Archive for macau

Street Signs of Taipa

Posted in funny, Travel Asia with tags , , , , , , , on October 21, 2013 by Yarn Over New York

While visiting Macau with my boyfriend, Jason, we played a game of translating the street signs.  As Macau has two official languages, Portuguese and Cantonese, all the street names are displayed in both languages.  I was curious to see how many of the names actually match up when translated.  Here are a few interesting discoveries (Cantonese translated by Jason, Portuguese translated by me).

Direct Translations

Many of the street names are actually the same when translated.

Middle Street

Black Bridge Street

(Although, as far as I can tell, there’s no bridge on the street, black or otherwise)

Ant Alley

Names of Places or People

Some of the streets are name after famous Portuguese places and people; some are named for famous places or people in China.  Most of the time, these names are written to sound the same in the other language.

Cheok Family Village (Ka means family in Cantonese)- named for a local family clan

Cunha Street

Cunha (pronounced coon-ya) is a common Portuguese surname.  The Cantonese name of this street is pronounced goon-ya gai.  It’s clear that the naming authorities used chinese characters to create a name as close as possible to Cunha.  (The Cantonese word “gai” means street and “rua” means street in Portuguese.)

Foshan Street

Foshan is a city in the Guangdong province of China (closest province to Macau).  The literal translation of the Chinese characters is “Buddha Mountain.” I guess when the Portuguese tried to write this name “Fat San” was the closest they could get.

Somewhat Similar but Not Exactly

A few of the translations we came across proved interesting.

Merchant Street

Mercador is merchant in Portguese but the Cantonese translation is where things get fun.  The first character is “mai” (pronounced with rising tone) which means “buying” and the second “mai” (pronounced with a falling tone) means “selling.”  So the meaning is essentially the same, but it’s not quite a direct translation.

Garden Walk

“Horta” means “garden” and “caminho” means “walk” in Portuguese.  We gain a little bit more information when reading the Chinese, as the first 2 characters translate to “vegetable garden.”

Street of the Well Married

Perhaps one of my favorite street names.  Like Merchant Street, the overall meaning is the same, but when taken individually, the Chinese characters tell a great story.  “Lin lei” refers to two trees that grow closely with one another and their branches become entwined.  This image is often used to symbolize to the love between a husband and wife as they grow old together.

Totally Different 

Some of the most fun we had while translating was the find the street names that have little or no connection to their counterparts.

???

The first sign in this photo is “Sport Street” in Portuguese and “Body Sport Street” in Chinese, no big difference there. However, the sign on the right is another story all together.  The Cantonese name “dei bo” means “bunker” but the Portuguese word “regedor” means “alderman.”

Well, both languages agree that it’s bird…

In Portuguese “gaivota” is a seagull and in Cantonese “shui ap” is a mallard.  So, both are birds and both live near water, but they are definitely not the same bird.

Is she a sinner or a saint?

This street name is my hands-down favorite.  The Portuguese translation is “Witches’ Lane,” which I love because: A- witches are cool and B- where else would you find a street named “Witches’ Lane”?  The Cantonese translation “sin loi gong” means “Saint Lady Lane.”  So which (witch?) kind of lady is she?

One Last Funny 

There are many many more street names out there, obviously.  I didn’t even cross over the Macau or Coloane, so perhaps more exploration is in order.   I will leave you with another favorite of mine.

Good View Alley

The translation isn’t the interesting aspect of this alley.  Both Portuguese and Cantonese translate to “good view alley.”  It’s also not a unique name, variations can be found all over the world.  Buena Vista and Buona Vista are common names for streets and towns, usually named for their scenic outlooks.

However

See more street signs here.

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Weekly Travel Theme: Light

Posted in Life in Singapore, new york, Travel Asia, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by Yarn Over New York

Another version of Where’s My Backpack‘s Weekly Travel ThemesLIGHT.  I could not resist such an awesome theme.

Boston, USA

NYC, USA

Paris, France

NYC, USA

Macau

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Macau

Hangzhou, China

Singapore

Larnaka, Cyprus

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Singapore

Kathmandu, Nepal

Weekly Travel Themes: Benches

Posted in Life in Singapore, new york, Travel Asia, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2013 by Yarn Over New York

I have to say thank you to my friend Luc, who prompted me to write a new blog post.  It’s been ages and I have no good excuse other than laziness.  So merci, Luc!  No more laziness for me!

Anyway, I’ll offer another segment of Weekly Travel Theme and this week it’s Benches. I am particularly inspired by this theme because my favorite way to see a new city is to walk.  I often set off with no direction and just wander and watch.  Benches provide a wonderful resting point during my travels.  I’ve sat upon some beautiful benches in beautiful spots.

Get on the bench. The banana bench. Prague, Czech Republic.

Even Rubber Ducky needs a rest in Dublin, Ireland.

