I tracked a few flights today: N flew back from KL today (woohoo!) and a friend’s mum is flying from Sydney to London, via SG. I won’t see most of her flight to London, but I’ll track her as far as I can 😊
And the rest of my day was pretty stock standard: trading, gym, and an episode of Masterchef Australia. The first two weren’t all that great, but I got through them, so at least I’m maintaining the consistency.
We also ordered takeaway tonight, coz I hadn’t organised myself to go buy some groceries today. So that took a hit on our finances, as well as on my goal of eating more healthily. Sighhh…
Didn’t do too well to hit my goals today 😔
Oh, and movie #4 for that FB challenge that I’ve been given: Love Actually. One of those light-hearted, feel-good movies that I can watch over and over again 😊
But omg I’m not even halfway through yet, and I’m already struggling to come up with movies! How am I going to find another 6?! 😲
I decided to finally go get my eyes checked today. I dread going to the optometrist every time (much like the doctor, the dentist, the hairdresser…), but it’s one of those things that I know I just have to do. Luckily she didn’t find anything too worrying. She gave me the usual spiel about not wearing my contacts for too long blah blah. But I’ve been hearing that pretty much ever since I started wearing contacts, so that didn’t concern me too much. But when she didn’t find anything too worrying when she did a general eye health check, then that made me feel a little better. But I think I want to go see an ophthalmologist anyway, I think that I should really get a more thorough eye check, especially since my eyesight is so bad to begin with, which puts me into the higher risk category of getting eye related issues the older I get. So I asked for a referral, and now I’m hoping to book for an appointment sometime this coming week. Fingers crossed the results of the more thorough eye exam is just as comforting as the one today🤞
I then went to buy some cat litter, as we have completely run out. But the store had run out of the 10kg bags, so I had no choice but to buy the next size – at 20kg! So I had to lug this bag home – almost 1km away! I did consider taking a cab back, but I persevered 💪💪 I would ordinarily just get the litter delivered, but we’d completely run out, so this time I couldn’t wait even one day to get it delivered, let alone the minimum two day wait for their usual delivery. This is another one of my underbuyer situations where I waited until something completely ran out before I bought some more 😔
I’m now caught up with Masterchef Australia, so I decided to resume my watching of Downton Abbey. I just finished season four, and now only have two more seasons to go. What am I going to do once I finish the series?! I always feel so “empty” when that happens 😂
And I also started reading Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami. I haven’t read a book in a while that’s gotten me hooked right from the beginning, so this one is looking quite promising already. I read one of his earlier books The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has to be right up there as one of the weirdest books I have ever read 😂 But I like his style, so I thought I’d give this book a go. So far I’m really enjoying it. This one is apparently a collection of short stories, so I’m wondering if each short story is going to be el weirdo acid trips in similar vein to The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle too 😂 The first short story that I’m on right now is pretty normal, but I’ll let you know if it turns on me at the end 😊
And movie #3 that I came up with for that FB challenge: Namiya. I watched this on the same flight that I watched Color Me True (movie #2), and I really enjoyed it too. I watched the Chinese version, which was based on the Japanese film The Miracles of the Namiya General Store. I wouldn’t mind watching that film too. It would fall into the science fiction sub-genre that I like, and Color Me True would also probably be classified the same.
Now time to look for movie #4… Argh, it’s getting harder and harder!
I decided to go out to Jurong today. Apparently they have a few discount outlet stores out there, so I decided to go check them out. My app recommended one particular route, which I presume is supposedly the shortest route time-wise – even though the route requires three train changes! I wonder if the app takes into consideration the time it takes to walk to the different train lines…
Google Maps gave me a different route, with only one train change, but it had more train stops. I decided I’ll take that route on my way home and compare.
The three-train-changes trip took over 45 minutes for ten train stops 😲 The one-train change trip home took just under 40mins. And I think the trip was also cheaper, because there were fewer train changes. I think I shall go with Google Maps next time 😊
Anyway, the mall that I was heading to (IMM) is in fact full of outlet stores, I didn’t realise. It’s basically like DFO in Oz. Not that it mattered, since I’m not a shopper at all, and I get bored very quickly whenever I’m out shopping. So I spent about half an hour in that mall before getting bored and started making my way home. Basically I spent more time trekking out to the mall than actually IN the mall itself 😂 Oh well. At least I got a decent walk out of it, walking all the way to the mall from the train station and back!
