Monday, June 03, 2002

The Portuguese Port

The Portuguese had a colony in Macau. I don't know when that started, but it ended in 1999. We went on Sunday to have a look. The ferry from Hong Kong to Macau takes exactly 1 hour. We were required by Immigration to leave Hong Kong and re-enter to activate our visas so that we would be here and able to work. Wishing to end our time as Tourists and begin as legal residents, we sat for sometime on Sunday afternoon trying to decide if we wished to go to China or to Macau. We finally settled on Macau. Great Choice!

The city is like a Chinese New Orleans. Lots of that atmosphere, but with a Chinese twist. The old cathedrals, government buildings and residences were grand and beautiful. It is a much slower and somewhat cheaper pace than Hong Kong. The food was good, and the whole 24 hours was relaxing. We ate a type of fresh yogurt (steamed milk) in a little cafe there on the plaza. We finally found a noodle shop and ate all we could there. We had tried in the steamed milk shop to order noodles, but the noodle part of the menu was not in English. Bess remembered how to say I am a vegetarian in Chinese, so tried it on the waitress. The waitress thought that Bess's words; "wo sha chee se" expressed the desire for a cheese sandwich. We finally convinced her that this was not the case. Then we found that the people at the next table spoke English, so we asked them to convey to the waitress that we were vegetarians. This brought shocked expressions all around and the waitresses never came near our table again. The man who had translated for us, asked me I was sure that I wanted to say that I ate no meat. I assured him that I did. He said that I did not in any way look like a vegetarian. What, I asked him, did vegetarians look like? He suggested that they usually are "slim". At that point, we three fleshy vegetarians moved on to another restaurant for noodles.

On the ferry I had tried to ask for food. "I would like to eat", sounded to the waiter like "I'd like tea". I did not know that it sounded like that until he asked if I wanted milk and sugar with my tea. No, not tea, I want to EAT. Somehow this produced cigarettes. I never did get anything to eat on the boat. The taxi driver was glad to meet my daughter and wife. I asked concerning his wife. The sign language suggested that she was asleep. I mentioned it was a bit late in the day for that when he helped us to realize it was the sleep of death. Just one more awkward moment. Over all, we had a great time. Come and see us and we'll take the boat trip over to Macau and have a pleasant day of it.


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