A disappointing destination

After such a good day yesterday, today I came crashing down from that high. I was feeling rather down, didn’t really feel like going around at all 😔

I went and had breakfast at The Brunch Club, which was near the serviced apartment. I ordered the continental breakfast, which was huge! It came with three different types of bread; fruit; muesli with honey and yoghurt; your choice in coffee or tea; and your choice in juice. It took me sooo long to finish it, but after about 1.5 hours of taking my time with it, I managed to get through most of it. It was all quite good! I would go there again tomorrow, if there wasn’t a bajillion other cafes I wanted to try in the area.

I decided to wander around IFC mall, one of the shopping areas nearby. But as you know, I don’t really like to shop, so that got boring very quickly 😂

From there, somehow I decided to get one of the famous HK trams and ride it all the way to the very end of the tram line on the east, to Shau Kei Wan. It took forever and a half, but I made it eventually. And all for a mere HKD$2.60 one way (less than S$0.50). Bargain as! 👍 The trams are slow as, they don’t have aircon, and you’re exposed to the elements when it’s raining, but I love them for some reason! 😆 They’re just so quaint 😊 I always sit upstairs and admire the view from up there, as the tram plods along on its tracks, manoeuvring in between cars, trucks and buses along the way.

I wanted to stop by this park near the water at Shau Kei Wan, but the whole area was closed due to construction, which was terribly disappointing, after having sat on the tram for what felt like a bajillion hours. I could’ve just taken the train back, but where’s the fun in that?! So of course I caught the tram back 😊

I then just went back to the serviced apartment and wrote a bit more in my soon-to-released blog, while I waited for N so we could go and have some dinner. We went and had some Japanese, and then wandered around for about half an hour, walking up and down the numerous flights of stairs in this hilly area that we’re in, just to get in a little bit of exercise, at least.

Not the most exciting day, unfortunately. Hopefully I can enjoy myself more tomorrow.

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The smallest of things makes me happy

You know how I said that I had a few other things that I didn’t get to do last night? Well I got to them this morning. All of them. I didn’t expect to get through my whole list, but I did. I was so happy 😊 Ah how the most trivial of things make me happy 😊

But it did mean that I didn’t get to have breakfast at home, and I had to go without coffee all morning. The lack of food just helped my cause, though, expanding my current 12-hour fasting window target 😊 The first time I ate today was on the plane – at 2:45pm. That was a 16-hour fasting window! I was starving! I was so hungry that I actually finished everything on my tray. Highly unusual for me!

I was allocated an exit row seat between two other people travelling on their own. Last time I flew, I was also allocated a seat in between two solo travellers. Does Singapore Airlines want us to all make friends with each other or something?? 😂 Anyway, apart from the never ending leg room (I couldn’t even kick the flight attendant sitting in front of me, even if I wanted to 😂), I don’t see any benefits to this seat:

  • Firstly, you have to keep your monitor stowed away during takeoff and landing, cutting out about half an hour from your flight time to watch movies;
  • Secondly, you don’t have a seat in front of you, meaning you don’t have a seat pocket or space in front of you to store your items. Everything has to be put up in the overhead compartments. There are magazine pockets on the side for two seats, but the third seat gets diddly squat. But they’re not very “stretchy”, so you can’t really store anything but flat items in them. I don’t even know if you can store a laptop in them, since there’s already a whole heap of paraphernalia in them;
  • Also, people who are queueing for the bathroom or who just want to stretch their legs tend to cluster around in the area, simply because it is such a large space, which can be a bit distracting;
  • And lastly, a flight attendant (or two!) is sitting in front of you, and has the unlucky spot to be in clear view of your ugly mug for the half hour of takeoff and landing 😂
  • So the exit row is never my first option, and I certainly won’t pay a premium for the extra leg room that I don’t need anyway! OK, I’ve come up with one extra positive: it’s easy to get in and out of your seat, without having to bother your seat neighbours. Now that’s a pretty good perk. Particularly for longer-haul flights. But when I’m only travelling around Asia, where the average flight is, say, 3 hours, these two positives don’t really carry as much of a punch.
  • I watched a Japanese movie on the plane called 50 First Kisses. It’s based on the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie 50 First Dates. I haven’t seen the American movie in a while, but from what I remember of it, I think it was more comedy than drama. Well it does have Adam Sandler in it?! 😆 The Japanese version felt like it leaned more on the drama side. But it was still good. The male lead reminded me of a Japanese Scott Baio 😂 Do you agree??

