No routine yet

My friend visiting from Sydney texted me saying that her and another friend were walking up The Peak today, and they were meeting up at 10am. I’ve been wanting to walk up too, but the only problem was, I got up at about 11am today πŸ˜‚ So I missed out today πŸ˜” I’ll have to do the walk up another time. Apparently the walk is relatively easy, and takes about half an hour from Conduit Road, the highest point that the mid-level escalators take you. Easy or not, I’d still like to do the walk during the colder season – ie now. I reckon the temperature at the moment is a really nice time to do hikes in this city, so I’d like to do a few over the next few months, especially while we are not quite in a regular daily routine yet, before dancing, karate and Chinese classes eventually become a significant part of our daily lives once again.

Instead, we went and had yum cha with N’s brother at Dim Sum Square in Sheung Wan. This place is really popular: even though we got there at around 3pm, well after what could be considered lunchtime, we still had to queue for about 15min before we got a table. But it was worth the wait, the food was awesome! πŸ‘ And cheap as: we paid HK$224 (S$40) for the three of us! That’s pretty damn good. It’s cash only, but you’re paying so little that this isn’t too much of an issue. At those prices, I could go for lunch every day! πŸ˜‚

We then wandered around Central and Sheung Wan before heading back home and watching a few more episodes of Legion. The lead actor in Legion was also in Downton Abbey!! We totally did not recognise him. He looks completely different in the photos on IMDb from the two shows. He’s a good actor. I really enjoyed watching him on Downton, and now he’s playing this complex character on Legion really well too. I’m only four episodes in, but it’s a good series so far, very bizarre and unlike anything I’ve seen in a long time. Looking forward to finishing season one, which only has eight episodes. So I’m halfway through already 😊

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New experiences

I went to Muji and Uniqlo today, the former to get some more storage ideas, and the latter to get some additional cold weather gear. People have said that it doesn’t get much colder than what it currently is at the moment (around 15Β°C / 59Β°F), so maybe I just need to buy one or two cardigans or jumpers, and I think I’ll be right. It’s not very windy here, surprisingly, so you don’t need a coat or jacket to protect you against any potentially biting winds, which is what killed me/us in Melbourne. So I think I’ll be able to survive the HK winter! πŸ‘

N’s brother flew in to HK this afternoon, so we went and had dinner with him and his mate. His mate now lives in HK too, but they used to be flatmates back in Sydney for over eight years, and they still remain quite tight, which is pretty cool.

Oh and we got a little Christmas tree! It’s 30cm and looks really cute sitting on our dining table, and it’s REAL! Our first real Christmas tree! It’s also our first Christmas that we’re celebrating in winter. I am so excited πŸ˜† New experiences this year for Christmas πŸŽ„

Energy vibes

I am really liking our new apartment. In fact, I reckon I am willing to take it so far as to say that perhaps I like it even more than our SG apartment 😲 Yeah it’s older; the curtains look like they’re straight from the 80s; the stove and oven is still gross from the previous tenant(s) and we haven’t yet had the chance to clean it properly; the doorbell doesn’t work; and the water temperature in the shower won’t stay constant (wth, right, this drives me insane!) and a few other things that’s not quite great, but there’s just something about this place that I really like! I feel so comfortable in the apartment. Don’t get me wrong, I was comfortable in our SG apartment too, but it’s just different in our HK one. It’s like it gives me energy. I feel energised being at home. It’s so bizarre. It’s like the apartment and I are a vibrational match, if that is even a thing. Maybe the feng shui is really working for me in this apartment, which is all about energy vibes. Very interesting…

But yes, let me elaborate on the stupid water temperature in the shower. So as per any shower you take, you adjust the shower tap to your desired temperature, and you happily take your shower. But in our shower, about 15 seconds later, it will start to get hotter and hotter, and will get to a point where it’s just too hot to bear and you have to turn the tap back towards the “cold” end. You then have to find your desired temperature again, and it stays at that temperature for about 15 seconds before it starts getting colder and colder and you then have to turn the tap back towards “hot”, and the cycle starts all over again. There are a few annoying things in the apartment, but this has to be the most annoying one! As with most things, I was getting used to the routine, and the regular switching back and forth of the shower tap was starting to become the norm.

Then N’s purchase arrived today: he got a new shower head! He replaced the old shower head with this new one, and wouldn’t you know it, this water temperature changing business is now gone! It was the shower head all this time! Who woulda thunk?! So my biggest bugbear with the apartment is now fixed. See what I mean about the vibes in this apartment just being on my side?? Crazy stuff!

