Welcome to HK!

I took Kitty to the vet this morning. It takes two of us to give Kitty her fluids, and with N in HK, we’re down on staff ๐Ÿ˜‚ So it’s easier to take Kitty to the vet than have to try and do the process all on my own. I’m going to miss all the staff at the vet. They’re all really nice and helpful, and they’re so good with animals. I love going there and seeing all their resident pets. I enjoy visiting there much more than Kitty does, that’s for sure! ๐Ÿ˜†

So I made it to my flight. It’s always such a hectic rush to get to the airport that I am still always so amazed when I make it to the airport on time ๐Ÿ˜‚ I had a crap seat, and I couldn’t even change it when I got to the airport because the flight was fully booked, and all the seats were taken! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ But it was on a newer plane, if that’s any consolation. My three flights to HK this month is actually at the same time, so it’s the exact same flight, just on different days. So hopefully they use this same plane each time ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’ve really enjoyed Cathay’s food the last few times I’ve flown with them. I think it’s the highlight of their flights. The seats feel narrower than Singapore Airlines, though, and that’s saying something for someone as tiny as me! One (only?!) good thing about being small is being able to comfortably fit in Economy seats ๐Ÿ˜‚ But today I wasn’t all that comfortable, for some reason. I kept fidgeting, and never truly got comfortable. I didn’t even watch a movie, I was just feeling very antsy for most of the flight ๐Ÿ˜’

Maybe it’s all the stress of moving at the moment. I’m also trying to juggle all these property agents, trying to remember who I’m meeting with and what apartments we are viewing. I’ve put the appointments down in my calendar, but they message me throughout the day and each time, I have to figure out who I’m talking to and what properties they’re managing! ๐Ÿ˜‚ The other problem with HK (and SG) is that numerous agents manage the same property, and so the same photos keep coming up online. So one of my concerns is that I see the same unit multiple times with different agents. I don’t like playing them off each other either, that’s not how I roll. But they each have different units, so you also just can’t liaise with just the one agent, otherwise you’ll miss out on some properties. But then I feel bad for one agent because you may end up going for a different property with another agent (hence giving them the commission), despite that first agent spending hours upon hours researching a good place for you, with no compensation for their work. Sighhh… It’s not my ideal way to do business ๐Ÿ˜” Like I keep saying, it’s a tough gig…

When I got to HK Airport, I lined up in the “HK Permanent Residents / HK Residents” queue, and my visa was activated there. And then tomorrow we have an appointment to get our HK ID cards. Wow, I still can’t believe it’s all happening! I think once we sign a lease and actually move in, that’s when it will probably really sink in for me. But right now, I’m still in denial! ๐Ÿ˜‚

And so I made it safely to our new city. I write this as I sit on the floor in our tiny little hotel room that barely fits a double bed, eating my dinner. Welcome to HK! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Still trying to convince myself…

I continued my property search online today, organising for a few more viewings for this Thursday, my first full day in HK this upcoming trip. Some places look promising, but like a resume, it’s not until you see the person face to face that you get a better idea.

N actually went to view a number of places tonight. I think he went to see about six places, all of which were pretty mediocre, going by the photos and videos that he sent through. Sighhh… If this batch is anything to go by, I’m not going to be all that impressed with what I see on Thursday either! But like I said, it may be different in person, so hopefully things aren’t so gloomy when I actually get there… ๐Ÿคž

I started packing tonight, packing my large suitcase to fill it up with stuff that the removalists can’t take, like medicines and cosmetics. I also packed a few cardigans too, as apparently it’s cooler in HK now, being autumn and all. I’m going to lose my endless summers ๐Ÿ˜” I loved being able to wear shorts all year round and never having to change my wardrobe over for the change in seasons. Sighhh… I am still yet to convince myself that I am excited about this move ๐Ÿ˜”

Small apartments and small people

We were told today that if we want to store our stuff in HK when it arrives, then it will cost us. Argh! So of course we don’t want to pay for storage, especially in expensive-as HK, so now I’ve ramped up my search for a semi-decent apartment, emailing property agents about a dozen properties today.

