So here we are dear readers. I have failed in my attempt to catalog every day of my trip. I got really busy having fun and learning about Macau. I have to tell you that I went home early. I could not take it alone in Hong Kong. But, I will get to that later. This trip was an amazing experience for me. I learned so much about the different cultures of Chinese, Portuguese and Macanese. Honestly there wasn’t that much free time between visiting different regions of Macau and participating in the various activities. I will go back to Day four, since that is where I left off.
The Amazing Race. I won’t forget this day. We had to go around the city and find various checkpoints. The team with the most points and less time wins. I was a group leader and so I had to randomly pick out two names out of a hat. Both of my teammates were boys. I am not a competitive person, so I knew that they would somehow suck the fun out of it by being too competitive. We started out saying that we were going to take it slow, but it was apparent that they really did want to win. They wanted to win so much that they told me to meet them at the next check point so they can run. I was so confused and in shock that I let it happen. We were disqualified because they left me. They did get yelled at, so I guess they got what they deserved.
Learning Portuguese Folk Dancing. This was fun yet tiring. I looked at the photos and man do I look confused! I kept losing track of the steps and doing some weird things with my feet. Plus it was really hot. The downstairs was so hot and smelled like sewer and fish. I am so not used to it being extremely hot and humid.
Overall, this day was okay. A lot of running and also being let down by teammates. I was so tired from all that running and walking that I didn’t have the energy to even try to cuss them out. I was really hurt by what they did. I was fine though. Didn’t get hurt or harassed.
We got rained in! Seriously, we were supposed to participate in dragon boat racing, but there was word about a typhoon and so we had to cancel that. Instead, we got to sleep in and enjoy a meal at a monastery. We did have to walk in the rain while we were visiting this amazing temple. But it was still nice enough where we didn’t need a jacket. Oh and their snails are humongous! I have a huge fear of snails and that just terrified me. Basically all we did was visit shops and we also got to visit this museum of this Macanese house. I would have loved living there.
People kept leaving and not telling others where they were going. I don’t get why anyone would do that. It is rude and inconsiderate. Plus, you’re there for the Encontro, not on vacation. Some people didn’t get that memo I guess. I’m glad my two group mates didn’t wander off.
COOKIES! We got to learn how to make these Macanese cookies called “Genete” which were really really good. They tasted a lot like those butter cookies that my grandma always had around the house. Seriously, I will make some of my own and show everyone. If you don’t know the kind of cookies I’m talking about, I’m sure you can find them in Costco. I know my grandma had a huge can from Costco that she put out for Christmas.
Meeting the Consulate General. We got to go to the Portuguese Consulate and talk to the general. He was so nice and he had some great things to say about the Encontro and the Macanese. Sitting in on that was amazing because it made me appreciate where my relatives are from. I want to help preserve that culture and bring awareness towards people of Macanese decent. I will gladly tell people that I am Macanese and that I do belong to a certain racial identity. I was always split when it came to explaining what racial background I fit into. But now I know that I can say that I am Macanese and proud. I’ve already started trying to learn some Portuguese, so I’m on my way.
Closing Ceremony. Man, what an adventure! I don’t really want to talk about the closing ceremony but I will because I should. For prosperity sake. I don’t want to talk about it because I hate endings. I’m like the Doctor. I realize that everything has to come to an end, but that doesn’t mean that I want it to. I started this journey scared that I wouldn’t belong and I would be homesick. But with this group of people I didn’t feel so scared. I was happy to share this experience with every one of them. The ceremony was mainly speeches and pictures. Great food though. Except the Escargot. Ewww! Remember how I said snails over there were bigger? Yeah… imagine my terror when I saw that on the plate next to me! I was supposed to do a speech but Stephanie wanted to do it so I let her. I do regret it only because when I heard everyone else’s speech, I realized that I wanted to put my voice out there. But I’m glad Stephanie got the chance to.
Oh man. Here comes the part I was dreading talking about. The night before this day, I had planned with this girl from the Vancouver Casa to meet up at 11 am in the lobby so we could go to Hong Kong together. She was staying an extra two days and had kindly said she would hang out. When I got to the lobby, however, she was nowhere to be seen. I tried texting her, but I never got a reply. I waited for an hour and realized that she wasn’t going to show. I was bummed. I ended up going with some of the Australians to the Ferry. I took the Turbo Jet to Hong Kong and went to the hostel. It was really isolated and on top of a hill. When I booked the hostel, I thought it would be okay since it was cheap and I didn’t want to spend so much money. But when I got there, I had some doubts. The room was cramped and I thought I was going to run out of air.
I thought that I would just try to stay out as much as possible. But when I took the shuttle to the Ferry building, I didn’t really feel a good feeling in my stomach. I walked around and did some shopping. I didn’t feel that scared and some of the people seemed nice. But it didn’t seem like something I could do every day for the rest of my trip. I tried to contact the girl again, maybe in hopes that there was a mistake. I did write her about how horrible it felt to be left with no message whatsoever and to worry that something went wrong. I always worry that people are going to get hurt and so I was a little worried that maybe something bad happened to her.
Anyways, as I was searching up things I could do, I get a text from Stephanie about how they missed their flight. They said I could stay the night at their hotel so that I wouldn’t feel so alone. I quickly took a taxi to the hostel. However, the driver didn’t know English so he thought I said Yacht club. I ended up having to pay twice as much because of that mix up. By the time I got to the hostel, I was pretty scared. I called my mom crying that I wanted to go home. At first I thought maybe it was just homesickness, but I did cry on the shuttle down from the hostel, earlier that day. I was homesick then and gave myself time to settle.
I just could not stand staying in that hostel and being ditched really dampened my spirits. I know I planned the trip so I was alone, but the fact that I was in an isolated area and hardly that many people understood me, really scared me. So I ended up leaving the hostel and staying with Stephanie and Emily. I booked the same flight they were on, with help from my dad, and now I am home. I got home earlier today at 9 am. I got to live Thursday twice. I’m totally Doctor Who! XD.
I feel bad that I had to buy another ticket home, and that I didn’t stick it out, but in the end, you have to do what is right for you. I overestimated how I would feel being alone and I will definitely not do it again. If I do travel again, besides going to Wales to study, I will go with a group. And maybe I will try travelling alone another day. They say that this was a once in a lifetime chance, but who knows that really? I’m only 23 years old. You are never too old to travel or live the life you have always wanted. I have to stop letting other people’s opinions dictate who I am as a person.
I am also glad that I did write to that person about how I felt. We should not have to walk on egg shells if someone hurts you. If someone hurts you, tell them how you feel. Do not worry if you hurt their feelings. Get those feelings out. The difference between being immature and telling someone off is the way you phrase it. If you go out of your way to make that person feel like (pardon my French) shit and tell them how worthless they are because of what they did to you, that is immature. But if you call someone out and tell them that they hurt you and that you are upset, that is the way to go. I did not cuss her out and I didn’t say she was stupid or anything. I was as diplomatic as I could have been, while getting my point across. I’ve learned to not hold these things in… well, in some cases.
To the people who made this trip possible, thank you so very much! This experience will live with me forever. I am so glad that I got this opportunity to enjoy this and to learn about the Macanese culture. Next time I travel, I will definitely pick a hotel. I also want to say that I feel closer to my grandma and I will always hold her in my heart. I love you Nana, and I know you were with me the whole time. I went to the St. Paul ruins around midnight one of the days and I forgot my phone. I felt this guiding presence the entire time and I swear it was her. Thank you for protecting me.
I totally got this amazing picture frame in Macau. I love this so much.