I have been here since yesterday, and so far, I’m quite taken with the experience, attracted and repelled at the same time.
The casino, of course, is out-of-bounds for cameras, so I have no pictures. To me, the overwhelming first impression was of a colorful fish market, only without the stench and the noise.
The red, blue, green tables surrounded by concentrated, bored, expressionless or excited faces, the variety of blinking screens, the stained glasses, the shiny red chandeliers, the painted dragons starkly at odds with the attempts at Italian frescoes in the rest of the hotel, the large number of slot machines with elderly couples or single young girls, the “Ruby room” and sundry other smoke-filled rooms marked “High limits”. Fascinating. Especially because I am a gambling virgin, without even the slightest clue about the workings of a slot machine.
The sheer size of the hotel is mind-boggling, it includes the casino, shopping malls, innumerable halls, galleries, convention centres, walking the whole place should take a day and more….I took a walk this morning, and here’s a slide show of some pictures. There is a “canal” on the third floor amid expensive branded shops, where pretty real-looking gondolas are handled by authentically dressed gondoliers, who break into snatches of Italian songs like “O sole mio…”. The songs echo over the water, there are coins at the blue bottom, and the gondoliers row under a smattering of Venetian bridges. Quaint, in a way. Makes me long for the real Venice, though.
I love how they have done up the walls, the windows with flowers, and the effect of the blue sky. Not over-the-top. But the carpets, garish lights, and bright frescoes are laughable and strangely impressive at the same time.
The amount of money that must have gone to build this place, and must go towards towards maintaining it is mind-boggling. The only thing that is scarier is that the place must be running at a profit, and the fabulous amounts the house must be winning to make it so. All those poor faces at the casino, becoming poorer still.
My camera unfortunately does not work very well in night light, and inside this hotel, it is of course perpetual night….exaggerated further by the typhoon that made landfall last midnight, bringing with it lots of wind and rain. At midnight I saw the rain going in circles, it was even raining upwards.
The Venetian has a lot of artificial warm yellow light about, with too much of gold decoration, too many paintings and carpets about the place for my taste: in a way, the false plastic flowers that line the fake Venetian windows sum up for me what Macau is all about: contrived beauty.
The good part is the food court has delicious (and cheap) stuff, my dinner last night was sensational. Add to that a suite that overlooks a garden and swimming pools, and the Rai Italia channel on TV, and I can almost entertain myself.
The husband is busy with meetings and conferences, and I’m practicing Italian, writing a bit, dreaming a lot. Of course, blogging. Life could be better, but so far I’m happy with the way it is right now. Back to writing.