Happy to be the weirdo

I had a good productive evening. My sesh at the gym was really good. I did a few basics on the treadmill, as per usual. I had one guy on the treadmill next to mine as I was doing Ballroom basics, and then a new guy replaced him when I switched over to Latin πŸ˜‚ I still wonder what people think when they see me do these basics on the treadmill. Afterwards I do actually dance a bit in the small space available near the equipment, so hopefully people put two and two together! Not that it matters, I’m happy to be the weirdo at the gym πŸ€ͺ

And then when N came home from karate, for some reason he had decided to only speak Chinese for the rest of the evening. Sometimes I think to do this, but it is so much effort that once I say a sentence, I then revert to English pretty much straight after that. But for whatever reason, he persevered tonight, and so we had a good – and very challenging – practice session! πŸ‘ We probably said a bajillion things incorrectly, but that’s ok, it’s all about getting the message across to the other person, and I understood him most of the time, which is the whole point of language. Native speakers and teachers can correct us as we go along this language journey, but we have to make the mistakes first in order to be corrected. Ah, it’s all part of the fun 😊

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Our two sports

We went to the second day of the karate comp today, but just to the morning session. They had the official ceremony this morning, which was odd, as I would’ve thought they’d have it at the beginning of day 1?? Perhaps one of the officials wasn’t available to attend yesterday or something, and so they moved it to today.

We went and had lunch with a few of N’s mates from karate, and then after that, we just went home and took a nap before our first proper dance training session since we moved to HK 😱 It wasn’t a complete disaster, we didn’t forget everything πŸ˜‚ N remembered more of the Ballroom choreography while I remembered more of the Latin, which doesn’t come as a surprise since he prefers Ballroom and I prefer Latin πŸ˜† It was good to get back into it, nonetheless. Plus the room booking fee is way cheaper here than in SG, and for a much larger room: we’re basically paying the same amount here as in SG, but in HK dollars (S$1 is about HK$6 – so wayyy cheaper!). Something that is actually cheaper, for once! And the room was a decent enough size that we could somewhat practise our Ballroom, something which we struggled to find in SG. This too is quite surprising, given the lack of space in this city.

Good size room, good enough even for Ballroom πŸ‘

Afterwards, we then just went to Shake Shack – not quite the best choice in food after a training session! πŸ˜‚ But it was nice, my first time eating at a Shake Shack in HK πŸ‘

Feeling positive

I had quite a productive day today, successfully working on all my main goals today: my Chinese, my trading and my fitness πŸ‘

I went to the gym for the first time in aaages, ever since I got sick, so I didn’t feel all that strong today. But I just wanted to get back into the routine of going, so I achieved that, at least. But then about half an hour in, my earphones ran out of juice πŸ”‹ And I do my dance practice in the second half of my gym session, and my earphones died on me right when I needed them. Isn’t that lovely πŸ˜’ But that’s ok, at least I went, I just needed to get back into it today, that was really my only goal today.

And then we watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones. It’s still making me interested in reading the book series, so I’ve pulled out book one from the study – N has the whole series πŸ“– It’s thick as! πŸ˜† Like I mentioned before, it’s not a genre that I usually read, so I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it, but I’ll give it a go anyway. I’m enjoying the tv series, so I’m hoping that I’ll get some level of enjoyment from the books too 🀞

Friends, language learning and generally just having fun

We met up with a friend who’s here in HK for the weekend. We took her to yum cha, of course 😊 She apparently just turned 21! I didn’t realise she was so young. I made a comment saying that we are probably as old as her parents, which she agreed with πŸ˜‚ So not sure why she likes hanging out with us oldies. I guess dancing just brings everyone together, regardless of age 😊

N went to karate, while I practised some more of my Chinese. I’ve been really focusing on my speaking and listening, to get it up to the same level as my reading and writing. I don’t want to get to a point where I can read a Chinese novel, and still not be able to hold a basic conversation! I’m still learning new words, so I’m automatically still working on my reading, but it’s just not where my focus is right now. I just want to speak more and listen more at this stage, and be as exposed to the spoken language as much as I can.

YouTube has been an absolute goldmine, a seemingly endless resource for all things related to improving these very skills. There is a ton of stuff specifically for my level, and then of course there’s more stuff that’s aimed at native speakers. I’m obviously just looking for Chinese resources, but I’m sure you could find almost any other language on there. It’s pretty crazy.