I was checking on Google Maps to see where some properties were, and seeing how far they were from various landmarks that I already know, as the distances on the map looks quite far. But then when I check the distance, Google Maps says “230m” or “300m”! HK is so densely populated that nothing is actually as far away as it looks on the map! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I was telling a friend that we’re looking for an apartment that is about 600sqft. Anyway, he didn’t know square feet, and neither do I, so I had to Google the conversion in square metres. It’s apparently 55sqm, and I gave myself the visualisation: it’s about 8m x 7m. That’s it. That is unbelievably tiny. Omg. I’m sure there are people whose bedroom is bigger than this ๐Ÿ˜‚ And there are numerous apartments that are half the size of this. How do people live in these tiny places?!? I’m already wondering if I can survive in a 600sqft place. I guess you just learn to live with it, as with anything in life?! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

I went shopping for some gifts today, and I was waiting for a lift with a little girl and her parents in the department store. The girl was very unhappy, and as soon as we got into the lift, she started to wail like there was no tomorrow. A loud, piercing wail. I don’t know how someone so little can generate that much noise, it was hurting my ears in that tiny space. I felt so sorry for the parents. I only had to endure that for the few seconds it took to go from the fifth floor to ground level, but they’re stuck with her. The mum looked at me with a resigned look on her face, and I just smiled back in sympathy. On a completely unrelated matter, Mum did have gorgeous hair, though, and I complimented her on it just before I stepped out of the lift. So hopefully that gave her a little bit of happiness, however brief! ๐Ÿ˜Š

And when I got home, I continued my property search, messaging a few more agents. A few actually got back to me! That was very surprising, and completely unnecessary! I would’ve been perfectly fine if they got back to me when they arrive at their office tomorrow morning. I guess it must be a very competitive market, and people want to stay ahead of the game. Tough gig. I’m feeling hopeful again that we’ll find something in the next few weeks. Hopefully my positive energy is out there, and the cosmic universe returns it back to me in the form of a very decent apartment! ๐Ÿ˜Š


I had yet another unpleasant transaction on Carousell, sighhh ๐Ÿ˜” Someone said that they will come and pick up our outdoor furniture, and as I was waiting for her downstairs at the designated time, she has the nerve to undercut me and says “I have an offer from another seller for less than half the price”. Are you freaking serious?? I reserved the set for you, thereby effectively taking it off the market so no one else can see it, and then just before you come to pick it up, you have the nerve to lowball me?!? WTFFF?! I held my ground and kept it at the agreed price, and she decided to take it anyway. Unbelievable. I cannot believe people can be like this. I just end up being bitter and trust people less in that marketplace. Sighhh… I’d rather give the furniture away to those who actually need it, than have to deal with the stress of annoying people like this ๐Ÿ˜”

After we handed over the furniture to her, I accompanied N to the airport. He’s in HK for the next two weeks, and then will fly back to SG again just to finalise everything, before we officially leave for HK. Sighhh… I am still in semi-denial ๐Ÿ˜” His visa was “activated” when he landed at HK Airport: he’s now officially allowed to stay in the country for the next two years. I’ll be doing the same “activation” on Wednesday ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

I need to pack for that trip, my first trip to HK in November, and figure out what I want to bring with me. I’m using these next few trips as opportunities to bring stuff with me that we can’t ship over eg cosmetics and medicines. It’s probably going to feel like I’m in country limbo in November, having no idea in which country anything is in! ๐Ÿ˜‚

N actually has an appointment tomorrow evening with a property agent to view some properties. She sent through photos of three places, one of which looks promising. And I hope to be able to view a few places as well once I’m there. If we can find a place ASAP, it’ll make me feel just that little bit better. So fingers (and toes!) crossed we find something in the next few weeks! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž

Since you are here already…

I came across this tweet today, which is exactly what my theme is for 2018: consistency. Love it. I think I did a good job with it this year, actually – well, up until the news of our upcoming move to HK, that is! After the move was confirmed, anything regular and consistent fell apart ๐Ÿ˜‚ But that’s ok, that’s part of life, and I just have to roll with the punches ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค› I’m sure we’ll have a new “regular” set up in our new country before we even know it ๐Ÿ˜Š

I think I already know what my theme will be for 2019, but I want to think about it some more over the next few months before I finally settle on it ๐Ÿ˜Š It’ll set my focus for the year, so I want to give myself some time to think it over. I don’t want to decide on it hastily and then regret my decision just one week later. But I will have a theme. I loved it this year, it really kept me focussed and got me working on my goals. So I want the same for next year. Bring on 2019 already! ๐Ÿ˜†

We had lunch with some friends today, before the mum goes to hospital on Monday to have their baby. They have scheduled in a c-section, and I will go and pay them a visit Tuesday morning. Perfect timing, before my first flight to Hong Kong in November. At least I get to say hi to mum and baby before we leave for HK.

