I don’t want to get my hopes up

I spent a ton of time today thinking about my next YouTube video, a particular grammar point again. And then tonight, one of students changed all that. Now my next topic is going to be completely different to what I’ve been thinking about for the past few days! 😂 I’ll eventually come back to my original idea, I might continue with it next week 😊 I’ve been doing quite a few grammar videos lately, so this new idea (all to do with listening practice) is perhaps a bit refreshing anyway.

We had beautiful spring weather today, it was very exciting 🌺🌸🌼🌻 But this happened to me last year too: the weather warms up and I get really excited that spring is upon us, only for the weather gods to take that hope away and bring back cold, miserable weather the following week 😔 So I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high, and instead, just enjoy the gorgeous weather while it’s here 😊

We had no new cases again today, three days in a row now, omg. Exciting!! 😄 Rumour has it that some restrictions may ease next week, but again, I don’t want to get my hopes up. The only restrictions affecting me are the gym closures and the library closures. Once those reopen, then my life will effectively be back to normal – well, as normal as it could be, post the rona. I still wonder how our daily lives will forever be changed now…

A glimmer of light

I walked past one of my favourite cafes today, with the intention of going to a different one for brunch. It’s been closed for a few weeks, the owners had decided to close because of the rona. A few restaurants around HK have done that in recent weeks. But when I walked past today, I noticed that they were open again! I was so excited, I decided to abandon my original plan and go to this cafe instead 😁 It was pretty quiet today, understandably. I guess nobody knows that they’re back open for business, but hopefully things will pick up for them again soon enough. But I was just so happy to see them open again today. It’s the small things, I tell you! 😊

And we had no new cases again today. Two days in a row of no new cases. Hopefully we can keep this up! 🤞

I also heard that Oz is starting to ease on the restrictions in some of the other states except NSW and Victoria. They’re the two most populous states, so it makes sense for the premiers to be a bit more cautious with their reopening. And NZ has also started to ease their restrictions too. There is a glimmer of light…! 🌟

Gifts and redemptions

I was feeling all pumped this morning, ready to do a ton of stuff around the house, but then that all fell to 💩 😂 And I ended up not doing much at all! I didn’t even get to go to Wan Chai to see if the cherry blossoms are still blooming 😔 Oh well. It’s Sunday, it’s supposed to be the day of rest anyway, so maybe I should’ve just rested!

One of N’s workmates dropped by to give us a few small cakes that she made today. She loves baking, so she’s always making cakes 🧁🍰 The ones she gave us today were so pretty! Totally Masterchef-worthy, I reckon. We had them for dessert tonight 😋

These wouldn’t be out of place in a Masterchef episode! 😱

Have I told you about the stickers that they give out at supermarkets here? They give you a sticker for every HK$X spent in their store, and if you collect enough stickers, you can redeem certain items during their promotional period, which usually lasts for around 3-4 months. Anyway, last period, we managed to accumulate enough stickers to redeem a hot pot and accompanying cooker! 😲 They don’t have the cooker in stock at the moment, so we’ll have to go back and redeem it later on, but we got the pot today! 👍 Very exciting! Now I can’t wait to have hot pot at home 😋

Our new hot pot! 👏

Korean tv and movies

I wanted to go to a park in Wan Chai that apparently has cherry blossoms. I’ve never seen cherry blossoms in real life (I mean in nature, so excluding Gardens by the Bay in SG) so I’m really hoping that they’re still blooming. I know cherry blossoms only have a very limited lifespan each year, something like two weeks, so I don’t know if I’m too late this year.

We didn’t quite make it out of the house today, though, so hopefully we can find the cherry blossoms tomorrow 🤞🌸🌸🌸🤞

We watched Parasite today. It was good! I really enjoyed it. I haven’t written about them lately because I haven’t been watching them, but I looove Korean dramas. So I figured I would also like Korean movies. And I definitely enjoyed this movie!

And then I found a new potential Korean drama: Hi Bye, Mama! Crash Landing On You hasn’t really grabbed me, so I’m still wondering if I should persevere and continue with it. But it has been mega popular… I haven’t been watching much tv lately, though, so not sure if I’m going to watch either anyway! 😔

The day that I wanted yesterday

I felt like having pancakes, and so I went to one of my favourite western cafes for brunch this morning. Their breakfast menu finishes at 11:30am and I got there at 11:25am 😅 Pre-rona era, this wouldn’t have been a problem, but at the moment, all restaurants in HK have an imposed 50% (I think) reduction in seating capacity, social distancing and all, so there were no free tables when I got there. So I had to wait for one. Which meant I missed out on my pancakes 🥞 😔 Grrr! Maybe I’ll make my own tomorrow 😊

I then had the sort of productive afternoon that I wanted to have yesterday. It would’ve been nice to have had two productive afternoons, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I just have to be happy with today 😊

But because I’ve been working pretty much all day and night, except for my brunch in the middle of the day, I’m pretty knackered now, and I’m totally ready for bed! So I’ll say good night now, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow 😴

P.S. We had no new cases again today – woohoo! 👍

Bread!

I had my day all planned out, but by mid-afternoon, that pretty much fell apart, so I didn’t have a very productive day in the end 😔 So that was quite disappointing. You win some, you lose some, I suppose 🤷‍♀️ Hopefully I’ll have a more productive day tomorrow.

I did bake bread this morning, though! It was my first attempt at baking bread ever. It wasn’t the best: the dough was too sticky and I couldn’t get it into the baking tray; and the bread didn’t rise very much at all, so it ended up being more like Turkish bread 😂 But taste wise, it was actually ok! And that’s all that matters 😊 And it was pretty easy to make too, so I’ll definitely be baking more bread in future. Plus I bought like 2kg of bread flour from that specialty baking shop last weekend (it was the only size they had), along with yeast, so I may as well use them up! 😆

My first attempt at baking bread! 🍞

Still mega-tired, apparently!

