I had never ever been interested in going to Macau but this time there was, at least apparently, no other choice. Back in 2007 I had experienced the nightmare that it is to arrive in Hong Kong with a bicycle and I wasn't willing to repeat that, let alone now there being two of us. The only reason why we had to go through Macau was because that's the place where the cheapest flights for the Philippines take off from, they are indeed really cheap. That, coupled with the fastest issuing of the Philippine visa at the cheapest price in the region and the fact that, opposite to Hong Kong, you are actually allowed to cycle in Macau, it made the place hard to resist. What I didn't know at the time of arranging the flight is that we would fall into a trap and as the saying (in Spanish) goes, the cheapest ends up being the most expensive in the end.
It took us 12 exhausting hours to complete the 135km that separate Guangzhou广州and the city of Zhuhai珠海sitting across the border from Macau. The road was pretty much a continuation of what I had been experiencing the days before arriving to Guangzhou广州, an endless continuum of factories and evil traffic. Many of those images that can be seen in some investigative reports in the west about the poor working conditions going on in china can be seen live here, right from the road. Or what it is actually more terrifying, one can only see a small bit of it and that very small bit is already terrifying itself. Factories filled with lines and lines of workers probably sitting all day there working double or triple shifts, their housing sitting either right above or right next to the factory. It is only left to imagination what living like this must be like, in this industrial megacenter of the planet. The lives of the very people that work anywhere from 8 to 18hs a day to make real those objects that not only the very few in the world will be able to consume but also those super cheap mass market products that find their place somewhere across the globe. It is a saddening experience and it brings me down to see the degree of inequality that the Gods of the economy of our days promote and strive so so so hard to defend.