Archive for taipa

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.


See more street signs here.


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.

Tree of Life

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Life in Macau, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

A few years ago in NYC, I painted a mural on my door inspiring by Gustav Klimt‘s Tree of Life.


Klimt's Tree of Life

Skoopy's Tree of Life- 2008

Recently, a friend of mine started to do murals on the walls in his living room.  He asked me to do a portion for him.  I chose the corner between his kitchen and his front door.  After some thought, I decided to do another tree of life.

I started this project about a month ago now and am really excited to show its progress over the last few weeks.


In the beginning, there was a tree

And in the end . . .


See more murals I’ve painted in Macau here.

La Femme Cactus Makes Her Mark

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Life in Macau, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

I am writing this post to demonstrate why it is good to have friends that are as crazy as you are (I am).  I will present this tale to you in the form of a script.

Scene: Apartment in Old Taipa (Macau), nighttime, two 30-something expat chicks chilling on the balcony


Shaz: I bought some fairy lights today.  Wanna help me figure out where to hang them?


Shaz shows LFC two set of Christmas lights, one with dragon flies and one with random shapes made of straw.

LFC: These are awesome.  [La Femme Cactus look around the room thoughtfully] You know what you should do?  You should hang them on this wall above your couch.

Shaz: That could be cool.  How would you do it?

LFC: Well first I would paint the wall so it’s not such a boring brown color.  I have an awesome green leftover from when I painted my apartment.


****I interrupt this story to tell you that, YES, I will write a post and show photos of my own apartment soon.  I promise.  Now, back to your regularly scheduled broadcast.****

Shaz:  That’s a good idea.

LFC: Do you want to do it right now?  I can go get the paint and the supplies.

Shaz: Sure.  Let’s do it!

Shaz and La Femme Cactus go over to LFC’s apartment, which is conveniently located in the same building, but is inconveniently accessed by going DOWN one set of stairs and then UP another set a stairs.  They collect the paint, brushes and other supplies and then head back DOWN and UP the stairs back to Shaz’s apartment.


The two ladies begin to rearrange the furniture and set up the painting supplies.  Meanwhile, Rich (Shaz’s husband) comes into the apartment . . .


Rich: Hey ladies, what’s going on?

LFC: We are going to paint your wall green and then hang some fairy lights.

Rich: [pointing at paint can] That lime green right there?

Shaz: Yeah, we can make a cool design.

Rich: I don’t know how I feel about this.

LFC: What if we just paint PART of the wall green and leave mostly the brown?

Shaz: Yeah, we could do shapes!

Rich: I’m still not sure about this.

LFC: It’ll be great.  Just wait and see. [ponders] Ok, if we don’t paint the whole wall, we should find a fun design.  What do you think?  Palm trees?

Shaz: I don’t know.

LFC: I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [EXCITED] A cactus!

Shaz: Perfect.

La Femme Cactus then starts painting the outline of two cacti.  Soon, the cat, Butters, decides that he should help.  Soon, Butters face and tail both match the wall.  Mostly brown, with a lovely green design.

LFC: I think I can finish the basic shapes tonight, but I’ll need to come back tomorrow and bring more paint for the rest.  If you give me your keys, I can do it while you are both at work.

Shaz and Rich give LFC a set of keys to their apartment and she heads home for the night.

End of Day One

The next day, she returns with several more colors of paint and resumes her work on the wall.

Painting the spines takes FOREVER!  Shaz and Rich come home.  Shaz’s friend Brandy comes over to watch.  LFC slaves away for HOURS to paint all the little spines on the two cacti.

Flowers too!

Finally the paint is done and the lights can get hung.  Shaz pulls out some sticky hooks and gets to work on her contribution to the mural.

Ready for lights

LFC: I think we have done a good job.

Rich: It’s not what I would have imagined for my living room, but it’s pretty cool.

Brandy: I want one in my house!



See more photos of this and other murals here.