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Feng Shui stuck in traffic

*Nelson Moura

As local legend has it, when the original Hotel Lisboa was built in the 1960s, Feng Shui masters told Stanley Ho that in order to maintain its ability to generate good luck, the hotel should be constantly renovated.

It can be said that for the common citizen of Macau the same logic was transferred a long time ago by the local authorities to the roads of the territory.

The constant works and repairs on local roads and roads were already a considerable irritant during the times of the pandemic – when the same streets remained largely empty – but with the return of the tourist crowd to the city, they gained a desperate contour.

The Oriental Pearl roundabout is perhaps the most striking example, with the interconnection that connects Areia Preta, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the Friendship Bridge transformed into one of Dante’s nine circles of hell.

Described as an essential construction to reduce traffic in what was one of the city’s ‘black spots’, the Viaduto da Pérola Oriental establishes a direct connection from Portas do Cerco to Avenida do Nordeste through Avenida Norte do Hipódromo.

However, anyone who passes through this area these days unknowingly enters a small black hole, where space-time slows down, and which one emerges from just two hours later.

Such is the concentration of public and tourist buses, taxis, blue construction vans, concrete mixers, and a few poor and unsuspecting residents trapped in the vortex of traffic and exhaust fumes that this area becomes at peak hours and beyond.

Traffic jams like this are now regular in various parts of the city, at any time and any day of the week, and one can only imagine what it will be like now that the reciprocal recognition of driving licenses between Mainland China and Macau has been approved and with the foreseeable increase circulation on the bridge that connects us to Hong Kong.

Many people tell us that there is no beauty without flaws, that we either want empty streets and no money coming in, or a lot of traffic and a lot of money coming in.

If our Sofa Choice is really just that, what is asked, at least, is a minimum of organization. After all, it only took three years to prepare the city for the flood.

*Editor (Portuguese)

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