This weekend Tawn and I flew to Macau for a week getaway. While the getaway was planned almost six months in advance, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. With the ongoing political troubles in Krungthep, a week away was well called-for.
This is the first time I’ve been to Macau and the only reason we flew there was because the tickets were one-third the price of tickets to Hong Kong. We spent one night and the better part of a day exploring this Special Administrative Region of China. The visits to the Venetian and the Four Seasons didn’t inspire me – I’m not a gambler and needn’t fly three hours to go to a mall.
Tawn, however, did enjoy some time browsing the shops at the Four Seasons, coming away with several pages of notes on looks, styles, and outfits that interested him. Meanwhile, I sat at the espresso bar and worked, which was a good change of pace from working in my office.
While waiting to order a latte, I observed the lady in line in front of me. She seemed very blurred for eleven in the morning. As she went to pay for her drink, she fumbled with her wallet and at least a hundred HK$1,000 bills fell out (about US$13,300). She didn’t have anything smaller with which to pay for her coffee. Must have been up all night and those were her winnings. She scraped them together and stuffed them back into her wallet.
After the shopping we headed into the old city, which has a lot of European charm. Senado Square and the old post office, above, are very pretty from an architectural standpoint but the shops could have been in any mall or shopping district most anywhere in the world. The further you travel, it seems, the closer you are to feeling at home.
We headed into the side streets and alleys, though, peeling away from the tourist track and peering into the small shops and houses where everyday life takes place.
Narrow streets with tall buildings lining them curved and snaked down the sides of the hills. Even though it was a very humid day a nice breeze cut down these manmade canyons, making the weather quite tolerable.
Many of the buildings had a faded glory to them, beautiful colors standing out against otherwise drab facades.
Modern buildings with very utilitarian design stood shoulder-to-shoulder with more elegant European architecture. Sometimes as you walked along the street, it seemed as though you were going from Asia to Europe and back again, all in the course of a dozen buildings.
Other areas, mostly those around churches and other tourist attractions, were very nicely done up with fresh paint and flowers. Interestingly, though, there were very few tourists in most of these areas and the stroll was quite pleasant.
The payoff to our wanderings: the illustrious Portuguese Egg Tart. Flaky pastry with yolky egg custard with a lightly burned top. Perfection in three bites.