More delights

I have been able to type for most of my life. I probably learnt how to type when I was around 12. So I can actually type without really thinking about where my fingers need to go. I can close my eyes, say the words in my head, and my fingers will somehow know where to go. If anything, it’s actually faster if I close my eyes, because I don’t have the screen as a distraction. I then start visualising where my fingers are moving on the keyboard hahaha I don’t know what’s better, visualising it or actually seeing the words being typed on the screen. How are my fingers doing that?? And it’s not like I’m going “OK, now move your finger to the F and now to the I, then the N, then G…” etc etc. I can be thinking about something else, like how sunny it is today, and somehow my fingers will still find the right letters. It’s really odd! Seriously, how did I learn to do that?!? This is my delight for the day 😊

I had my Chinese lesson today. We talked about:

  • How the appointments for the German vaccine have been cancelled here because it has been found that the vials were not sealed properly πŸ˜’
  • How our landlord is asking us to pay his legal fees without even consulting us beforehand; and
  • The Mr Tickle book that I borrowed from the library recently – in Chinese 😱

Obviously, my version in Chinese didn’t come out as nicely as this 🀣 It was more like:

  • The small bottles from the German company were bad, so the government cancelled our appointment;
  • The person who owns this house is asking us to pay his lawyer’s fees;
  • I borrowed this book from the library.

We then went on to discuss each point in turn, focussing mainly on the first two points. So you can imagine just how difficult this lesson was! But it’s all about communication, not perfect grammar, and I got my message across, that’s the main thing. Sure, it’d be nice if I had perfect grammar, of course, but I’m not studying every single day for hours on end. So given the limited amount of time that I do spend studying the language, I’m quite happy with my progress! πŸ‘πŸ»

Maybe we can talk about the Mr Tickle book next week. Hopefully I would have finished it by then!


N and I went out for lunch again today. He took me to a different place today, a Viet place that he and a few of his mates from work go to quite regularly because it’s so close to their office. I don’t have Viet very often, but I’ve had it twice in as many days so far this week. Let’s make it three in a row tomorrow, shall we?! πŸ˜‚ Don’t tempt me, I can easily do it! 😜

There’s one thing that I realised today about Aussies: we like to pay each other out. I don’t know if this term is a specific Aussie thing, but just in case it is, it means to make fun of each other or to insult each other, all in a joking, harmless way. We like to make jokes about things, and poke fun at things. We’re just very easygoing people 😊

I am currently reading a book called The Book of Delights by Ross Gay, and I am absolutely loving it. It is not the type of book that I would usually read, but I am so glad I decided to try something new. This seems to be a recurring theme for me lately! And it’s actually bringing a lot of delight into my life. I think I’m going to keep this up, this try-something-new thing, and see what other delights it will bring 😊

So this realisation about us Aussies being very easygoing people who can poke fun at each other – and also be able to take it from others at the same time – is one of my delights today πŸ₯°

I also spoke to my mum late this afternoon / early evening. I hope I brought some delight into her life as well today 😊

In voluntary quarantine – again πŸ˜’

Because of all these cases coming out of that gym near our place, we’re both quite nervous about the stupid virus at the moment. All the residents in an apartment building near our place is being tested, as per current government policy. There are a few buildings in the vicinity being tested, actually, as I suspected would happen, given the proximity to our place of the gym where the cluster started πŸ˜” I just hope that no one from our building tests positive, and we have to go through this whole process too🀞 It’s just all a bit too close to home at the moment. Literally. And β€˜close’ in HK is just that little bit closer, unfortunately, with everyone living on top of each other πŸ˜’

And apparently if you need to go to a quarantine centre, they give you 1-2 hours to get all your stuff together, and then they ship you out to wherever. I really don’t want to have to go out there! 😩 But it would make for a pretty cool story, that’s for sure! 🀣

So because we don’t really want to be out and about at the moment, we just stayed home and watched TV. We watched Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which was pretty cool. It is totally like the Choose Your Own Adventure books that I read as a kid, except this time, it was on TV. That was a lot of fun 😁

And I also finished The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab. I read a little bit of this book pretty much every day for the past few weeks, which doesn’t happen for me. Not many books have me that riveted. But this is in my favourite genre, a sub-genre of science fiction / fantasy where people live in an alternative reality, where the world is largely the same, but something is just that little bit different. The Time Traveler’s Wife, 1984, these sorts of books.

