2018 in Review

A friend got me into this habit of reviewing my year, and I think this is my third review so far, and second in this blog. I find it a challenging thing to do, but great once I finish it for the year.

1.What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before? Move to HK! 😱 I still can’t believe that we live here now, it’s still all a bit surreal…

2.Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions and will you make more for this year? My theme for the year was “consistency”, which I stuck to for quite a fair bit of the year – until the news about HK came up, and all hell broke loose! πŸ˜‚

3.Did anyone close to you give birth? One of N’s good friends in SG, just before we left for HK, so N didn’t get to meet the bub πŸ˜”

4.Did anyone close to you die? A friend’s mum passed away. I’ve known this friend since my primary school days, so I knew her mum too, having gone over to her place numerous times during our formative years. Her mum had been ill for a while now, so hopefully she is now in a better place.

5.What countries did you visit?

Australia – dance comp

Hong Kong – reconnaissance trips πŸ˜‰

Vietnam – dance comp

Philippines – wedding πŸ‘°πŸŽ©πŸ’’

6.What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018? Money. I didn’t focus on this area enough this year πŸ˜”

7.What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 18 November. Moving to HK. Pretty big day.

8.What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting some consistency in my trading.

9.What was your biggest failure? Probably losing sight of my finance goal πŸ˜”

10.Did you suffer illness or injury? Thankfully nothing serious, touch wood.

11.What was the best thing you bought? Hmmm… Perhaps my new desk. Much better than the one I had in SG. I feel like I can do some solid work on this new one πŸ‘

12.Whose behaviour merited celebration? Iceland’s equal pay for men and women πŸ‘

13.Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Laura Ingraham πŸ™„ Not depressed, just appalled.

14.Where did most of your money go? Rent, again, by far.  This will continue to be the case – even more so – in HK πŸ˜”

15.What did you get really, really, really excited about? Getting my scooter, perhaps πŸ›΄ Which I had to sell not long after I got it, coz we got the news that we’re moving to HK, and this city isn’t the most scooter friendly (nor do I think they’re legal here) πŸ˜”

16.What song will always remind you of 2018? Sweet but Psycho by Ava Max

17.Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Fatter/thinner? Richer/poorer? Sadder, thinner, poorer.

18.What do you wish you’d done more of? Explore SG more. We left the country before I finished exploring πŸ˜”

19.What do you wish you’d done less of? Ironically, planning!  I think I get a bit too excited when it comes to planning, and go a tad overboard with it.  Just a tad πŸ˜‰

20.How did you spend Christmas? Hiking! We walked up The Peak πŸ₯Ύ And then dinner with N’s Brother at Lan Kwai Fong.

21.Did you fall in love in 2018? I fell in love with a Korean drama, does that count? πŸ˜‰ It was sooo good. Fated to love you. Check it out πŸ‘

22.How many one-night stands? I really should just delete this question… πŸ˜’

23.What was your favourite TV program? I’m always slow on the uptake, but I finally caught up with the rest of the world on Game of Thrones! I also loved Downton Abbey, and watched the entire series this year too 😊 Oh and see question 21 πŸ˜†

24.Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Asia’s traditions. OK it’s not a person, but some things that I took for granted in Oz are just not the norm in Asia, which frustrated the living daylights out of me this year!! 😀

25.What was the best book you read? Open, Andre Agassi’s autobiography. I liked it way more than I expected to!

26.What was your greatest musical discovery? Sweet but Psycho by Ava Max I LOVE this song!! 😍

27.What did you want and get? A proper home office. I love it!!

28.What did you want and not get? The very first apartment we went to see in HK! As soon as we walked in, we both knew we wanted this place. When you just know, you know. So it was terribly disappointing when we didn’t get the apartment.

29.What was your favourite film of this year? I actually watched a few movies this year, which is unusual for me. Two that stand out: I enjoyed Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle much more than I expected to; and Color Me True / Tonight, at the Movies (δ»Šε€œγ€γƒ­γƒžγƒ³γ‚ΉεŠ‡ε ΄γ§) was freaking awesome!!

