Monday, August 8, 2011

Sick of it

I've seen more shiny marble, thick rugs and gold taps today than you could shake a stick at. This famil has a tedious number of site inspections included in the itinerary: two or three every day, which is a shocking waste of time when we could have been out and about in Macau seeing the sights and getting material to write about. If I'd known how it was to be, I wouldn't have come - but I didn't get the itinerary till a couple of days before we left. This is travel agent stuff, not travel writer treatment.

It's because there's no such thing as a free lunch, of course, and though I would have been fine with street food, taking us to fancy hotels for slap-up buffets and shows means we have to trail around behind the marketing people making polite noises about their executive suites. They were pretty good, though, if you like acres of floor space, showers like small rooms, your own karaoke room, giant flat-screen TVs everywhere including over the infinity bath, and floor-to-ceiling views over Macau's skyscrapers and huddled apartment blocks to the hills of China just across the harbour.

We did get to do some touristy things: a visit to the A-Ma Temple, which climbs up a hill and was very busy with worshippers lighting bundles of joss-sticks and bowing before shrines; as well as buying wishes which were written on red paper, hung inside a big incense spiral and hung from the ceiling to smoke away for a couple of weeks. Then the ruins of St Paul's - literally just the facade at the top of a flight of steps, the rest having been destroyed in a fire. And we went up the Macau Tower, designed by the same company as Auckland's Skytower (evidently short of ideas, as it looks almost exactly the same) and found a Taupo guy called Anthony running the AJ Hackett bungy from the top: in the job 20 years, and still amused by how jumpers try to fly by waving their arms as they fall, "screaming like a stuck pig".

And then I got sick, and was sick, and had to opt out of the last visit which included a casino. It was incredibly hot and humid today and very uncomfortable walking the streets (even the locals hiding under umbrellas when they had to venture out of the air-conditioning); but I think it was actually something I ate that did for me. Such a tragedy, because the rest of the group couldn't stop raving about the lunchtime buffet...

2 comments:

Brett Atkinson said...

I'd be making myself scarce for a few days - what are they going to do? Ask you to leave the group? Hurrah

Pam said...

I wish I could be such a rebel, but I'm just too obedient, alas.

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