More books and more eating

I went on another adventure today, going to visit another library in the ‘burbs. It’s costing me 3x as much to travel to and from these libraries (over HK$10) than it would to just reserve the book that I want (HK$3.30) and to get it delivered to the library closest to me πŸ˜‚ But I travel to these libraries for the experience, to see the library for myself and the neighbourhood that it is in. This city is all very new to me, so I use any reason to wander around and explore 😊

The library that I went to today had a really nice children’s section, so I took that opportunity to randomly go through the picture books and look for something that would be a good read for us πŸ˜† I stumbled across this book:

It has Chinese on one side, and then you flip it over and you get the English on the other side! Sooo good! They had quite a few books in this series, so I think I’ll make my way through them 😊 There’s only one sentence per page, and even though I can read most of it, there is still almost a word per page that I don’t know and have to look up in the dictionary. So it’s quite doable to get through one book and not at all overwhelming. Plus the book has a due date, so it motivates me to actually read it and learn some new words and phrases before I have to return it! So borrowing picture books may be a good way to pick up some new vocab. It ain’t helping with my listening, though, which is my short-term focus, but at least my reading will continue to improve, even if it is at kindergarten level! πŸ˜†

And then in the evening, I decided to wander around Harbour City, one of the shopping malls at Tsim Sha Tsui, before meeting up with N’s colleagues for dinner. I didn’t get to finish walking through the mall before I had to walk over to the restaurant to meet up with everyone, but I did notice a few restaurants in there that looked promising. (There are sooo many restaurants in HK, you will never run out of places to try!) So I’ll have to come back and wander through the mall again another time.

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Reading and Allergies

Pretty uneventful day: I spent the day reading my textbook of sorts on trading; watching an episode of my Korean drama About Time; and doing a bit of cleaning around the house.

I also had a look at my list of books that I want to read: there are over 150 on the list! 😲 I don’t think I could get through all of them in my lifetime, since I’m such a slow reader πŸ˜‚ And I do other stuff in my life too, and not just read books, which adds to the time it’d take to get through that rather intimidating list. Maybe I can aim to read 2 books a month, one fiction and one non-fiction. Is that too ambitious? πŸ€” Or maybe I should first do a speed reading course so I have a better chance of achieving that goal?? πŸ˜†

N reacted a bit to Kitty tonight 🀧 His eyes were puffy and red, his nose was all stuffy and he was sneezing. He doesn’t react as badly to her as his brother does, but sometimes his allergy flares up, like it did tonight. Luckily we bought some Claratyne a few weeks ago, so he could take one to ease the symptoms.

I find it interesting that they spell it as Clarityne here (note that there is no English on their website here! 😩) and Claritin in the US. Why the subtle differences in spelling? Is it a copyright issue in each region??

Not in a good mood

I decided to go to IFC today, and buy some cleanser at the SKII store there. The woman who served me asked if I had a bag, and I said no. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, stores don’t readily hand out bags here in HK, and sometimes they even charge you for the privilege of getting one.

Anyway, after I paid, I realised that what the woman was actually asking me was “do I NEED a bag” and not what she did ask: “do I HAVE a bag”. So I asked for one, and she said it would cost fifteen cents. I was like omg fifteen cents, what is that, less than S$0.01?? (It’s actually less than S$0.03.) So even though that’s next to nothing, it meant that I had to break the smallest note that I had on me, which was a HK$20, as I didn’t have any coins. So if I had known that I wasn’t getting a bag right from the start, I would’ve just asked for them to include the additional HK$0.15 onto the cost of the cleanser when they charged it onto my credit card. Sighhh…

Then when I was handed my receipts, apparently the bag was fifty cents, not fifteen. I haven’t been impressed with the level of service at IFC, not just at this store, but in a few other stores too. It doesn’t seem to match the iconic name that the mall has for itself. Maybe it’s because the staff are not very comfortable speaking in English. I have found English to not be at the standard that I would expect in a global city. I have found it much harder navigating my way around HK compared to SG.

And then I made a number of losing trades in the afternoon. The last few weeks has been quite demoralising, actually, so I’m going to take tomorrow off (and perhaps Friday too) and regroup, do some more testing, and come back fresh on Monday.

I tried cheering myself up a bit in the evening by watching an episode of my Korean drama About Time, as it has been a rather frustrating day πŸ˜’ It’s getting good! πŸ‘ At least there was one thing that was actually good today πŸ˜†

Routine

I miss the sun β˜€οΈ It feels like I haven’t seen it in aaages… It’s been cloudy and foggy for so long now, I can’t wait for the sun to make an appearance. Not just to brighten my mood, but also to warm things up! It’s not too cold anyhow – it feels more like autumn here than winter, really – I just prefer warmer weather in general. Which is precisely why I miss my SG all-year-round summer! πŸ˜”

My cold is still lingering around too, which is terribly annoying. I want to start my routine of going to the gym again, but I’m waiting until I’m better before I start getting back into it, otherwise I can see myself getting sick all over again πŸ˜”

