Sunday, December 11, 2011

HKG286: Misery and Mayhem in Macau

the ruins of st. paul's cathedral in macau

dq in macau! we didn't go in, but peeked in as we walked sold only ice cream chicken fried anything :-)

another view of the ruins

ladies holding q and olivia. josh and i were both jealous of how cuddly q was with these ladies. we can never convince q to hold onto us when we hold him...he just flops around or leans back so we're doing all the work. he clung to both of these ladies very tightly (they took turns holding him and taking pictures of themselves holding him).

q really can sleep anywhere. here, he's strapped to my back in an ergo with people crushed against him, loud conversations all around him, and shouting/chanting nearby.

we started off the day with the best laid plans...hop a ferry to macau to check out the portuguese culture of the city. our plan was to head to the city center. previously, we've checked out only the casino areas.

we had no problems getting on the ferry or with the ferry ride. it wasn't until we got to the ferry terminal in macau that all hell broke loose.

we started with a pit stop. q's doing fantastic with potty training, but he's still in the stage where we make timed pit stops. bathrooms are what they are, right. except the one livie and i ended up in was absolutely disgusting. it took some time to clean it up, and while i was doing that, i noticed the sound of someone being very, very, very sick. i am a sympathetic vomiter, so just hearing the sound of someone else being sick makes me nauseous.

we finally escape the bathroom to find that the lines to get through customs are so long that people aren't even in line anymore...they are simply crushed against one another. we plow through this crowd to get to the visitor line, and it's miserable...wall to wall people, shouting, chanting, and near-jeering going on. it sounded like there was a demonstration or protest going on, and the crowd was not moving at all after standing there for 30 minutes. i finally asked someone near me what people were chanting, and she said they were simply asking to go faster.

we stood in that line for more than two hours. q fell asleep on my back for about 30 minutes, stood quietly for a long time, and had a small picnic while sitting on our backpack on the floor (thanks to some sweet, generous korean ladies who kept giving them cookies and candies). the rest of the time we were in that line (the last 30 minutes or so), q and livie were picked up and hugged/kissed/passed around by a group of people from mainland china. it was fun and funny for the first little bit, but when i had to holler to get q back and get pushy to keep one lady from hauling livie deeper into a HUGE crowd, it ceased being fun.

fortunately, while on a potty break for q, josh asked about us using a different line because we hold HK ID was a go. after standing for more than two hours, we got to the front of a new line and got through customs in less than 10 minutes. i still have no idea why the lines were moving so slowly. when we've been to macau before, the lines in this customs area have been long but pretty fast moving.

when we finally got through customs, we hopped into a taxi queue and then headed into the center of the city to check out the ruins of st. paul's cathedral and find some portuguese food. we found the cathedral, and it was beautiful, and we found tons of retail shopping, but we did not find any portuguese restaurants. it was nearly 3:30 and we hadn't had any lunch due to the crazy issue in customs, so we finally stopped at a hole-in-the-wall chinese place and had some truly delicious food. as we were walking away from that particular restaurant, we ended up finding a few portuguese places.

this was one heck of an adventure, but not quite the kind we had in mind for our last weekend in hong kong.

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