"Money flows in to Macau, and out of Hong Kong."
-Marco, Macanese bartenderOne could sense the sparkling energy in the air. It was the grand opening of the Conrad Hotel. It also completed a significant step in what the Cotai Strip will look like. There was a tightrope walker earlier in the day that walked the impressive distance between The Venetian and Conrad. It was hot and humid, clouds hugging as if protecting Macau from a volatile monsoon. All I could see was money. Money, money, money.
I've gotten used to biking on the left side of the road, even in roundabouts, which are my favorite as it resembles as a symbol that chaos and harmony can exist together. I locked my bike behind some inconspicuous bushes. The migrant workers are known for stealing bicycles here. Whoever stole my bike headlight got a pretty nice headlight. 2 watts, 130 lumens, all from 2 AA batteries. Not in my defense, it was a clip-on. Shame on me. At least my conscience is clear.
|The Venetian Hotel with migrant worker housing in the foreground|
In the lobby I sat with my camera, embarrassed, like I was some hotshot journalist covering a momentous event in Macau. It was a momentous event indeed and I was waiting for Anne who worked in the Venetian, the largest casino in the world. We were to explore the wonder of what billions of dollars can do. A Macau photographer and artist was on exhibition, documenting the rarely seen culture of the Himalayan people. In reality, since the inception of the Venetian in 2007, it is the biggest event for Macau Cotai Strip this year.
|Tower 1: Conrad|
|Towers 2 & 3: Sheraton and Holiday Inn|
|Inside the brand new Conrad Hotel|
|Even the little ones want to be part of the festivities!|
It seems the Special Administration Region of China is doing quite well. Mainland workers from Guandong and Zhuhai make anything and everything for cheap and easily bring them across the border to Hong Kong and Macau. International businessmen do their businessmen activities. They come and go. They earn money then come to Macau and gamble. Mainland Chinese come to gamble. It accounts for half of this country's economy and does ok even in our global economic crisis. It raises the question where these mainlanders get the money to "healthily" gamble since I've read and heard that pathological gambling is an arising dangerous problem.
|People post pictures of The Venetian? I post pictures of The Venetian.|
|Oscar and his Easter Pet. Quite an artist|
One of the residents here said that the Cultural Centre with even host an event for you! The Farewell Concert might actually happen. And to find a job for the summer. Any bike shops hiring? Time to get cracking.
Until next time.