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🎎 Macau & Hong Kong: J’s Week

What were you grateful for this week? Spending some time in Macau and Hong Kong. 

What was the most difficult or challenging part of this week? Miscommunication about wages.

Tell us about a "wow" moment you had this week.  I've been helping [my host family’s son] and the Dad a lot with their English. 

Tell us about your week!  After recreating a significantly darker adaptation to the ending of Super Mario: Odyssey with the kids, in which Princess Peach stabs Mario in the heart and Toad opens fire on her machine guns blazing whilst yelling “YOU’VE BETRAYED THE MUSHROOM KINGDOM!”; plus the added anxiety of watching [my host family’s son] play the final boss(es) on the actual game over 20 times before beating it... you could say I’m rather tired. But what. A. Week. We went ice skating on Friday, and let me tell you…with my ankles, I really don’t think I was cut out for the stuff. Or I got the wrong shoe size. Either way, it felt like a never-ending cycle of pain and torment on a slippery sheet of ice. The kids enjoyed it, though. Immediately after, the Mom bought us movie tickets and we watched a bizarre, R-rated sci-fi action film with a Chinese protagonist and Sylvester Stallone for some reason, because...why not? The next day [my host family’s son] and I went out to West Lake for some sightseeing. I saw a 1500 year old Pagoda, tons of koi fish, some cool boats, a guy writing Chinese characters with a water brush, and lots of teenage girls doing photoshoots for their WeChat. We ate cup noodles again, with a twist…DUMPLINGS. We ended out the day by playing a level of Super Mario: Odyssey. Pretty much every evening lately has been ending with that. It’s great. On Sunday I flew out to Macau early in the morning. When I got there, I knew I had to get a ferry later in the evening to my hostel in Hong Kong, but I had no idea what I should do during my day in Macau. So I went to the tourist information booth at the airport and the lady there was very helpful, giving me all sorts of tips and bus numbers. I headed outside and an Indian guy asked me how to get to Hac Sa Beach. I told him I was heading that way too. We then found out we had both been living in China for just a short time and were both in Macau to renew our visas, so we decided to group up. Right before we got on the bus, we met a couple of Indonesian girls who had their day off and were looking for a group as well. So we all joined together and headed for the beach. The beach was…filthy. But it was rather beautiful, and made for great pictures. Best of all was the unexpected company we had made with each other. Upon further inspection of our dietary restrictions, we found the Indian man was Hindu and the Indonesian girls were Muslim. And we literally felt nothing but mutual respect for one another, as it should be. After the beach, we checked out downtown for a bit and ate at a nice little noodle place, sharing bowls with each other. We parted our separate ways after that, not without exchanging contact info. I headed for the ferry terminal but ended up on the right bus in the wrong direction. I got off on the other side of town, right next to the Macau Tower. I went in to see if anyone could help me, and hey, guess what? The concierge was from San Mateo, Isabela. He was more than helpful and got me squared away, all in Tagalog and Ilocano to his and my delight. I got to the ferry right on time for the next departing boat, and headed for Hong Kong. Once I got off the ferry, I was taken back by the beautiful, mysterious and serene atmosphere of the city. I found out my hostel was not very far from the nearest metro station so I just walked the whole way, taking in the sights, smells, and people as I passed by. I got to the hostel at around 11 PM, and a night market outside was still bustling. I bought a few trinkets, including a Chinese copy of Chairman Mao’s Red Book and some old (but probably not as old as they were advertised) coins. I then found a nice hole-in-the-wall noodle place right under the hostel. The owner spoke good English and ushered me in. I asked him what he recommended and he told me the stir-fried noodles with beef were the most popular. I took him up on the offer. And oh boy. Am I glad I did. I cannot even begin to describe how satisfying that plate of fried noodles was. It was easily the best meal I’ve ever had in my life, without exaggeration. I felt like I was tasting the soul of the city with every bite. It took me to nirvana. I transcended into a higher plane of awareness, where I felt omnipresent of every man, woman, and child in that vast city; all of their struggles, fears, joys, passions etc. seemed to flood my mind as I felt inexplicably grateful that I was alive, and was able to be a part of such a infendecimal moment in Hong Kong’s existence. Okay, maybe those noodles were laced with LSD. The next morning I headed out to Ocean Park and got my fill of thrill rides, beautiful views, eavesdropping on Filipinos, and exotic fish. In the evening I met up with a mutual friend who lives in Hong Kong and he took me around to some sights. We went up to Victoria Peak where I stared at the city in amazement while we talked about Final Fantasy and anime. I listened to Hong Kong by Gorillaz as I took a final gaze at the view. We headed down to the ferry after that and I got some Jollibee spaghetti, along with some waaaay too spicy noodles. I got up early the next morning and took a ferry back to Macau. I ate lunch at the Venetian Casino and then flew back to good ‘ol Hangzhou. I really does feel like home here, now. Like, I felt like I was really returning to my family. That’s all I got for you. Happy Birthday, Ringo. Peace and Love. I hope everyone reading has an awesome week. 

China Teaching
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