Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hong Kong and Macau (Feb 2013)

So the rest of the trip was meant to be in the casinos at Macau but... I wanted to stop off in Hong Kong to order a latin dress!!!!!!!! I'm so excited! It'll be ready by the end of March!

Macau I tell you... was SO UNENJOYABLE! Because...... :sigh: the tourists from Mainland China. Their culture is just so hard to accept... cutting in line, pushing, standing in front of you when they can see you're trying to take a picture of something.... I can go on and on, but I wont' because I want to get back into China to travel again someday. Let's just say there were a lot of unhappy feelings those two days.

We did get to visit some cool casinos though! The Wynn casino had a couple of fun shows in the lobby and some nice high-end shops. We stayed at the Holiday Inn/Sheraton which could connect to the Venetian so we got to see some more cool shops and an exhibit on the Titanic!

An example hallway inside the Titanic

The famous staircase in the Titanic

I tried playing Blackjack for the first time and it was really fun! We had a guy at our table who didn't speak English as a first language and he kept shouting "Picture! Picture" everytime the dealer dealt a card. I couldn't figure out what he meant until I realized he wanted to say "Face card!" There was also a really old Chinese lady playing too. She was really cute and was playing in a wheelchair. And I met a French/Israeli lady and spoke French with her for a little bit! All around I got to speak four different foreign languages on this trip: Bahasa Indonesian, Italian, French, and Chinese.

I actually embarassed myself here. Last time I came to Macau I wasn't carded to get into the casino, but this time I was carded every time. One of the bouncers was not Chinese but I guess I wasn't paying attention because when we asked for my passport I started rambling in Chinese asking why he had to card me. He just smiled and let me through.

Another time, speaking of rudeness... we were in line to get tickets for the ferry back to Hong Kong and a Mainlander lady was standing in the wrong line next to us. However, she looked like she was wanting to be next. Our line had an arrow meaning to go to the teller and her line had an arrow meaning to leave. We weren't sure if she was first or was cutting because we weren't paying attention. However, we were cut and bullied around way too many times for our liking. Albert said to her in English, "Hey you know this is the line here." He thought maybe she made a mistake. And she looked at us confused for a second so I said it again to her in Chinese. Well... she got SO offended! Telling us she was waiting there a long time and we ought to have seen her waiting but since we're so sure about it we can go first. Ok.. her tone was a little too defensive there. We weren't completely sure we just wanted to remind her which line was the right one. When it came for the next person to go, she turned to us with an attitude and said you can go. We tried to explain to her that if she said she was there first we believe her. Anyways.... We let her go first, but jeez... I had a feeling she was lying and wanted to cut because she was way too defensive to be innocent on that one. Or maybe she was just doubly offended because Albert, a Chinese guy, spoke English to her and I, an American, spoke Chinese, like she didn't understand.

Oh well... maybe someday it won't be such a culture shock to be around those kinds of tourists. When I came back to Taiwan it was like a huge relief to not have to encroach on other peoples' space to keep my place in line. I felt so strange...

In Indonesia (Feb 2013) (Bali Part 2)

So after spending a whole day in Ubud, we had to go to the beach! So day two was spent in Kuta where our hotel was. Unfortunately, not much time on the beach. We ran all over town looking for swimsuit shops. I thought they would have some cool and cheap designs. Lonely Planet recommended Carrefour... Liars!!!! They had only children's swimsuits. Bought some souvenirs though. Then went to a shopping mall near the hotel.. TOO EXPENSIVE. Finally, we went to a street market nearby and got one.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. We had brunch first in the hotel where I got to meet an Italian chef! I spoke some Italian to him and I guess I charmed him because he gave me his number and said I could contact him to practice. Cool! Totally not gonna call though.

Then came the wild goose chase for a swimsuit.

And finally, the beach!

We took the red-eye to Hong Kong that night. Bali, hope to see you again soon!