30.What did you do on your birthday? We did a combo birthday and Valentine’s Day dinner at a Japanese restaurant in SG

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Perhaps getting rid of more clutter. There’s still too much crap in the house πŸ˜”

32.How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018? While in SG, the usual: casual summer clothes. And then we moved to HK during autumn, soon to be winter. And my cold weather wardrobe is very limited, which I would describe as “black, white and grey” πŸ˜‚

33.What kept you sane? N, especially when I overthink or get too worked up about something πŸ™

34.Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018. Enjoy each and every day as much as you can, what you have now may be taken away from you at any time. Never take your life for granted and be grateful for every day, no matter how mundane or routine it is.

35.Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Joyride by Roxette 😊

Hello, you fool, I love you

C’mon join the joyride

I hit the road out of nowhere

I had to jump in my car

And be a rider in a love game

Following the stars

Don’t need a book of wisdom

I get no money talk at all

She has a train going downtown

She’s got a club on the moon

And she’s telling all her secrets

In a wonderful balloon

She’s the heart of the funfair

She’s got me whistling a private tune

And it all begins where it ends

And she’s all mine, my magic friend

She says, “hello, you fool, I love you

C’mon join the joyride”

Join the joyride

She’s a flower, I could paint her

She’s a child of the sun

We’re a part of this together

Could never turn around and run

Don’t need no fortune teller

To know where my lucky love belongs, whoa no

‘Cause it all begins again when it ends, yeah

And we’re all magic friends (magic friends, magic friends)

She says, “hello, you fool, I love you

C’mon join the joyride”

Join the joyride

She says, “hello (hello), you fool (you fool), I love you (I love you)

C’mon join the joyride”

Be a joyrider, ow

I’ll take you on a sky ride

I’m feeling like I’m spellbound

The sunshine is a lady

Who rocks you like a baby

She says, “hello (hello) you fool (you fool) I love you (I love you)

C’mon join the joyride”

Join the joyride

Hello, you fool, I love you

C’mon join the joyride

Join the joyride

Hello, hello, you fool, I love you

C’mon, c’mon join the joyride

Be a joyrider


I stayed home all day, didn’t really do much at all. We got the home office somewhat sorted, so it’s starting to look a bit more presentable now. Not long to go before the New Year!

I watched a few more episodes of Lover’s Lies, and then chatted online to family and friends about tv and movies to watch. Here are a few of their ideas, in case you’re interested.

Sneaky Pete – tv series: crime, drama

A Star is Born – movie: drama, romance (musical)

Mother! – movie: drama, horror, mystery

The Purge series – movies: action, horror, thriller

I think I’ll stick to just the first two, thanks πŸ˜† Horror movies are definitely not my thing!

Maybe we’ll just stay home and watch tv tomorrow, to finish off 2018. We are so boring πŸ˜‚ Plus it’s so cold, we don’t feel like doing much at all! 10Β°C is cold for us. I much preferred my 30Β°+ weather in SG!

Oh speaking of weather, I found this app recently, What the Forecast?!!, and I absolutely love it. It’s got sass, and I find its comments absolutely hilarious. Here is the current page for HK.

You can set the profanity level: none, some or on. I have it set to on, obviously πŸ˜‚ It’s much more entertaining that way 😊

But it’s our first NYE in HK, so part of me wants to brave the bajillion people who will no doubt be out tomorrow to watch the fireworks along the harbour. Maybe we’ll do that: just plonk ourselves somewhere along the harbour and freeze to death while we wait for the fireworks πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡ You can probably tell just how excited I am about this idea πŸ˜‚

Shopping and eating

I got up earlier than the two brothers today, although that wasn’t hard because N went to bed at around 4am and his brother hadn’t even arrived home yet 😲 So I watched a few episodes of Lover’s Lies in the morning, after which N had finally gotten up. So we left Little Brother to sleep and we went to that 24-hour breakfast place for a late breakfast. OMG all-day breakfast places – let alone a 24-hour place! – are the best! πŸ‘πŸ‘

We then went to IFC and Landmark, two shopping malls in Central. The latter has the Cocoa Monsters display, which was sooo cuuute! They have little Cocoa Monsters hanging on all their Christmas decorations in the mall (and any other building that Landmark owns), so I’ve seen these cute monsters scattered around in what I thought were just random places.

