‘Mummy, It’s time to get up, It’s breakfast time and I’m REALLY hungry’
My eyes opened a fraction to see Moo looming over me, bright eyed and full of life, I couldn’t see a lot else as our bedroom was dark, but maybe hubs had shut the curtains before we went to sleep. I was a little hazy on the details.
I got up and stumbled through the unfamiliar apartment, and when we reached the living room I realised that the curtains here were fully open, and it was indeed still dark. Hmm. The digital readouts of the apartment clocks were giving me widely varying information confusing my addled brain even further. I ask you, what kind of a house has all the clocks telling different times, that’s just ridiculous…..
I still had no idea of the time and whilst fervently hoping that in this part of the world it stays dark for longer in the morning, I dished up the coco pops, put the kettle on and went in search of some temporal verification. When it turned out that it was indeed the microwave clock that was telling the whole truth all along, rather than be grateful to it for it’s honesty, I sincerely wished it was a red faced liar. By now we had been up for around half an hour and the microwave was cheerily blinking numbers that were far too small for my liking. 03:13, and what does the 0 stand for ? O my gosh it’s early.
The very early morning passed slowly with Moo exercising her artistic talents seated at the large coffee table drawing a vast array of mythical creatures while I tried not to fall asleep on the very comfortable sofa.
The apartment is quite honestly amazing. It is extremely large and very tastefully furnished. We are blessed with 2 large bedrooms both en-suite and a study/guest room and another bathroom for the guest. There is a large living room area with the aforementioned comfortable sofa and coffee table, and a large dining area. There is a separate cloakroom in the entrance hall that is bigger than the living area of the flat that hubs and I started out in in London. The kitchen is terribly modern, spacious and very well appointed. There is even a laundry room and a bathroom for the maid (not that we have one, but just in case you did the clearly she would need her own shower room). Oh how the other half live. I shall very much enjoy being a guest and I’m almost sad that hubs’ contract will ever come to an end. I could get used to this, but I don’t think our bank manager would like us to get too comfortable, thankfully the company are picking up the accommodation tab. Hubs did have a house mate up until last week, but he has been shunted to another apartment for the duration of our stay by the very thoughtful man who organises staff accommodation.
It’s all terribly nice, but my favourite spot is out on the balcony. When you step out and look to the right you see before you the exotic and exciting looking casino’s of Macau Island lighting up the night sky with their stunning neon displays well into the small hours of the morning, but the view straight ahead is in stark contrast. You see straight ahead, about 500m across the muddy river is mainland China. Not a hint of neon to be seen, just lush green grass along the stony shores all the way to the hillside quarry. It’s quite a bizarre sight to see the two views side by side, so close together separated only by a river, yet so very very far apart in so many ways. I was wondering out loud what all the little round white buildings were on the China side of the river, and hubs rather chillingly informed me they were gun turrets. One would guess that is quite a strong deterrent for those who may have been thinking of illegally emigrating across the river.
That morning however the balcony was no place to be as at some point between going to bed and getting up the sultry night heat had given way to a bitingly cold wind and showers of rain. Just as well the plan for the day is mostly sleeping. Moo finally hit the wall around 1 pm and we crashed for a few hours before going off to meet hubs after work for tea.
Strolling through the casino and hotel complexes was adding another layer of surreality to my day. Waterfalls cascading down the front of buildings and the dazzle and glitz of a billion light bulbs assaulting the senses, then we were strolling past gondoliers punting their way round the interior of the Venetian hotel. It wasn’t just Moo open mouthed in wonder.
By the time we got back to the apartment I was fit to drop, but Moo was still running on all engines, I snuggled up with hubs on the sofa and it wasn’t long before I was snoring in his ear. We got Moo off to bed and very soon followed looking forward to a long nights slumber.
‘Mummy, It’s time to get up, It’s breakfast time and I’m REALLY hungry’. I peeled back my eyelids and tried to adjust my eyes to the light, but then I realised that there wasn’t any. Here we go again. 2.30am on the dot. This time we did not proceed to the kitchen, but I steered Moo to her bedroom and attempted to convince her it was still bed-time, but she wasn’t having any of it. I gave in at 5am and led her to the coco pops and colouring pens. By around 9 I was beginning to flag and was just about to try and get her (and me) to take a nap, when the weekly cleaners arrived to do the floors and by the time they had gone the moment had passed and she was no longer willing. Hubs has been given an extra day off by his lovely boss so we could have a bit of family time, so we all pottered about getting slowly ready to hit the town. Today was a treat day for me as I was off on my own to see a lady about a massage. I headed of alone in the cab and a few short minutes later was face down with an tiny Indonesian genius crawling all over me battering me with her fists and digging her knees into my shoulder blades. 45 minutes of sheer utter bliss. When my time was up I was almost unable to get up, but found that when I did I was around 2 inches taller. When I left Moo and Hubs had arrived having walked in to town to meet me, then it was Hubs’ turn on the table and Moo and I loitered in the area until he practically dribbled through the door.
A quick stop for a bacon sandwich and we were off again for a stroll through old Taipa town, which looks more like a Mediterranean fishing village than the centre of a Chinese casino town. The Portuguese colonial roots of the island are more than evident and the whole area has a very western European feel as well as look to it. Until you walk round the corner of the Red Army barracks and see the soldiers standing guard with machine guns at the ready, just in case anyone forgets that although Macau is not really governed by China, it is still very much under it’s control.
Time for a quick pop into the Venetian for Moo to see the changing colour of the faux evening sky and watch the lights come on behind the façade of shutters lining the phoney passageways and to wave at the singing gondoliers ferrying their passengers around the fake canals. It was at this point I shared with hubs that this was the 4th ‘Venice’ we had been to together. One of them was even real.
By this time, Moo was fading fast and we decided to head for home. Moo had been kept up all day in order to try and kick this jet-lag into touch and hopefully get a good nights sleep for us all, and with the effects of not much sleep and the most amazingly relaxing massage, I wasn’t faring much better myself. A quick tea, finished, a quick film, almost done, and it will be time to hit the sack (although hubs is already one step ahead on that front napping next to me on the sofa as I type). I’m very much hoping that as pretty as it is, I don’t witness the dawn first hand, but I’ll let you know how that goes.