Date-align in Macau (II)

« [...] But Macau's history is one of change and the pace is picking up.

BILL GUTHRIE, PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, MACAU UNIVERSITY: What I've learned is that Macau has always been changing this way. People who only live here a little while - people who only live here five years, 10 years, 20 years will always tell you, "It's ruined now, it's too bad you weren't here 10 years ago when I arrived. "It's too bad you weren't here 20 years ago when I got here. It was real Macau then." Now, for 500 years Macau has been doing it. It has reinvented itself. Every time there's a new market available, Macau completely reinvents itself. Every time the Chinese make a new law, "You can do this or can't do this," Macau reinvents itself.

Bill Guthrie is a professor of sociology at Macau University and he's lived here for 11 years.

BILL GUTHRIE: Bill's rule - if you're walking on flat land, you are not walking on Macau.

He took me for a walk along what used to be the beachfront.

BILL GUTHRIE: All this stuff in front of you as you look out all the way across here to the major modern construction of Macau is all standing on river bottom.

But it's another patch of reclaimed land that will change the face of Macau forever. Just as Las Vegas rose from the Nevada Desert, the Cotai Strip is rising from the sea. It's a multibillion-dollar development being driven by Americans who can now invest directly in China. China has always allowed Macau to do what it doesn't want to be seen doing itself. This time it's gambling.
When it opens later this year, the Cotai Strip will be like a mini city - tens of thousands of suites, convention centres and themed casinos. The centrepiece is The Venetian - a much larger replica of the one in Las Vegas.

BILL GUTHRIE: These are the first real monuments of Macau. All the rest of this stuff is transitory. All these old buildings that look old - they're 20th century. The Venetian, the Macau Tower, these gigantic concrete structures - they are going to be here for a long time and they are going to define people's idea of what Macau looks like. [...] »


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