And then we had our last calligraphy lesson in the afternoon. We got to write an idiom today, rather than just practising random characters, so that was pretty cool.

ๆ—ขไพ†ไน‹ๅ‰‡ๅฎ‰ไน‹ (jรฌ lรกi zhฤซ zรฉ ฤn zhฤซ)

Hard, as we didn’t get to write the same character a bajillion times like in our previous lessons and improving our technique, but it was fun nonetheless. She asked us to choose what idiom we wanted to write, and this six-character one came up. It was short, and we already knew four of the six characters, so that made it look even more promising. I looked it up in the dictionary, and the meaning it gave was something along the lines of “Since you are here already, you may as well stay and make the most of it.” I thought that was perfect for how I’m feeling right now with this move to HK, so that just clinched the deal ๐Ÿ˜‚

Our Chinese language teacher over the past few years was also teaching while we had our class, so we got to say bye to him too. Ahhh… the end of our SG chapter is nearing… ๐Ÿ˜”

Ready to roll

The Traders Fair was on today. I really just wanted to see one trader from the US who I really admire. I’m on her company’s mailing list, which is how I heard about the Fair in the first place. She had two 2-hour sessions today. Her morning session was a FULL HOUSE – all the seats were filled!! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ And there were people standing at the back of the room. I guess other people really like her too! So I wanted to grab a quick bite to eat during the one hour between her sessions, to make sure I get a seat and don’t end up standing for two hours all the way up the back! ๐Ÿ˜†

I didn’t have time for breakfast this morning, and my quick bite was very small, so again, I was just running on adrenalin for most of the day. Not good! I know what my body is like. It never does well just running on adrenalin. Case in point was this time last week, when I ended up crashing a few days after ๐Ÿ˜” So I’m going to try and have a quieter evening, to make sure I don’t crash and burn in the next few days, just before I fly to HK!

Overall I actually enjoyed the content of all the sessions that I attended at the Fair. My key takeaway from the day: I am doing the right things in order to succeed at this trading game – even if it doesn’t feel like it at times! ๐Ÿ˜† I picked up some new things as well, and also reminded of a few other things that I have forgotten in recent months. Now I’m terribly excited to get back into my trading. I just want to get this move sorted – and to find a place to actually live in once we get to the other side! – so that I can get back on my trading wagon ๐Ÿ˜Š

This evening, I decided to order takeaway from a new place that’s opened just down the road from us. As I was walking there, I went past one of our regular haunts just a few shops down, and the waiter who usually takes our order was at the front, and we waved hello to each other. I felt guilty ordering takeaway from one of their competitors. I felt like I was betraying them! So as I stood around waiting for my order, I was trying to hide so that he doesn’t see me outside the other shop ๐Ÿ˜†

Ah, I’m going to miss these small things, these relationships that you build up over time. Things that you just take for granted as you go about your life – until that life is uprooted and takes you on a totally different path. So we’ll be establishing new routines once again once we arrive in our new country. Ah… Such is our life.

As I promised to myself, I took it easy tonight. I watched the next episode of Madam Secretary while I munched away at my dinner. I felt like that episode was better written compared to the first one. I think I’m going to enjoy this series, it’s looking promising! ๐Ÿ‘

And I cleaned out one of the last two drawers that needed sorting. Once we clean out the medicine drawer, then we’ll be ready to roll. Wow. I can’t believe we got to this point, it didn’t seem possible at one point. I’m sure if I read through my blog posts these past few weeks I’ll probably find something that mentions this seemingly insurmountable task. So I think for the last few days that I’m in SG, I’ll just continue updating my itemised inventory list so that it is up-to-date for HK.

Oh and our visas for HK arrived today. It’s all happening now! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

A break from packing

I started working on one of the two drawers that I mentioned yesterday. The drawers contain papers and medicine, so the latter will be much easier to get through. As important as they are, papers relating to finance stuff don’t interest me whatsoever, so I probably won’t get through it all before we leave. I’ll just have to carry the papers with me to HK and make a conscious effort to stay on top of it there!

