Rugby World Cup

We went to a pub in Central today to watch the Australia vs Wales match in the Rugby World Cup. It was a much better game compared to yesterday’s AFL grand final, but Australia still lost 😔

It was a great atmosphere, though. It’s nice being in a city with enough expats where pubs will draw enough of a crowd to keep them in business 👍 I wouldn’t mind heading down to a pub during the next few weekends to watch some games. I’m not a big drinker by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like pub food 😋 I haven’t really eaten much pub food here, and even less during our time in SG, as I like to try all the different local food that is available in abundance, making the most of our time in whatever city that we’re in. But having said that, I’d be happy to have pub food a bit more regularly over the next few weeks! 😆 It’s not the healthiest food, but it’ll only be once a week for a few weeks while the Rugby World Cup is on 😊 I’ll just have to make more of a conscious effort to work out as well 💪

And I did make it to the gym afterwards today, so it’s all good 😊 And seeing this ripped woman at the pub today with the nicest arms gave me more incentive to go too 😆

Two disappointments and a baby

We went to a bar in Kennedy Town to watch the AFL grand final with a few of N’s workmates. It was a bit boring, to be honest, as it was such a one-sided match. I would have preferred it if the scores were much closer, it makes for a much more interesting game to watch. Oh well. I’d like to watch next week’s NRL grand final too, if it’s being shown somewhere in HK…

Afterwards, we went and had lunch somewhere nearby. And then after a bit of shopping, I just headed home while N went for a massage. We then watched Tim Burton’s Dumbo when he got home. That too was a bit disappointing. I normally like his stuff, but that one just didn’t cut it 😔 So I still prefer the original.

But on a brighter note, one of N’s mates just had a baby 👶🏻 I’m not sure if they’re having any visitors at the hospital, but it’d be nice to see them sometime over the next few days.

A realisation

I was telling N about a few things that my Chinese teacher told me in my last few lessons. But each time I tell him something, I attach a caveat to it, saying that our lessons are conducted almost entirely in Chinese, so I am bound to misunderstand something that she said.

And then that statement hit me: our lessons are conducted almost entirely in Chinese 😲 I already know this on some level, of course, but it only really hit home today what this actually means in terms of my level in the language. I know she still dumbs it down for me, and she tries and uses words that a student would know, and I still have to get her to repeat every second a bajillion times 😳 But the fact remains: our lessons are still conducted almost entirely in Chinese. No wonder these lessons are so mentally draining! 😂

I shouldn’t underestimate this, especially given how poor I keep thinking my speaking and listening skills are. So perhaps more objectively, they’re just not at the level that I would like them to be?? So I was happy with this realisation today 👍 I must still be moving in the direction of my goal, even though it doesn’t feel like it most of the time! So I just have to keep pushing on, and one day I will hopefully reach it 🎯

Continuing my mediocre week

The vet rang today to give me the results of Kitty’s thyroid test. It was fine, which means we still don’t know what caused her to lose her balance last week 😔 So all we can do now is just monitor her. At the moment, she’s doing ok, so I guess that’s all I can ask for 🙏

I managed to make it to the gym today. It was my first visit this week, which isn’t the best attendance rate for me. I haven’t been feeling all that great this week, so I guess this poor attendance rate isn’t too much of a surprise. But at least I went, that’s the main thing 💪

It’s Friday tomorrow, which means my mediocre week will soon come to an end – thankfully! 😅

My subjective goal

Kitty threw up again this morning 🤮 That’s the third time in the past week 😔 Poor thing. At least she wasn’t losing her balance today, though, and she still somewhat had an appetite. She was also jumping up onto the couch whenever daddy had food, so this feisty one still has some energy in her 👍

I had my online lesson again today, and it wasn’t as much of a train wreck as it normally is 😂 I still ask her to repeat things, but it didn’t feel like I was doing it as much today. Maybe my listening is improving after all…! 🤔

She mentioned the HSK tests again today, and suggested that I sit for it. She reckons I’m HSK4 or above, which I thought was pretty damn good! That’s effectively a high intermediate level (B2) in the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) levels. I think I’m more like a lower intermediate (HSK3 / B1), but hey, I’ll take HSK4/B2 if that’s what they’ll give me! 😆 But those levels aren’t my goal. They’re milestones, I suppose, but that’s not what I want to achieve with my Chinese. So I want to continue with my language learning until I do get to a point where I am happy with it 💪 I guess only I will know when I get there – and I’m pretty damn sure I am nowhere near it yet! 🎯

Washing away all the straightness

I washed my hair for the first time today since getting my hair straightened. This first wash is always so stressful because it feels like I’m just washing away all the straightness out of my hair! And that it will never be the same again as that first day when I left the salon.

