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Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Supposedly Wonderful Place I'll (almost) Never Visit Again

Macau.

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Until next week that is, when I have to come back.  I do have the weekend in Hong Kong at least, which allows me just enough time to catch up with... as many friends as can be squeezed in... plus I promised the boss to buy some of these.

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Macau, though.

I suppose one bad experience doesn't mean the whole place is as putrid as maggots writhing in sinkhole of disgusting garbage, or festering and seething with corruption, or brimming with the bitter soulless bile of human trafficking and basically rotten to the core... And then we moved out of the ferry terminal...

But as the "prosperity" of the place is all based on the healthy and honest sport of gambling, I don't know how I can be so underwhelmed?  There must be something wrong with ME!

Why can't I appreciate the beauty of these quaint little monstrosities, the casinos; however meretricious they may appear, they have their merits.  Well, for one they attract countless member of the new middle-class from mainland China.  (This means that there are fewer baseball-capped crowds following their little flag-bearer into Lan Kwai Fong to take photos of the native wildlife.)

These suave people flock to town sporting  their bespoke suits*, flashing a dapper taste in sock-wear and oozing an ageless sense of style that just screams, "My mother fertilized our vegetable plot with steaming shit fresh from the village toilets."

What's the problem?  Am I being a little bigoted?  Am I being Gordon Brown to their Gilian Duffy?  (Or the other way around: me Duffy, them Brown?  Hang on, who was being bigoted again?)

So these Chinese have some money finally, so what?  And even though barefoot doctor grandfather was aeroplaned out of his hut and beaten to death for having having treasonously whispered that he was starving to death, they are the uncriticizable wunderkinder of the resurgent middle world, and they have been flown and ferried in to sunny little Macau in order to relieve themselves of the corruption in their capitalist money-clips... with a harmless toss of the dice; a deft flip of the cards; a casual spin of the wheel; and a plaintive Russian hooker's tongue right up the arse.**

But that of course is not bad thing for the local economy, particularly vendors of mouthwash.  Money floods in from taxes on the 70% that these dupes drop (all gamblers are dupes according the E@L book of received wisdom), which the Macaunese Government dutifully lavishes upon the grateful populace. What with the provision of these magnificent roads, that world class ferry terminal, outstanding health-care and even more landfill for even more casinos, it's Portuguese tarts for all!

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And Russian tarts, and Korean tarts, and Vietnamese tarts, and Mongolian tarts...

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And the success of the "integrated resorts" in Singapore?  ~~~  the tinkling of distant laughter echoes down from an enormous hall ~~~

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Thailand is the preferred  place for Uncle Expat's distinctive type of sleaze, to be sure, especially now that he hears things are a bit quieter in Patpong again.

E@L

* I, for one, am speechless at these pop-out suits.

** Never kiss a Macau hooker on the mouth.

3 comments:

knobby said...

the trouble is you can't make up your mind. (i'm grinning as i type this so don't take me to the cleaners on this comment!) mr armchair socialist weeps copiously for the unwashed masses, but then recoils with horror when the masses start washing and putting on kitschy clothes. aiyah, lyedat how?

expat@large said...

The only thing that are unwashed in Macau are the ferry terminal and the loot in the pockets of those mainland gamblers.

The Chinese tourist-class are still probably criminals imho, rich with the graft money and kick-backs from the like of Australian mining companies that they need to launder in the casinos.

I'm making all this up you know, I could be wrong.

dh said...

It's all about branding.

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