Holiday planning

I checked our credit card statements today and got the shock of my life when I realised just how much we spent last month πŸ˜” I completely underestimated. So now we’re going to have to rein that in if we want to go on a holiday in December.

I’ve been trying to figure out what we can do. I was thinking of going to Japan for a few days with my parents, and then they can spend a few days in HK before and after. I haven’t figured out the details yet, I’m just floating the idea around at the moment, but I’d like to firm up the details sooner rather than later so I can book flights and accommodation.

I watched more of Ode to Joy, my current Chinese drama. I’m really enjoying it! It’s based in Shanghai, which is now making me want to visit the city even more 😊 Maybe we can incorporate a few days there as part of this holiday in December… πŸ˜‰

Asia

I felt like going out for dinner tonight, so we went to Old Town Restaurant, a Singaporean restaurant in Central that I recently found. Although not quite at SG hawker centre prices (what is?!? πŸ˜†), the food is still good and so I keep going there whenever I have a hankering for Singaporean or Malaysian food. I’m sure I’ll start feeling nostalgic about yum cha too whenever we leave this city!

And then I started thinking about what we could do over Christmas and New Year this year. I’m thinking of doing a few short trips around Japan, Taiwan, Korea and/or China. Since we are now living in North Asia, I figured it’d be good to make the most of our location by exploring this part of Asia more. It’s actually my preferred part of Asia, so living here now is absolutely perfect πŸ‘Œ Now I just have to plan! πŸ€“

Surely a possible goal

I had my usual online Chinese lesson today. We did a lot more talking and listening in today’s lesson, so of course I found it to be quite challenging. Listening is by far my weakest skill, so I’m still getting her to repeat everything a bajillion times. But I do think that my listening is getting better, even if it is improving at the pace of the slowest snail in the pack πŸ˜‚ What is the word for a group of snails? Lemme look it up…. ESCARGATOIRE!! Or rout or walk, but I much prefer escargatoire! That’s freaking awesome 🀣🀣 That’s definitely the word of the day πŸ‘

Sometimes I think she gets over excited because I’m actually understanding what’s going on and so we’re getting into something that you could almost call a normal conversation. So she gets a bit comfortable and starts talking as if she’s she’s with another native speaker, speaking at normal pace, and I’m like “nah dude, I have NO idea what you just said”, and the quasi-conversation then comes to a screeching halt πŸ˜‚ That’s one of my goals: to not have this happen anymore! To just have a regular conversation, when I’m not the one holding up the conversation any longer. Surely that’s a possible goal, right?!?

I told her that I found a new Chinese drama to watch, Ode to Joy. She has actually watched it! And if I understood her correctly, I think she said that it’s a good show to watch for practising my Chinese πŸ‘ Also to pick up new colloquialisms that I won’t learn in textbooks. I’m just trying to hear words that I DO learn in my textbooks, never mind anything else that they thrown in! πŸ˜‚ But it is good listening practice, though: they use everyday language as it is mainly focussed on the daily interactions among friends. They’re also pretty entertaining, so I wouldn’t mind watching certain parts of an episode – or perhaps even an entire episode – a few times just for listening practice 😊

First Baidu, now Podul

The HK Observatory only just removed tropical cyclone Bailu from their website the other day, and now Podul has already appeared on their radar. They must come by sooo often in this part of the world that locals don’t even notice them. I, on the other hand, am NOT used to this sort of weather. I’m checking their app multiple times a day πŸ˜‚

Podul seems to be farther away from HK than Bailu was, but as Bailu approached HK, it actually started losing speed. Podul, however, is predicted to gain speed. Faaantastic. But because of its farther distance, hopefully it will just have the same impact on the city as Bailu – ie a maximum T1 signal. Fingers crossed! 🀞

Pretty shite

I had a pretty shite trading session, which didn’t put me in a good mood for the rest of the day 😠 I was in no mood to go to the gym, so we just ended up watching the last few episodes of season one of Titans. The ending wasn’t too bad, but N didn’t seem all that impressed. They had a preview for next season: Superman was in it! How exciting, a new character! πŸ˜„

We also started talking about where we can go for Christmas / New Year this year. I was thinking of going somewhere in Asia, but I’m still not sure… I feel like I should go back to Sydney and spend the festive season with our parents… But at the same time, I don’t want to leave Kitty on her own in HK either…. Maybe they can fly over instead, that could be a compromise 😊 But right now, since I’m still in a shitty mood, I just don’t want to do anything πŸ˜”

A relaxing day at home, thanks to Bailu!

There is another typhoon that has come across from Taiwan; these damn things just seem to be the norm in this part of the world! They announced a T1 level warning yesterday, and they kept it in place pretty much all day today. They cancelled the signal in the early evening, with tropical cyclone Bailu reducing speed as soon as it hit land. But the rain is still hanging around. It has been quite steady all day. Gum boot weather, that’s for sure!

So the weather made me just want to stay home. Plus I had a crappy sleep last night, so all I really wanted to do was just rest today anyway. So I ended up getting exactly that: a quiet day at home! It was really nice 😌

I watched the first episode of a potential new Korean drama: Hotel Del Luna, which was good! I’m definitely continuing with this series 😊 I hope it stays good… 🀞

And I also read a bit more of my new book: Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret. I’ve read a few of Liane Moriarty’s books now, and I don’t mind them. They’re quite easy to read, and she has a way of drawing me in. They aren’t my favourite books, but they’re easy to read, they don’t require too much mental power to get through them – so they’re perfect books to relax with 😊 Plus she’s Aussie, so she makes a lot of Australian references, which makes me reminisce about home. Plus she bases a lot of her characters in Sydney, which means even more to me, as it’s my home town. So I like that aspect about her books too.