And today, I heard about Philip K Dick, a science fiction writer whose stories have been turned into numerous movies. I have added The Man in the High Castle on my to-read list, and I am currently making my way through his Total Recall short story, the basis of the movie with the same name. So far, I’m enjoying this too. I’ll let you know how The Man in the High Castle is. If it’s as good as this short story, then I may just read more of his stuff πŸ‘

Category #2: Books! πŸ“š

I read the ‘how to tidy up your books’ section in Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. And in case you’re wondering if you should read both books, I would say no. The latter has how-to drawings (and the first one doesn’t), but I don’t think it gives you any more insight into the theory than the first book. And her videos on YouTube will give you better instructions than the drawings anyway.

And also, just a heads up, her book is also very touchy-feely. In fact, I think her whole approach is very touchy-feely. So if you’re not like this and want practical tips on how to tidy your home, then this book ain’t for you. You’re not going to get much of that from her! πŸ˜†

The book ‘Outer Order, Inner Calm‘ is on my to-read list, and I think this would have more practical tips, if this is more your style.

But this 8-week challenge is all about Marie Kondo’s approach – the KonMari method – and I’m going to give it my very best. I wonder just how effective this will be after 8 weeks, and whether I will indeed stay nice and tidy, and not relapse and go back to my old ways.

I actually don’t have many paper books, so this category is actually really easy. It’s the next few categories that I am going to really struggle with, in particular, papers and hobbies. These are really difficult categories for me to tackle. And I’m sure a few other miscellaneous categories are also going to be pretty hard. And I’m already dreading getting to the final category: sentimental items! 😩

Shopping and reading

I felt a little bit better today, but still not 100%. I managed to get through my busy day, and I thought that was enough of an achievement πŸ‘

I also managed to buy a new headset. I was actually thinking of buying a wireless headset, but I haven’t done any research on them yet, and I’m not the sort of person who would just dive right in and buy the first one that I come across. And since my current ones are dying, I really just need a replacement, so I bought the exact same one πŸ˜† I’m not an audiophile, I don’t need the best sounding audio. I just need something where my voice sounds pretty good through the mic, and the audio is nice and clear. And for A$30, my current headset does the job quite nicely. And if I’m going to spend much more than that on a wireless headset, I’m definitely going to be doing my research! And even just buying the replacement headset that is actually the exact same product as my current one took me long enough to purchase. This is how much I don’t like to shop! πŸ˜‚

I also read more of my new book. I’m about halfway through it already because I can’t put it down! It’s rare for me to say that about a book that’s not a mystery novel. I won’t actually say the name of it until I finish it, just in case it actually has a disappointing ending and I change my mind about it and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone in the end. But so far, it’s been really good. I’ve been reading it every chance I get 😊

So there are benefits to being a bit run down! πŸ˜‚

Prep work

I had yet another productive day today πŸ‘ I got up a little earlier than usual again today. Maybe these earlier starts are actually making a difference to my productivity! πŸ€”

I also spoke to my parents today, and I didn’t get upset! 😱 I managed to remain calm and just listened. I didn’t pass judgement, I didn’t contradict, I just let them talk. That was nice 😊 I need to do that more often. Harness Yoda’s calmness 😊

I’m re-reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I mentioned the other day that I want to do her 8-week challenge. It’s the weekend tomorrow, so I thought it would be a good time to start. I’d like to finish re-reading the book before I actually start the process, so I might try and skim the rest of it tomorrow and then plunge right in! πŸ˜† I have to take my “before” photos first, and I’d like to have a visual board of sorts, even if that just means a virtual Pinterest board! In fact, all these things are part of Week 1 in her 8-week challenge! So maybe I shouldn’t rush it and actually just do the prep work first, like she suggests. I think I’m just getting overly excited! I’m just ready to throw stuff out! I’ve been thinking about doing this for months; and now, an opportunity presents itself in the form of an 8-week challenge, hehehe 😜

So I’m off to continue re-reading the book, and maybe start a new Pinterest board 😊

Changes in my daily routine

I got up at ridiculous o’clock with N this morning. He’s been going to the gym before work, and normally, I just go back to sleep once he leaves. But today, I was actually quite awake, and so I just got up. I didn’t feel too bad throughout the day, but I did have more caffeine than I normally would on a typical day 😳 Hopefully the caffeine won’t keep me up tonight because I’d like a good night’s sleep for the busy day that I have tomorrow! 🀞

I had my Chinese lesson today, and it actually wasn’t too bad! I didn’t stress out as much as I normally would, which allowed me to understand more of what she said. But my general problem is my lack of speaking and listening practice. I need to do more! Watch a little bit of a TV show or YouTube video each day. I need to incorporate that into my day somehow. I’ve made so many positive changes into my daily routine now, surely I can figure out how to incorporate this one thing??

Here are the new changes I’ve made recently:

  • I’ve started to review my Anki flashcards first thing in the morning, as soon as I wake up. It’s virtually the first thing I do once I wake up;
  • I’ve been doing my splits stretches on a daily basis, except on my one rest day a week;
  • I’ve been listening to podcasts in the morning while I’m getting changed;
  • I’ve been listening to an audiobook while getting ready for bed in the evenings.


