Citygate and the end of season one

Our grocery home delivery came at around 11am today. Their morning window is 9am-2pm, which is such a huge window! But they seem to come at around 11am each time, so that’s not too bad.

We decided to watch an episode of The Umbrella Academy before heading to Citygate, a discount outlet store out near the airport. We actually spent more time out there than I had expected to, and we didn’t even finish the whole mall. Probably worth a visit a few times a year to stock up on anything that we need, as their stuff actually isn’t too bad πŸ‘

We also discovered Taste out there, this supermarket that has the most awesome ready made food section. Rivals Takashimaya in SG, if you ask me! And that’s saying something, because I thought Takashimaya’s downstairs food section was pretty good 😲 I was wondering if there was another Taste closer to home, as I don’t really want to be travelling all the way pretty much to the airport each time I want some ready-made food for dinner! They apparently have one in Wan Chai, so I will have to go check it out 😊 Hopefully it’ll be as good, although I don’t have high hopes on this, as I suspect there is much more space out near the airport to have a massive supermarket compared to other parts of the city πŸ˜’ I’d like to be wrong, of course, but like I said, I’m not getting my hopes up.

Korean! πŸ˜‹

There was karate tonight, but N was feeling too tired to go – and so decided to just head down to the gym with me πŸ€ͺ Never mind actually just resting! πŸ˜‚

And then we finished off the evening by finishing off season one of The Umbrella Academy. It was such a good first season! Now we can’t wait for them to finish season two so we can start watching it 😊 I really hope it’ll be just as good as – if not better than – season one 🀞 I have a feeling we’ll be waiting until 2020, though… Sighhh… πŸ˜”

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An odd shopping experience

I went to Bonjour today to buy some moisturiser, and one of the staff members noticed that I had some in my basket. She then proceeded to say that there was a better product for my skin than the one I had in my basket, as my skin is “so dry” 😳 Really?! If anything, I thought it was more on the oily side… But my point is, who goes around insulting their customers?? πŸ˜‚ Although I’m sure this is just a language thing, but still… πŸ˜† And besides, I wasn’t sure if she was just flogging this other product… πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ But just in case, I think I shall be lathering my face with more moisturiser – with my current brand! πŸ˜†

I then went to Watsons to buy some Clarityne for N – and walked out with some free instant noodles, as you do πŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚

Walk in to buy some meds, and walk out with some free noodles, as you do πŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚

OK I did buy other stuff too while I was there, so I’m not sure exactly what item(s) I purchased that made me eligible to receive a free pack of instant noodles, but regardless, it’s not the type of free item that I would expect from a health and beauty store! πŸ˜‚

We went to the gym tonight, apparently my first visit in two weeks. Two weeks! But I was sick for a few days, and then my brother, sister-in-law and nephew came to visit, and that all happened in those two weeks, so I haven’t been slacking off all that time. I don’t feel so bad now πŸ˜…

And then we finished off the evening with another episode of The Umbrella Academy. I’m really enjoying this show! πŸ‘

Looking forward to β€œnormal”

It was their last day in HK today, so we just took it easy. We went to Din Tai Fung in Causeway Bay for lunch, and then bought some Tiger Sugar and a mooncake for them to try. We somehow managed to contain Nephew, and he didn’t have a meltdown today, amazingly. He took quite a long nap when we got home, which gave his parents the chance to pack and even some time to just chillax, which was great for them.

And once they were in the taxi, I took the opportunity to head down to the supermarket and buy some wine and cheese to celebrate having peace and quiet in the house again πŸ·πŸ§€ I sorta got to see why parents would want a drink at the end of each day! πŸ˜‚

Kitty was rather stressed the entire time they were staying with us. She doesn’t like having other people in the house – in her house – so she pretty much just stayed in our bedroom for the past few days. And even when she ventured out to get some food, she didn’t really eat much. So I decided to move her food into the bathroom today, which seemed to help tremendously: she ate both her breakfast and lunch in there! And now that she has her house back to herself again, she seems a bit more relaxed and more her usual self, which is good to see πŸ˜…