So I hope that these positive energy vibes spill into the rest of our lives. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so energised like this before! It is just the most bizarre feeling. And note that we are in winter. Winter and I do not get along whatsoever. Yet despite this, I am still full of energy, as if it’s the middle of summer, radiating with happiness and ready and willing to tackle each new day with gusto. Bizarrrre, right?!?

Being more of a tourist

A friend from Sydney is in town for a few days, and I caught up with her for a late lunch today. I haven’t seen her in over twelve years, I reckon, but she’s one of those people who I can just pick up from where I left off as if I just saw her yesterday, even if it was years and years ago since we last spoke. She sorta reminds me of my mum: very friendly and chatty, who can just jibber jabber for ages, having no idea where she’s walking, expecting me to know exactly where we’re supposed to go πŸ˜‚

After lunch, we made our way up the Mid-Level escalators. I know they’re a tourist attraction and all, and they are pretty cool, but I caught them so often when we were checking out the neighbourhood that the escalators serve that I’m sorta over catching them now πŸ˜‚ Plus I still use them to go to various shops and restaurants in the area too, so they’re no longer a tourist attraction for me but rather an actual means of transport! πŸ˜‚ I’ve been here for only three odd weeks and the novelty of the escalators is already starting to wane. That’s a bit sad! Although, even though we’ve technically been only living in HK for about 3-4 weeks, I have been catching these escalators and sussing out the neighbourhood for more like the last 3-4 months πŸ˜‚

Afterwards, we made our way to the Ladies’ Market in Mong Kok, which is sorta like a Paddy’s Market in Sydney. I was looking for a pair of tracksuit pants and jumper, since there’s no Kmart or Target discount store type place here that I know of. I might come back another time, make sure I look as povo as possible, and maybe come with someone who can speak Cantonese, so I don’t get charged tourist prices πŸ˜‚ Or come with my actual mum who can go head to head with any of these sellers without even batting an eyelid 🀣

Since we were already over on the Kowloon side, we decided to just make our way to the Avenue of Stars, and wait for the 8pm Symphony of Lights, which is this pretty cool light show on Victoria Harbour that’s on every night! Unfortunately, though, the Avenue of Stars is closed for renovation until early 2019! So we didn’t get to walk through it, !or did we hear the accompanying music and narration to the light show, which you can apparently hear on the Avenue πŸ˜” So I’ll definitely have to go back. The light show on its own was quite impressive, and perhaps even more so at the moment because they have a lot of lights up specifically for Christmas. Not that you can see that in my photos below. Maybe I’ll bring a better camera next time too 😊

Weird sh*t coming out of my mouth

In complete contrast to yesterday, today I was full of energy. No idea how that happened! I was like the Energizer Bunny today, constantly on the go go go! I wish I was pumped with energy like this every day. Must be how kids feel all the time without needing caffeine πŸ˜‚

Ah caffeine. I think that’s what gave me all my energy! I remember now: I had a large cup of tea from Heeretea, this bubble tea shop here in HK. I wonder how many non-Chinese speaking people actually walk in there, because the guy who served me today looked nervous as hell having to converse with me in English πŸ˜‚ Welcome to my world, dude! You’re probably feeling what I’m feeling whenever I have to pull out my limited Mandarin! 🀣 I ordered in English, and he had to look over at the menu to check that he had entered my order correctly. I probably could’ve said my order in Chinese because I could actually read it for once, but instead “this one” in Mandarin came out of my mouth πŸ˜† It’s so hilarious how the weirdest stuff comes out of my mouth when it comes to Chinese. I don’t have the same problem with Japanese. That language comes much more easily to me in comparison! But I’ve known the basics of that language for a lot longer than Chinese, so it’s not really a fair comparison.

We got our shower curtain shortened at an alteration place, and I picked it up today. The woman gave me a nice plastic bag, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m used to carrying my own shopping bag now, so I didn’t need theirs. Plus I figured they would re-use it much more than I would, so it made more sense for them to keep it. So I returned it to them. But what came out of my mouth as I gave the bag back to her wasn’t quite as eloquent as that, of course: I said “not ours”. That’s it! OMG. I didn’t even construct a full sentence πŸ˜† Although complete sentences aren’t entirely necessary in Chinese conversation, so what I did say was probably ok. In any case, she did give me this bewildered look, which I didn’t quite understand. Was it because she was surprised I could speak Mandarin, even if it was broken? Or was it because I sounded so weird that she was taken aback, not having heard anyone with that weirdo accent before? Or maybe because native Chinese speakers would never actually say what I said? Was it because I greeted her with “hello” in English and then suddenly reverted to Mandarin? Was it because she herself doesn’t understand Mandarin?? Perhaps a combination of all of these things?? πŸ˜† Nonetheless, they did a nice job with the shower curtain, and it now fits perfectly in our bathroom 😊

