November 5, 2018
I went for a run around the Macau Reservoir. The path leading around it is only wide enough for two people at some lengths, forcing any passers-by to run on the thin strip of concrete between the little fence bordering the path and the edge of the reservoir. It is meant to trip people so they fall onto the concrete before falling into the water. The edge is a little too narrow for my comfort. I slowed down as I approached others and walked behind them until a good time to pass.
After a shower, breakfast was two bao – one had soy-sauce-marinated pork inside and the other had a marzipan and black sesame filling. I walked over to the Praca do Tap Seac (Portuguese name) or Ta Shi Guang Chang (Chinese), a public square where I use the free government Wi-Fi. There’s no Wi-Fi in my aunt’s apartment, where I’ve been living for the past month. I smiled at the security guard whose eyes make him look like he’s always smiling.
Today I am supposed to call a friend from my hometown of Iowa City. We both graduated from school in the spring. After living for a month and a half in Tunisia, she was upset that she doesn’t yet have her ~dream job~ but I was optimistic. Moving slowly is okay.
The collection of corduroy baggy overalls, banker’s lamps, fringewear and pageboy caps at the nearby Vintage Market makes it feel like the clothing version of the Americana store from The Man In the High Castle. The woman at the cash register invited me to sit on the couch in the corner. We listened to “We Are the World” until her boss sent her a voice message in Cantonese. ABBA was playing, then Queen which made me think of “Bohemian Rhapsody” so I said I love Rami Malek and she showed me that her phone background is a picture of him in a tub. “He’s like Jesus in this picture,” she swooned.
By now, local schools were letting out and the streets filled with kids in uniform combos of white shirts/white shorts (Pui Ching Middle School) or green/yellow tennis tees (Chan Sui Ki Perpetual Help College) or red/blue polos (Hou Kong Middle School). Nai nais in sandals came to scoop them up.
Instead of taking the bus I walked back to the square, now my headquarters for communication. Macau is about half the size of the island of Manhattan or a quarter of the size of Disneyworld. Macau is one of the densest cities in the world. My uncle says that there isn’t enough land for everyone to be standing outside at the same time.
Walking gets me to most places. Each day I try a new route to the Praca without looking at directions and today I discovered the shortest route so far. I was slightly irritated that I’ve taken any other route but this one.
I sat on the steps of the Centro de Exposição de Produtos Alimentares to have a phone-cradling session. A friend on Facebook mentioned his lack of friends since relocating to London. I did not offer consolation, opting instead for, “Ugh that suxxxx.”
When I got to my apartment complex, my aunt was talking on the phone outside. I waved to her and she waved me through the gate. Upstairs I remembered that I had two SIM cards that I found on the ground of the ferry from Hong Kong to Macau. Using an earring back to pop open the card slot, I inserted a card and found that it still has data. It was pretty damn satisfying.
Popula is 100% ad-free, reader-supported journalism accountable only to you. Every dollar of your subscription goes straight to our work. Thank you for supporting Popula.
Hmm, looks like you don’t have MetaMask activated!
If you know what MetaMask is and have it installed, activate MetaMask and refresh:
If that doesn't make sense to you, click here:
The MetaMask window should have popped up and asked if you want Popula to have access to your MetaMask. Click the blue CONFIRM button.
Don’t see the MetaMask window? Click here to request it again:
Your MetaMask extension is running, but for privacy purposes you have to allow us to connect to your MetaMask wallet.
You need to connect to the Main Net before you can actually tip. Click on your MetaMask icon so the window pops up, then select ‘Main Ethereum Network’ from the dropdown.
How much do you want to tip?
You can adjust either amount to see how much ETH or USD you’ll be sending.
You can adjust the tip amount in the MetaMask popup window before confirming the transaction.
Popula’s authors contribute 5% of their tips to Popula to help with the overhead of running the tipping system.
Author participation in the Popula tipping system is optional; if an author declines to participate in the tipping system, your tip will be refunded to you in full within 60 days.
Your MetaMask window has popped up now, and you need to confirm the transaction.
Hit that blue 'Confirm' button to make it happen!
Did you reject the transaction by accident? Want to adjust your tip amount? Click here:
Maybe you’re not quite comfortable with this yet?
That transaction didn’t go through for some reason.
Try clicking on the MetaMask button in your browser bar (looks like this: ) and see if you have any transactions listed at the bottom of the popup. If you don’t see the tip you just tried to leave, then try again:
Or just want to ask us about it? We’ look into it personally for you.
Thank you so much for your tip, and for your direct support of journalism. The author will appreciate it a lot, and so do all of us at Popula.
You can see your transaction logged in MetaMask. Just click the MetaMask button in your browser bar—this one: —and your transaction will be listed at the bottom of the popup.
You can also track the transaction on the Etherscan website. It usually takes under a minute for the transaction to process, and you’ll get a notification from MetaMask when it’s done.Track on Etherscan
If you have any questions at all, please let us know!
All set?Home to Popula, please!
We know this cryptocurrency stuff is new and weird. We’re here to help you understand. Ask us firstname.lastname@example.org
ETH is Ether, a popular cryptocurrency generated on the Ethereum blockchain.
You’ll need some Ethereum cryptocurrency (ETH) in a MetaMask wallet in order to tip an author. Currently it’s not possible to tip in other cryptocurrencies, or in dollars or other fiat currencies.
For a comprehensive FAQ to help get you started, please visit our help page, “How to Tip Your Favorite Authors with Cryptocurrency on Popula!”
If you have any questions at all, please let us know!