Everyday Life in Macau

Although I retain very good memories of my stay in Macau, there have been moments that I took a tremendous aversion to everyday life in Macau. On one of these moments, I wrote down the following story of a typical day in Macau.

This morning I could sleep late. The Chinese lady next door made me wake up not until half past five by opening and closing her front door, which, because it resembles a cell door, takes place almost silent. However, she correctly supposes that everybody is already wide awake at that time. Actually, she leaves sometimes earlier to her fellow witches and then she applies of course the same supposition. When I got up, I could nicely enjoy the pungent smell of the incense which she had lit right in front of her and my front door upon her departure. I agree that this is the right way to oust the spirits. Anyway, real people are not able to stand it. It was also again nice to hear that the man next door indeed enthusiastically hawked up. Probably, he was so loudly hawking up in his apartment because he knows that I enjoy it immensely.

On the way to my work, I was again fortunate to get a free shower. This time it was not due to an air conditioner whose drainage ends somewhere above the pavement, but due to a Chinese man who was watering the flowers that he had hang out in front of his balcony. Sad to say that I did not have to walk over a Chinese person. That happens at times because many Chinese people believe that Western people can disappear into nothingness. Therefore, they seldom give way to me, certainly not if I really have nowhere left to go. A nice experience that one can probably only gain in Macau. There was only one Chinese scooter driver who had a try to run over me and kill me, so it was a not particularly exciting walk to my work today. The knocking down of pedestrians is actually a sport of the Chinese car drivers in Macau as well. Fortunately, the police in Macau allows this with eyes wide open and even take part in it.

At work, it was very pleasant today, we were not able to hear each other because of the drilling on the floors above and below us. Hammering, drilling and not to forget sawing up marble are the most important hobbies of the Chinese people in Macau. They do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if their health permits it. Because it concerns an obsession, the authorities have laid down some regulations which, like all other regulations in Macau and according to the prevailing tradition, are not observed. In the afternoon, we got stunned by concentrated vapour of paint from two storeys higher; we felt comfortably high. Most Chinese painters are already insane before they are twenty years old, but years earlier they already do not know what they are doing. Fortunately, this also holds for Chinese electricians, plumbers, gas fitters, et cetera.

There is little interesting to say about my walk back to my apartment. There was only a Chinese person who came out of a parking garage below an apartment building with a speed of only a hundred kilometers per hour and passed me at a distance of still well over one millimeter. By the way, if something happens to you in Macau, the police has the pleasant habit not to deal with it. This evening there were only a few Chines people burning hell money in the streets. Probably, there are more and more Chinese people here who, just like most Chinese people in my apartment building, do it simply in their apartment or cheerfully in the corridor just in front of their apartment. There are few other ways in which you can endanger and inconvenience so many fellow men.

When I arrived at home, one of my Chinese neighbors was already hammering and another one was drilling. Unfortunately, the hammering stopped already at eight o’clock, but I could enjoy the drilling till past ten o’clock. Luckily, other Chinese neighbors had opened their front door and turned on their television at full volume. In this way, I did not have to miss really nothing of their cheerful shouting through the sound of the television. It was already early silent this evening, I think that I felt already asleep at about half past one.

Probably, many people will not believe that this is the story of a real day in Macau. These people are right: I have not experienced all what you find in this story in one real day. I have actually experienced it in two real days.

© Kees Middelburg, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kees Middelburg with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


About Kees Middelburg

Retired computer scientist
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