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macau

I went to Macau once

years ago

long before your time ~

We took the big double hull ferry from Hong Kong on a pearl-grey

China day

all low overcast and wet with a petro-chemical humidity

across the glassy sea and into a blind fog ~

Halfway there the hulls rose up high against a singular large swell

out of nowhere ~

And fell back hard into the sharp trough

everything spilt

everyone stood to the windows, but the disturbed sea was long past ~

Women screamed, and a staccato muttering overtook the Chinese aboard

gamblers not ready for a final wager

yet

nausea, a little hysteria, everyone unsettled ~

The city when arrived at, was cold

wet

the streets hard driven with a moderate onshore gale

unwelcome, this flinging rain ~

A black bearded portuguese strode through us as we walked towards the town centre

prideful coloniser

his office a ruin of bypassed commerce and seaside osmosis ~

How the cold rain belted down upon the street pork sellers,

waving their skewered redmeat

skinny chinamen ducking from darkdoored restaurants and across

wetted roads, jabbering sometongue, hungry ~

Later I looked out of the hotel window at a twenty story block

of apartments

over the road

framed by a spiders web of bamboo scaffolding

part built

and worried in the buffeting wind ~

One apartment on the very top floor

had all its lights on

home

the rest of the building loomed dark

from bottom to top ~

What a lonely ride up ~

There is a statue by Saint Pauls that overlooks darkest Macau Chinatown

and that other country across the Pearl ~

Francisco de Jaso y Azpilicueta passed through these lands centuries ago

Francis Xavier ~

Another lonely rider

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