The island of Macau nestled near Hong Kong is a favourite tourist destination for many thousands of people. They go like insects attracted to light. They flock in day in and day out, by air, and sea. Many toss themselves into gambling, along with their fortune. Then their hopes turn to riches and their dreams to rags. Some travel to see and cherish the island’s history, culture and heritage. To all, Macau gives them what they deserve and imprints upon them its seal of destiny, in their passport called life.
Night life in Macau can be spent within the walls of huge high rise, sky-scraping, fascinating alive casinos. One can gamble one’s time, smoke, eat, drink, leverage luck in clattering slot machines or watch semi-nude dance shows. Or one can be a people watcher, witnessing the roll of the dice or the opening of cards, or the faces of players on the change of fate, as luck smiled over some or maybe upon the banker.
I spent some time in one such casino. I watched the stress, strain, laughter, grins and all the changing emotions as fortunes changed in every game. Fortune paints colors and brushes its strokes upon the faces and lives of the gambling gamblers.
Seeing enough of the drama, the agony and the ecstasy I walked into the streets of Senado square and behold a different world fascinated my senses. Artfully decorated cobblestone streets, colourful lit casinos, street lights, enticing signboards, decorated shops, restaurants, parks, churches and homes all displayed the vanity of life.
Walking the streets in the glow of the colorful night lights which hid in its shadows the other side of reality was a soul searching experience. It portrayed the beauty of the city unfurling the glory of the winners in bright light and hid the misery of the losers in its shadows. The walk made me think about the variety of life. Dining on fine Portuguese cuisine I mused over the scenes of the overwhelming early night and prepared myself to learn more about the city the next morning.
The city had many virtual places like the Guia fort, wine and sports car museum, many heritage landmarks of the earlier years and sprawling new complexes. I loved them all yet two of the city’s landmarks left an indelible mark in my mind. One was the crumbling ruins of the church of St.Paul and the other was the enticing, majestic, decorated, buildings housing the gamer’s paradise.
The beautiful city portrays two different worlds when people come here. Everyone searches for their destiny by following their own dreams, which they believe in as their own beloved religion. Finally, I guess it is just any which way you choose.