And tonight, I have myself a bit of a break from all this packing and culling: I finally watched the first episode of Madam Secretary. I’ve been wanting to watch the series for ages now, as I like both Tea Leoni and Tim Daly. The episode was good, but the writing just didn’t seem very “polished”, if that makes sense. You know when there is a movie adaptation of a book and they pick out the key elements and work with that in the movie, simply because there isn’t enough time to capture everything that’s in the book? Well that’s how the first episode felt, even though the show is not adapted from a book! It seemed like we were just getting the key elements. So it doesn’t feel like we’re getting a smooth development either of the characters or of the storyline. Well I guess it was just the first episode, so hopefully things go a bit more smoothly from here on in.

I am going to a trader’s fair tomorrow, I am terribly excited. I hope I’m not setting such high expectations that I end up being disappointed at the end of the day! ๐Ÿ˜‘ At the very least, it’ll get my mind off all this moving business, even for just one day! ๐Ÿ˜Š

The finish line is near

I am currently consumed by this move, it has become my biggest priority. Thanks for persevering with me! It is T minus 4, and we’re actually almost there. We have gone through all our kitchenware, the pantry and everything in the fridge. The bathroom is also pretty much done, and so are our books and papers. Clothes, shoes and accessories all done too. So we’re getting there! There are two drawers that need some focus over the next few days, but once they’re done, then I think that’ll be it.

I’m also updating my inventory list that I mentioned yesterday. Man it takes forever! I seriously don’t know how I itemised everything last time ’round. I’m not even halfway there yet! Which makes me wonder if we actually had less items before we moved to SG. I guess I can compare once I’m done itemising! If there’s one way to make you minimise your possessions, make yourself painstakingly list each and every item that you own, including brand, size, colour, and estimated replacement value ๐Ÿ˜‚ And we live in a tiny two-bedroom apartment in Asia. I can’t imagine what it would be like itemising everything in a house, with a garage or basement or attic – or all three! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

The pantry, fridge and kitchenware are down to the bare minimum, and N finished cleaning the oven today too (it looks brand new, I still don’t know how he managed to do that!), so I can’t use the oven either. So I may just have to go out and eat $3 chicken rice for the last few days that I’m in SG ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’ll probably be cheaper to eat that than cook every day anyway!

The end of our SG chapter is nearing…

For the love of spreadsheets

I felt so much better today compared to yesterday. I must’ve just needed to rest and give myself a bit of a break from all things to do with this move.

N found this spreadsheet of mine that itemised all our items for when we moved to SG. I LOVE the spreadsheet!! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I completely forgot I created it. It’s so neat and organised. Why aren’t I as organised with this move as I was back then?! My current inventory is handwritten and is nowhere near as detailed. I feel so unorganised in comparison to the old me. Where is she now?? I need her to come back! ๐Ÿ˜†

But now that he reminded me of this spreadsheet, I’m using it as a basis for this next move. I’m so pumped to update it now! ๐Ÿค“ In fact, once it’s updated, I’m going to try and maintain it on a more regular basis, so that we have a consistent inventory list for future moves. And perhaps also use it to start working towards an “ideal” list: a list of what we consider to be an ideal amount of “stuff” in our lives to lead the minimalist life that we currently aspire to lead. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re working on it ๐Ÿ˜Š

N has taken tomorrow off to continue this culling / packing, so I’m even more pumped now. I’m expecting us to get through almost everything tomorrow, and I’ll finally feel in control once again. Fingers crossed the finish line will be pretty darn close by the end of the day… ๐Ÿคž

Crashing down

I felt like I was crashing down from the adrenalin high that I’ve been living on the past few days. I felt really tired, lethargic, and had a mild headache the entire day. I spent most of the afternoon sleeping. A family friend is actually in town for work and we were supposed to catch up tonight, but I just wasn’t feeling up to it, so I had to take a rain check. We may have to catch up next time she’s in HK! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

I did manage to track a friend’s flight though, from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore, on his way back to Brisbane. He’s spent the last four years in Vietnam, and is now on his way back home to pursue a new business venture. He too is starting a new chapter in his book of life. He came over to Asia just before we did, and now he’s going back to Oz. While we are just starting a new Asian chapter. It’s all happening.

Today is T minus 27, and for N, it is T minus 6 ๐Ÿ˜ฒ I don’t feel like we’re anywhere near ready for the move ๐Ÿ˜”