I felt like watching a movie when I got home, partly inspired by a challenge that a friend nominated me for on FB. It’s one of those “name ten <movies/albums/books> that has made an impact on you in some way” type of thing. This current challenge is on movies – and I’m struggling to come up with ten movies to put on the list! I’m posting one movie per day for the next ten days, and today was day #2.
I LOVE this movie. This has to be one of my favourite movies of all time, and probably why I posted it first. It’s quite ironic, since it’s an animated film, which I’m usually not very fond of, so haven’t actually seen that many. But this one I just absolutely loved. I could watch it over and over again. In fact, I want to watch it in both Chinese and Japanese, so I can improve my listening of my two target languages by watching this film dubbed in these two languages! I’m happy to watch this film over and over again “just” for this purpose 😊
This is a Japanese movie that I watched on a flight recently. This ranks pretty much with Inside Out. I loved this movie so much that I watched it again on that very same flight! Color Me True was the English name they gave on the flight, but IMDB lists it as “Tonight, at the Movies”, which is the direct translation of the Japanese title. I don’t know why it has multiple English names! 🤷♀️
So now I have 8 more to go. Let’s see what else I can think of over the next 8 days…! 😆
Oh and what movie did I watch when I got home? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A pretty good movie too! I don’t think it’s going to make my list of ten movies, but it was still a good one.
I decided to try the cafe on the ground floor of the hotel that we were staying at. I somehow stumbled across reviews of the place, and everyone was raving on about their egg tarts, so I just had to try it – even though I’m generally not a fan of egg tarts!
I was pleasantly surprised: it turned out that I enjoyed the egg tarts wayyy more than their coffee! And it’s primarily a coffee shop! I still drank what was effectively flavoured water 😕 coz I needed the caffeine. But it was pretty bad 😂
I then decided to walk around Mid Levels today, hoping to find a place to have a quick bite to eat before I flew out later tonight. It’s very hilly in that area, although I did use the mid-level escalators on the way up, so I didn’t exert that much energy 😂 They’re doing works on the escalators for the next four years though, so they’re closing down sections as they work on them. So I did walk up stairs for a bit of it, but not enough for me to really work up an appetite. So I ended up just ordering half a sandwich (you can order just half a sandwich! How awesome is that?!) from a bakery chain and taking it back to the hotel and eating it there. I love the half-a-sandwich option. It is so good for times like today when you’re not that hungry but just need a little bit to get you through.
I gave myself three hours to get to the airport, which was ample time. The longest part of the whole trip was waiting at the check-in counter! Terribly inconvenient for people like me who just need a boarding pass and don’t have any luggage to check in. I hope Singapore Airlines introduces their self-service check-in machines at Hong Kong airport soon! Given the number of people who travel to and from these two airports (I basically see it as akin to Sydney – Melbourne, with multiple flights flying between these two cities daily). They were trialling it in Melb last time we were there, so I’m surprised they haven’t introduced it in HK – a much closer destination, and no doubt a much more frequented one!
I wanted to watch Stranger Than Fiction during the flight, but I started writing a new post for my blog project. I just got carried away with that, and I didn’t have time to return to the movie. I’m getting a little excited about my new blog, actually. I’m surprised I have had quite a few things to write about. I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t, especially given the topic, but I can’t keep up with my ideas! Sorry, that was all rather vague, but all will soon be revealed! I just need to come up with a blog name, and it’ll be good to go soon after that, I reckon. Fingers crossed!🤞
Dinner on the fight was really nice. I haven’t been that impressed the last few flights, actually, tsk tsk to Singapore Airlines 😆 But they redeemed themselves today 👍
Anyhoo, flight was fine, no issues, but the taxi ride home was a different story. I had a maniac driver who seemed to be using the speed limit as a minimum number, braking and accelerating every five seconds. And he preferred to take up two lanes whenever he could. He was tailgating and trying to overtake whenever he got the chance. I was totally freaking out the entire time I was in the cab, holding my breath at times, muscles tensed. But once we got to our apartment block, he helped me take out my luggage from the boot, and he was this nice, gentle older man, smiling and being all pleasant! Where was he when we were driving home?!? 😲
But I got home in one piece (just!), and I got to see Kitty again 😊 I always miss the little one every time we go away. Leaving her is always the worst part about travelling 😔
I took Kitty to the vet this morning. The Grab driver that I had on the way there had two little yellow cute emoji toys hanging off his rear view mirror, and I commented on how cute they were. He said “yeah, sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh **turns over the 😄 stuffed toy** or cry **turns over the 😂 toy**”. After some more discussion, I figured that what he was basically saying was that some customers are so terrible that he just wants to cry 😢 I asked him to elaborate, but his English wasn’t good enough to explain to me – and the thought of asking him to explain in Chinese crossed my mind, but then quickly realised that that wouldn’t help matters anyway! 😂 But he did say that some customers just don’t seem to have any respect for Grab drivers, and wished that people could just respect one another. I totally agree. I’ve heard a few horror stories from other drivers, and I completely agree this driver today. So I hope I gave him a bit of 😄 for a little while this morning, at least.
