(Ed. note: Before we get in to the blog, a little information for you. You have to love the Chinese education “system”.
- We were originally told the New Year’s holiday would be Jan 1, 2 and 3 plus the weekend and made our reservations to go to Macau with Ken. On Dec. 9 we were told that the government had decided that we would only get Jan. 1 off. Oh oh. Mr Zhou asked if we could make up the two days by working a couple of Saturdays instead. When we looked a little askance, he immediately said no problem, he would just have the Chinese teachers cover the classes.
- Our Chinese New Year holiday is supposed to start Jan. 22 and run through Feb. 15th. Then, we start work on the 16th and the kids come in on the 17th. However, at last Monday’s regular admin meeting Terry was asked if we could start the holiday on the 18th of January instead since there won’t be any Chinese teachers around after the 17th. Let me think about that. Okay.
- Next, we come back on Monday from our holiday in Macau and she is informed that at an emergency meeting of the Jiaxing Ministry of Education on Jan. 4th, it was decided that there should be no kids on the campus when the Chinese exams are written on Jan. 9 and 10 of this week. Although we have to “work”, there will be no teaching.
- Pressure – what pressure? Also this week at the monthly meeting with the Chinese principal and after showing Terry (again) the plans for the new school, he said, “It will cost 30 billion RMB and will be the most beautiful campus where you have ever worked!” Then Mr. Zhao says, “You must stay for the opening year.” No pressure here. If it gets approved and everything goes well, building could start soon and the school could be ready by next school year. This is hard to believe, as is the school costing 30 billion RMB–isn’t that $5 billion? Krikey! How could I not work in a school like that? First, we think he means million, not billion, but still…. Plus, they haven’t even started yet. It does make one wonder about the quality of the workmanship.)
Anyway, on to the bevy (Ed. note: In this bevy there are 27) of beauties. We present to you a large number of photographs from our trip to Macau. There weren’t too many adventures (Ed. note: Until we tried to leave).
We recommend that on most of the photos you click on them and then maybe click again to magnify for greater detail. (Ed. note: Just not of Ken)
Saturday night we went to A Lorcha Portugeuse Restaurant for a fabulous dinner. It is supposedly one of the two top restaurants in Macau. Terry wasn’t impressed with the start, however. She felt that Ken’s bean salad was mostly canned vegetables.
Here is Ken in a more frivolous time (Ed. note: more on this later).
You want gold? There are hundreds – no exaggeration – of gold shops in Macau, although they may be outnumbered by the designer watch shops. And, apparently they are the real deal, no knock offs, no bargains (Ed. note: the watches, not the gold – well, there’s no deal on the gold either).
Casino Heaven. There was a report recently that Macau does $45 Billion a year in gambling, 7 times more than Vegas (Ed. note: thanks Joan). The first American casino was built here in 2004 – it only took 9 months for it to make back the total costs and begin turning a profit. I think there are presently 36 casinos here and there are 6 more being opened next year. Of the 6, I think 4 are owned by the same companies which already have one here. Unbelievable. We visited Wynn, Grand Lisboa, Sofitel, City of Dreams and The Venetian among others. The Venetian is actually listed as one of the top tourist attractions.
The building outside is just as impressive – and it is one of two matching towers.
The Grand Lisboa – oldest casino in Macau
Finally, the shops at the casinos. They are all repeats – Versace, Gucci, Coach, Dior, Tiffanys etc. etc. Who buys there – the people who won the big jackpots?
During the day on Saturday we took the Hop-on – Hop-off buses to see the sights of Macau. If you ever get to Macau, you simply must remember not to do this. I’m not saying it was a rip, I am yelling IT WAS A RIP. We visited Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, a deserted, desolate shopping area, the Macau Science Centre – we were so enthralled with the outside, we didn’t even go in and the Macau Tower. Although it was only 60 stories high, it was worth the money – sort of. The guy on the bus told us it was 50% off that day. This is how 50% works: Terry and I pay full shot and Ken, who as a senior gets a reduced rate anyway, gets in for free. Go figure – maybe that’s how they make $45 billion.
Anyway, these are for you Karen.
Remembeer Terry and Pomelo Head from a year or so ago? Well…
The Shoe Blog
This woman was part of some kind of tour coming to Macau from somewhere. She was getting on the people mover (the train that moves people around the Hong Kong Airport). The best part was watching Ken’s mortified look as I asked to take some photos of her “beautiful” shoes and then got down to do so. I do believe he wanted to be on another train – or planet.