Me and my mom had some free time to explore the peninsula over the next few days. We wandered the streets, peeked through peoples windows, avoided crowds, escaped the blazing heat, and breathed in the pollution that has become the lowest common denominator.
Lilau Square. This used to be a spring water fountain and where the Portuguese first settled. This is also where the legend began. I took a small sip. I didn’t care. I didn’t get sick, unlike in Los Angeles. My heart never left Macau. And it never will.
We went to meet up with my grandmother, aunt, and younger cousin and ate near the hotels. The little one wanted McDonald’s but we ended up eating Chinese for dinner. Poor kid.
Casa De Cha Long Wa- One of the last remaining traditional tea houses. Still family owned to this day with a long history since I believe the 50s or 60s. Friendly service. Not much variety, but they keep it real here. Just like how dim sum was meant to be – time shared among family and friends. This isn’t your usual coffee klatch. Give it a go. Get your own dim sum and refill your own tea. The boss will tally up your final bill with an abacus.
After a long day, we ended up having dinner in the sleepy village of Coloane at Cafe Nga Tim. We got to meet the owner who was very hospitable and the chatty cat. And no, the kitty was not part of our meal. My younger cousin was the real scaredy cat as you can see her running away.
Base of the Macau Tower. We finished off our interviews and documentary here with our Portuguese friends. Our timing didn’t work out, otherwise, we would have had dinner at the famous Tromba Rija. There is always next time.
After 31 years, Macau has developed into a modern world from what it once was. I noticed the dying breed of the older generation; the hybrid culture of Portuguese and Chinese. All I really saw was Chinese, Chinese, and more Chinese. The fusion of east and west is withering away. A culture becoming the next candidate for extinction.
Nobody really speaks any Portuguese anymore besides the Portuguese. It’s mostly Cantonese. Or Mandarin. Never mind any English. I had never been more lost in translation in any of my travels until coming to Macau. Pretty Portuguese and Macanese girls don’t roam the streets anymore. If anything, the only thing that has survived is the laid back culture and attitudes. Progressive is not in the local vernacular. Perhaps the enclave of French expats will change the scope and future of Macau. Who knows? In the end, it is all but a distant memory.