Monday, 12th November 2007 – Macau, Day 2
We got up latish, breakfasted, then mostly pottered in town, trying to sort out a few bits and pieces and run some errands. In this we had varying levels of success. A trip to the New Yoahan department store (which we had expected to find gone – as there’d been talk of demolition to make way for yet another casino last year) netted a new carry on bag for Lynne, a pricey by local standards but cheap to us Eminent; a bag of grapes, some milk (both cow and soya), some roast macadamia nuts, and a bottle of white port to keep us functioning between meals (!); and a couple of new shirts and a sweater for me (the sweater is shocking pink and covered in beading and embroidery, the shirts are orange with blue embroidery and a multi-coloured purple/green/blue/pink jacket-y type affair – oh, and I’m still a Chinese XL, but who cares). We made a whole load of discoveries in there, including another café (Angela’s) on the ground floor, and a whole raft of restaurants on the upper floors ranging from the food court type places you get anywhere but with added plastic models of the food, to a very posh Japanese sit-down place), as well as the food section, which was wonderful and fascinating. We also finally discovered the opening hours of the place, which are 11.00 to 23.00, odd to us, but not to the locals.
We eventually stopped for coffee at the Pokka Café in the store. After an iced cappuccino, we wandered over to the Mandarin Oriental to book dinner for Friday night at the Mezzaluna as is our habit, and for once ran into Jőrg Muller (busy swapping rooms after arriving at 3am and being allocated a smoking room), and Ryan Sharpe and Walter Grubmüller (trying to figure out where they were supposed to be staying – that’ll be the Rio across the road with the rest of the F3 contingent most likely then, lads), rather than Andy Priaulx, who we knew was there because we saw him taking his now customary Saturday voyage out, because he’s done it the last two years in a row and ended up as World Champion, and you don’t mess with a winning routine. Racing drivers superstitious? Whatever gave you that idea? Anyway, Ryan was chatty, while Walter was as mono-syllabic as ever, and seemingly already seriously scared of what he was about to try and do. OK, it’s a tough circuit, but most drivers relish the challenge and absolutely love the place, but then I guess most drivers aren’t there solely because their father is sublimating some ambition of his own, and is forcing the kid to race. Most drivers also tend not to be freaked out before they even drive round the track… It’s child cruelty, and a colossal waste of money, to my way of thinking.
We didn’t get the silk Carol had hoped for, for a couple of reasons. The main one was that none of the stalls we found had plain, purple silk, only patterned, embossed or embroidered, and the secondary one was that despite having been there three times before, we were coming at the market from another angle to the one we’re used to which left us unable to find it. And it was hot and we were hungry so we gave up and grabbed a cab to the Macau Tower where we booked Wednesday night’s dinner in the revolving 360° Cafe on the 62nd floor, and then found that both the splendid Vila Porto do Macao Sichuan restaurant and the Café Madeira on the Plaza, both overlooking the Pearl river, had gone (the former because the lease had expired and the latter because they’d decamped to the newly-opened Venetian). We ended up having afternoon tea in the 360° cafe and watching the world pass by, before going back on the bus (still 2 MOPS 50 per ride – or 15 pence in Sterling) to the Lisboa, and heading for the camera shop, where I failed to get a replacement lens cap.
Thence, back to the sanity of the Pousada, before heading out for dinner at the Pizzeria Toscana. When we originally arrived, we were seated in an ante-room at a table for 6, even though we were only supposed to be 4 at most (we were hoping to hook up with Yvonne and Glyn, both arriving in Macau that evening), so when the GP Committee people arrived also looking for dinner, we were asked if we’d mind moving. We had no objections and were then seated in the wine cellar, at a table that just seated four people neatly.
We liked it in there, and the other two showed up in reasonable time, so we had a convivial dinner, though unusually I can’t remember what we ate now… At the end of the evening, as the last people to leave, we found ourselves outside in a surprisingly taxi-free street, but soon rounded one up, dropping the other two off at the Rio before going home to bed ourselves.