Both feet finally touching the land you once thought you can only reach in your dreams can ultimately give you all the excitement in the world. But it may be helpful if you stop for a while, breathe in, breathe out, and take time to check for some warning signs first.
Epic, Simply Epic
Finally… Macau! Just a couple of years ago, we were merely happily dreaming of this place as we sit on our college classroom chairs, but now, here we are, living the dream. And oh, how cool is that, there’s a mini shuttle bus that transfers passengers from the airplane to the terminal!
It was almost midnight when we arrived at the Macau International Airport, but our energies were still soaring as if a new day just began. As girls who always get thrilled over new things and experiences, we were so full of anticipation as to what we might expect and do in that foreign land.
First things first. Documentation!
My friend’s DSLR and my iPod Touch out, we started taking photos in the mini shuttle bus then we got more excited when we reached the terminal. Because of the time, there were only three lines and we chose the one at the middle. While waiting, my friend told me to take a pose for a photo and so I did just that and gave the cutest smile I could come up with. After a shot, she told me she’d take another one so I happily gave another pose.
She then handed me her camera which I obligingly took and we exchanged places for her turn. Looking at the viewfinder, I started to focus my friend’s gadget. Having a bigger and heavier lens than other DSLRs, plus the fact that I am thin, always makes it hard for me to use it so it constantly takes me longer to take a shot.
Oh, someone’s shouting. But who cares, I’m busy.
Focus… Focus… 1… 2… 3…
Another one! Focus… Focus… It’s heavy… Foc…
Hard tap! Tap! on my right shoulder.
I lowered the DSLR, shocked, and looked at the person who distracted me.
“No camera! No camera!” said the tall, thin man in blue uniform as he waved his right hand firmly at me. An Immigration officer!
The world stopped as he went back to his post. My friend and I then fell in line again silently and looked forward to be faced with a huge board with signs, Chinese characters, and Roman letters in neon lights. Among the information that were written and posted there were reminders that cellular phones and cameras (Yes!) are not allowed in the area. The Immigration area.
“Maaaaacccc (One of my nicknames), it’s embarrassing!” My friend told me and I could only smile at her.
We kept quiet and tried to act as if nothing happened but we couldn’t, and I was quite sure I heard murmurs with the word “camera” from the people around us. Uh-oh. We were at the middle of the area and everybody surely saw what happened!
Minutes slowly passed, the lines got shorter, and we were more and more terrified. What if the Immigration officer that would look at our passports decides to have us deported back to our country?
Thank goodness what happened wasn’t such a grave mistake. We were able to pass through the officer in charge of our line and we were also able to see and experience Macau as planned but with some paranoia every now and then about taking photos in certain public places.
Oh well. So much for this (too) embarrassing experience.
Ignorance, indeed, is never bliss (Not my first time to travel abroad but it was my first with a company so I never bothered with such before). But looking at the brighter side, flaws like this at least remind us that to err is human, therefore, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves and others, and, hey, things like this happen so that we can have some worthwhile memories to laugh at in the future. 🙂