And then in the evening, we watched an episode of The Exorcist’s Meter, our current Cantonese drama. We’re getting close to the end, so we’ll have to find a new one soon! 😊

Balance

I decided to go and have cake at Lady M today, and noticed that they had osmanthus tea on their menu. I had never even heard of this tea before we moved to HK, and now I see it everywhere. It’s in sooo many things here. The funny thing for me is that I actually find the Chinese word for osmanthus (ζ‘‚θŠ± guΓ¬ huā) even with tones easier to say than ‘osmanthus’! It’s such a tongue twister! So today, I ordered and said pretty much this: β€œCan I have the pistachio mille crepe and can I try the ζ‘‚θŠ±θŒΆ?” πŸ˜‚ She had to repeat the tea to make sure she got my order right, as I probably threw her off by mixing English and Chinese 🀣

The fun and enjoyable time I had at Lady M was then soon wiped out by a shite trading session πŸ˜” You’d think I’d learn by now, but no, I keep repeating the same damn mistakes over and over πŸ˜’

I took out my frustration at the gym and had a pretty good session there tonight. I did a few Jive kicks, which were a real killer, but definitely something that I need to do more often to help boost my stamina. I should end each gym session with one song’s worth of Jive kicks. And then work my way up to two songs, then three songs, then who knows how many songs! πŸ˜†

I’ve actually been so focussed on my goals lately that I have barely had the chance to go on the usual social media sites, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. I should make an effort to log in more often, and get the latest on what’s happening in the lives of my family and friends. I tend to be all or nothing when it comes to my goals, but I think a more balanced approach would be better and more sustainable over the longer-term. But with my detailed schedule now and achieving a good momentum with my goals, I feel like all the progress is just feeding itself and I just want more of it! πŸ˜†

Moving in the right direction

I spent quite a fair bit of time learning Chinese today. Someone on the Tandem language exchange app recommended that I watch this Chinese sitcom called Home with Kids, as I was asking for some suggestions for tv shows to watch, something relatively easy to understand for intermediate learners like me. I watched the first episode on YouTube today. YouTube has Chinese subtitles for this show, but if I don’t look at them, I pick up next to nothing of what’s being said. But once I start reading them (or rather, skimming them and picking out known words as fast as I can, as people speak faster than I can read!), I can at least start to make out the general gist of what’s going on. I obviously still need subtitles, and apparently even Chinese subtitles are better than none at all! But I think my listening is definitely getting better. Words are starting to sound much clearer now, and I am even starting to get better with the tones. I now just need to get my brain to start turning these sounds into words to give them meaning, if that makes sense! And to continue to add to my vocab, as that will also help my brain know what certain sounds mean. The little bit of improvement in my listening skills that I saw in myself today has given me hope that my listening can indeed improve over time, with some more active practice! πŸ‘ It’s very motivating when you notice progress. It’s like with dancing: you don’t notice the improvement on a day-to-day basis, but then one day, a few months down the track, all of a sudden you have this “Woah, I can do that now?! Where did that come from??” moment, and you are just so pleased with yourself and what you’ve just accomplished 😊 No matter how small the improvement, you’re still moving in the right direction, and that’s so motivating for me.

We then spent the evening at a karate dinner. It was an annual dinner, so we wanted to make sure we didn’t look too shabby on such an evening, so N asked what the attire was, and he got the gist that it was “smart casual”. So we both wore jeans, a collared shirt and nice shoes. But the other guys, all being karate people, just rocked up in their training gear! Sneakers, training jacket and all. Maybe they just finished training, we don’t know πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ So we felt rather overdressed tonight! πŸ˜† But despite the language barrier (they spoke very little English and I know next to no Cantonese), I still had a fun evening.

A little bit of progress

We had quite a relaxing Saturday, despite a rather early start to my day – I got up at 7am 😲 That’s early for someone who’s not a morning person!

We went and had yum cha πŸ˜‹ and then went home via the vet to pick up some medicine for Kitty. We then just chillaxed at home for a while before N went to karate, while I went to the gym. I did some more samba to that Dura song that I’m obsessed with at the moment. I’m going to milk this song for as long as I can, as it’s apparently making me practise samba a whole lot more than I otherwise would! πŸ˜‚

And I also spent some time on Tandem, that language exchange app. I probably spent more time chatting in English than in Chinese today, as I was just too tired to focus for too long in Chinese. I helped people with their English instead 😊

So a bit of progress on a few of my goals today, so I’m happy with that 😊