I’m glad I got to see them! I wonder if they always make an appearance in Landmark buildings at Christmas each year…

One thing I have noticed about HK is their poor signage. They’re not very good with telling people (ie new people to the city) where things are located. For example, the start of the Mid Level Escalators is actually quite hard to find. There are numerous signs telling you which direction you need to go in order to reach them, but they don’t tell you how far away they are, and if you reach a fork in the road, for example, which “prong” you need to take. Very similar to when we were walking up to The Peak. So it’s not the most tourist friendly city, unfortunately. You really have to just wander around and immerse yourself in the city – which can be frustrating, if you’re pressed for time! So maybe if you are wandering around, give yourself extra time to find your destination – as well as extra time to fight the throngs of people who will no doubt be all around you! πŸ˜‚

I cleaned up around the house a bit in the afternoon, in time for the New Year, and I’ll continue to do so for the remaining two days of 2018. I always like to have a clean house to welcome the New Year, and here in Asia, there is the western New Year as well as Chinese New Year. So I tend to do a massive clean twice, before the two New Year’s Days. I do a major cull, and I usually also clean out the cupboards and wipe down shelves and clean the windows etc. But since we’ve just moved in, everything is still quite clean, so it’s really more about tidying up this year for us. Except the home office! Argh! That’s a disaster and a half. We’re running out of time to get that sorted! ⏰😩

And then we went for hot pot in the evening. I have grown to really like hot pot! Despite the warm, humid weather in SG, hot pot was really popular there, and that popularity rubbed off on me, so now I’m totally into it. And now that we’re actually living in a city that gets cooler weather, hot pot is going to be even more enticing for me here! πŸ˜‹

I can’t believe there are only two more days left in 2018. Where did this year go?!? 😲 I’ve almost finished my usual annual review of my year, so I’ll post that up sometime in the next two days 😊

Family time

We took Kitty to the vet today, just for a general checkup, as well as to get some more meds for her. And to introduce her to her new doctor πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ So we had to initiate Operation Sydney again…

It was mega busy at the vet. We had a 12:15pm appointment, and we weren’t seen until close to 1pm. That’s rivalling hooman doctor waiting times! I hardly ever had to wait in SG. There must be sooo many more cats here (or fewer vets).

Nonetheless, the vet was very thorough, and was concerned about both her heart and one of her kidneys. But because they’re fully booked today, the vet asked if we can bring her back to do a full checkup next week. So I have to trigger Operation Sydney once again… πŸ˜’ Poor little miss. Hopefully the vet is just being overly cautious and that she is ok for her age 🀞

We then went for a late lunch at Fortress Hill, and did a bit of window shopping at the Nike and Adidas factory outlets nearby. I know where to go now if I need some bargain shoes πŸ‘ (and you now too, if you’re ever in HK πŸ˜†)

And then we just went home and I watched a few more episodes of my Chinese drama Lover’s Lies, while N went to karate and N’s brother tried to sleep off a headache. I also listened to a few Chinese songs on YouTube, continuing to work on my listening and reading while enjoying some nice songs song the way. Here are a few songs that I liked from tonight:

ζ„›ιŽδ½ ζœ‰ε€šδΉ…ε°±ζœ‰ε€šη—› Love Hurts by Xiao Bing Chih

εΉΎεˆ†δΉ‹εΉΎ You Complete Me by Crowd Lu

ε‰ε€§ηš„ζΈΊε° Little Big Us by JJ Lin

ζΌ”ε“‘ Actor by Xue Zhi Qian

學貓叫 Learn to sound like a cat (πŸ˜‚) by Xiao Feng Feng

The last one is just fun and not really on the list for musical beauty πŸ˜‚ But it’s a good one to learn as it has quite simple words in the song πŸ˜† But listening to songs is definitely a fun way to learn some new words 😊

TV and food

It was a pretty lazy day, we didn’t do much at all. I watched a few episodes of my Chinese drama Lover’s Lies, and a few episodes of Friends, eating some food in between episodes πŸ˜† We didn’t even clean up the home office, which was the one and only thing on my to-do list for today πŸ˜” I will have to do some work on it tomorrow.

We then took a long nap in the afternoon, while N’s brother went to the gym. At least he did something, unlike us!

And in the evening, we went to Ichiran for some ramen, and then wandered around Causeway Bay for a while, before heading home and finishing the day off with an episode of Legion.

Like I said, it was a lazy day! πŸ˜†

Brunch together before we went our separate ways

We went and had yum cha today. We decided to go to Maxim’s Palace at City Hall, the restaurant that we missed out on going to the other day because we got there so late. So today, we aimed to get there by about 10:30am. We weren’t far off that time, and it was actually quite a good time to go. We were given a choice in table, because there were quite a few still available at that time. So based on our experience today, I would recommend going for brunch / early lunch rather than a late one.

