Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Here's the story, of a man named....

Is this a line up from Macau's Most Wanted? No, it's our happy family! These were our recent (read - 3 weeks ago) passport photos for our Macau 'Blue card' which is the equivalent of a working visa back in Australia. The process is long (like most things in Asia...damn bureaucracy!) and we have been lucky enough to visit the tranquil immigration centre four times now. But we've finally been approved and the girls all have a nice green stamp in their passports which allows them to stay in Macau under a 'Family stay permit'...or 'relatives of a Blue-card holder' (read - me!). So no more visits to Hong Kong to get an extra 10 days on our visas, as much as we like Hong Kong. This also means we can avoid situations like this at immigration from HK or Zhuhai (China)....

Well, it's usually not that bad on most days. I believe public holidays are often like that. Speaking of Zhuhai, I managed to head North over the border to our seaside neighbour just yesterday. Zhuhai is the closest stop over the border in China for us here in Macau and it's where we go for cheap shopping ('unreal' Armani, Gucci, DVDs, etc), cheap massage (40RMB for an hour - $6 AUD!) and cheap(er) food. It's quite a difference crossing the border because there is a distinct, tangible difference in the air, the people, the streets. The best way I can describe it is that Macau definitely feels more like Wan Chai or Mong Kok in HK than distinctly mainland Chinese.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to Zhuhai to meet with Tai Chi master, Li Zheng. Master Li teaches Fu Nei Pai Tai Chi (lit. 'Within the mansion') which is a rare form of Yang style Tai Chi.

The story goes that Yang Luchan, the creator of Yang Style Tai Chi, originally taught 10 sets of Tai Chi within the Imperial Mansion of Prince Duan and these 10 sets are what is known as Fu Nei Pai. The Yang Style in prominence today was developed later by Yang Luchan's grandson, Yang Chengfu. Master Li lives in a pleasant sea-side suburb about 15min by car north of Zhuhai city. We had a nice afternoon together chatting about Tai Chi and he corrected some of my (1200) techniques : ) I hope to visit with him again soon.

In other news, Angie is settling in nicely at her new school. She attends Mon-Fri 8.30-11.30am and sometimes Saturday. She looks so cute in her uniform! And they even have a separate sports uniform(!!) All at 3 years of age. I can't upload pics at the moment but will be shortly due to PC issues.

Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi are playing in an exhibition match this Saturday at the Venetian Arena. Cirque will be putting on a little show between matches so I will probably be courtside to mop up their sweat, bottle it and set up a stall in Zhuhai. It may even cover my massage costs for next time...

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