I went home and packed, and then headed to the airport. We flew out of Terminal 2 today, which I rarely fly out of, so the whole terminal is still relatively new to me. I spent the afternoon soaking in the surrounds 😊 I was with N, though, and he’s not quite as much of a fan of Changi as I am (well, no one is, so it’s not like he’s the weirdo one 😂), so I didn’t get to see everything that I wanted to see in the terminal. In fact, the only time I get to visit Changi properly is when I’m by myself! 😂 Sighhh… If only I could convert others to become Changi ambassadors as well… 😊
The flight was ok. The meal that I chose was rather mediocre, which is highly unusual for Singapore Airlines. I hardly complain about their food. Although we still got a meal for a two-hour flight, so I was happy about that. We got quite a fair bit of turbulence about halfway through though, and that unsettled me quite a fair bit. I just wanted to get off that plane. So I didn’t finish Finding Momo (Mom), this hilarious French film that I was really getting into before I started feeling a bit sick 🤢 Sighhh… I’ll just have to finish it on the return leg home.
I didn’t really read up on Ho Chi Minh City before today, and I feel a bit bad not even learning some very basic words in Vietnamese. Having this lofty lifetime goal of being a polyglot, I like being able to know at least a few essential words in any non-English speaking country that I visit. So I was feeling rather ashamed that I hadn’t even learnt hello, goodbye and thank you in Vietnamese.
So I learnt them once we’d checked in. O-M-G. I thought Chinese was hard. Vietnamese is also a tonal language, but I think the sounds are even more foreign for an English speaker! So I’m trying to just remember hello and thank you, that’ll be my two words for today! Hello sounds like the first two syllables of ‘Singapore’ in Chinese (xin chào), so I’m cheating that way 😆 and thank you sounds like “come on” (cám o’n). Even though it uses Roman letters, the pronunciation can be completely different, so I don’t know if that’s better or worse than learning Chinese characters! 😂
After checking in, we met up with our dance teacher, who is also here for the comp. We went and had Japanese near our hotel, and then went for a quick walk around Ben Thanh Market before calling it a night.
Crossing the road is going to be a challenge tomorrow! I don’t think I can cross the road by myself (how stupid does that sound?! 😂) I will have to rely on traffic lights as, unlike locals, I cannot walk into oncoming traffic! People keep saying “don’t worry, just walk forward, look straight ahead, and maintain a steady pace throughout. They’ll drive around you”. Errr, no… 😂 I may have to follow a local or two, otherwise I’ll just have to find a traffic light, or just stay on the same block as the hotel!😂
It was my last day in HK – and the sun decided to finally make an appearance today. Seriously, the universe has just been laughing down on me this trip! It has rained pretty much every day since I arrived, and only now has the sun decided to come out. Isn’t that lovely – NOT!
I met up with a friend for lunch, who I first met in my first official full-time job as a grad. We were both grads at the time! Omg, I can’t believe I’ve known her for that long. She’s one of those people that I can see once every few years, and it only feels like I just saw her last week. And since she moved to HK, obviously I don’t see her very often at all. But HK is that much closer to SG, so we’ve caught up a few times since we’ve moved over. It’s been great to rekindle our friendship 😊
After lunch, I went back to the hotel to pack up the last few things in the room, and then headed over to the airport. The airport express is sooo easy here, something HK has done much better than SG (sorry SG! Something to aspire to, I guess?! 😊). I got through check in and immigration really quickly, and then ended up having an hour to kill at the gate 😏 So I wrote most of today’s post at gate 22 at HK Airport 😂
I watched The Pretend One on the plane, which was sorta like an Aussie drama version of Drop Dead Fred. It wasn’t too bad, and sorta pretty cool that they did the entire movie with just four main actors, and perhaps just another four on the side. It was really short – about 90 minutes – so it takes no time at all to get through. It was an interesting movie. Different.
