Learning and more learning

I’m enjoying the library here in HK more than I thought I would. I didn’t expect them to have such a good range of English books – non-fiction books, in particular, especially finance books. They don’t have many English fiction books, which is disappointing, so I stick to non-fiction books when I’m there. And of course they have a ton of Chinese books in the children’s section for me to work my way through. So it’s unexpectedly been quite a good resource for me 😊

But unfortunately, they are still all paper books. What I liked about the library in SG was that it was the other way around: they had a lot more e-books, which I prefer. As a foreigner, I had to pay an annual fee to join the SG library, but it was totally worth it, given the extensive range of e-books that they had.

I managed to make it to the gym tonight, after having spent what felt like a bajillion hours watching YouTube. I usually watch YouTube for educational purposes, watching “learn Chinese” type videos or clips in Chinese aimed at native speakers, or watching things like TED talks. But today I just watched it for pure entertainment. That site is such a time sucker, I tell you! πŸ˜‚ You really have to watch your YouTube watching, otherwise, before you know it, the entire evening is gone! 😲

And then when I got back from the gym? I watched another episode of Ode to Joy, my current Chinese drama. Oh, remember my BHAG from yesterday? Well I finished writing up the first five minutes! πŸ‘ I am so proud of myself 😊

A portion of the dialogue from Ode to Joy (S1E12)

I’m going to continue doing this for the scenes that I liked (and in this episode, there are plenty!), so hopefully I’ll pick up some decent words and phrases along the way πŸ€“ I’ll have to show my teacher tomorrow. She’ll probably think I’m a total nutcase! πŸ˜‚

A weird day

I didn’t get enough sleep last night, and for some reason, I felt all queasy today too, that feeling you get when you’re about to walk into an exam or go up onstage to give a speech or presentation. And I was doing nothing of the sort! 😳 So that was weird.

Come lunchtime, I was still feeling all queasy and a bit off from the lack of sleep, so I decided to have a second cup of coffee for the day, something that I rarely do. But rather than making me all jittery like it usually does, it unexpectedly seemed to calm my nerves, and I managed to get through the rest of the day feeling a little bit more normal πŸ˜…

I had my online lesson today, but that too felt a bit off. I could barely structure sentences, and I had to ask her to repeat herself so many more times today than I usually would. I think she picked up on this weirdness, because she asked me if I spoke English slowly as well πŸ˜‚ I said no, and that I think I actually sometimes speak a bit too fast! But when it comes to Chinese, I still have to think, and I still have to go from English to Chinese, rather than just thinking directly in Chinese, which makes the whole process so much slower. And with the weirdness of today, I was thinking even slower than usual. Blahhh πŸ˜” I wonder if there’s a full moon out or something… πŸŒ•

But on a brighter note, I have almost finished Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret. It’s actually quite a good book! I don’t mind Liane Moriarty. Plus all her books that I’ve read have been set in Australia, so they also give me the chance to reminisce about my hometown and just general “Aussie-ness”. And this book was no different. Her books are also quite easy to read, so they’re not mentally or emotionally taxing or anything like that. Nice holiday reads, I guess you could say. I’m hoping to finish it tonight and have a relatively early night. Not sure if that’s possible, but I can only try 😊

A relaxing day at home, thanks to Bailu!

There is another typhoon that has come across from Taiwan; these damn things just seem to be the norm in this part of the world! They announced a T1 level warning yesterday, and they kept it in place pretty much all day today. They cancelled the signal in the early evening, with tropical cyclone Bailu reducing speed as soon as it hit land. But the rain is still hanging around. It has been quite steady all day. Gum boot weather, that’s for sure!

So the weather made me just want to stay home. Plus I had a crappy sleep last night, so all I really wanted to do was just rest today anyway. So I ended up getting exactly that: a quiet day at home! It was really nice 😌

I watched the first episode of a potential new Korean drama: Hotel Del Luna, which was good! I’m definitely continuing with this series 😊 I hope it stays good… 🀞

And I also read a bit more of my new book: Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret. I’ve read a few of Liane Moriarty’s books now, and I don’t mind them. They’re quite easy to read, and she has a way of drawing me in. They aren’t my favourite books, but they’re easy to read, they don’t require too much mental power to get through them – so they’re perfect books to relax with 😊 Plus she’s Aussie, so she makes a lot of Australian references, which makes me reminisce about home. Plus she bases a lot of her characters in Sydney, which means even more to me, as it’s my home town. So I like that aspect about her books too.

And then we finished off the evening with a few more episodes of Titans. That’s a good show too! Two of the main actors on the show are Aussie too, both of whom had a stint on Home and Away, which is virtually all Aussie actors’ rite of passage into the acting world! πŸ˜‚

Indoors

It rained pretty much all day today, I assume from the remnants of the typhoon warning from yesterday that continued pretty much overnight, so I just stayed indoors.

