“Bollywood Awards” at Venetian Macau June 11-13 2009

Videocon IIFA Awards

The Videocon IIFA 2009 awards will be televised from the Venetian Macau June 11-13, 2009. This award for the Indian film industry is popularly called the “Bollywood Awards”. Artists from Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show will perform during the ceremony. I am told these awards are televised to 300-500 million people worldwide.

Yes, this is a pretty big deal. I don’t know when the ceremonies are aired in the USA but I’ll add info to this post if I find out before the airing. We’ll have extra shows of Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA for attendees of the event – and you can bet that the artists are working VERY hard right now to prepare for this presentation, in addition to their regular show schedule.

And did you know Cirque Du Soleil’s 25th Anniversary is the middle of June 2009? Things are jumping at the Venetian Macau in June!

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Susan Boyle – Singer – Britains Got Talent 2009

47 Year old Susan Boyle wows the judges with her performance in the auditions for Britains Got Talent, singing I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables.

Embedding for most of the videos has been disabled, probably because of the high traffic, but you can watch a video clip of her on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luRmM1J1sfg

It’s moments like this that make a life in the arts so rich…

Expats in Asia and The Price of Tea in China

Having lived in China for a year now, it has been interesting to see how many Asian flavored “slurs” pop up in the American language. Sayings and attitudes that made sense before seem a little more foreign now. Because the American homeland IS slowly becoming the foreign place to me now. It’s the curse of the Expat.

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The Number One Conversation in Asia

Thought someone might find this interesting. This is the #1 conversation in Asia right now between residents and Americans:

Chinese: Where you from?
American: From America.
Chinese: *smile* America very good. You like Obama?
American: Yes, very much.
Chinese: *Big Smile* I also like Obama.

Now we’re best friends… I’ve had this same conversation in Macau, Vietnam and Thailand. Everyone is happy.

Dear China

Dear China,

Please stop lighting all those firecrackers. I realize it’s Gung Hey Fat Choy of the Ox, but I really need to sleep. And I mean c’mon, firecrackers? Doesn’t that get old? You’ll shoot yer eye out kid…

Boom – Boom – Boom. Ok, we get it…

Kung Hei Fat Choy 2009 from ZAIA


Kung Hei Fat Choy 2009 (Happy Chinese New Year) from the cast of ZAIA. 2009 is the Year of the Ox. Macau will be a crazy one week party starting the week of January 26 2009 for the week long Chinese New Year celebrations.

Around 1996 I was in Tokyo for New Years Eve celebrations with monks ringing gigantic bells with wooden rams. But this is my first CHINESE New Years in China. Techs of Cirque’s ZAIA show were here for the 2008 Fat Choy, but this is the first one for artists of Zaia. We’ve been told “Macau will shut down” during the holiday week.

We’ve all been given red envelopes with the ZAIA embossed logo to fill with money and give to locals for good luck; another traditiion of Chinese New Years. Our work week includes 11 shows for the celebrations, along with many special mini performances around the Venetian in Macau. Anyone know where I can buy some fireworks?

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Chime Long Circus – Guangzhou China

A large group of us from Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show went to see the Chime Long International Circus in Guangzhou, China. It was a fantastic show. The Chime Long circus is more of a traditional circus that includes animal acts. Music for the show is pre-recorded – no live band.

There were so many elements in this show that makes Circus so mesmerizing. There were truly death defying acts including long and high jumps without nets and the Wheel of Death – a Circus favorite. I thought the animal acts were great, although it was a little disturbing to some. There were also great moments of beauty with lush slow aerial acts.

My absolute favorite part was the end of the show when four rows of birds fly from stage left and right across the front of the stage and over the audiences heads. First I think it was pelicans followed by doves. So beautiful. If I hadn’t seen it myself I would have thought it was a projected special effect. Bravo to Chime Long International Circus!

Mass Exodus of Expats from Macau

Macau Expats 11-08

Macau Expats 11-08

Macau Business Magazine has a chilling front page article in their December 2008 issue called “You’re Fired – Expat Exodus” about the mass exodus of Expats working in Macau. You can read the original article at: http://www.macaubusiness.com/index.php?id=1451

Overview from Macau Business Magazine
The wave of lay-offs that has hit the expat community has left a bad taste in the mouth. The whiff of betrayal is in the air and for many, there will be no coming back.

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Guns N’ Roses Album Slammed by China

Axel Rose of Guns N' Roses

Axel Rose

Chinese officials are not amused about the new album released November 24, 2008 by American rock band Guns N’ Roses. The album, which began recording in 1994, is called “Chinese Democracy” and is described by one Chinese listener as attempting to “grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn.”

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11,000 To Lose Casino Jobs in Macau

Thoughts from Macau (SAR) China:

“11,000 To Lose Casino Jobs in Macau” – front page featured news at CNN.com today. They are referring specifically to the Sands Venetian.

Well now, not the best news for us working at the Venetian in Macau – but insiders have known it was coming. The dream to make Macau the Vegas of Asia does not come without an element of risk. Granted, Macau IS currently the largest gambling destination in the world, having already surpassed Las Vegas. But a 12 billion or so development project (just to START) by the Sands is monstrous.

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Expats Losing Native Language Skills

Just an observation I think is interesting. As you live in a foreign country your native language skills begin to degrade a bit. What’s interesting to me is I’m not even speaking a second language, but it’s the habit of speaking in broken English to locals that begins to take it’s toll.

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First Trip to Zhuhai China

My first trip into Zhuhai China included great shopping, great food, beggars and pickpockets. Zhuhai China is just over the border from Macau – in the Southeast part of China near Hong Kong. The strict visa restrictions have been lifted now that the Olympics are over so it’s a little easier for us Expats (Westerners living in China) to go back and forth over the border now. Photo above is the waterfront in Zhuhai, and you can see the buildings in Macau from this vantage point.

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Nachos and Diet Coke in China

So, the big question is… can you get nachos and Diet Coke in China?

Very good question. The answer is Yes! And also Doritos, Chips Ahoy, Ritz crackers, Toblerone, Nutella and Maple Syrup. All the essential food groups are well represented here.

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How to call Hong Kong from Macau

Here’s how to call Hong Kong from Macau (and vice-versa)

Area Code – The international telephone country code for Macau is 853. From Hong Kong, dial 001/853 before the number. When dialing an international number from Macau, you must first dial 00, followed by the country code. However, when calling Hong Kong from Macau, you need only dial the prefix 01.

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