How awesome is that?!? And I only introduced all of these new habits recently, possibly just in the last month. That’s pretty damn good! So surely I can figure out how to incorporate listening to a TV show or YouTube video in one of my target languages into my day?? πŸ€”

After listing that out, I’m quite proud of my effort! Well done, me! 😁 It’s amazing just how much you can achieve just by pairing activities today:

  • Anki flashcards – paired with getting up first thing in the morning;
  • Podcasts – paired with getting ready each day;
  • Audiobooks – paired with getting for bed.

Can I pair this TV show or YouTube video with something? Or maybe I can just set another 30-day challenge for myself? I just have to try and see what works for me.

Another difficult day

Sighhh… It doesn’t feel like I’m having a very good week πŸ˜” My usual cheery mood is nowhere to be found right now, and I don’t quite know how or where to find it…

I’m reading a book at the moment, and in the book, her dog passed away. It reminded me of when Kitty passed away and how horrible those last few days were 😒 I still don’t like looking at our photos during those last few days, it still hurts when I see them. But at the same time, I really cherish them because they were our last few photos and videos together ❀️ It’s bittersweet.

So that didn’t help my general mood today πŸ˜”

And then I watched this reality TV show where one of the contestants basically grew up in foster care for virtually her entire childhood. Neither of her parents wanted to look after her when they divorced – and she was only two. How sad is that?! I thought that that was really sad already, but apparently there’s more to her story. And of course they want to drag it out, so I have to watch more of the show to find out.

And then to top it all off, our time in HK is now uncertain. Chances are that we’ll still stay, but there is now the slight possibility that we might not be here this time next year 😱 Anyway, nothing is certain. It’s still 12 months away. But like I’ve said numerous times before, this expat life is fleeting. You never know when the winds will change and you’ll be drifting off somewhere else again!

So yeah, another difficult day for me today πŸ˜”

My ever-growing to-read list

I woke up with a headache, probably due to the lack of sleep and the lack of water yesterday πŸ˜” It didn’t get much better as the morning progressed, so I just had to take some Panadol to get me through my busy day. The headache went away, but the general blahness didn’t, so I never really felt right all day. I should’ve put myself into low power mode, since I was basically running on low battery. But I didn’t, and just kept pushing myself. Not a good idea. I hope I don’t get sick as a result πŸ˜”

A friend told me about this Stephen King book today: Different Seasons. It’s actually 4 novellas in one book, and it isn’t his usual scary horror novels. I asked her for something that was a bit tamer, to ease me into his books, as I’d never read any of his stuff before – and in complete contrast, apparently she’s read a ton of his stuff! So she suggested this one. I’m not sure why she’s read so many of his books when she doesn’t like the horror genre either. I have to ask her tomorrow πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

I actually have a ton of books on my to-read list right now. I keep hearing about all these books, so I just keep adding them on to my list! I haven’t really done much of that walking that I said I’d do in the mornings 😊 So maybe when I do go for those walks, I might try and listen to an audiobook. And then hopefully I’ll get through more books than what I’m currently getting through now!

And I’m still undecided about services like Blinkist. Do you use this? If you do, what do you think of it? I guess for me, there is still the actual activity of reading what the author has written that I would lose if I just read the modern-day crib notes version of the book. Someone else also did say one good thing about Blinkist, though: it can help you sift through so many more books than you would otherwise get through, and then decide this way as to which book will actually be worth reading the whole way through. I thought that was an interesting take!

So yeah, let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear them 😊

Slow progress and an unexpectedly quick one!

I had my first Chinese lesson for the year today. And note that I barely did any study or review at all while we were on holidays for the last two weeks πŸ˜’ So yeah, that was a tough lesson! The connection wasn’t great, so we turned off our respective videos and just focused on the audio. This was actually easier for me, believe it or not, because I could just focus on the words that she was saying and not have any visuals to distract me. This was so much easier! Maybe we should do this more often! πŸ˜† Although this won’t exactly help me get better at face-to-face conversations πŸ€ͺ I really need to practise my listening!

I also worked more on my next video today. Sighhhh… It’s taking foreverrr… I still haven’t finished it! And I don’t even think it’s that great πŸ˜” Nonetheless, I’ve added one more video to my small portfolio, so hopefully my skills are slowly improving!

And we finished Dash & Lily tonight! It was really easy to watch, this one. We didn’t even realise we’d gotten to the end of the first (and only?) season so quickly. Apparently it’s based on a book, so now I want to read the book! 😊 But first things first, I need to find our next TV show! I didn’t realise we’d finish Dash & Lily so quickly.