And then we finished off the evening with a few more episodes of Titans. That’s a good show too! Two of the main actors on the show are Aussie too, both of whom had a stint on Home and Away, which is virtually all Aussie actors’ rite of passage into the acting world! πŸ˜‚

Things going wrong at every turn

We decided to head over to HK University today, hoping to see some interesting buildings around there. Walking around the campus made me miss our uni days, and part of me actually wanted to go back! What was up with that?!? πŸ˜†

Anyway, after wandering around for a little bit, we headed back home, and as we were almost home, N realised that he had left his sunnies somewhere at HKU πŸ•Ά Argh! So we traipsed all the way back, hoping that they’d still be where he thought he left them. Luckily they were still there, even though there were people sitting right next to them! Phewww πŸ˜… Good to see that the honesty in HK rivals that of SG πŸ‘

But then as we went to catch a bus to make our way home, it was then my turn to lose something: my Octopus card! 😩 It’s basically like the Opal card in Sydney or the Oyster card in London (was the sea theme here an intentional collaboration?! πŸ˜‚), but it is used much more extensively in HK: it is not only the main payment method for public transportation in the city, but it also allows you to pay for items at numerous stores and vending machines as well. Plus you can link it to your account so that it automatically tops up to a pre-selected value every time your balance falls to or below $0, so you don’t constantly have to manually top it up. I have this linked to my Octopus card, so of course I was even more concerned about having lost it πŸ˜”

So we retraced our steps and went back to HKU for a third time. But unlike N’s sunnies, I didn’t have any luck finding my card πŸ˜” So we cancelled the Octopus card then and there. I was reading up on what happens with an automatic top-up service on the card, and apparently an Octopus card will only top up once per day, so the maximum I am liable for is the value already on the lost card, as well as one top up. Good to know! I was a bit stressed that they could just go on a crazy spending spree until I cancelled the card 😩 Hopefully with the honesty that we encountered with N’s sunnies, I will also find the same level of honesty with my card, and it is either just lying somewhere untouched or it has been handed in somewhere, waiting to be claimed 🀞

So after we cancelled the card, I went and bought a new card so that I could get home! Now I have to go through the lovely administrative process of linking this new card to my account again… Sighhh… The price I have to pay for being careless with my card πŸ˜”

We decided to have fish’n’chips for dinner tonight – and then the store owner got our order wrong! He is normally so precise with our order. Of course today had to be the one day where he stuffs it up πŸ˜’

The universe was obviously not in our favour today… πŸ˜”

Finally x2

I finally bought a long skirt today. Despite searching for one for months now and finally finding one today that actually fit me really well, I still had to force myself to buy it πŸ™„ I am such an under-buyer to the extreme sometimes! I got a free gym towel with the purchase too, so that made me feel a bit better πŸ˜†

I also found another new potential Chinese drama: Ode to Joy. It has been described as China’s version of Sex and the City, but going by the other Asian dramas that I’ve watched while we’ve been living here, I suspect it will have much less sexual content – if any – and definitely nothing like the shenanigans that Samantha got up to! πŸ˜‚ I watched the first episode, which was really just about the main female characters and how they meet one another, so guys aren’t even in the picture yet 😲 Maybe in the next episode… Nonetheless, it was a good episode, so maybe I have finally found my new Chinese drama 🀞 And I can continue working on my listening skills πŸ€“

A possible new drama to watch

I did quite a fair bit of work on my goals, around trading πŸ“ˆ Chinese 🈡 and the gym πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ so I was quite happy with my effort today 😊

I also finished Love O2O, my current Chinese drama πŸ˜… It felt like aaages, but I’m glad I finally finished it. It’s a feel-good drama, nothing too heavy or serious, so it’s not a bad one to watch if you just want something really easy to watch. But it’s not the type of drama that I personally like, so I started doing some research to find one that is more in line with what I do like. And I found this one: Sweet Dreams. It doesn’t have too high a score on My Drama List, but I like that it has a bit of a fantasy element, so I’ll give it a go anyway. And if it doesn’t entice me, then I might have to revert back to a Korean drama while I continue my search for a Chinese drama that is more to my liking! πŸ˜‰

I still got through my lesson

Kitty was scratching heaps throughout the evening, so I had a terrible night’s sleep. Needless to say, I didn’t have the most productive day, unfortunately πŸ˜”

I still got through my online Chinese lesson, though πŸ€“ We just went through my diary again, spending most of the lesson discussing the grammar that I use in my entries. It was good, as always, as we spend the majority of the lesson conversing in Chinese. I’m wondering if we should work through the textbook some more, though… I think it’s also good to learn some new grammar structures and new words. Although technically I could just buy the textbook and read through it myself, and then ask her about anything that I don’t understand, which is probably a better use of our time together? Anyway, going through my Chinese diary entries is how we’re currently spending our time in the lessons, which is working for me so far 😊

And tonight, we watched another few episodes of Titans. It’s daaark, and a bit freaky at times, but it’s good. IMDb says that they’re going to release season two this year, so we should get to see it in just a few months – yeah! Season one screened from October to December last year, so maybe they’ll do the same for season two this year. Exciting! Something to look forward to 😊