A bit intense, maybe

I had another 💩 sleep last night 😔 Kitty woke me up at around 5am, and when I went back to bed, I just kept tossing and turning. The sun was starting to rise, and then Kitty scratched at the door again at around 6am. I couldn’t get back to sleep anyway, so I decided to just get up 😱

I think I was running on adrenalin the entire day because I could feel my heart thumping foe quite a while today 🤔 Plus I also felt like my teaching style was a bit, um, ‘intense’ today. Like, “DON’T FORGET YOUR PLURALS!!” intense 🤣 I’m sure I wasn’t screaming at people, but I’m probably normally a bit friendlier than I was today!

I made it through until 9pm before I dozed off in front of the TV 😅 And even then, it was only for a few seconds. But I’m definitely heading off to bed early tonight!

Staying home but thinking of going out…

The restrictions have now eased ever so slightly here in HK, and we can eat out at restaurants until 9pm now, extended from the previous 6pm time. Numbers now seem to be below 20 each day, which is still much higher than the previous 1 or 2 cases that we were getting back in June, but better than the 100+ cases that we were getting in July. We can still only go out in pairs, and the two places that I miss the most (the gym and the library) are still closed. So the only difference for me in the current environment is extending dine-in hours until 9pm. But I’ll take whatever I can get. That’s just life nowadays!

Despite the fewer numbers, I am still not that interested in going out. So I just continued watching more Bondi Rescue! I’m a tad obsessed 😆 And we also watched Kung Fu Panda tonight. We saw it when it first came out, but that was so long ago now that I don’t remember anything that happened in the movie! But now that we have watched it, we can start making our way through #2 and #3 😊

I think I should get out of the house tomorrow, though. I’m thinking of going out for a bit of a walk around the block or something each day, just to get a bit of exercise and fresh air (as ‘fresh’ as it is in HK! 😂), since the gym has been closed pretty much all year. We live in a pretty hilly area, so even literally walking around the block could be quite a good workout!

Inconvenienced 😂

After what felt like a pretty mediocre week at best, I felt like I finally had a good day today 😅 I was just in a good headspace all day – probably because I avoided watching the news! Maybe I should just minimise watching the news, it’s just too depressing and affects me too much mentally.

I ordered food for home delivery tonight, and then remembered that food delivery guys are not allowed to enter our building at the moment, thanks to COVID 😒 Building management wants to minimise the number of visitors entering the building, which I can understand. But that still means I am inconvenienced and I have to go alll the way down to the lobby just to collect my food. First world problems! The trip down to the lobby is quite far! These buildings in HK are pretty tall, y’know! 😂

Pure luck

I wasn’t feeling all that great today, so I took a bit of a nap this afternoon. Not sure why I was feeling ill. Lack of sleep? The heat? Lack of food? All of the above? But I felt better in the early evening, thankfully.

I was struggling a bit mentally, though. The Bondi Rescue episode that I watched today had a man who ended up a quadriplegic after an accident in the surf 😞 And he was a dancer too, so he was even more in tune with his body than most people. He was supposed to be performing that evening too, but he decided to go to the beach during the day because the weather was so nice that day. I thought that was a really sad story.

And one of my younger students was testing my patience today too. She bosses their helper around, and today, for whatever reason, the helper didn’t come to attend to her. So then she ended up sulking for the rest of her lesson.

This whole live-in help business is very foreign to me, but it’s very common here in Asia. Anyway, I wasn’t impressed that she started to sulk simply because the helper didn’t come to help her tie her hair up. The helper has other things to do than attend to her every whim, and I didn’t like that she was growing up in a household where she felt like she was entitled to get whatever she wanted as soon as she asked for it 😒 So I told her that she’s a big girl now and that she should be able to tie her hair up herself if she needed to, but she just continued to sulk anyway.

So it got me thinking that this may just be a common occurrence here (in Asia), and I find that really sad. Because the only difference between her and her helper is luck. Pure fking luck. Sorry for my language, but I just feel so strongly about this. How can you possibly boss someone else around like that – at five years old, at that – and just expect everything to be handed to you on a silver platter??

Coning from a western country, I am not used to this (and probably never will be), and this is one thing that I struggle with in Asia. I think a lot of other (western) expats feel the same way. Sure there are those who are more well off in Oz, but by and large, it’s a very egalitarian society. The wealth divide is nowhere near as pronounced as it is here in Asia. And like I said, it is pure luck which side of the tracks you grew up on, so you should be thankful if you did grow up on the ‘greener’ side, and I believe that you should help those on the other side as much as you can. Well for me, anyway, that’s one of my values in life.

A slight easing of restrictions

I had my Chinese lesson today. I really need to practise my listening. My one lesson a week is not enough to get my listening skills to where it should be. I used to at least listen to the radio before. Now I even stopped doing that 😔 I should start doing that again. Just even passive listening gets my ears attuned to the sounds that little bit more, even if I don’t understand much of what they say. My listening is my worst skill (followed closely by speaking), and I really want to push them both up to at least the same level as my reading and writing. People usually have the opposite problem! 😂

And some good news: the restrictions in HK will be lifted at the end of the week! Woohoo! Eating in at restaurants for dinner is back on, but only until 9pm. But that’s still better than nothing. Cinemas will reopen, as will beauty salons and outdoor sport facilities for sports with minimal body contact. But public gatherings will remain at a maximum of 2.

It’d be nice to have dinner out again, that’s one of the things I miss. The library and the gym are the other two, but they’ve pretty much been off the table since the beginning of the year, so I’ve had more time to get used to them being closed. Dinner has only been a recent addition to the restrictions in July when we started to see 100+ new cases each day. Not that we go out for dinner that often, but it’d be nice to have the option available to us once again 😊

Exercise

A friend posted a video on Facebook of her son playing Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved. I went looking for the original song, and, once I heard it, I knew that it was going to be my song for the year. It’s a rumba, and rumba is my favourite latin dance. I was out having lunch when I discovered this song, so I couldn’t wait to go back home and practise! 😆

I would normally be practising at the gym, but that’s been out of the question for most of this year 😔 My last latin song was Daddy Yankee’s Dura, and when that was my song for the year (I think it was last year??), all I wanted to do was practise samba! 😂 Now I just need some more addictive songs for ballroom, and I may actually practise some of the ballroom dances for once! 🤣

So now I may be doing quite a fair bit of rumba for the next few days/weeks! 😊

I’ve also been mimicking paddling on a surfboard, thanks to Bondi Rescue 😆 The lifeguards have been doing various iron man type races in each season of the show, and so of course N wants to try doing the course too. We don’t live in Sydney anymore (at least not for now), so he’s doing the best he can to replicate the race here in HK. One leg of the race is to paddle your surfboard from Bronte Beach to Bondi, which is something like 2km 😱 So he’s tried to mimic this part of the race by using resistance bands. It’s on dry land, and you don’t have the punishing ocean to contend with, but it’s good enough for exercise purposes 👍

Anyway, in the race on Bondi Rescue, they probably have to paddle for at least 10 minutes. N is currently dying after about 2 😂 And I am dying after about 10 strokes 🤣 Well, I’m now up to 20 strokes, but still nowhere near his 2 minutes! And I think 10 minutes will just be impossible for me! Regardless how many I actually do and for how long, it’s all good training for my upper body 💪

Two very different looking sides of the same freaking coin

I had a discussion with a student about the National Security Law that was recently introduced in HK. The western mainstream media had a field day with this, so people are understandably interested.

Well, unlike what the media would have you believe, of course this isn’t impacting regular people 🙄 It’s affecting people who are working with other countries to subvert the Chinese government and other similar crimes against the state. But what they fail to mention (among other things) is that other countries already have a similar law in place. And I’ve heard that the equivalent law in the US actually has harsher penalties. But it just so happened that HK didn’t have such a law, and with all the foreign (read: US) money coming in for the protests last year, of course the Chinese government wanted to implement something to prevent this from continuing.

I always like to give this analogy: imagine if a few people people in Hawaii decided to work with people in China to help them break away from the US, and so a few organisations in China agreed to help them and give them money to promote independence of the state from the rest of the United States. Do you think the US government is just going to sit back and let all of that happen?? Of course not. Well this is exactly what is happening right now, just that the shoe is on the other foot. HK is part of China, and remember that it was forcibly taken away from them by the British almost 200 years ago. Do you think China is just going to let another country take it over again?? It’s just defending its own territory, and rightly so, after basically being torn to shreds by invading countries back then.

People don’t know the country’s history, and they don’t know the country as it is now, and the western media just colours this limited knowledge even further. But ever since moving to Asia, I have come to understand the country much more than before (and I am still barely scratching the surface) and what I see and hear now is vastly different to what I used to hear back in Oz. Other expats echo the same sentiment because we have seen both sides of the same freaking coin. And it’s amazing just how different the two sides look.

Anyway, rant over. This is an ongoing frustration for me now, but I try not to let it bother me because it just riles me up so much and I don’t like feeling this way. But sometimes the frustration boils over and I end up writing the occasional rant 😆

Gooooood 😁

It was one of those days where I just had an unbelievable amount of energy, and I took advantage of it ☺️ It just kept oozing out of me non-stop, from first thing in the morning right up until now. It was crazy! 🤪

And gratitude. I also had tons of gratitude today 🙏

We went to Muji (again!) and I finally bought myself a new pillow. I really like the flat pillows that the Japanese seem to like, and I finally found one at Muji. I tried it out on one of their beds in the store and loved it. It was sooo flat! So now I can’t wait to go to sleep tonight and try it out for real 😆

Nothing life changing actually happened today – heck, nothing really even vaguely interesting happened. (Except my pillow purchase. That’s hands down one of the best things today! 😆) I just felt goooood. Man, I wish every day was like today! 😜

One highlight of the day

We went shopping for a little while this afternoon, it was nice to get out of the house for even just a few hours. We just bought some snacks from Muji and from a few other Asian stores, and then we went home. It’s our life nowadays 😔

And then we spent the evening just watching TV. Bondi Rescue, of course, and also a few episodes of Modern Family. A pretty quiet day, much like most other days in 2020. We’re all just plodding along, hoping for a better 2021 🤞

IELTS Test Prep

I spoke to two IELTS teachers today. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here, but I’ve been thinking of working more with students who want to sit the IELTS exam. And having a chat with these two seasoned teachers was pretty cool 😊 Their styles are different to mine, so it was interesting to hear their approaches to teaching and how they help students improve their score in the exam. Now it’s just a matter of me finding the courage (and the students!) to start teaching this subsection of students 😧

I even told one of the teachers (who’s American) about Bondi Rescue. That’s how obsessed I am! 🤪 I’m now up to season five 😆