Recently at dinner I asked John to recall his favorite meal of ours together. I realize that this is sort of a formal, odd question to ask your significant other, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Plus we’ve been talking to each other non-stop for five years; creativity is essential. Of course, with raised eyebrows his response was, “well, what kind of meal? Like a homemade one or at a restaurant? Do you mean judging by the food or by the restaurant’s ambiance? Or sentimentality, like our first date?” UGGGH NEVERMIND.
So while we didn’t pick a favorite, we did have fun recalling some of our most memorable meals together, and this one pictured here was certainly a standout:
In August of 2008, John and I did a trip through China, starting in Hong Kong. On our last day in HK before heading to Beijing we decided to check out Macau, which is the Vegas of the East. In fact, Macau’s gaming revenue surpasses that of Las Vegas’, so it’s a pretty bustling little island. Though the idea of Las Vegas makes me itchy and nauseous, when given the opportunity to see America at its absolute most gluttonous through the eyes of China, you take it. This can also be done by going into any . . . well, anywhere in America and simply taking a look around. I forgot everything here is actually made in China anyway. Ok forget it, save your money.
Nevertheless, should you choose to visit, the easiest way to get there is the TurboJet, a high-speed ferry that leaves from Hong Kong every fifteen minutes. We were leaving later that evening but we figured we’d have plenty of time to walk around, check things out, and get one of these. Mmmm.
Though technically Macau is part of China, it’s a Special Administrative Region (as is Hong Kong), so you have to go through customs. So let’s imagine that a magic high-speed boat shuttled people from Los Angeles to Vegas every fifteen minutes. That would be awesome, right? And imagine that Angelenos had the insatiable taste for gambling that the Chinese do. Are you picturing the absolutely insane customs line?
We are not so smart.
After what seemed like hours waiting to go through an extraordinarily slow line to enter a country that technically we were already authorized to enter our patience waned, and we lost a lot of time, but were still confident that we’d have enough to get a good feel for the place. We headed to The Venetian which is the largest hotel in all of Asia and the fourth largest building in THE WORLD by area. After walking through this behemoth monstrosity we naturally mustered up a Venetian Macau-sized appetite, so we chose the most gluttonous restaurant of all, a churrascaria.
There we sat in the fake St. Mark’s Square, blissfully air-conditioned in the middle of steaming Macau heat, being served endless swords of meat by several Chinese waiters dressed as Brazilian gauchos. You shouldn’t be shocked that all we could say were three words: “this is fun!”
When I say “all we could say” I mean this literally, we could not stop saying it. True, casinos are known for utilizing mind-control tactics, but this was ridiculous. “This is fuuuuun!” “Ohh, THIS is fun!!” Drool. We just looked across the table at each other, big, idiotic smiles plastered on our faces, slurring. Sure, ok maybe we had a few mojitos, but our drunkenness was mostly that of charred animal flesh and obscure passport stamps. We don’t really gamble, but we totally and completely lost track of time underneath the painted blue sky of faux-Venice. I don’t know how it’s possible, but we sat there for what I’m pretty sure were SEVERAL HOURS, saying nothing but “this is fun”, glazed over eyes, eating as though we hadn’t for days.
If I haven’t already painted a descriptive enough picture, take a look at this:
If you know this man at all, you know that he doesn’t just DO this kind of thing preemptively.
Finally one of us snapped out of it and checked the time. “WHAT THE?! HOW HAVE WE BEEN HERE FOR FIVE HOURS?! WE HAVE TO GO! CHECK! CHECK! CHECK PLEASE!!!”
We skittered out into the sunlight, squinting and hissing at it like rats. Luckily we were still able to see some of the “real” Macau, but that meal certainly altered our schedule. We missed our TurboJet back to Hong Kong, had to buy new tickets, and so nearly missed our flight to Beijing. Suitcases in tow, we sprinted through the streets to the airport train. “Oh, it’s this way! Come on!” I yelled. “Wait, are you sure?” “YES! Of course I’m sure, hurry!”
15 minutes later . . .
“Ok, it’s not this way. Um. Um. Um.”
“GAHHH! WHY DO I ALWAYS TRUST YOU?!
“I DON’T KNOW! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS TRUST ME?! I AM ALWAYS WRONG WHEN IT COMES TO DIRECTIONS!”
“YES BUT YOU ALWAYS SOUND SO SURE OF YOURSELF!”
Kiki trips and nearly sprains her ankle. “Go! Just go without me! I fucked up! I’m sorry!”
Who would have guessed that mere hours earlier all we could lazily babble was “this issss fuuuuun” while staring lovingly, drunkenly, into each others eyes.
It’s how we do things.