Asia Journal: The Postcard That Can’t Beat You Home

It was going so well, the daily posting with too-small pictures, using an iPhone, recounting re-encounters with Asian landscapes and looking for new corners of them. Working around that cramping keyboard, 7,700 miles of autocorrect, late at night or early in someone’s morning, somewhere….

And then…and then, the business, the schedule, the return flight, the no-wifi wastelands, the wasted equipment delay in San Francisco when I couldn’t keep my eyes open anyway, and finally the Hong Kong Horror, a chest cold like the universe, edgeless and ever expanding…

NO NO NO YOU MUUUUUUST UPDATE! ALWAYS AND NOW NOW NOWNOWNOW! BLOGS EAT; THEY EAT KAAAAWWWWNTENT, CANNOT BE CONTENT WITHOUT CONTENT YOU SHOULD HAVE uuuuuUUUUUUPDAAAAAAYYYYTED YOU’RE A BAAAAAD BLOG PERSUUUUN…

OMG, Id. Do shut up.

There was a time, not so long ago, when travel took long enough that postcards would always get home before the traveler. Then, as travel got faster over longer distances and mail service slowed, people made it a point to send their cards at the beginning of the trip, which felt kind of artificial. “But we haven’t actually seen the Washington Monument yet.” “Aw, Aunt Clara’ll never know. She just wants to hear from us.”

And finally…postcards got flighted and electronicked into quaintness. If I can get from Osaka to San Francisco in nine hours, it’s not likely a bag of mail is going to keep pace. But people still sometimes send them, so everyone can still have a laugh when they arrive.

And I didn’t snap all those iPhotos fer nuthin’.

Day 4-like: Body on Asia time. The Miura Cup over, the broad relationship building and reinforcing done, it was time for a small group of us to head to Macau as guests of K.K. Lee, our excellent Hong Kong distributor for Miura. Macau, the island, about an hour hydrofoil ferry ride from Hong Kong, former Portuguese colony (until just about 10 years ago), now a gambling haven in a country that wouldn’t think of it anywhere else in its massive realm. Vegas, with better food and an exotic flair — except that by now, Macau has far outstripped Vegas as the world’s No. 1 gaming destination.

Everything breaks toward the blackjack tables…

None of which helps me, since gambling (in that way) is not my thing. But there’s golf, that pastoral pursuit…here, among the construction cranes.

I had enough time to count 45 construction cranes on the horizon.

I don’t keep a bucket list; I don’t like death to be the impetus for a check-off. But here was one more box to tick, on whatever list. What I like most about Macau, though, is the lingering Portuguese influence in the buildings, the markets, the brownly spiced foods.

Next: Ferry, airplane, Japan…

— Adam Barr

Copyright 2012 Adam Barr

Market street, Macau

Pork cutlets everywhere

No shortage of new alleys to try.

Chinese exotic, European colonial overlay

At Miura-san’s favorite Portuguese restaurant.

 


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