And then N also flew back from Japan today. It’s nice to change things up every now and then, as you can then look forward to “normal” once again πŸ₯°

Touristy stuff in Kowloon

Nephew didn’t get much sleep last night, so his parents and I were a bit nervous about how he would be today, particularly in the current heat. And sure enough, he started losing it on the train to ICC, on our way to Sky100. He took a nap for about half an hour while we were up there, and that helped his mood a bit, thankfully. What didn’t help my mood, though, was the haze! You could barely see anything up there! It was such a shame πŸ˜”

The haze got progressively worse as the afternoon wore on πŸ˜”

They had a cafe up there, though, and we decided to have a light lunch there instead of going somewhere separately. The tables around us had ordered high tea, and I was curious as to how I could get in on some of that action, as 1) all the tables having high tea had been reserved; and 2) there was no high tea option on their menu. So I just googled it: apparently it is an online offer that they have, so that’s why it’s not on their menu there. Fair enough. So if I’m in the mood for some high tea-ing all the way up ICC one day, I shall remember this place 😊 And to do so before 2 Jan 2020 when the offer expires!

We then caught a cab to Kowloon Walled City Park, where I pulled out some more Mandarin to speak to the cab driver. I had been practising how to say “Walled”, as I can say the rest in Chinese. But the whole place name is still pretty damn long, so I was getting a bit concerned that he won’t understand my dodgy accent, as the taxi drivers in HK aren’t renowned for being very friendly. So I had its Chinese name written down just in case he gives me this puzzled/annoyed look. So in the end, I ended up saying “We would like to go to this place” and showed him the Chinese name. So I still got some speaking practice in, but I didn’t over exert myself by saying the full Chinese name of the park πŸ˜‚ The cab driver seemed to understand what I was saying, but he never said anything in reply. So maybe he can understand a little Mandarin, but he’s not able to speak it, which is also fair enough. Or maybe he just didn’t understand a word I said, and he was just guessing what I was trying to say the entire time πŸ€ͺ In any case, we got to our destination, and I got the correct change, so all was well in my Chinese speaking world πŸ˜‚

We spent a bit of time at the park, but everyone was pretty tired by now, and so tensions were a bit high by this time in the afternoon. We decided to catch a bus back home, which ended up being a fantastic decision, as it was one of the double decker buses and everyone enjoyed sitting right up the front on the upper deck. The bus was virtually empty – at least upstairs it was – so I didn’t feel too bad making a ton of noise up there! πŸ˜†

But everyone was still tired, including the little one, so tensions were still high until finally he went to sleep, and his parents could once again relax 😌

It’s their last day in HK tomorrow, so I’m thinking maybe we can just head over to Causeway Bay for yum cha, hang out there for a while, and then casually head back home so that they can get ready to leave for the airport. Not much stress, and they can also give themselves plenty of time to navigate their way through the airport, which can be a stressful ordeal at the best of tines, especially when travelling with a toddler!

Touristy stuff on HK Island

We did a lot of touristy stuff today, as much as Nephew could handle. In fact, we pushed him pretty far, so by the end of the evening, he was grumpy as, and his parents’ patience was also wearing thin.

We first went to HK “Zoo”. It is officially called the HK Zoological and Botanic Gardens, but I would describe it more as a small park that has a few birds and monkeys and other small animals πŸ˜† It was a hot day, so everyone was struggling, so a small park was really all any of us could handle in today’s heat and humidity. Plus there are some hilly parts, so f you have a toddler who refuses to climb up stairs, it makes for a challenging outing. But they had this airconditioned education centre for kids, so we got a bit of a reprieve from the heat while Nephew played around with the different games that they had inside there.

