tomatoes and vegetables, it was healthy and satisfying to the taste buds.

A large pizza shared by two was definitely not enough, so we ordered another small. A bite into the Mexican style pizza, did I realize that the Mexican style was actually referring to the Mexican chili. It tasted great and nostalgic as well, reminding me of my years back in the states, indulging myself in Mexican cuisines with friends.

Although the menu included Mexican burrito, I didn’t feel like trying out everything in my first visit here. Leaving some regrets would encourage further visits!

When chatting with Terry, he mentioned of a middle aged Taiwanese male who loved to frighten him, and as frequent as every day. That Taiwanese male scared him while he was working, while he was cooking, while he was painting, even while he was operating an electric saw. We never understood the true motive behind his behavior, but we both agreed that this might just be the highlight of his day.

Terry has a bicycle that is of age. It is currently out of commission, due to damaged parts. He visited several bicycle shops in town, asking for spare parts to fix his bike, and in return, they all told him to simply buy a new one and retire the old. Terry explained to me that they never tried to understand nor respect his life philosophy and his attitudes towards materials.

In the past, there are many little parts on bicycles that you can change when broken; now they become one integrated part, so when it is broken, you are forced to change the entire part. Terry sighed.

I like his take on life, as genuine and simplistic as many others who migrated to Hualien, particularly in their love and cherish of things around them; in the era dominated by materialism, they have selected a life style that is contrary to the mainstream, befriending nature, in their each waking day.

What kind of reasons would motivate a foreigner from distant continent to reside in Hualien, Taiwan, for as long as eight years? I have a particular interests in these vagrant souls, hence I wish next time when I visit, I would have to pleasure to have another conversation with him, over a burrito, of course.

    全站熱搜

    Terrestrial81 發表在 痞客邦 留言(0) 人氣()