By the time I was in the cab on the way home, I was tired and a little grumpy. I was snapping a bit at the taxi driver, and now I feel bad doing so. He was just making chit chat, and unfortunately he got me at a bad time. I think he knew I was tired, he left me in peace the rest of the way home. Sorry Mr Taxi Driver. So as tired as I was, I forced myself to make up for my earlier snappiness by engaging in some more chit chat when I went to pay. Hopefully I made up for some of it…!
And the best part of coming home is getting lots of attention from Kitty. I got so much attention that my grey pants, where she was rubbing her head, are now pretty much white 😂
I left the house earlier than I had planned, and ended up getting to Changi at around 11:30am. The movie started at 12pm and I still had to find the movie theatre! Rather than waste time looking for it, I headed straight to an information counter and asked them where the entertainment area was. Luckily I did, because I would’ve roamed and roamed and I still wouldn’t have found it, as it was on a completely different level on its own!
I decided to watch The Greatest Showman in Terminal 2, as it has both Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron 😊 The movie theatre wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I was expecting the usual cinema, just one a mere fraction in size. But it was just a large dark room with a large tv and about 40-50 single sofa chairs that you could shuffle around as you please. Not that you could move them around much, since there were so many in the small room. And I use “dark” quite loosely too. A lot of people seemed to use the dark room as a place to catch some zzz’s before they take off on their flight. There were four distinct people who I could hear snoring 😴 The alarm of the guy a few seats to my left was going off, but he didn’t seem to hear or feel it, if it was vibrating. I was tempted to wake him, since he probably set his alarm so that he wouldn’t miss his flight, plus his annoying alarm was sorta interrupting my movie 😂 But he eventually woke up – ironically at one of the silent moments in the movie, I distinctly remember because it was so ironic! – and immediately rushed off, presumably to catch his plane. Then there were staff and other general people walking through using the room as a thoroughfare; people eating in there when the sign outside specifically said to refrain from doing so, and the volume could’ve been a teeny bit louder, especially when you have to put up with snorers in the room… Lovely ambience! 😂 But it’s free, so I can’t really expect much. Nonetheless, I actually enjoyed the movie! I don’t know why, but I didn’t really expect to enjoy it, so maybe the low expectations helped, since they were so easily exceeded? 🤷♀️
I also visited the Sunflower Garden right next to the cinema. Quite pretty – and very orderly! 🌻🌻👩🏻🌻🌻
There’s also an arcade area in this little entertainment area in Terminal 2, but I didn’t have any more time to hang out there and play a game or two, as I had to make my way back to Terminal 3 to catch my plane!
On the plane, I watched a doco on Wendy Whelan, a principal ballerina at the New York City Ballet. It’s so inspiring when I hear about how much work and effort these successful artists / athletes have put into their work. She was at the NYC Ballet for thirty years. WOW. Not to mention how much work she’s put into ballet prior to joining the company. Totally amazing and inspiring.
After the doco, I decided to just listen to some music for the reminder of the flight. Singapore Airlines has the Top Ten official singles charts from 1960-2016, and I decided to go through each year and compile my favourites. Obviously I didn’t have time to listen to each and every song, so I just chose whichever songs I recognised and knew that I liked. I chose 34 and saved them into My Playlist. I wish passengers could have their own login so that wherever I’m going and whichever seat I’m in, I could just log in and My Playlist will just magically be there for me. But that’s not a feature available yet, so I had to manually write the playlist for future reference 😊
My Playlist spanned almost fifty years of music, more than my lifetime. There are songs that immediately take me back to a particular moment in my life, and as I sat there listening to these songs, I was overwhelmed by a strong surge of emotion. It was as if I had this flashback of my life, appreciating everything that I’ve ever lived through. Everything from regret, disappointment, embarrassment, joy, and everything else in between. I just broke down in my seat and cried silently to myself. I can’t even put how I was feeling into words. I don’t know if I was just so happy or so sad, or a mix of both, or something else entirely. It was just a surreal feeling. The saying “the days are long, but the years are short” came to mind during this time, and maybe that’s what broke me: reminiscing about all the different stages of my life in such a short pace of time. How terribly wonderful to look back at it all and relive some moments, and at the same time also remembering that I didn’t appreciate enough of it at the time. I was a mixed bag of emotions on the plane! 😁😩🤨😇😳🤯
So then of course I was so in the moment as soon as I got off that plane. I took in Hong Kong like I never have before. I saw it differently: I paid attention to how comfortable my seat was on the train into the city; I noticed its smells; its frenetic energy. It’s like SG on steroids 😂 Sydney vs Melbourne, where the latter is just that much more relaxed.
Well that was an emotionally charged flight! 😊 It’s amazing just how powerful music can be.