    Takayuki Yamada

    Scott Baio

    I managed to survive the flight without really feeling the turbulence, even though there was actually quite a fair bit throughout. Not wine-on-the-ceiling crazy turbulence, just minimal turbulence, but consistent throughout most of the 4-hour flight. I was pleasantly surprised. Flights normally take their toll on me and I have to recover in the hotel as soon as I land on the other side. This must be how the vast majority of people feel when they travel. Totes jeals! I did feel the turbulence during landing, though. It was/is raining in HK, and that affected the smoothness of the landing.

    Last time I was in HK, I applied for the e-channel service at HK airport, which allows you to use the machines at the arrival and departure halls and bypass the queues at immigration. The HK and Aussie governments must have some agreement, coz the only requirements for Aussies in order to be eligible to apply to use the e-channel service is that:

    1. They have a valid Australian passport with at least six months’ validity left on their passport;
    2. They’re over 16 years of age; and
    3. They don’t have any adverse records in HK.

    Given how frequently we’ve been travelling to HK recently, we thought we should apply for this service. The walk to the immigration office in HK was the worst bit of the whole application process. When I went, I asked a staff member where I can get a ticket to join the queue, as there were a bajillion people already there in the waiting area. I was expecting to be there for a good hour or two, waiting for all these people to be served ahead of me. She asked what I was there for and I told her, and that was when she proceeded to process my request then and there. Five minutes later, voila! I was eligible to use the e-channels 😊 No idea what the bajillion other people in the waiting area were there for, but clearly not to apply for the e-channel service!

    So arriving this time in HK, I bypassed the “Visitors” queue and went straight to the “HK Residents” area, and got a machine straight away. No queue! Also, since I am only travelling with carry on, I had no luggage to wait for and so I was out of the airport in less than ten minutes and straight onto the train to HK Island. Woohoooo! Love it 👏

    We’re staying in a serviced apartment this trip. The apartment is huge! Probably the same size as our 2-bedroom apartment in SG, but it has only one bedroom, so there is more space in each of the rooms. Except the kitchen. They’re both tiny as! 😆 It’s nice to have more space. It feels just that little bit more comfortable, and more like a home away from home.

    Adrenaline

    I’ve pretty much been running on adrenaline all day today. It’s the day before I fly to Hong Kong, so I had to get the house in order before I fly out tomorrow. Well, when I say “I had to”, I mean “I would like” 😊 It’s a choice I make. I like coming home to a tidy house and a clean fridge, inside which there are no rotting fruit or vegetables growing its own face while I’m away 😂 So I had to clean up as well as pack tonight. On top of doing my usual day-to-day stuff: vet, trading, errands and the gym. That adrenaline sure helped! 😆 I didn’t get through everything that I wanted to, so hopefully I can get it all done tomorrow morning before I head to the airport.