We then made our way to Maxim’s Palace at City Hall for a yum cha lunch, which was busy as. We had to wait for about an hour for a table, which was mega insane. But the food here is good, and they still have the traditional push trolleys – with labels in both English and Chinese, listing the various dishes that a particular trolley has, and sometimes even a screen that scrolls through photos of the dishes! So this place always makes for a fun yum cha experience 😊 πŸ₯ŸπŸ²

The labels on one of the push trolleys at yum cha

And then in the evening, we decided to catch the Peak Tram up to – where else πŸ˜‚ – The Peak. It had been under renovation for a few months, and I thought I’d quickly check to see if it was up and running yet, as I thought it would be nice to catch it up and/or down while they were in town. Luckily I checked, as they had just recently resumed operations in late July! Perfect timing! πŸ˜…

But when we got up to the top, Nephew was mega exhausted by this point and was testing his parents’ patience, so we didn’t didn’t really get to explore the area too much, which was a bit of a shame. But the Peak Tram experience itself was totally worth it – especially the ride down! Oh, and you can use your Octopus card to ride the Tram, which is sooo convenient. You can use it to go up to Sky Terrace 428 as well, apparently, but we didn’t go up there as Nephew had already lost it before we got the chance to go πŸ˜” We may consider going up again sometime over the weekend, hopefully when we can catch the little one in a better mood!

The Peak Tram

Not sure about the parents, but I had a fun, touristy day 😊

Cutting it fine

My brother, sister-in-law and nephew arrived back in HK tonight, after spending the last 1.5 weeks in Sydney. They must’ve had a nice pleasant winter over there, only to arrive here and get the onslaught of the three Hs of HK: heat, humidity and haze! πŸ˜† I’m not sure what the weather will be like for the next few days, but I hope it behaves, so we can explore a bit of the city before they fly back to Dublin on Sunday 🀞

I also finally got my haircut today, after almost two months. I don’t like going to the hairdresser, it’s just not my thing. I don’t like it when people fuss over me – even though I’m paying them to do so! If my hairstyle allowed it, I’d go to the hairdresser once a year, but I currently have quite short hair, which unfortunately is more high maintenance than longer hair. So I delay my next appointment for as long as I can, until I can no longer put up with how unkempt my hair looks πŸ˜‚ He was running late today, and of all days to be late, when I was expecting people to arrive, it had to be today πŸ˜’ But luckily I made it home with a bit of time to spare, and still managed to greet them downstairs when they arrived πŸ˜…

They were mega exhausted, understandably, so we didn’t get the chance to talk about what they wanted to do over the next few days. I guess we’ll also play it by ear, depending on how Nephew is too. All these new places and people must be quite hard for him, with his regular schedule just completely thrown out the window. And the hot weather here isn’t so conducive for leisurely walks outdoors either, which makes it that much tougher not just for him, but for the parents as well πŸ˜”

I need a parent πŸ˜†

I finally started feeling close to normal today, so I got through a ton of stuff, trying to catch up on everything that I didn’t do over the past few days since I’ve been sick πŸ‘

N flew to Japan today, so of course I tracked his flight ✈️

  • His fellow karate mate who is also on this trip with him lost her train ticket when they got to Osaka, and he was asking me how to say various things in Japanese that was relevant to their situation – eg: “she lost her ticket”. The problem is, I’m not there to help them! πŸ˜‚ So I told them to use Google translate, which is actually quite good for a lot of things. I use it to help me with my Chinese all the time. I don’t use it word for word, but it sometimes guides me or gives me a better idea on how to structure a particular sentence that I can’t seem to get right on my own.
  • And of course they were fine – they’re in Japan, after all πŸ˜‰

  • I had my online Chinese lesson again today. I’m really enjoying them! They’re freaking hard as, since we spend the entire time doing exactly what I need: speaking and listening practice! And since my listening is so bad, I swear I ask her to repeat every second sentence that she says 😳 I hope it eventually improves, because right now I’m feeling pretty dunce-y! I’ve already told her that my listening is the worst, so she already knows my biggest problem. She’s really patient, though, and rather than resorting to English, she just repeats herself a few times, mega slowly, until I get it. It is exactly what I need πŸ‘ I just wish I had her with me day in day out, correcting everything I say – like a parent! πŸ˜† But alas, as an adult, I don’t have this luxury. I just have to do some more studying on my own….
  • And so I finished the day watching a few episodes of Love O2O, my current Chinese drama, just continuing to persevere with the show for some listening practice, which is what I desperately need for my Chinese!