You do indeed learn something new every day. And how many of would be able to say what the currency of Macau is,without having to look it up? Me for one! And when I was hatching a brief escapade last weekend following my meet up with Terri , I realised that I had no idea what the Macanese currency is, and in fact if it has its own currency!
Terri headed to the airport for the next part of her adventure early in the afternoon, and I found myself standing on my own at the Airport Express station, clutching the memories of an amazing weekend, the added warmth of our friendship and the inspiration of our ideas – and the sneaky idea that I was about to embark on an escapade for the remainder of the day! What better way to keep myself occupied following such a wonderful meet up.
I have always been curious to visit Macau, and it is an easy hour away from Hong Kong – so what was I waiting for? Carpe the diem, girl! So off I trundled, looking for the signs that I had seen somewhere for the Macau Ferry. Before long, I was in the queue for tickets and Macau-bound. The water was choppy but the crossing straightforward and by late afternoon I was standing in the immigration queue at Macau.
I knew I didn’t have long there, so after three unsuccessful attempts to get into town by bus, I jumped into a taxi. I passed the old Portuguese quarter which I had really wanted to explore, but time was not on my side and I did not want to get stranded somewhere as it was starting to get dark. So instead I explored the town centre. The city is a fascinating mix of Portuguese influence alongside an overwhelming casino landscape. Surreal architecture (a casino the shape of a pineapple, towering above), neon lights and disney-esque structures.
It was a perfect afternoon escapade. I settled back into the ferry, and as we left the lights of Macau on our return to Hong Kong, my fingers were clasped around a new treasure – two crisp “dez patacas” notes! A tangible memento of Macau and it currency – Patacas.