An alley in Macau
I love Macau.
It is one of the most fascinating and most romantic places in the world. It's almost a fantasy town - the kind of place I dreamed about living in as a child.
And what I love most about it is its alleyways. I grew up in the bush, so roads were a rarity, let alone the narrowed, cobbled alleys that I read about and fantasised about. I would have given my life to live in an alley, and whenever I go to Macau I look up at the balconies of all the little flats that overlook the alleys and think to myself, "Why can't that be me?"
In a couple of years I plan to go and stay in Macau for a few months and write a book about it. There is surprisingly little about Macau in English (would gratefully accept any recommendations), and I can see myself deep in the old part of the city, my balcony overlooking some travessa or other, munching on a custard tart.
Macau has always held a fascination for artists, writers and misfits. For centuries it has been the home of political exiles, prates, gangsters and other people escaping the world. There is a fabulous old Hollywood film called Macao that captures perfectly this mythically dangerous side of the island.
And while its all very cleaned-up these days, and the casinos have more or less taken over the town, there is still plenty of history and atmosphere to keep old romantics like me satisfied. I am going to treasure ducking down a darkened alley, past a brothel and a mah-jong parlour, on my way home to my manuscript mouldering away on a rickety desk in the hot night air.
And no-one will be able to find me in my alley in Macau.