And then I spent the evening looking at Instagram and Pinterest photos for interior design and storage ideas. They’re good sources for ideas and inspiration, since I am pretty hopeless with that sort of stuff. While I was on social media, N half watched Legion (this looks interesting!) and half slept, as he’s still quite sick πŸ€’ Bizarro world, as normally I’m the one who’s sick and he’s the one running around with all the endless energy! But Legion sounds interesting, I may have to catch up on the first few episodes that he saw tonight!

Not the best start

I felt pretty shite today, I didn’t really do much at all. I felt like I had no energy whatsoever, probably because I didn’t eat much as my stomach is still feeling rather unsettled. N made some beef and vegetable soup for dinner, so I had some heartier food in the evening, which hopefully doesn’t upset my stomach while I’m trying to go to sleep tonight…! 🀞

N has now also caught a cold. Greeeat. Coupled with our upset stomachs the past few days, this hasn’t been the best start to our move to HK… 😞

I have also realised that I have no tracksuits to just wear around the house! All my cold weather gear is for travelling, and since I don’t hang out at the hotel or Airbnb when we’re overseas, I haven’t needed one! So I will need to expand my wardrobe that little bit more again. Sighhh… None of this is working towards my minimalism goal…! Or I can just choose to be cold for the next three months 😏

More HK experiences

Today was supposed to be all about culling and continuing to get the house in order. But we were both so tired this morning that we ended up taking a nap after breakfast πŸ˜† Probably receiving a lack of nutrients due to our upset stomachs these past few days hasn’t helped πŸ˜”

N woke up to a message from one of his karate teachers in HK, asking if we wanted to go somewhere with him for a late lunch. He actually lives nearby, so he popped in to our apartment first to check it out, and then we went to a Chinese restaurant in Sheung Wan called Star of Canton (εˆ©ε―Άι–£) for some pretty decent yum cha. It was around 2:30pm when we got there, so the crowds had already died down by that time and we easily got a table. Apparently it’s pretty insane between 12-2pm, so it’s better if you go during off-peak time, like we did. The only downside though is that their signature dishes might already be sold out by then, so you have to be prepared for that possibility if you go later in the day. Or maybe another alternative is going before the lunchtime rush and rock up for brunch instead 😊

My stomach didn’t agree with yum cha, though, and about half an hour later, I needed to go to the bathroom to get it out of my system πŸ˜” I must’ve caught a bug at some point a few days ago because my stomach is still not quite right… I need to drink more fluids and try to flush out this damn beast from my system πŸ’¦ So I just stuck to my bland dinner of potatoes and tea again for a second day running. Boh-ring 😐

I finally got to play around with our new tv today. There are a ton of tv dramas available, and they are categorised into a number of categories, these were the ones that were of most interest to me:

  • Western
  • Korean
  • Chinese
  • Japanese

OMG, there are so many Asian dramas that they have to be categorised by country! 😲 The only problem for me, though, is that the subtitles are all in Chinese! But dramas are such a good way to learn a foreign language, as they use everyday language, with people just generally talking to each other about life, so it’s not like you need a whole ton of “specialist” words to understand them. So if I just watch a little every day, then hopefully my reading and listening will both improve. And then I could even start working on my Japanese too! But listening to Japanese and reading Chinese subtitles is too hard, so I think I’ll only be able to do this when I get to a good enough reading level with my Chinese. Which is aaages away! So I’ll just have to work on my Chinese first 😊 In any case, it’s probably a good thing that there are no English subtitles. Otherwise I may just waste hours upon hours watching these very addictive dramas! πŸ˜‚

I swapped over my winter and summer clothes today – ie basically my entire SG wardrobe has now gone into storage πŸ˜” Boohoo… I miss my endless summers! I haven’t needed to swap seasonal clothes like this since living in Sydney! Melbourne was almost always winter gear, and SG was always summer gear πŸ˜† It seems HK weather is closer to Sydney weather, so I’m going to need to build up my winter wardrobe again. And in particular, shoes! I just don’t have many good shoes for cold weather anymore. So in the meantime, I’ve just been surviving on my cold weather gear for when we go on holidays to somewhere cold, which consists of very little items! So shopping for winter gear may be the next pressing item on my to do list…