    My packing is getting much better, I have to admit. I’ve been working off three day-to-day outfits and two gym outfits, and that’s been working really well for me. I normally bring 2-3 pairs of shoes, but this time I’m bringing four 😲 Just writing that out sounds like a LOT! The fourth pair is a pair of dance shoes, in case we practise on the weekend somewhere. And I also brought a pair of thongs, because it’s raining a whole heap in HK at the moment, so I need a pair of shoes that dry easily. And coupled with a raincoat, I think I will be well equipped to brave typhoon season 😆 Well, sorta 😂

    I’m not bringing my laptop with me to HK, so I won’t be doing any trading while I’m there. Instead, I think I will look into getting this new blog project of mine up and running. Is it too ambitious to aim to have it operational before I get back to SG?? 🤔 Let’s see… 😊

    Health and reading

    I booked a health screening this morning, scheduled in a few weeks’ time. The customer service officer and I both have heavily accented English, and we had a hard time understanding each other. I don’t think my accent is that heavy, but I guess any accent can be quite different if you’re not used to it. But it was a bit ridiculous at times: eg I had to spell my first name to her, as she was obviously not used to common English names. I start with the first letter “K”. She goes “J – for Japan?”. Wth?! 😂 I had to come up with a country for each and every letter in my name. That was actually quite challenging! 😂

    Anyway, the health screening is basically a comprehensive health check up. Apparently it’s going to take half a day for them to do all the tests! That’s going to be fun 😳 But the funnest bit of all is that I have to give urine and stool samples omggg I seriously don’t know how I’m going to do that! 😆

    I’m just a bit more concerned with my health these days, now that I’m getting older. Not that I’m really doing anything to warrant the concern, I’m just a bit of a worry wart. So I’d like to do this more for my own piece of mind than anything else. I did feel very anxious that day when I went to get my eyes checked and that was just my eyes. This is a whole body checkup! My blood pressure is going to go through the roof!

    I finished Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women. There’s actually seven stories in the book, not six, as I originally thought. The last four stories were more in line with what I would expect from this author: weird, what-in-the-world-was-that-about stories that just give you a different view of the people in this world. I did enjoy the book overall, in a slightly odd, Haruki Murakami way 😆

    So one book down and another one picked up: I’ve now started book 3 of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, Rich People Problems. I actually did start reading this a few months back, but stopped reading it for whatever reason. I decided to just start again from the beginning, as it’s been so long since I started reading this book that I’m sure a re-read would probably be a better idea than trying to pick up from where I left off from last time. But it’s been good so far. Hopefully I won’t stop reading again this time around! I think it was only because I had read books 1 and 2 in quick succession that I felt like I needed a bit of a break before reading book 3. So I should be ok second time around 😊

    Pay-offs not quite as expected

    I got up at 7am 😲 to accompany N to the airport, he flew to HK this morning. He was flying out of Terminal 4, the new terminal, which I haven’t yet been to. So I thought this was as good a day as any to go and visit 😊

    It was actually rather disappointing! The public area is much smaller compared to the public areas at the other terminals; it seems they saved the good stuff for those actually flying. So my waking up at 7am didn’t actually pay off in the way that I expected 😂

    I then went to Changi City Point, a discount shopping outlet very close to the airport. Most places open 10am or 11am in SG, and I got there at 9am, so when I was nearing the mall, I got this sinking feeling that it wouldn’t be open yet.

    And it wasn’t 😆 Only a few places were open, most of which were food places, so I went and grabbed a quick breakfast and then just walked around, waiting for the mall to wake up 😂 I’m glad I did because the mall itself is actually quite pretty! There is a lot of greenery both inside and out, and there is also a lot of running water. I suppose they consulted feng shui experts when they designed the building, as typical feng shui features can be seen throughout.

    Once the shops finally opened, I decided to take a walk around and see if I can get any good deals. Surprisingly, I found a new pair of sneakers! My current ones are dying – well they are almost ten years old 😂 (I told you I’m an underbuyer!) – and I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement pair for a few months now. Happy days 😊

    And then in the evening, I decided to watch Frozen. I’m not a fan of animated films in general, but I thought I’d give this one a chance. And I’m glad I did: I actually ended up enjoying it more than I expected to! It’s been good catching up on all these movies, I should try and do this more often 😊

    Derailed plans

    I was having a conversation by text (in Chinese) with our Chinese teacher yesterday, trying to arrange the start of our next lesson, which was supposed to be today. He said that he was going to send through an email to organise payment, and we left it at that.