The food is great here too, as is the range. They had so many dishes that we wanted to eat, but we just didn’t have enough room for them all. Their trolleys had labels on the front to tell you what dishes that particular trolley had, in both English and Chinese, and some also had a little tv screen of sorts that scrolled through photos of the dishes. It was very impressive! It’s also all very orderly, so there isn’t too much of a culture shock in this particular restaurant 😊

We went back home afterwards and just hung out there for the rest of the afternoon. I spoke to my mum for a little while, and we were playing around with the fun filter options on Messenger. It’s good to be silly, I need more of that in my day 😊

And then in the evening, we all went our separate ways: N went to karate; N’s brother went to catch up with a friend; and I went to see The Nutcracker! πŸ‘

It was a weird storyline… It deviated a bit from the story that I’m used to, and the first act was a little hard to follow (or maybe it was just me?). But the second act was SUPERB. The principal dancers were good, but what I really enjoyed – surprisingly – was the small contemporary pas de deux performance between the Egyptian dolls. Their control, strength, partnership, interpretation of the choreography… WOW. Just wow. Ok so they didn’t do a bajillion fouettes or jetes, but their little section of the performance really moved me. They were so amazing. And that’s coming from me, someone who’s not even a fan of contemporary ballet! So I’m very glad that I got to see the performance, as tonight was the last performance for the season.

It was a fun day 😊

Merry Christmas!! πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ₯‚

We had a really nice, quiet Christmas Day, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Usually it’s filled with too many people, too much socialising for an introvert like me, even if the socialising is with family. So today’s quiet day was absolutely wonderful.

I got up ridiculously early this morning and spent about an hour on Facebook wishing friends and family a Merry Christmas. I then watched a few episodes of my new Chinese drama, Lover’s Lies, before the two brothers woke up. After breakfast/brunch, N and I made our way up The Peak, one of the most famous hiking trails in HK. It’s paved and you go past a number of residential buildings, so it’s not like you’re roughing it at any point. But it’s tiring. Unless you’re used to doing lots of uphill climbs. It is steep, and there are barely any breaks where the trek flattens out. The signs say it takes half an hour to walk to the top, but that’s assuming that you’re pretty much at the starting point. Getting to the starting point is an effort in itself πŸ˜†

But once you’re up there, it’s a pretty nice view. You get a view of both Victoria Harbour as well as the south side of the island, which is totally worth the hike. Today was a bit overcast, so the view wasn’t as great as it could be, but what we could see was still pretty awesome.

View of Victoria Harbour from The Peak

So if the other hikes around HK are just as well laid out as Victoria Peak, then I’d definitely want to do more. I’m not sure how easy it is to get to the other trails compared to this one, as you basically just take the Mid Level Escalators right to the end, turn left, and then make your way up to the start once you see the pink sign pointing to The Peak. All within a residential area. But other trails may not be so close to civilisation… I will have to do some research on them. Dragon’s Back is apparently quite nice and relatively easy to do (although that is quite a subjective term!). And it is one of the more popular ones too. Maybe that can be our next trail 😊

We then went back home to freshen up; met up with N’s brother; and then we made our way to Lan Kwai Fong for a nice, quiet family dinner.

But as soon as we walked out of the building, this was the chaos on the street:

On Christmas Day!! 😲 Crazy stuff! I’m used to very quiet streets on Christmas Day, with virtually everything closed in Oz. This is the complete opposite to that πŸ˜‚

So that’s one more Christmas done βœ… I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did 😊

Christmas Eve

I watched Love Actually today, one of those classic films that I can watch over and over again. And it’s a “Christmas” film, so I like to watch it around this time of year. It’s not entirely a feel good movie, but it just somehow gets the amount right for me. Which pretty much sums up how I feel during this holiday period: not entirely happy happy joy joy, as there is always a tinge of sadness for me – I have no idea why – but happy enough.

