After a few days of absence, our Internet connection is back up and I can blog again! On Saturday we went to Macao to activate Cornelius's visa. As we were short on time we could only visit the famous casino Venezian. As the name implies, it is a replica of the venetian architecture with channels, gondolas, a Bellini Lounge and of course the "old" Venetian buildings. It sounds amazing and partially looks amazing as well but indeed it is just artificial. The gondoliers (Asians) sing venetian songs, the floor is made out of plastic, Mac Donalds and other shops appear to be miss placed in this setting, the lighting is factitious and the sky is only painted. In conclusion I was more deterred than amazed by this tourist attraction, or more precisely, by this non sustainable money factory. Oh, and of course the whole place was cooled down to about 18 degrees Celsius.
Here is another view on one of the many halls of the building! Due to curiosity I looked up some facts about the building. It was finished in July 2007 and cost 2,4 Billion $ but fills about 980,000 m2 with 3000 suits, 3400 slot machines, 800 gambling tables and a 15,000 seat arena for entertainment/sports events. It is vast!
Saturday evening; I have been here for almost a week now. Jet lag, if I even had any, is gone and it became absolutely normal to stroll around a few corners to find an yet unknown place to eat. As a prefix, I did not want to go to the same place even once for the first month. In addition only Asian food is an option for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So far I have tried a lot of different food from a few Chinese cooking styles, Korean, Japanese, Thai cuisine and Malaysian. I will not add everything I have tried to my diet but there were many tasty things I discovered. Eating spicy food became a habit, too.
On Sunday we decided to go to the beach, to Deepwater Bay. Unfortunately we had to change plans as Deepwater Bay had red tide on Sunday, so we had to take a detour and go to Clearwater Bay in east Kowloon. Not only was the water actually clear but it was not as crowded as we expected! In addition, most of the Chinese guests preferred to stay in waist-deep water so we could swim around freely.
After a nice bath in 26 degree Celsius water we went over to some locals and joined their game of volleyball. They were really friendly and we had a great time with many laughs, even without communicating much. Over here, you are always welcome if you carry a smile on your face and treat everyone the same.
In the afternoon we went by some shops to get an impression how much money we will have to spent for our daily food and for outfitting our apartment. In conclusion, furniture is cheap, as well as local food. Meat, fish, milk and all western products are as expensive as in Germany or even more expensive. Our choice of supermarket was Wellcome, which is comparable to a German Rewe. I guess we will find a cheaper way to acquire food though.
Today, we opened our very own bank account at the HSBC bank! Not only was it another step to settle in but we were able to get a direct contact through our head of accounting department which made the process a lot easier. In a bit we will head out to our first couchsurfer meeting nearby. A language study group based on learning English and Mandarin from each other. I am excited and look forward to meet new people!