Sometimes I wish I could go back and retrace my steps. This is certainly true when it comes to Macau. I traveled to the then-Portuguese colony twice in the 1990s, just for the day. But in many ways I feel I never left the hydrofoil.
This postcard from 1990 shows the Macau I remember.
But I wasn’t the first in my family to see Macau. If only I’d viewed my grandparents’ and uncle’s slides before my trip, I’m sure I would have ventured to more than just the famous Hotel Lisboa, calm Chinese gardens, or the Ruinas de S. Paulo. My uncle captured the ruins in this photo from 1971.
My grandparents saw some beautiful sites in 1965, such as this quaint side street.
I love the stone-paved street and the beautiful architecture. It reminds me of The Scavengers, a 1950s noir set in Macau. And there’s the Jane Russell/Robert Mitchum film, Macao, which showed some gorgeous street footage in the beginning of the movie, but was mostly filmed on a Hollywood set. I’m not sure I would’ve seen scenes like this one below, unless it was an over-priced tourist trap.
It’s so In the Mood for Love, as is this one below.
Finally, I can’t end without mentioning the spelling of Macau. For some it’s Macau, for others Macao. When I found this slide from my grandparents’ 1965 trip, I felt a few heart palpitations. If you look at the writing on the end of the pier building, it’s spelled Macao. But off to the side just above the boat, it’s Macau.
Of course, it’s just a transliteration from the Chinese (which itself can be written in the simplified and in the traditional style).