We then ran a few errands in the afternoon after grabbing some lunch. We were originally going to have ramen somewhere, but we walked past a McDonald’s and N felt like having a Big Mac, so we changed our original plan of having Japanese to having fast food 😳

One of our errands was to go back to the Sony store to pick up our grocery vouchers. And yes! They were proper vouchers, which we could spend however way we pleased at one of the supermarkets here πŸ‘ And luckily there is one near our place, so we will easily use up these vouchers in the next few months, possibly weeks 😊

We played with the virtual reality goggles at the Sony store again while we were there. They are sooo much fun! I’m still thinking of buying a Playstation just so we can play these virtual reality games. I haven’t been this excited to play computer games since I was a kid! Maybe it can be my birthday present…

Because for Christmas, we’re going to splurge on food 😊 We went out for dinner tonight, and we’re going for dinner again tomorrow. We went for a late dinner, sometime after 9pm, and there were still restaurants open, as if it was a normal weeknight. The restaurant that we went to was packed as! It was lucky that we even got a table, I reckon. That’s one good thing about celebrating Christmas in Asia: shops and restaurants are still open! You can still have a fun day/night out, even though it’s Christmas Eve 😊

I ordered this cocktail as it had egg white, so I could have something that was close to eggnog πŸ˜‚

Merry Christmas to everyone, and enjoy this festive season!!


Yum cha fail and Friends with family

We wanted to go have yum cha today, so we decided to try Maxim’s Palace over at City Hall, as it’s quite popular and apparently not so much of a culture shock as some older, more “local” places. It was around 2:30pm when we got there, and they had a sign up saying that they were closing between 3-5:30pm, I assume to prep for dinner. We took a ticket, and there were 15 numbers ahead of us. We figured by the time we get seated, it’ll be 3pm, so we decided to look for another place instead.

We walked to another nearby Chinese restaurant, but when we got there, we quickly see their sign saying that they too finish up at 3pm πŸ˜” Then we walked to Tim Ho Wan in IFC, and the queue there was just ridiculous. We decided to skip this place too and just gave up on the whole yum cha idea, and settled for Tsui Wah, a local chain that’s quick and easy and relatively cheap. So lesson for today: yum cha places tend to close at 3pm in HK, and they’re really busy on Sundays! So maybe go either really early, or really late – but not as late as us today πŸ˜†

Then we just went home and rested up a bit (not that we did anything today anyway 😝) before N went to karate. And we all spent the rest of the evening binge watching Friends episodes, while Kitty happily slept on the couch in between the two brothers. It seems N’s brother and her are both starting to get used to each other now: he’s not breaking out in a rash every time he comes into contact with her fur; and she’s not acting all strange like she normally does when there’s someone new in the house. Progress πŸ‘

Errands leading to a possible Christmas present

We ran a few errands today, and we kept going to and from home. I think we went back and forth three times over, so we got some good walking exercise today! No wonder my feet are throbbing a little now 🦢 I need to find myself a good pair of walking shoes, I have a feeling we’ll be doing a lot more walking here in HK!

One of our errands was to pick up some grocery vouchers as part of Sony’s promotion when we bought our new tv. We had to go to their store in Causeway Bay. We brought along all the documents that we had relating to the tv purchase, as we weren’t quite sure what we needed to bring along with us in order to redeem our vouchers. Luckily there was next to no one there, so we got to see a customer service officer straight away. She asked us if we had some bar code with us that’s on the box. Of course we didn’t have that, we weren’t told to bring it along with us πŸ™„ And there was no documentation to tell us what we actually needed to bring. Greeeat. So we have to make another trip with this bar code in hand in order to redeem our vouchers. Arghhh! 😀 These vouchers better be worth it! I have received vouchers in the past where they’ve said “$x worth of grocery vouchers”, only to receive vouchers that said that I could only buy certain products totalling $x – eg $20 of so-and-so product of potato chips; $50 of this product of baby diapers etc etc – ie how I could spend the vouchers was entirely dictated already. Dodgy or what?! 😠 So I hope these vouchers won’t be something similar!!

We decided to wander around the Sony store afterwards, and we played a bit of some virtual reality game that they had set up on the Playstation. I decided to try it out, so I put the headpiece on. It was sooo good!! I’ve never had any VR experience before, so that was a bit weird, and it actually gave me a bit of motion sickness, and eventually a bit of a headache, but it was so much fun! So much so that I’m thinking we should get one as a Christmas present to ourselves! πŸ˜‚ I’m there shrieking in the store as I was trying to dodge the monsters that were attacking me. I couldn’t figure out how to attack back (I felt so old!) and I was just being attacked from all angles. So what do you reckon?! Should we get a Playstation?? πŸ˜†