A very welcoming bench in the port of Kusadasi, Turkey.

Aya and Sita save a spot for me at Lou Lim Ieoc Park in Macau.

This bench tells it like it is in Naples, Italy.

Dragon bench in Bruges, Belgium.

Don’t mind if I do in Singapore. (I think this is the ONLY graffitied bench in all of Singapore)

Dali’s lip bench in Berlin, Germany.

Comfortable? In Hangzhou, China.

A Gaudi-esque mosaic bench at Grant’s Tomb in NYC.

The real deal in Barcelona, Spain.

and lastly…

Not exactly a bench…but freaking cool. Marshall poses with “Blue Guy Sitting”*

* part of “The Art of the Brick” exhibit by Nathan Sawaya at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore.

Travel Theme: Gaudy- Lunar New Year Edition

Posted in Life in Macau, Life in Singapore, Travel Asia with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2013 by Yarn Over New York

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Here is a collection of my favorite Chinese New Year decorations from around Asia.  Lots of gold, lots of shiny.  This post is my contribution to Where’s My Backpack’s Weekly Travel Theme.

2011- Year of the Rabbit

Luminous child holding a branch dripping with money at Senado Square in Macau

A Chinese Opera New Year Pink Luminous Bunny in Macau

Fake blossoms and lots of lanterns in Macau

2012- Year of the Dragon

Shopping in Singapore

A Luminous Dragon at Resorts World Sentosa

Golden Dragon at Suntec City Mall

2013- Year of the Snake

Lion Puppet with Firecracker Tongue at the Ang Mo Kio Market in Singapore

Nothing Says Happy New Year Like a Sparkly Multicolor Flower Tree Light

Hiss-ssssssss-ssssssssss-ssssssssss-ssssssss

Read more about my first Chinese New Year experience here and here.

恭喜發財

 

A Macau Chinglish Farewell

Posted in Life in Macau with tags , , , , on May 23, 2011 by Yarn Over New York

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My Apartment in Macau

Posted in Life in Macau, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2011 by Yarn Over New York

When I moved from Belgium to Macau about a year ago, I found an awesome little 2-bedroom apartment in the historic area of Taipa.  The apartment fit all of my requirements: I could walk to work, it was not in a high-rise, I could easily walk to stores, restaurants and bars, and most of all it was in a neighborhood with some personality.

The area where I live is the oldest populated part of Taipa (called Old Taipa Village), whereas the rest of the island was pretty much a jungle until about 10 years ago.)  In recent years, the trees have been cleared out of the majority of Taipa and many many new high-rise apartment buildings have been added.  Though I enjoy the conveniences this kind of development creates (groceries stores, home supply stores, bars and restaurants), I wanted to live in a location with more of a history and a more unique feeling.

A view of the rest of Taipa

(Chicken coop high-rise = bad)

As you can see from the photos below, I have large windows with a view of trees!  It feels like I live in the woods ever though I am in the middle of the city.

Here is a before photo

The apartment is fully furnished (YAY!) with really ugly non-color-coordinating cheap furniture (BOO!), so I decided to cover EVERYTHING with orange fabric.  It is much better this way, don’t you think?

And here is the finished product

I also decided to paint the walls in my bedroom and the main living/dining area.  The kitchen and bathroom are both tiled, so no need to paint in there.  I had left the second bedroom alone with plans to tackle it in the future.  Now my roommate Nia has painted it for herself.

I went with an orange called “Carotine,” a dark green called “Kelly Green” and a light green called “Celery Stalk” for the living room.

For the bedroom, I chose a yellow called “Ripe Banana” and a pink called “Strawberry Crush.”  It’s like a smoothie in there!

I went to several home goods stores looking for various colorful (but mostly orange) accessories for the apartment.

My Guardian Lion

I set up a nice relaxing area on my bedroom windowseat.  It is a perfect little reading corner.

I covered the wardrobes with my photos.

My water cooler.

See more photos of my Macau apartment here.

You Could Lose an Eye Doing That- Chinese New Year part 2

Posted in Life in Macau with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2011 by Yarn Over New York

I grew up in the USA.  My experience with fireworks up until now was watching them being shot off from a barge over a large body of water.  I had played with sparklers and knew people who had occasionally purchased small fireworks in one of the few states where they are legally sold.  None of that prepared me for the awesome and frightening spectacle that is fireworks in Macau for Chinese New Year.

Fireworks are legal here.  Totally legal.  Okay, there is a small amount of regulation and designated areas for selling and firing but that’s it.

Follow arrow for fun!

Conveniently located just off the main road

Fun for all ages!

Rock n Roll

I had a wonderful time visiting the fireworks area twice and watching from the roof of Ro’s building.  The Macau fireworks are loud, proud and above all SAFE!

(Watch for the fireman at the end)

Really smart

See more photos of Chinese New Year in Macau here.

Visit part one of my CNY blog here.