Kinmen County Government chartered(1) the ocean liner(2) "Kinmen Express", on May 28 to bring 329 Kinmenese who reside in Taiwan to Kinmen for the Dragon Boat Festival. After the holiday on May 31st, the boat again took the same folks back to Taichung. Needless to say, every one was deeply touched by the considerate service.
Director-general of Kinmen County Transportation and Tourism Bureau Lin Zhengcha said, since the Duanwu Festival happened to be a four-day weekend, the county government specifically chose to charter "Kinmen Express" to ship people back to their hometown. It was also a solution for the holiday busy air traffic as well as an alternative to help Kinmenese living in Taiwan get home to celebrate the traditional occasion with their families.
The boat left Taichung Harbor at 10:40pm on the 27th and cruised(3) on the ocean for over nine hours. At 7:50am on the 28th, it eased into Liaoluo Harbor and docked. Magistrate Li and Director-General Lin were at the harbor to greet the town folks.
The county government shouldered(4) most of the cost to charter the boat. One-way ticket for adults was NT$500 and NT$300 for students, senior citizens and handicapped persons. Compared with flying, which costs NT$2,000 per person, the rates were much cheaper. As a consequence, all four hundred seats on the boat were booked and only eight people failed to show up.
Although the boat ride happened to coincide with(5) a frontal(6) passage and the waves reaching level 9 in the Taiwan Strait, besides a few people who got seasick, the great majority of the passengers were excited to be going home by sea. Those who were interviewed expressed their gratitude to the county government for chartering the boat. Since the tickets were so inexpensive. People who made the trip with their entire families were able to save a significant amount of money. Everyone was touched by the thoughtfulness and generosity.
Chairman of Taoyuan County Kinmen People's Association, Yang Ronghuan, also took the boat to return to his hometown for the holiday. He said it had been over three decades since the last time he had traveled home on a ship. The boat ride with his family particularly reminded him of his trip by sea to Taiwan to pursue a career. He was happy and thanked the county government for their concern about Kinmenese living in Taiwan.
Among the passengers there were also six cyclists(7) from Taiwan. They were friends with some Kinmen folks and had spent some time in Kinmen before. When they learned about the Daunwu chartered boat, they booked the seats with their Kinmen friends right away to revisit Kinmen and relive old memories. For them, looking at Liaoluo Bay and the Kinmen Island from the ocean was a novel(8) experience.
To make sure they could spend the holiday at home, some folks had made plans to take the chartered boat much earlier. Most people had the same reaction to the county government's effort. Everyone gave the thumbs-up(9) and said, "Well done!"
"Kinmen Express" set out from Liaoluo Harbor at 2:00pm on May 31, the last day of the Duanwu holiday and arrived at Taichung Harbor between 10 and 11pm the same day. Shuttle buses took people to their destinations so that everyone could make it to work or school the next morning.
■2. liner-(n)此指定期開航的班輪；而ocean liner指的是航程較長的遠洋客輪。
■5. to coincide with-動詞片語，與…一致。
■6. frontal-(n)鋒面；frontal passage為名詞片語，指鋒面過境。