Macao: Born for Trash

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 Going to Macau is like taking a space-time trip.

I love this island, a shrill of cultures, halfway between a decadent Lisbon, an ugly Chinese town and Las Vegas.

In the old part of the city you can walk through the uphill slopes street paved with the typical Portuguese mosaic. There are old buildings falling apart followed by colonial houses restored with warm colors, secular plants, names of the streets written in Portuguese and Chinese painted on Azulejos .

Coming here from China you immediately feel at home, the many churches that you encounter walking, the sound of the bells and the pedestrian street full of shops that flows into the ruins of the church of Sant Pau have the typical European look. Sometimes a courtyard opens up and suddenly you find yourself in a colony of the sixteenth century, sitting under plants waving to the heat and sipping glasses of icy water.

But if you have read my blog in the past year you already understand or found out: this is not the blog of “tourists by chance” and I am myself, I’m not Syusy Blady.

I am born for trash, so I’ll only talk about the casinos, the glitter, the shows, the Macao party lived in three crazy hours with my wonderful almost 9 –year-old daughter.

We organized this trip with a well-defined purpose in mind, the Thriller show on Michael Jackson’s life. We glitter ourselves very well for the occasion and leave in advance, because the musical takes place at Parisian, the new Macau Casino and we want to visit it quietly.

 “Hey mom look, the Eiffel Tower!”

“You know Emma, the real one it’s taller, a lot taller than this.”

“No way….cool!”

 

We enter the hall of the Parisian and it is immediately the “kitsch fairground”, masked people in every corner strolling as if it were the streets of Paris, sweaty and tired Chinese who come out of the Casino after a night spent at the poker table, frescoes, carpets, curtains of heavy red cloth as they used in Marie Antoniette times… I immediately look for Lady Oscar in vain. I did not even find a fake guillotine.

We giggle about Paris, hand in hand, Emma raises questions about everything, I find it difficult to explain exactly where we are and how is this “hotel” so huge looks like a Super Mega Mall, why people like it, what is it in all respects a Casino and what is a theater doing inside here.

I’m saved by Michael, his gigantography distracts my daughter from the next question and we immediately switch into concert mode. Emma is in fact at her first show and this creates in her a mix of excitement, expectation and fear of the unknown…

“And if they dress up like zombies and scare me like in the musical video?”

 

“You can close your eyes and hear only the songs.”

“I cannot … I do not resist … I want to see.”

I understand her deeply with my all heart.

The show starts and we are overwhelmed by costumes, dances, songs, lights. Every now and then I look at her and I do not understand what she does or think, I see her focused, her blue eyes wide open attempt to gather as much information as possible, her knees curled in the shield, just in case some zombies arrive.

Eventually the zombies arrive, but they make us laugh and not scared.

We finish the concert standing, dancing, applauding, screaming “aaaaauuuuh” as Michael Jackson did and calling it out aloud together with everyone else. Because here in Macau in the middle of this fake and golden madness, he is not dead. He is alive and well, he is not a pedophile, his nose doesn’t fall down, he is even happy, sings with his inimitable voice, does the moonwalk, shakes, falls forwards and goes backwards and all the rest of the repertoire. The arena goes crazy.

My God he’s singing like an angel.

My God he’s dancing incredibly well.

My God he’s alive.

 

“Mom I want to live here.”

“In Macau?”

“No in Paris where Michael Jackson lives.”

Here it is. I love her, she is completely abducted by this madness. I feel the trash grow into her and I am proud. We leave the theater, turn around the corner and find a couple of Russians dancers/wizards who make a number in the corridors. I look and whisper:

“Emma, what about a quick look to Venice?”

I do not need an answer, I just look at her sparkling smile.

We take a taxi to Venice and in five minutes we passed through the Rialto Bridge, with the gondola on the right, the shops on the left and the fake sky that changes its light like the sunrise and the sunset. We start feeling like we are in the Truman Show. We want the sky, the real one, and we cannot find the exit between the Grand Canal and the other bridge.

 “Mom I want to go out of this thing.”

“Me too sweetheart, let’s go back to life.”

 And to you all dear readers:

 “Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!” Truman.

 

 

 

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