Macau

Apr 25, 2007 in China 2007

Macau

I got a ferry to Macau. As I boarded at the Kowloon ferry terminal, I noticed a sign saying “Dumb walkway swaying. Passengers up-and-down be careful”. Normally I think it’s a bit churlish for foreigners to mock the “Chinglish” which is quite common in these parts. After all, our languages are radically different, and it’s just nice for English-speakers to have signs approximately understandable, especially when most of them don’t speak a word of any Chinese language. But this one was a classic of the genre and I liked the implication that the walkway had its very own obstinate personality, swaying despite clear instructions not to.

It was a wet squally day, but I was still disappointed that there was no deck to go out and stand on as we powered across the Pearl River Delta. We docked at Macau just after midday, and it began to rain as I walked towards the centre. Soon it was wildly torrential downpour, and as I took refuge in the doorway of a megacasino I chatted to two passing Bangladeshi students visiting from Shenzhen.

Eventually the rain eased off, and I headed for the Fortaleza da Guia, a Portuguese fortress on the highest point in the city. I’d imagined that Macau would be quite similar to Hong Kong but it had an incredibly different feel to it. The sky looked angry and the city looked threatening. The number of colossal tower blocks was staggering, and most of them looked to me like they might crumble and fall at any moment.