I was hoping to continue reading one of the bajillion books that I have on the go at the moment, but instead, I binge watched Masterchef Australia πŸ˜‚ I finished Nigella Week, and started watching Legends Week. I’m still making my way through the earlier episodes, so I’m busily watching as much as I can to catch up with where Oz is. I don’t think I’ll ever catch up, but I’d like to get as close as possible 😊 There are a few people that I like this season, which is more important to me than the cooking – I watch the show for the reality tv aspect of it πŸ˜†

N got home very late tonight πŸ˜” He has taken the rest of the week off, so he needed to get some work out of the way before finishing work for the week. It’s a bit of a shame because I was hoping to spend some time with him tonight before he flies to Japan tomorrow, but that wasn’t meant to be πŸ˜” Oh well, such is life πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ He’s actually in Japan the entire weekend, so I’m thinking I might get through a ton of Masterchef again then πŸ˜‚

Books and TV

I started reading Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore today. I don’t come across many books that keep me interested from start to finish. I start reading books because the blurb sounds interesting, but I don’t tend to finish a lot of them because I lose interest somewhere along the way. So the ones that do keep my attention tend to be ones that have a bit of a mystery to them, because I just want the mystery solved! This book has that, and it also has a little humour, which I also appreciate. It’s got my attention so far, so hopefully I can make it until the end this time! 🀞 Maybe I need to find authors who write in a similar way to the writers of Korean dramas… πŸ˜‚

Speaking of which, I finished The Heirs tonight. I liked the ending, it wasn’t your typical “happily ever after” finale. It wasn’t a total tragedy either; it was somewhere in between, a more realistic ending – and I say that after going through a crazy, unrealistic ride for the previous nineteen episodes! πŸ˜‚ I was thinking of jumping back in and watching a new Korean (or Chinese?) drama straight away, but perhaps I’ll give myself a bit of a break and watch something in the western tv world… 😊 I hear Black Mirror has a few new episodes… I’m actually a few seasons behind, so that series can keep me/us occupied for a little while… 😊

Balance

In an earlier post, I talked about my constant attempt to find the right balance in my life. And today I came across this quote on the interweb: “The quest for balance is universal, but perfect balance is a myth.” And as you can imagine, I am absolutely in love with it. It could be my quote for the year. Heck, I’ll make it my quote for the year! πŸ˜† It made me feel better about not getting the balance right, and that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.

I remembered Randi Zuckerberg’s book Pick Three: You Can Have It All (Just Not Every Day), and she proposes choosing three areas each day that you want to focus on, and her categories were work, sleep, family, friends and fitness. I’m going to try and bring this back into my daily routine, but change the categories to better suit my own personal focus areas, and keep track in my Bullet Journal to make sure I don’t focus too much on any one area at the expense of other areas. June is about to start, so I’ll incorporate it into my monthly tracking for the new month. How exciting! 😊

And I finally finished Nice Witch, my current Korean drama. I will have to decide on what my next drama will be, as I have a huge backlog to choose from! πŸ˜† Maybe I’ll switch to a Chinese drama, to get some listening practice in… The only problem is that the Korean dramas are just sooo good, it’s hard to tear yourself away from them…! Maybe I should learn Korean instead… πŸ˜† Well… Taiwan, Korea and Japan are my favourite countries in Asia (and Singapore, now, of course 😊), so it’s actually not a half-bad idea to add Korean to my Asian language repertoire… Well I have learnt the Korean alphabet, so it wouldn’t hurt to learn a few basics from here, right? πŸ˜‰

  • Nah, languages is one area where I can’t take a balanced approach. I am dedicating as much time to Chinese as possible, so I can work on my proficiency in this language as quickly as possible. And I already have Japanese lined up after it, so if I do want to learn some Korean, it may have to slot in to third place. That is, if Spanish or French don’t call me with greater urgency before then…! πŸ˜† #polyglotdream
  • Making the most of the current situation

    I continued studying my Chinese version of The Little Prince. I just finished chapter 4 – out of something like 27 😱 If I was reading the English version this entire time, I probably would’ve finished it by now, perhaps twice over πŸ˜… So I’m hoping that all this effort will pay off in the long run! I’m waiting for (dreaming of) the day when I can read a book almost as comfortably as one in English. Not any book, but one that I would also be interested in reading in English. I wonder if this is even possible…. But I’m trying my best to get as close to that goal (dream) as possible 😊

    I watched a few more episodes of Nice Witch, my current Korean drama. I only have a few more episodes left, so I’m going to try and finish it off tomorrow – and then I can move on to a new series after that! Yeah! I feel like I’ve been watching this one for aaages, it took me forever to finish it. So as good as it was, particularly the second half, it’d be good to move on to the next drama 😊 It was starting to get a bit ridiculous when a 5-year old could read the news and would start talking about scandals about the workers’ union that she read about on her phone, but hey, there are always ridiculous things happening in these dramas, that’s part of their allure! πŸ˜‚

    And N flew to Taipei tonight, he’s there for the next few days πŸ˜” He’s travelling heaps this year, both for work and for karate. So more me time to watch Korean dramas! πŸ˜‚ Just looking for the positives and making the most of the current situation… πŸ˜†