你想去外邊?

Date: 1/17/12

Location: 澳門 [Macau]

One of the days in Hong Kong we spent in the nearby Special Administrative Region of Macau. For those who don’t know, Macau was Asia’s first and last European colony [or so I’ve read] and it was owned by the Portuguese. The two national languages are Cantonese and Portuguese and the colonial influence is heavy. It’s famous for being the Las Vegas of Asia housing a billion casinos and drawing neighboring Hong Kong…ers every weekend. It’s an hour away from Hong Kong by ferry and it’s pretty much the closest you can get to being in Europe while you’re in Hong Kong. Barring a flight to Intramuros in Manila >_>

A lot of Macau can be described by the word “picturesque” and a good number of other people happen to think so too. I saw a whole bunch of people whipping out their dSLRs and for good reason. Some of the little plazas were just perfect, especially in the afternoon light. Here was a couple taking their wedding photos and it was beautiful. I don’t care what anyone thinks, it was worth the creeper shot.

Anyway, Julia, Andrea, and I took a bus to the historical center of Macao and started walking through the place. We climbed up fortresses. We walked through markets decked out for Chinese New Year. Things were picturesque and distinctly Iberian. I don’t know what it is about Spanish and Portuguese colonies, but this place was like an echo of Iberia except with Chinese people. What struck me most was that it even smelled like Spain. It made me miss Sevilla. Ahoo.

It’s also the first time I’ve been inside a cathedral in a while, barring last summer’s World Carillon Congress in Michigan, I haven’t seen so many Christian facilities since I was in Europe. It was refreshing after all the temples and orientalism to see something from the West.

But yeah. Macau really got the split right. It’s all of the familiar Western sensibilities of a European town with the exotic vibe of the East. Despite all the culturally confused moments that were had, I was walking through the streets and couldn’t help but think, “well I guess it’s true then. Mixes really are the most attractive ones.” Hurr hurr. Speaking of which, I’m jealous of colonial residents’ ability with languages. This kid on the bus [I think he was straight-up European] was talking in English on his phone for a bit and then he bust out in Portuguese. And then proceeded to speak in Cantonese. A vague sense of inadequacy washed over me. What am I doing with my life? lol -_-

And after making that resounding concrusion, it was time to eat. Macau is famous for a handful of things food-wise. They have the completely Portuguese pasteis de nata [I had the original, called pasteis de Belem, when I was in Portugal]. And some sort of almond floury cookie thing that is Macanese and is basically Filipino polvoron but not as good :[. And then there was more Portuguese with bacalhao [which I also had in Portugal] and rice with some beer brewed in Macao. The beer was actually really drinkable and light. Good for you, Macao. Good for you. Oh! And how could I forget the jerky? So much jerky. There was one street where every other vendor had sheets upon sheets of seasoned beef and pork jerkies for sale and they were ridiculo-delicious. If I could pick a snack to eat for the rest of my life, Macao jerky would def be a top contender. The best part was probably that all the vendors gave out free samples and since there were so many of them, you could walk down the street and have all the different kinds without having to pay a single pataca. And then the street ended in the beautiful structure that is the featured pic for this post. Just so much greatness, Macao.

Apart from the food, the last thing we had to do in Macao was blow money at its casinos, durr. I came out at a $35 loss… In HK dollars aka I lost $3 US. Not bad. I’m proud of my self-control.

PS. What is a travelator.

~ ~

As a closing note, here’s some pics of the stuff I was able to eat in Hong Kong. I was lucky enough to have Cantonese friends show me the ropes about what to eat ever since like fourth grade, so navigating the menus wasn’t too hard. Also, anything I’ve eaten in Hong Kong beats the pants off every take-out menu item I’ve ever had in America. But that’s a matter of course. The flavors here are fresh even at the $3 noodle places and that’s commendable. Mad props, Hong Kong.

~ ~

P.P.S: The internet at this Bangkok hostel is shit so I can’t really upload photos too much. I’ll just pre-write the Thailand entries and post when I get to the Philippines, I suppose. Sorry for the brief hiatus, but stay tuned for more of the Fantastic Asia Adventure Trek Journey!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: