We went to Din Tai Fung at Causeway Bay for a late lunch today. We haven’t been here in aaages. I love this place. It’s a bit expensive, but the quality never changes. The food is always the same each and every time I go. The consistency astounds me every time. If I showed you a photo of the food that I ordered today alongside the food that I ordered 6 months ago (and chances are, I probably ordered the exact same dishes πŸ˜†) I can almost guarantee that the photos would look pretty much identical. The dishes might be in different spots on the table, but the food would look exactly the same. In fact, I might just try and do that right now… πŸ˜‚

Look at their consistency! 😱

We actually ordered the same five dishes today, we just didn’t take a photo of the other two dishes that came out later. Danggg. Otherwise I would’ve been able to show you all five dishes. But you can see how the other three dishes pretty much look exactly the same. Sooo good πŸ‘

We then decided to stop by the DJI store nearby. I’ve mentioned how I’m a tad obsessed with tech these days. Well DJI makes some pretty awesome tech toys 😊 I could easily spend thousands in this store. I would LOVE to go back to their flagship store in Shenzhen, just across the harbour in mainland China. Going to their flagship store in their hometown would just be the best 😊 But since we can’t travel anywhere right now, I just have to make do with their store here in HK, which is pretty awesome too 😊

And then we also quickly stopped by the Apple store to check out the new iPhone 12. Sighhh… Why is this new interest of mine so dang expensive?? πŸ˜’ I guess most hobbies are. Whyyy?? πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ I’m going to list out all the tech toys that I would want, should I magically get a windfall and all of a sudden see A$100K in my bank account. One can dream… πŸ’­ hehehe…

A whole range of states

I was feeling all keen bean this morning, listing out 13 – thirteen! – items on my to-do list 😱 I managed to tick off 7; got halfway through 2; and I started another item. Not bad! I might’ve been able to finish one of the halfway-done items if I wasn’t having tech issues. Nonethless, I was happy with my effort today!

I did my usual stretches today, but I think I over-stretched one of my muscles because now it hurts if I move my leg in certain angles. Sighhh… I hope I haven’t done anything too serious to it. I’ll definitely have my rest day tomorrow and then see how it’s feeling on Sunday before I resume my stretches. Sighhh… I hope this doesn’t ruin my momentum. I’ve been doing so well! πŸ˜”

One of N’s mates told him about how he had stage 4 cancer ten years ago. He’s obviously in remission, since he’s still around to tell N the story. But I was like what the f*##kkkkk?!?? That is insane. He was relatively healthy too, and he was only in his early 30s. And the only thing that got him to go see a doctor was this niggling cough that wouldn’t go away. That was it. OMG. I still can’t believe it. It’s just so random. This is another reason why I try and appreciate each day. You never know when your time will be up.

So I went from being productive to being in pain to being grateful today. A whole range of states there! πŸ˜†

My 30-day splits challenge: day 16

My legs are sooo sore!! 😩 Maybe I’ve been pushing the splits thing a bit too hard the past few days πŸ˜‡ Every time I bend down to pick something up, I feel my legs and I groan πŸ˜‚ I feel like I need a rest day already! Although I have done five days in a row now, I think last Saturday was my rest day. So yeah, a rest day is due very, very soon! πŸ˜†

But I do feel like I’m getting sooo damn close. I still can’t believe just how far I am from the ground now – or rather, how close I am to it! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still aaaages away, but what I think has changed the most is my expectation. When I first started this whole 30-day challenge, I was like, yeah righhht, as if I’m going to get anywhere near the ground! But halfway in, now I’m thinking that this my may actually indeed be possible! Not sure if it’ll happen within the 30 days, but I feel like it can actually happen, rather than just being a pipe dream. And that’s totally amazing.

And I think that’s what’s spurring me on to keep going. During the first 10 or so days, I was just going through the motions, not thinking that my flexibility could actually improve in such a short period of time. Then somewhere around the 2-week mark, something turned. Now I actually feel like there’s real progress and that there is an actual chance that I can achieve this crazy goal. It’s pretty insane, and I keep saying that at the end of each day. I am really tempted to start another 30-day challenge after I finish this one! πŸ˜†

The next best thing to being at home

I still haven’t decided what I want to do during the Chinese New Year long weekend. I feel like it’d be a waste to just spend the 4-day weekend at home. But at the same time, the stupid 🦠 numbers aren’t improving, and I don’t want to be out there increasing my chances of getting infected. Although yes, the chances of infection here are very small, and I am grateful for that. And I think a lot of the infections have been from clusters: people living in the same apartment building or working together etc. But still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the damn 🦠 is still lurking around. We were were doing so well for most of last year. And then somehow, the numbers exploded, and we haven’t been able to contain them since. Sighhh… But I am still following all my rules from last year, if you remember my little picture:

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Well, I’m trying to follow them as best I can!

And now, I would actually add:

  • The first point would now read: wash your hands for at least 20 seconds;
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home;
  • Use hand sanitiser just before you start eating;
  • And the fourth point would now include: use hand sanitiser straight after you touch anything out in public.

We live in such a different world now πŸ˜”

So being out in bushland, in as rural a place as you could get in HK, would perhaps be the next best thing to being at home, being away from the crowds. Maybe?! πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

The hunt for my Australia Day pav

I ticked off sooo many things on my to-do list today 😱 I am now so freaking exhausted as a result! πŸ˜…

Firstly, I did some research, wrote the script AND filmed my next YouTube video – all in the one day. Normally I space all of this out, but I managed to do them all today. Total amazeballs. Now I just have to do the editing tomorrow, the step that always takes the longest time for me.

I also walked heaps today: according to my watch, I took 16,500 steps and walked 10.5km. OMG. And then once I got home, I did my stretches again: today was Day 14 of my 30-day splits challenge.

It’s Australia Day today (Happy Australia Day! πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ΊπŸ¨πŸ¦˜) and I decided to revive the tradition that I started when we first moved to Asia: have a pavlova on Australia Day every year. That was fine in SG, it was relatively ok finding a pav there. Here, however, it was hard work! I went to all the possible places that I could think of that could possibly sell pavs, but each time I went there, I left disappointed. I was ready to go home when I decided to try one more thing: the Deliveroo app. I put in ‘pavlova’ in the search field, and lo and behold, one search result came up! And it was only like 200 metres away from me. Despite being so mega-tired by this point, I figured I should walk over there and just order it! I’m so glad I did. I had revived my Australia Day tradition ☺️

I also filmed my hunt for my Australia Day pav, so I should have enough footage to make a blog out of my expedition today πŸ˜†

And as a result of all my hunting today, I discovered what could potentially be my favourite supermarket in HK so far: Great Food Hall at Admiralty πŸ˜† Yes, I was wowed by a supermarket πŸ˜‚ But it was seriously good! There was another supermarket out near the airport that was pretty impressive too, but that’s out in woop woop (it’s near the airport – enough said! πŸ˜†). Admiralty is way closer to home. So I think I’ll have to go visit it again soon!

Needless to say, it was a wonderful Australia Day ☺️

Will anything still be available??

One of my students called from a hotel today. Apparently she was on a staycation. She had this gorgeous water view out the window behind her, and it made me want to have a staycation too! The Chinese New Year (CNY) long weekend is coming up, so I’m thinking that I should organise something for that long weekend. It’ll still be relatively cool, so N will be okay to do some outdoorsy stuff. So I might look into some (easy!) hiking trails that are farther out, places that we wouldn’t ordinarily go to because it’s just too far of a trek.

I’ve figured out the key words that I need to look for: family trails! I figured that if they say that kids can do them, then so can I 🀣

The other reason for going farther out is that we get away from the usual crowded areas in HK. It’s a very densely populated city, but in certain parts, there is actually a lot of space. I want to go somewhere with a lot of space. The other bonus that goes with that is that hotels are also a little cheaper. Hotels around Victoria Harbour are ridiculously expensive, so if we go somewhere that still has water views but farther away, then we can also save money and get away from the crowds.

And then hiking also means even fewer people around us, and we also get a bit of exercise. It’s a win-win situation all around 😊

The only problem is that CNY is not that far away: I think it’s only three weeks away. So I’m concerned that every place is already booked out… So time to do some research and see what it is still available this close to Chinese New Year. Hopefully not just the dregs! 🀣

Over on the TST side

We went over to TST today, just over on the other side of Victoria Harbour. We were dropping off some stuff for one of N’s workmates who is quarantining in one of the hotels over there. Quarantine has been bumped up to 21 days here, omg 😱 We couldn’t see him, though. We just had to leave his stuff with reception, and they delivered it up to his hotel room.

He’s staying at the Sheraton, though, so it can’t be all bad πŸ˜‚ But still, that’s three weeks in a hotel. Sighhh… And it’s not like you’ll be put up in a suite where you have extra room. And you can’t use the hotel facilities. So t’s not quite the same as a staycation πŸ˜” I’d be working and watching TV for 16 hours a day, every day, for three weeks! I’d probably get through a lot of Korean dramas during that time, though 😊 And maybe get some language study done too. Hmmm… OK, it might not be too bad after all…! πŸ˜†

It’s quite nice walking along the promenade over on the TST side. We always walk on the HK Island side, so I forget just how nice it is to walk over on the TST side too. I should make more of an effort to go over there every now and again. But like I said in this post, crossing Victoria Harbour always seems like a huuuge challenge, even though it really isn’t!

Mum and food

I spoke to my mum today for what felt like hours. And it probably was hours! She is one of the most talkative people that I know, she’s a real people person. And she seemed to really need to talk today. I haven’t spoken to her in a while, so she must’ve really needed to get it all out today. I don’t say much, just the odd “uh huh” or “mm hmm” to let her know that I’m still there 🀣

We then went grocery shopping afterwards, and the supermarket was busy as! The queue for the registers literally went all the way to the end of the store 😱 Granted, there isn’t much space in HK, so supermarkets aren’t huge here. The entire length of the store was probably around 30 metres. But still! A queue that stretched all the way down the store is pretty insane!

I then went all Masterchef and tried to cook dinner tonight: dinner and dessert! They didn’t turn out too photogenic, so I’m not going to post them here. All you need to know is that they were edible, and it wasn’t a waste of time and money cooking tonight! Not that either dish would’ve done particularly well on Masterchef, though! 🀣

Life in HK at the moment

N paid his tax today. You pay your tax here at the end of the year in one lump sum. Well, there are two instalments, but the point is it’s a lump sum. In Oz, they take out a portion of your estimated income tax before you even get paid, so you only ever have to worry about a small calibration either way at the end of the year. And more often than not, we would get a refund. But here, you have to make sure you don’t spend that portion of your income that you will eventually have to pay in tax. We’re not too bad with our savings, but still, having such a huge amount come out of your account in one go is quite disheartening! πŸ˜‚ Even though you know it was never yours to begin with, it still hurts!

The government is locking down more than 150 residential buildings on the Kowloon side starting tomorrow, thanks to an outbreak over there. Sighhh…

Victoria Harbour reminds me of Sydney Harbour: If you live on one side, it’s mentally difficult to cross over to the other side. It just seems soooo far – even though the trip across is literally just a few minutes πŸ˜‚

The numbers haven’t come down since late last year, so quite a few places are still closed. Libraries, cinemas, bars and gyms are all still closed; and restaurants cannot offer dine-in services after 6pm. It must be having such a huge impact on these businesses πŸ˜”

The Chinese New Year extra-long weekend is coming up soon, but because of these neverending new cases, I don’t really want to do anything, not even a staycation. If there’s anything positive for me that’s come out of this, we’ve saved money these past 12 months!

Klutziness and exercises

I was a bit of a klutz today: I spilled a little bit of oil on myself when I was cooking lunch; and then I dropped one of our portable speakers on my ankle 😱 As for how one does the latter, I have no idea 🀣 So now, I’m expecting a bruise to form on that ankle. Isn’t that lovely.

I also felt a bit anxious today, my heart was racing. I don’t know why. So I did some mindfulness breathing, which helped a little bit, believe it or not. It helped me focus just on my breathing and staying in the present. Have you ever tried these breathing exercises? It’s haaard. Your mind constantly wanders all over the place. It’s hard to make yourself just focus on your breathing. I have to constantly bring my focus back on to my breathing. But it is quite good, though. I did feel calmer after just ten minutes of this. This is something else that I should do more often!

The other thing that I’ve been doing lately are my stretching exercises for my splits. I’m up to Day 10! Day 10 baby! I’m 1/3 of the way there. It feels like it’s been aaages since I started doing these stretches, when in fact it’s only been 10 days – well, 11, if you count my rest day; 12, if you count my actual start day πŸ˜† But 10 official days of stretching. It’s not getting any easier πŸ˜” I wonder if it ever will!