I forgot to hit ‘publish’ last night 😂 I was mega-tired, though, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised!

I had my Chinese lesson today. I haven’t been studying as much these days, so my skills are deteriorating, unfortunately 😔 I think I should make language study part of my morning routine so that I always make time for it, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes a day. Daily practice is so important in language learning, and I don’t want to go too far backward and lose a ton of the hard work that I’ve put in the last few years.

We talked about tv shows and my teacher watches Survivor and Amazing Race! 😂 I haven’t seen those shows since moving to Asia. She lives in mainland China. I didn’t even know they showed those shows in China, I certainly haven’t seen them in the past five years we’ve been living in Asia. Although she is learning English, so maybe she deliberately sought them out.

We had four new cases today, all of them imported cases. So no local cases recorded for three days now… 🤞

This whole global lockdown is quite weird, actually. There are a ton of memes on social media, and everyone just keeps talking about it. So it sorta feels a bit weird that we’re not, if that makes any sense. Back in February when the rona was taking hold in this city and everyone was panicking and hoarding toilet paper and masks and hand sanitiser, the rest of the world felt like it was just going about its daily life – probably because it was! 😆 And then the panic died down and things somewhat stabilised here, and that’s when the rest of the world started panicking and hoarding toilet paper. Countries started locking down cities, and then all these memes started to show up on social media. Although what is circulating on social media was 6-8 weeks too late for me. We sorta went through the worst bit with mainland China, so we experienced it much earlier than the rest of the world. So in a way, it feels like I’m watching my future unfold again, if that makes any sense whatsoever! Not that we were ever in lockdown, it was more self-imposed quarantine here in HK, but the effect on the spread of the virus is essentially the same.

Anyway, I don’t know if that last paragraph made any sense, it feels like I just rambled on… So I think that’s a cue for me to sign off now… 😂

Just less overall

* Ooops, forgot to hit ‘publish last night… 😳 🤪

I had Taiwanese noodles for lunch today, at N’s suggestion. I’m glad I tried this place, it was really nice! 😋 I got there quite late, so the place was pretty empty; plus there is the reduced seating capacity imposed now, so there are less tables available for customers. And then of course there are also just fewer people out in general anyway. So all these factors combined made for a very quiet restaurant. Good for me, but not for the restaurant 😔

We saw four new cases today, apparently all of whom have come back from overseas. Dannngggg… I figured continuing the zero new cases from yesterday would be quite a hard feat 😔 But al least the numbers are still in the single digits 🙏

Completely opposite rona trends

We had no new rona cases today. NONE. Zip. Nada. Woohoo! Day 1 of 28, I’m counting down! 💪 The last time the city recorded no new cases was back on the 5th March. And then after that, people started rushing back to beat the mandatory 14-day quarantine that the government imposed on all overseas arrivals sometime in mid-March, and then the second wave of cases started coming in 😒 But pretty much one month later, we have managed to drop that back down to zero again. So we just need to get through one more month of this, and then we could possibly start easing up on the restrictions. 27 more days to go… fingers crossed…🤞 The two restrictions that are really impacting me are the closure of gyms and libraries. Once they’re open, then I’d be as close to my pre-rona routine as I could possibly be in this new era that we now live in.

SG’s numbers, on the other hand, are going in the complete opposite direction. Their foreign workers are making up the vast majority of their cases 😔 Of the roughly 1,500 new cases today, only 16 were local residents. It goes to show how quickly the virus spreads if social distancing measures are not – or, in this case, cannot be – put in place. Their dormitories are apparently very cramped and overcrowded, with 10-12 workers in one room. So I really hope that this will indeed be a wake-up call to the SG government that a major review of the working conditions for these workers needs to be undertaken – and that they actually take action to improve them.

How the rona is impacting my daily life

I had another productive day! 👍 Despite getting home quite late last night, I still managed to get up at 8:30am again this morning – and kept going for the whole day. I’ve been rather impressed with my productivity lately 😊

We went to the Wan Chai Computer Centre this afternoon, and then went and had Maccas pretty much just downstairs at the Centre. Maccas, along with all the other restaurants that are still open in the city, has cut their seating basically in half, which is niiice! It’s a luxury to have all this personal space when you’re in a city as densely populated as HK! 😆

But then we went into this shop that’s specifically for people who like to bake, and they had NO social distancing measures whatsoever in their shop 🙄 It was basically pre-rona HK in there, only now, around 99% of the people are wearing masks 😷

I wanted to buy some bread flour because I want to try making bread. And apparently you need bread flour to make bread, you can’t just use any ol’ flour. There you go. I didn’t even know such a type of flour exists 🤷‍♀️ I had to go to this specialist store to buy bread flour and yeast because I couldn’t find these ingredients at our regular supermarkets! Wth, it’s toilet paper hoarding all over again! 😂 Or maybe it’s just the regular supply chains being a bit screwed up at the moment. A large chunk of the world is still in quite a fair bit of pain, after all 😔

We only had two new cases today, making it eight straight days of single-digit increases. But HK said that it will only start to ease restrictions once the city has zero local cases in 28 consecutive days – and one of those two cases today was local. And by ‘local’, they mean a person contracting COVID-19 in HK ie not because they travelled overseas. Sooo that basically means we’re back to day 0 of 28 😔 The current restrictions are due to expire on Thursday, so let’s see what announcements they make on or before then…

In the meantime, I’m going to try and bake this bread. After all this effort I had to go through just to find the damn bread flour and yeast, the final result better be good! 😂

🍞 🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