Sat, Jun 03, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Beware the river water
別吞下河水

A “flag grabber” crouches in the bow of a dragon boat during a race along the Keelung River in Taipei on June 2, 2014.
龍舟賽中一位奪旗手伏在船首,攝於二○一四年六月二日台北基隆河。

Photo: Perry Svensson, Taipei Times
照片:台北時報記者蘇沛攝

When I was training, many years ago, on a dragon boat team, the coach warned us not to swallow the water of the Keelung River.

The problem wasn’t so much that you might drink the stuff. Nor was it a problem of falling in and being submerged and saturated head to toe, or the fact that water would slosh over the side and into the boat and soak your feet. The real problem was that when you plunged your oar into the river, pulled the oar toward you to sustain the forward momentum of the boat, then drew the blade of the oar skyward out of the water and thrust it forward in preparation for the next cycle, the river water would splash up and spatter your face.

You didn’t need to have been drenched, you didn’t need to have been doused. Just the tiny droplets of water spraying onto your face and your mouth would be enough to cause you to accidentally ingest some water.

That was almost two decades ago. Back then, it was definitely not advisable to swallow the river water; you might easily contract a stomach bug by doing so.

I’ve heard that the river has been cleaned up since. It’s much safer now should you accidentally ingest some river water. But I still wouldn’t recommend drinking it.

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

多年前我參加划龍舟訓練時,教練警告我們別吞下基隆河的水。

這並不是說有誰會刻意去喝河水,也不是指萬一掉進水裡全身泡水、或水潑進船把腳打濕,可能會喝到水。問題在於,只要你把槳插入水中,再把槳提起以保持船向前的勢頭,然後把槳抽出水面提到空中,再用力推向前以準備下一回合動作的時候,河水就會飛濺到你臉上。

你不須全身濕透,也不須被潑濕。光是飛濺到臉上和嘴上的小水滴,就有可能讓你不小心吞到河水。

這幾乎已是二十年前的事了。那時,避免吞下河水是絕對正確的忠告。在那年代若你把河水吞進肚裡會很容易得病。

聽說在那之後基隆河已經乾淨多了。如今你若不小心吞進河水也安全多了。但是我還是不建議你喝這河水。

(台北時報編譯林俐凱譯)

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