Macau 2016 Post 2

I feel a little dumb saying this having been back since and now knowing better but the next day, when I wanted to walk across the street to see the Lisboa, I was a little nervous.

Getting over, you go through a tunnel and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. There were others around, though given my jetlag I was up at about 5am local time. I just wasn’t sure. Turns out, it was really dumb to be concerned.

The tunnels are totally safe. Between that trip and my subsequent trip the following January, I walked through them dozens of times at all points of day and night. Macau is a safe place to walk and the stats bear that out.

I made it through the tunnel and I was about to enter the Lisboa. I wanted to meet up with Chuck but he hadn’t gotten back to me yet so I was content just checking the place out on my own.

I think I’m a reasonably brave ‘dumb American tourist’ but I’d never been to East Asia before. I wasn’t really nervous but at the same time, not speaking the language always makes things a bit more complicated.

In Macau, not speaking any Chinese is often not a problem. But it depends on where you go and what you do. The casinos all have English-speaking staff. The taxi drivers typically don’t speak any at all but the door-people are pretty adept at handling this and many will even write out the Chinese translation for your hotel on a piece of paper so you can easily get back.

Actually, this is a good opportunity to talk about how service is handled in Macau vs. other major American cities, Las Vegas in particular.

One of the things you notice quickly about Macau is how personable the hotel staff are. Sure, it’s usually reserved to a couple of words but sometimes it goes beyond, such as the example of writing out the location information for the cab driver. Overall, I found the hotel staff I dealt with to seem to be happy to help.

Vegas has hotels filled with many great people but I’ve certainly run into folks there who seemed to have graduated from the United Airlines School for Customer Service. You know what I mean — folks that just don’t seem to want to be there and who make it pretty clear. Those are easy to spot but there are also a great many who are competent but still not all that friendly.

Perhaps it was the places I stayed or the thrill (ha!) of interacting with a dumb American but I found the staff in Macau to be universally eager to please. It was impressive and it made me feel good about being a customer. They seemed happy. I was happy. Win win.