Monday, 17th November 2003 – Macau, Day 10
The day after the Grand Prix we frittered away pottering around the old town area and trying to achieve a few things. We started out at the post office where I wanted to buy the book of first day issues of Grand Prix-related stamps. This is a beauty of a book and makes a wonderful companion piece to the Newsome book. After that, we hauled round the corner to Largo do Senado and struck off up the hill in the direction of Sao Paulo. There’s a model shop halfway up, and it’s full of all sorts of model racing cars that I would love to buy if I could carry them home, and for that matter if I could actually put them somewhere when I got there. We weren’t the only ones in there, either. James Courtney was eying up some nice little models, as was Bruce Jouanny, so we all cluttered up the shop and gossiped for a while.
Outside again, we kept running into other drivers, all wandering aimlessly. We encountered Andrew Thompson buying a fruit salad and being mystified by dragon fruit, which he’d never seen before. We persuaded him that it was safe to eat and he tried it. It tastes nowhere near as exotic as it looks, and is in fact rather bland… Andrea bought some kites for her nephews, and a few other souvenirs, and I managed to buy a black velvet/gold silk Chinese jacket in a shop that sells Western (i.e. large) sizes. The proprietor gave us a silk tie for Robert once we finished shopping. After that Lynne and I went up to the market area, and managed to find the silk shop again. I bought several more lengths of glorious heavy embroidered silks, and we headed back to meet Andrea, Bob and Glyn at the Cultural Centre. Once there, we sat outside to eat and drink, despite the fact that it was overcast and windy. The locals were looking at us as if to say we were crazy, but we didn’t care.
I got the last bit of my report completed and I also managed to get all my photos developed (17 films) and put onto CD for less than two pounds a film; it was ridiculously cheap so Bob and Andrea got theirs done too and we all had a few less things to carry back as a result. Collapsed in our rooms later in the evening, looking at all the stuff we’d acquired (photographer’s vests, books, stamps, coins, etc) Lynne and I decided to investigate the possibility of shipping some of the pile of presents and goodies but then we discovered that it was going to cost way too much – probably around two hundred pounds with Fedex or the like. Consequently we decided to trek to the Post Office and send some of the stuff that way, especially the length of silk for Nathalie and the books for Clive and Lesley.
Later we paid a visit to the Kun Iam statue and ecumenical centre, and took a walk through the park where we found Christmas decorations abounding. It seemed strange to realise it was nearly December, and the season had only just ended for us.
In the evening we went to Os Gatos, at the gloriously faux medieval Pousada de Sao Tiago for dinner, and we had to keep reminding ourselves that we’d need to pay for dinner! It was a habit we seemed to have lost over the previous days…