Macau 2007

The trip started in Beijing then continued to Nanjing, Wuxi, Susho, Wucheng, Hangzhou, and ended in Shanghai. One of the first things I learned was “Booya” which means, “Don’t want it” because you’re constantly pummeled by solicitors uttering what seems to be their only english “Hello! Watch” or “Hello! Shoe-shine”. There are so many bicyclists that even on the first day I saw one get hit by a car, which I guess isn't too uncommon, and most of the time they keep driving. There always seems to be a smell of concrete smog in the air. The whole work force seems to be under 25. There also seems to be a shortage, or shall I say, never paper towels in the bathrooms.

I learned a lot about Chinese language. All words are just 1 syllable so it may take several characters to make certain meanings. Almost every word can be pronounced 4 different ways giving it 4 different meanings. The characters are the same for all the dialects, and stem from each other – for example: The first character above means person. Most words involving a person (fireman, worker) contain that character but altered a little and/or things added to it. The second character means big like the person is spreading out their arms.


Chinese seem to prefer rock hard beds. There is not much homeless due to communism, which provides the beautiful residences above. The military, police, and security have outfits that resemble nazi uniforms and seem pretty effective as well. How does the guy below protect anything effectively if he has to open the cordon and come down off the stage first? The bicyclists and mopeds ride on highways and in city with no helmets along side cars and trucks that keep 1 inch apart from each other. Check out the creepy mannequins below, is that their concept of caucasians? Look at the squatting toilets! 


Has your cell phone ever gone dead before you got to your charger? Well, in Shanghai that’s not a problem – just plug into the sidewalk phone charger above. And to the right and left check out a water show lit up with video. Ever seen a car jukebox? Below, this robotic elevator sorts through multiple levels of car shelves and brings your car down to you. Speaking of cars, I have never seen such small cars. And below that, the labor is so cheap that theres always a ton of employees standing around anywhere! And check out the Chinese safety regulations on the guy repairing the neon sign.



These are the new mainland China photos, some not too different than last year's (Shanghai) but a few more creepier mannequins. This time got an actual photo of the dog before it's cooked in Shenzhen. Also check out the coca-cola looking building. Canton (below) is interesting the way the highways are tight above the main roads and people drive so recklessly and don't care. It seems to be the source of those mannequins too. Also it has this huge flea market with zillions of booths of every cell phone part you can imagine.  


Canton (Guangzhou)
Canton   Macau  

Macau is like China's Las Vegas, but smoggier and stranger. I guess I'm a bit bias since I used to live in Vegas, but you get used to a few things in a gambling town. Like the fact that hotels usually want you to not miss the casino by funnelling you through a series of doors all leading to the casino first, in order to get anywhere else. In most of the casinos in Macau I had a hard time finding the casinos, usually down some narrow dark hallway with a hidden doorway. In vegas they don't want to slow you down on your way to gambling. Quite the contrary in Macau where they stop everyone as they single file enter a metal detector and make you check your bags like a club.  

Taipei, Taiwan

Trip Pics

I was excited to go to Taipei, Taiwan because of the food and to see the world's tallest building Taipei 101. It is quite cool, but I have to say, there isn't much going on around it. The city is quite sparse - it may have the tallest building, but there's really no other skyscrapers around. But, the culture in the downtown and the food are great. There seems to be a lot of little buns and snack foods like dim-sum. I found it similar to cantonese or Hong Kong food, a bit greasy and spicy, but really good.  


Hong Kong

Hong Kong is known for it's amazing skyline bustling with the most skyscrapers of any city! It also has it's distinct sign covered streets all along the downtown and Kowloon districts. It seems like when you look up, every square inch is blocked by neon signs. Like New York, all the taxis are the same, but they are some kind of an 80's looking red Toyota. (below) And they are a stick shift, but from the steering column that the driver is constantly man-handling. And you can see British influence with the right side driving on the left side of the road and those giant 2 story buses everywhere lumbering around the tight little roads.


There are also 2 story trolleys that look very tipsy. The subway train cars are connected and open without doors separating them, so if you are on one end of the train you can see all the way down to the other like a giant moving hallway! Also, I have to say Hong Kong has the most modern and advanced subway I have ever seen. It makes American subways look stone aged. All the platforms have giant lit ads and plasma screens with exact schedules. Inside each train car are plasma screens with news, and a map that flashes and updates with the current location and what connections are available at each stop.


The money is very colorful and modern. They shut down a lot of streets and setup booths for shopping pretty regularly for no occasion. A popular food is snake soup. (below) Also something referred to as turtle soup, (right) which is not a soup, but more of a jello that you top with light syrup, and is considered an herbal dish that keeps you healthy. I have to say, they like their chickens fresh. You pick out the chicken from the cage, and they cut open it's neck, throw it upside down head first into the red bucket (below) and wait until the blood drains. But that won't stop it from trying to run away.