    So this morning, we got ready to go to Chinese class, even though we hadn’t yet paid for it as I hadn’t yet received his email. So as we were walking to class, ten minutes before it started, I texted our teacher asking if class was starting today, as I hadn’t yet received his email. Apparently I had misunderstood everything: there was no class today, and we’re starting back up in two weeks’ time. Argh! I should’ve just had the conversation in English and not be practising my Chinese 😂

    Anyhow, so that meant that we now had the morning to ourselves. We started wandering around a nearby mall, but that soon got boring, so we sat down somewhere and tried to figure out what to do with the rest of our suddenly empty morning. N then came up with the idea of watching Crazy Rich Asians. I checked to see when the next available screening was, and to see if there were any decent seats left. The first screening for the day at the closest cinema was at 10:45am – and the cinema was not even half full! So we got a very decent seat 👏

    I actually enjoyed the movie much more than I expected to. If I had done that FB challenge after having seen this movie, then this one might have made my top ten. Comedy, drama and romance all featured. It was light and whimsical, and I really liked the soundtrack. They filmed most of the movie in SG, so I spent pretty much the entire movie trying to place where they filmed any given scene 😂 Overall it was a good, light-hearted movie, and followed the main plot of the book quite well. I think there will be movie #2 and #3 eventually, in line with the books as well, so that’s something to look forward to in the coming years.

    And then we had our first Latin lesson later in the afternoon, our first lesson in weeeks, followed by Latin practice afterwards. We worked on Paso Doble in our lesson, so that routine isn’t quite in our memories yet; but the other four Latin dances didn’t fall apart too badly when we were practising afterwards. I was pleasantly surprised, given how long it’s been since we’d stepped onto a dance floor. So we’re inching ever closer to our five dances for Latin, and ten dances overall… Very exciting!

    We finished practising quite late, so I suggested that we eat at one of the local hawker centres, as I was getting awfully close to the end of my 12-hour eating window, and I would definitely be well into my 12-hour fasting window if we went home and made dinner instead. Eating at the local gawker centre wasn’t going to be as healthy as cooking something ourselves at home, but my primary goal at the moment is to try to stick to this 12:12 plan (12-hour fasting / 12-hour eating windows), so that took precedence. I finished eating and drinking 10 minutes after my eating window had closed, which isn’t too bad 😊 I don’t have any plans tomorrow, so nothing should derail 12:12… Fingers crossed! 🤞

    Kitty, books and travel

    The vet gave Kitty a blood test this morning. I completely forgot that the whole process was a bit traumatic for her! They lay her down on her side, and they draw blood from the inside of one of her hind legs – which meant having to hold her down in order to do so! So of course she was totally unimpressed, hissing, biting and scratching everyone in sight. But they got what they needed, thankfully, with everyone relatively unscathed 😂 And results were unchanged from last time, phewww 😅

    For day 1, I actually stuck to my 12:12 plan of intermittent fasting! I was so proud of myself 😊 I had my coffee just after 9am, and I finished dinner just before 9pm – woohoo! Now let’s see if I can maintain this for a little while, before ratcheting it up to 14:10…

    I finished story #5 in Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women. Bizarrrre story, more like what I was expecting from him 😆 Let’s see what the sixth and final story has in store for us readers… I’m hoping he has left the best for last 😊

    I have now also borrowed book #3 of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. With the movie just recently released, I figured this was as good a time as any to finish off the trilogy 😊 I was hoping to watch the movie this weekend, but the cinemas near us are all packed, and the only available seats are either right up in the front row or just single seats randomly plonked around. And this is despite being screened virtually every five seconds! So I think I’ll wait a few weeks before watching it. Well, I HAVE to wait a few weeks to watch it: N is in Hong Kong again for work for the next two weeks. All this travelling to HK reminds me of when we were going to and from Sydney and Melbourne. Only this time it’s HK-SG 😂