Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tie fune!

Above: Tie fune...oops I mean Mifune....

So just another day in the gusty wind-blown islands located within the South China Sea, on Monday evening a Level 8 typhoon named Koppu came to within 150km of Macau. We happened to be in Hong Kong overnight, but that's another matter altogether. According to Chinese-English news source, Xinhua, no less than 145 minor accidents were caused by Koppu as it swept past Macau towards the mainland province of Guangdong. A Level 8 typhoon according to the Hong Kong Observatory and the Direcção dos Serviços Meteorológicos e Geofisicos de Macau (the blokes measuring the wind, i assume) may contain winds of up to 180km/h (113mp/h) and Level 10 is a full blown hurricane with winds of up to 220km/h(138mp/h). Now that's pretty quick, even for a Monaro (i'm sorry for all you non-Australians out there....).
But you'll all be glad to know that we arrived back to Macau yesterday in one piece...albeit I was a greenish hue from the boat ride over... Trust my parents, they came over (to Australia this is...) in a plane - i'm sure if they came over in a boat I wouldn't suffer from sea sickness. Speaking of my parents, they are here in Macau with us as I write this. I can hear them snoring from the spare room.
And just like me...the first meal we had today was....Burmese food! A Burmese family comes to Macau and what do they want to eat? Not Macanese, not Chinese...but Burmese. It was probably my fault as I took them to the Three Lamps district.

Above: the hard nuts on HBO's The Wire - best TV series ever?

Something lately that I'm loving - The Wire. I must thank my brother, Gav, for getting me onto this HBO crime series. It really is that good. I guess I shouldn't have doubted his judgement - we have pretty similar tastes. And what's even better is I've only just finished Series 2 - another full 3 seasons of crime-filled goodness! All the more reason to visit Zhuhai, the mainland city north of the border where the pirate DVD trade is full blossom. Sorry HBO, but I did buy the first 2 seasons legit - give me some slack if I just skip over the border and buy the last 3 seasons in one huge, Chinese style-almanac version with a label for a 1992 Van Damme film glued to the front! And you just have to love a series with a character that's named Stringer Bell. If you haven't seen it it now...your life will be more complete!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Loansharks, Ice Festivals and Dried Lizards

I'm happy to announce that the gals and I are fitting into Macau life quite well as a happy family. Well, I knew they would. Nat ,after all, did teach English for 12 months in 2005 in Harbin - a city in far North-eastern China further north than Vladivostok and for three months of the year is about as hospitable as the planet Hoth.

Above, Harbin's famous Ice Festival.
Left, St Sofia's Church, Harbin.

Angie is already a seasoned jetsetter, having done a long haul flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco (14 hours!) when she was just 20 months. And Talia - well, she is just a little warrior . On the flight over from Perth to Hong Kong she was a perfect Angel, happily being passed around to the air hostesses while being snug as a bug. So, so far so good! We have settled into a nice routine. With me starting work most days either 2pm or 3pm we have a nice morning together - usually breakfast out at a Chinese restaurant/teahouse or at home then back to the apartment for a swim. The downfall is that I usually finish at 9.30pm or 10.30pm so the girls are fast asleep when I get back but it isn't all bad. This means that I can spend most nights at one of Macau's many Casinos and arrive home in the wee hours of the morning without anyone knowing.... except of course, Guangyang, my loanshark.....
So, as you see, life is perfect!
We're still awaiting our furniture from Perth arriving in another week so have been camping out in style - mattresses make pretty effective couches and dining tables too! We last saw our belongings all boxed away being loaded into a 20-foot container bound for sea. We now are wondering what to do with 90 boxes once they arrive - time to get some hired help me thinks.

Above, goodbye sweet Printer St!!

The other day I was walking with Angie to our local Burmese takeaway which has become a bit of a fave and came across a curious sight.....have a look below...

The store is a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) store and they're dried lizards, seemingly with wings. Angie was fascinated (and so was I). A quick search on Google reveals that flying lizards are good for high blood pressure. I guess 'Dried flying lizard' has a better ring to it than 'angiotensin II receptor blocker'. It's something you don't see in suburban Perth!
Here are some random pics from the last few weeks.... obrigado!