But of course the straightness is still there, surprise surprise 😆 The hairdresser said to make sure it is completely dry before I go to sleep, though, so I’m going to blow dry it to death tonight to make sure it retains its straightness 😂

I found another Chinese song that I like, 安静 (ān jìng – Silence) by Jackson Wang. It’s a cover of Jay Chou’s song, and I actually prefer it to the original. It’s a bit funkier. But he does rap a bit in it, so I’m not sure if I can sing along during those parts. I mean, I can’t even do the English parts, what hope do I have of rapping the Chinese ones?!? 😂 But let’s learn the lyrics and give it a good go first before we give up altogether. I think the song may be worth the effort 😊

Easing into the week

N flew back from SG today, all safe and sound 😅

We started talking about men’s mental health, and how there is minimal resources out in the world to help men with mental health issues 😔 I think mental health is not dealt with very well at all, and for men, even less so. And from what I hear, it’s virtually not even acknowledged here in Asia, which is terribly sad. It must be incredibly difficult for people to find good mental health resources here 😔

I continued to work through my TEFL course and my trading, and that’s about it to my day, really. Not a bad way to start the last week of September 😊

Omg it’s the last week of September, and then we’ll be in the last quarter of 2019. Where in the world did this year go 😲

Beautiful weather today

I started watching the original Dumbo movie today, but stopped it about a quarter of the way in when I noticed just how nice the weather was outside today ☀️ I thought it’d be a good day to go up to The Peak, as I’d probably get a good view of Victoria Harbour on a nice day like today.

I decided to try my luck and catch the Peak Tram up. I figured the queue for the tram would be really bad, given that it’s the weekend, but for whatever reason, I decided to try my luck anyway. I don’t know if it’s because tourist numbers are down at the moment and/or because people are not yet aware that the tram has resumed its services after being closed for renovations for a few months, but I didn’t have to wait at all! I easily got a seat, and a window seat at that 👍

When I got up there, I accidentally stumbled across the information centre, and they recommended doing this walking trail that’s pretty flat and is mostly shaded. So I did that. It was about a 3km walk and, like they said, pretty flat and mostly shaded! Fancy that 😆 You get some good views of the water that surrounds HK Island (where the Peak is located), and you get a nice, relaxing walk out of it as well. I listened to an audiobook while I was walking around, so I made good headway with it 👍

Walking around The Peak

I had a late lunch while I was up there, and was actually thinking of walking back down afterwards to continue with the walking. But I didn’t wear my sneakers today, unfortunately, and the shoes that I was wearing weren’t the most comfortable for walking long distances. And coupled with the fact that I had just walked 3km in them, I figured it wasn’t a good idea to walk down today. But I definitely have to keep The Peak in mind for future walks, for those times when I just want to get away from everything for a little while. It’s not bad up there 😊

View from Peak Galleria

I finished Dumbo when I got home, and by this time, I was too tired to go to the gym, so I just binge-watched a few more episodes of Ode to Joy, my current Chinese drama. I’m now, finally, around the halfway mark. It feels like it took me ages just to get to this point! 😆 But I’m really enjoying it, and I’m glad there’s also an Ode to Joy 2 that I can start watching after I get through this series 😊 And apparently they’re making Ode to Joy 3! Seems like the show was a major hit in China 👍

I noticed it in previous episodes, but it was so much more apparent in the last episode that I just watched, but every computer and mobile phone used in the show is an Apple product. It was everywhere in that last episode! I felt like the product placement went into overdrive 🤣

Oh, and speaking of product placement, Weet-Bix also made an appearance! Apparently sales of the cereal went up in China when that episode was aired 😂 And its product placement was nothing compared to what Apple must’ve paid. Apple must be really wanting to increase its footprint in China!

It’s a good show, actually, to see what daily living is like in one of the largest cities in China by population (if not the largest city!). And of course, a good source of language practice for me 😊 I’m glad I’m enjoying the series, otherwise, I wouldn’t be getting all this practice!

The inconveniences I have to endure to keep my beautiful straight hair

I got my hair straightened today 😊 I haven’t gotten my hair straightened in yeeears. It’s been at least ten years, I reckon. And despite absolute loving the result when I do get it done, the trip to the salon today reminded me why I don’t get it done more often 😂

Firstly, it takes foreverrr. I already can’t handle being at the hairdresser for the one hour it normally takes them to cut my hair. And the straightening process is a three-hour ordeal! And I have short hair! So goodness knows how long someone with longer hair would need to spend at the salon when getting this treatment done 😲

And secondly, you can’t wash your hair for at least two days. I don’t like having to fuss with a shower cap to protect my hair for these few days, as I always feel like it’s not going to give it enough protection from the water: that there will be strands poking through or ends still sticking out. Maybe I can just get the straightening done during winter next time, so not taking a shower for a few days won’t be so much of an issue 🤣 (I’m only half joking 🙃)

And thirdly, you can’t tie your hair back or push it behind your ears, as they will leave kinks in your hair. So if I want beautiful hair that looks like it’s permanently blow dried, this leaves me with no choice but to just live with the inconvenience of having hair in my face for the next few days 😆

I don’t want to sleep or to shower for the next few days. I always feel like this first day is the best time my hair will look, and that here on in, it won’t look as nice again. So I just want to maintain this look for as long as possible! 😆

An improvement on yesterday

I had one of those mega-productive days that I wish every day could be like 😆 I finished a module in my TEFL course, as well as another lesson plan; I had an unusually good trading session; and I made it to the gym! Oh, and then to relax, I watched a few episodes of Ode to Joy, my current Chinese drama. Pretty good, even if I do say so myself! 😊

And Little Miss also seems like she’s back to her usual self. She’s not losing her balance today, and she’s come up to me numerous times to get some attention. And she’s eating quite well too. I feel as if I was just crying wolf at the vet yesterday! 🙄 I guess she is getting older, and she does have kidney problems, so I guess these things will show up every now and then. I should just be thankful that they don’t happen very often and that she is still somewhat pretty good for someone her age 🙏