It was a pretty uneventful day for me. I spent most of the day on my trading: the library book that I borrowed yesterday is a trading textbook of sorts, so I’m making way through that. I also watched a few episodes of About Time, my current Korean drama, which I’m really enjoying. And I also got back onto social media (My Non-Foodie Life) and posted a few things for the first time in a while. I’ve been busy entertaining family and friends these past few weeks that I lost whatever semblance of a routine that I had before, so I’m trying to get back into it now. So rather than “uneventful”, instead I should perhaps describe my day as “routine” 😊

Size and dramas

I borrowed my first library book today! πŸ‘ I was looking for a copy of it in a nearby library, and found one relatively close to home, so I decided to make my way out there today. It was effectively a library in the ‘burbs, which I wasn’t quite used to, as I’ve been going to one of the main libraries that takes up about ten floors. So as you can imagine, this suburban one on its lone teeny tiny floor felt really small in comparison! But it had the book that I was after, and that’s all that matters. Size doesn’t count when you don’t have the calibre in your book collection πŸ˜†

Since I’m new to this city, I had to use Google Maps to find where the other libraries were that stocked this particular book. One library was apparently 12km away! Now this is nothing by Sydney standards, but after being in Asia for a few years now, 12km seems like it’s forever away! And it is even worse in HK when it feels like we could do virtually everything we want to do within a 1km radius from home 😲 Karate, dance, Chinese class, work, shopping, movies. I still can’t believe how dense this city is! I’m going to feel like I have so much space when I am back in SG – let alone in Oz! πŸ˜†

I started watching my new Korean drama today, About Time. Definitely a good start! It’s drawn me in right from the beginning much like Lover’s Lies did, so it’s looking promising! Even if there was the blatant product placement of famous Korean brands like Kia and Samsung in the very first episode πŸ˜‚

Trying to save money

We had a pretty lazy Sunday. I didn’t want to spend any money today, as we’ve spent quite a fair bit these past few weeks, while we’ve had family and friends visiting. And if I went out, the temptation to spend money will be greater, so I chose to stay home and be a scrooge πŸ˜†

I watched a few Chinese dramas, trying to find my next series, but nothing drew me in as much as Lover’s Lies did right from the start. I was hoping to find a Chinese drama so I can continue working on my listening skills, but I haven’t enjoyed the dramas that I’ve picked so far. So I may just watch the Korean dramas that I have on my list at the moment (About Time and Money Flower) and just watch for the entertainment, rather than for language study.

I am currently subscribed to Audible, which I have really enjoyed for the last few years. Then I became of a member of SG Library, and I started borrowing a lot more books through them, as they had a huge collection of both ebooks and audiobooks, my preferred methods for reading books. Even though it cost me around S$50 to be a member for one year, it was totally worth it. Now I have membership at HK library, but their ebook and audiobook collection is terrible. So this has prompted me to review my Audible membership. I am now thinking of cancelling it and moving to Scribd. It’s a little cheaper than Audible, and its offering is more like what I had with my SG library membership. Only problem is, I have 13 credits left with Audible, and if I cancel my membership, I lose all my credits. So I need to use up my credits before I cancel my membership, meaning I have to find 13 audiobooks that I want to buy! 😲 This will take me a while to come up with 13 audiobooks that I want! So I won’t be cancelling my membership and swapping over to Scribd anytime soon…!

But having said all that, I will be heading down to one of my local libraries tomorrow anyhow! πŸ˜† I still want to make use of whatever HK library has to offer, no matter how limited that may be 😊

Customer service and Marvel

We made an appointment last week at the DBS branch to open an account today at 10am. I had a feeling the guy who noted our appointment time last week didn’t actually note it down anywhere, and of course that was indeed the case. Long story short, we still couldn’t open an account with them today, sighhhh… I don’t understand how you can turn a new customer away, when we had all of our required documents with us and we were basically ready to open an account today. Isn’t that basically a missed opportunity?!?

So the incompetence there led us to open an account with HSBC instead. In contrast, we were sitting in their little lobby area when one of the staff came up and started the process for us there! Now that shows good customer service. The whole account opening process still took forever, though: we were at the two banks for almost three hours! 😲 And that was with us having virtually all of the required documents with us. Despite the long process, unlike the first bank, we now have an account set up with HSBC πŸ‘

We were at the bank for so long that by the time we finished up there, it was pretty much time to head back home to let the aircon guys in! They came in today to clean the units, they were really good. They were very professional: brought all their gear, covered all our furniture with plastic to make sure they didn’t get dirty or wet, and put everything back in their original spot afterwards, as if they never came. They also mentioned that the units should not have been erected the way they have been, because it will be hard to open the units if they ever need to be repaired. Greeeat… Now I’m hoping that they never need repairing during our time in the apartment! But I’ll try not to worry about something that may not happen anyway – fingers crossed we never have to cross that bridge!🀞

We then spent the rest of the evening just cleaning up around the house, and then finished off the night watching Iron Man. I am making my way through the Marvel movies, and I wasn’t sure in which order I should watch them. I figured someone would already have an opinion on this, so I did a quick Google search and found this cnet article with a suggested order. This is good enough for me, so I’m now working my way through the movies in their suggested order 😊 Next up: The Incredible Hulk!