We are in Hong Kong and decided to have Christmas in Macau because Sollai is there and the only one of our family without family. It has been the strangest Christmas we have ever had. Normally we are encased in family warmth and love and noisiness and too much eating and drinking and preparing and over excitement. Instead, most of our friends have left town, Jake and Jaqui are in Australia, and Sollai is working, and the quietness surrounding us has been huge.
Sollai is working on Christmas day in his job back stage on the Cirque du Soleil. Our Christmas with him is breakfast; with him, his girlfriend Danika, and six other circus mates, celebrating wholesomely on fruit and yogurt and eggs and bacon and sausages before they leave to perform. They are all such a gorgeous looking bunch of young people. All of them are really healthy with beautiful taut bodies, high energy, high egos, and very much family to each other. It was lovely to be included in their Christmas morning and sad to leave when Sollai had to go to work. The fun seemed to be over too early.
As we wandered around Old Macau, jostling with thousands of others, all the world out there on this day partaking in the festivities, we escaped down an alleyway and found to our joy, a simple little Portuguese restaurant that was open, yet secluded as there were not many customers, and we decided that it was here that we would have our Christmas lunch. We were so happy. It was a beautiful, warm little place, with lovely people. The owner Pedro was delightful, giving us good advice on the food and the wine, and we felt like we were home in Italy, the atmosphere similar. We had bean soup, whole grilled chicken in piri-piri with potatoes and salad, and chocolate mousse for dessert, accompanied by a warm, full bodied Portuguese wine. It was not the normal Christmas fare, but it felt wonderful, at other tables, families celebrating happily and comfortably in the homely surrounds.
Finding a taxi to the ferry was another thing. It seemed almost impossible with so many people. But along the way there were groups of smiling young people carrying placards that read, ‘Free Hugs‘ and under laughing good will we all cuddled abundantly leaving Macau in the chill air of evening when we at last got a taxi. We arrived home, still with smiles on our faces and leapt under the doona on the couch to talk on skype with our family in Australia and watch feel good Christmas movies into the early morning, munching on chocolates and sipping on tea. It was a different Christmas, but it was beautiful too.