Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Macao Hazards

There are 3 main kinds of hazards in Macau:

1) Pollution

Construction work is everywhere in Macau nowadays, with new casinos, hotels and apartment blocks, filling the air with dust. The floor is frequently coated with a layer of dust, and I sneeze far more dirt from my nose than in Singapore. Some people are wearing face masks.


2) Noise

It is almost impossible to find a quiet spot in Macau, except maybe parts of Coloane island.

You can actually feel the floor shaking due to construction work around my apartment. [It is also disturbing to see large cracks along the pavement caused by the ground sinking more than 30cm in some parts. This and many parts of Macau are on reclaimed land.]

At night, the pubs below my block sometimes attracts unruly people who quarrel and curse each other loudly. There are also car drivers who sound their horn persistently in the dead of the night because some idiot parked right in front of them, preventing them from leaving.

It did not help to have a police station just a few blocks away.

There is also an annual event called the Grand Prix, which is a great attraction or frustration depending on if you are a tourist or resident. During this multi-day event held in November, we can expect massive traffic jams to descend all over Macau.

Although the bus services are all free during the event, it is scant comfort for the waiting, confusion (of bus route changes) and loud screeching sounds of the race cars.


3) Mosquitoes

They are everywhere, except during winter time. I find at least 3 in my apartment daily. It is quite a chore to hunt them down every night before I sleep so that I feel less itchy.

I have not heard of any outbreak of dengue fever or any mosquito-borne disease, but I am shutting my doors and windows just in case.

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