Friday, January 05, 2007

My Last Day - Macau!

My passport is pretty well stamped up! I got a stamp upon leaving Hong Kong and I got another one upon entering another Chinese SAR (Special Administrative Region), Macau. China originally leased the land to the Portuguese, and the locals and the Portuguese got rich through trade. But then Hong Kong took over as the primary trade center, and Macau decided to make money by legalizing gambling! Portugal returned the island back to China in the 1970s, but there are still many signs of the hundreds of years of Portuguese influence. Churches, custards, language, and inter-racial children.

When I first arrived in Hong Kong, I thought it was interesting, and rather cumbersome, that everything came in three languages - Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Every announcement on the MTR (subway) comes in threes. In Macau, throw Portuguese in the mix! Actually, you could probably take Mandarin out, so it's still three languages. But still.

I spent the whole day walking. Memo to you - if you ever arrive at the ferry terminal in Macau and think that downtown is not that far away, think again. It's not that far away, but when you spend the whole day walking, there's no point to walk all that way in a haze of car exhaust. Especially if you plan on walking up the hill to the Guia lighthouse and fortress.

Oh, and do be careful if you ever go to Macau. Where there are sidewalks, they are no more than a foot wide. I saw schoolchildren walking along this windy thoroughfare, presumably returning to classes after their lunch break, with nothing but a yellow painted line protecting Macau's future. But maybe you'll come for the gambling. I never did check out a casino, but whatever.

To the pictures!

I met up with my friends for one last dinner in Hong Kong, had "beggar's chicken", which is a whole chicken baked in a mud shell. My friend and I got to break the shell with a giant mallet and had our picture taken. So touristy! Fantastic! Then we went for foot massages. Slightly sketchy, but totally awesome after a long day of walking. Not gonna lie, though, it fucking hurt.

On that note, I'm coming home!!! Well, first, a pit stop in LA!

If you're interested, I will eventually finish updating my blog. So do keep checking back... :)

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