Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A day in Macau

To be fair to Macau it was more than just a day there, I was probably there for around 26 hours. And though it was just a short stay there I have to say that I really loved it. Macau is different things to different people. For some it's a gambling mecca, (Macau takes in more revenue than Las Vegas), others a food mecca (mixing Cantonese, Portuguese, and various former Portuguese colonies from the likes of Africa and SE Asia the food here can be traditional or fusion blends unique to only Macau) and also a classical European architecture mecca (the old villages still are as they have been for many years even with all the newer flashy casinos and high-rises that come with). Yes Macau truly is a mecca of many sorts which, taken it's geographical size, is quite impressive.

Macau is connected with mainland china but also includes and island of Taipa and Coloane cities, which are connected by bridges and a causeway. Because it is surrounded nearly all by water the most popular and convenient way to get in and out of Macau is by ferry. The problem for someone unaware of how to fully get there (read: me) is that there are a few different ferry companies and many different travel companies also selling tickets for these ferry companies. I just bought the first ticket I saw, thinking there would only be one ferry, and my ticket was very cheap but it left with an hour and a half to wait for the ferry. I then saw all the other companies and learned that about 3 other ships would take off before mine. whoops. well, live and learn.

I didn't spend any time in the casinos so I can't really talk too much about them here but I did get a good feel of the old towns as the majority of my time was spent walking and eating in them.

While waiting for my ferry to depart I had some time to kill and got hungry. Every so called restaurant in the plaza was packed and the only two places I didn't have to wait for KFC and McD's. McDonalds had this sandwich that I had never seen before on special so I thought I'd try. Not sure if you can read the writing here but it mentions how It's a real taste of Americana. There was other America propaganda on the tray paper as well. I also got a sweet potato pie as I've never seen that in the US. Both were pretty tasty in all fairness, though not sure I ever really need to get them again.

African Chicken. A Macanese invention of the best kind. Mixing african and asian herbs and spices and throwing in some curry for good measure, this dish is one of the classic Macanese specialties and I fully understand why.

St. Dominic's Church, a beautiful exhibit of the European architecture in Macau.

Buildings just outside of Largo de Senado (senate square). The color and design really appealed to me and are completely different than anything you'd find on mainalnd.

Ruins of St. Paul's. "Originally theCathedral of St. Paul, a 17th century Portuguese cathedral in Macau dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle. Today, the ruins are one of Macau's most famous landmarks. In 2005, the Ruins of St. Paul were officially enlisted as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau." (thanks wikipedia! read more here Htttp://'s )

Up close (and blurry)

The backside of the front facade.

The crypts of the Jesuits who established and maintained the Cathedral.

bones in the crypt

more bones

some beautiful (in color not necessarily religious theme) pictures in the museum at the ruins.

One of my favorite snacks when I lived in NYC was Malaysian beef jerky. Macau is also know for this style as well, however they don't call it Malaysian. In doing a little research I found out that they are both actually all from China originally and it is called bakkwa (

An old colonial style building at night.

All I really saw of the casinos. Though the picture doesn't do it justice. The light shows outside were quite spectacular.

Old Coloane Village's port.

An alley leading up to the Chapel of St Francis.

The Chapel of St Francis from up front.

Chapel of St Francis

Inside the Chapel of St Francis. I really like the sky painted pulpit area.

I also liked the painted wall in this room. Very colorful.

An alley in Coloane Village.

Another alley with beautiful old and colorful houses.

And another alley, this one with more focus on the roofs.

more alleys, notice a trend. I just found it all so beautiful.

Pastel de nata, or egg tart. I used to always get these at dim sum and thought they were chinese then year ago I found them in Portugal. The Chinese say they invented it but history shows that they originated in Portugal. Wherever they are from, they are delicious!

A temple in Old Taipa. I liked how it contrasted in design with the blue building next to it.

The city lights of Macau from the bus heading to the ferry port

On the ferry ride home they sat me in this seat. Notice how there is only one seat all by itself, heaven forbids the white man mixes with the chinese :)

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