Saturday, 20 September 2008

Sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus

For those not keeping up on their Latin "But it flees in the meantime: irretrievable time flees". And how.

Last weekend (14th - 16th), we had a long weekend, and so four of us decided to take a trip to Macau, the Las Vegas of the East. It is... a strange place.

Although technically a part of China, Macau is a special administrative region, which means it follows its own set of laws, for the time being. Among these is the legalisation of gambling, hence the LV reference. So, that's where it stops? NO!

This, my friend, is where it stops:The Grande Lisboa, the single most hideous building ever conceived, which you can see from almost anywhere in Macao, and which will haunt your nightmares more than Freddy ever did.

The best part is, the inside is laid out even worse than outside. It's small and pokey, lacks any kind of flow, and looks.... shite. Absolute sheer bloody rubbish.

Which is why I didn't spend any money there.

Instead, we trundled off to far classier casino's - The MGM Grand (Classy, in it's way, but boring), and the Wynn (The best of the lot, which is why I promptly pissed away a wee bit of my hard earned cash on a blackjack table).

At the MGM - That's Kelly next to an original Salvador Dali statue.

Outside the Wynn, watching the Performing Fountain, to the sounds of Sinatra singing Luck Be a Lady. Beautiful, soul lifting stuff.

The next day was spent having a look at the non-gambling side of life, including:
Visiting the beautiful Ruins of St. Pauls

Seeing some pig on a stick on a beach.

Being some pig in some new trunks on a beach

An obscene amount of drooling over this man's parking lot (Yes, this is from one house)

And finally, a lot of walking around.

Macau, apart from all the casinos, has some pretty beautiful little places, with real charm. We ate at a fantastic Portuguese restaurant, we walked around a great little seaside fishing village, and we saw all the things you're supposed to see in Macau.

Then, we saw the one thing to put all the others to shame. The Venetian Macau. At the time of writing this, the fourth largest building in the world, the Venetian is a wonderful testament to what man can do with a lot of money, a great deal of labour, and the brains of a textbook. The Venetian is an absolute copy and paste of all the worst parts of the last thousand years of building. Pillars and arches everywhere, needed or not. An indoor canal, where you can sit in a gondola, in two foot deep water, going past a bunch of people shopping. And strict adherence to the fact that nobody should ever leave once in. It was, in a word, mindblowing.

Having spent some time walking around the massive gambling floor, we decided to explore a bit.

We walked, at one stage, for about 20 minutes, and ended up where we had started. We were quite proud of the fact that we'd managed a lap of the place, until Kelly worked out on the map that we had in fact covered a quarter of it. A quarter, of one floor, of it. The scale of the place is amazing.

Walking through the shopping terraces at 3am, all the shops closed, but bright (and, I have to admit very well placed) light made it feel as though it was the middle of the day. Except for the closed shops, of course.

We then tried to find a club, which the brochures told us was on the fifth floor and stayed open until 6. Except that all the lifts go up to the third, and no higher. Asking the guy at information elicited a shocked look, questioning why anybody would want to go to the fifth, but he directed us up a lift, through a hall, round a corner, up a different lift, round a corner, and finally up an escalator. To a completely sealed off portion of building smaller than my flat. Apparently, the marketers at the Venetian are a lot quicker than the builders.

All in all, the place was hideous, but something you have to see once. The drinks were good, and not any more expensive than anywhere else. The gambling was decent, but not for shallow pockets like ours. And the prostitutes, hanging around the escalator and getting confused at how Kelly seemed to have three guys anatomically attached to her as they walked past, were gorgeous.


Anonymous said...

REALLY nice trunks grawp!!

Zak Wood said...

Thanks Lies - I'm glad you like them, because I haven't been able to get them off, so I'll be wearing them at your wedding. Hope that's ok?

Anonymous said...

oh it's perfect! seeing the color scheme is pink :) hahahaha

Zak Wood said...

That's what I was thinking. It's a sure-fire win!

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