Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Beasts of Coloane

Today is International Women's Day. Go females! Hou Kong School had the day off because of it. National holiday I guess. As I am not of the estrogen-dominant type, I decided to do something in light of being a male. The two females were MIA due to sickness from all the little kiddies being sick. The male counterparts and their immune systems are living separately, healthily, and were ready for another adventure. Since it was our day off, what would be better than go to the Panda Pavillion in Coloane?

Two pandas were gifted to Macau after their inception into China. Way past my budget, I decide to go anyway (it's $10MOP ($1.30USD)). You won't see any pictures of pandas but eventually you will. The reason for this is complicated- Jesse takes the bus, gets lost and I take my bike and get lost. Hurdle #1. I wait and see the free stuff, a.k.a. everything but the pandas-
Well, fake pandas
And amusing cartons and cans in vending machines. Note the "Pocart Sweat." Curious.
Jesse's nowhere to be found so I wander for an hour then find out there's a road that goes uphill, switchbacks and all. Perfect for a cyclist! What a beast of a hill. Hurdle #2. I get to the top maybe twenty minutes later to find a temple; was not expecting that. 
The entrance to A-Ma Cultural Village. The fog and silence added to the sacred space. 
Dragons doing crazy things
Semi-dragons doing crazy things

Inside. What a place.
It was straight from Kung Fu Panda where Po is trying to get in the walled village to see the Furious Five. If it was Buddhist/Taoist I don't know, but Oscar (a Filipino English teacher at Hou Kong) tells me the temples are a combination of both. I'm set on finding a devout follower or monk that's willing to share some of their stories first hand. Below's a video of one of the rooms with statues that represent each year-
1988 statue- the Year of the Earth Dragon.
2012 is the Water Dragon and a different statue.
This is the luckiest of the Chinese Zodiacs.
Can't touch this.
1994- Year of the Dog.
My brother was born December 1993.
He's a monkey. Oops.
1960- Year of the Pig
Dad's statue
1954- Year of the Horse.
Mom's statue.
It's most definitely the coolest place I've been to in Macau. After being completely mesmerized by the serenity of the place, I head down the hill. Before I know it, my 35 pound bike, plus myself and cargo is not enough for my cantilever brakes to handle. I tumble over a concrete barrier (hurdle, if you will) and thankfully not over a cliff. Hurdle #3. I assess the damage of the bike, of course. The body heals itself. Everything turns out fine and I proceed more cautiously down the steep hill.
The bike is ok! Except for a bend in the right side handlebar.
Alto de Coloane  = 1, Gus = 0
Jesse ended up seeing the Pandas, of which I'll eventually see. We played frisbee back at home and prepared lesson plans for the coming week. The day ended Panda-less for me, with a bruised body, and a humbled spirit. Though I was able to Skype Mom for the first time since I left home. And this is how we spent Women's Day.

1 comment:

Ms.Maddy said...

That temple sounds so fantastic.. love the Kung Fu Panda reference haha. Too bad Colane won the bike ride back down the hill, maybe next time you can beat it.

And just to set the record straight, I was feeling fine until I came home, just enjoying coffee at Cuppa Coffee- the starbucks of Taipa!