A flicker of light

We spent the afternoon just chillaxing at the HK Cricket Club with one of N’s workmates and a few of his mates. All of them have their families stuck in Oz or the UK, and they’re all unsure about when to bring their families back into HK, with HK potentially forcing people into mandatory quarantine centres if they’re coming back from specific countries, which of course would be countries where the outbreak is spiraling out of control. And at the moment, that includes both Oz and the UK. And with Oz going into partial lockdown mode, the number of flights will probably decrease too, so just physically coming back will also be that much harder. Plus rules keep changing at the drop of a hat, so the earlier they can get back, the better. Tough times for these guys 😔

And then we just stopped by the supermarket and bought some more groceries before heading home and watching a few more episodes of The Good Place 😊 You’ll be pleased to know that toilet paper supplies are well and truly back to normal here 😆 It did take a few weeks for the people here to calm down, but they eventually did, and supplies of rice, frozen foods and toilet paper have all gone back to normal now. Oh, and supplies of masks and hand sanitisers have also gone back to normal too. So if people in your country are just starting to panic, I hope calm can return there just as quickly as it did here. It felt like foreverrr as we were going through it, but we eventually got through it, and now, hopefully, we’re starting to see a flicker of light at the end of the long, dark coronavirus tunnel.

But I think the supply chains are a bit stuffed, though, with other usual products not in stock, and other brands are in their place. Like I keep saying, challenging times ahead for everyone!

So stay safe during these crazy times, and take all the necessary precautions that you need to.

Food, yoga and languages

N felt like Malaysian/SG food today, so we decided to try this new place we’d never been to before in Sheung Wan, Asam Chicken Rice. I thought the food was good, but N thought the food in SG is better. Well, it’s tough to compete with The Source…!

They didn’t have dessert, though, so we went to Shake Shack for one of their shakes 😆 N was so full that he was ready to take a nap, but for some reason I was full of energy beans. I have no idea where all that energy came from. All the sugar in my shake, probably! 😂

So I decided to do a power yoga session when we got home, to use up all this excess energy that I seemed to have. I forgot just how hard yoga can be! I’ve been doing more of the relaxing ones or the ones that are more about stretching and flexibility, and only in 10-minute bursts, but today’s session was all about power and strength. And it was tough! But totally what I needed. I’m so glad I did it today 👍

And then in the evening, we went out for Korean BBQ in Causeway Bay with a few of N’s workmates – well, 18 of them 😂 One of the guys is from Spain, and that motivated me to learn some Spanish before I see him again at the next dinner / drinks event. The last time I saw him was a good few months ago, so surely I can get through an entire Spanish textbook for beginners in a few months?? It’d be nice to practise even just basic Spanish with him next time. Man I love learning languages! #polyglotgoals 🤓

Since I was out quite a fair bit today, I noticed something else that I do now whenever I’m outside: I assume that everything I touch is infected. Which means that as soon as possible, I need to wash my hands or at least use hand sanitiser. So I’d add this to my list of things that I do whenever I’m outside now, which I talked about in a recent post. So continue to stay safe and take all the precautions that you need to.

More depressing stories

I started reading Charlotte’s Web a few days ago. I never read it as a kid, and I heard this book mentioned somewhere recently, and one of my students is also reading it now, so I figured these were signs telling me that it is now time for me to also read it 🤓📚

I told one of my bookworm friends that I’m currently reading this book, and she basically told me that it doesn’t have the happiest of endings. I have somehow managed to not know anything about this book up until this conversation with her, so this was news to me! So basically I’m now in the middle of reading a Chinese news story about a family in Wuhan who I suspect will all die from the virus by the end of the article; and now I’m reading a book where I’m expecting at least one of the protagonists to also die. What is up with all these depressing things around me?! 😔

To add to the depressing stories, I also keep seeing the numbers of infected people in all the other countries continuing to increase 😔 So please stay safe and take all the necessary precautions.

For what it’s worth, here are the rules I go by whenever I’m outside these days:

– I minimise touching things whenever I’m out in public: hand rails; lift buttons; door handles. If I have to touch any of these things, I use hand sanitiser immediately after, as washing my hands with soap and water isn’t always available;

– I wash my hands thoroughly, right up to my wrists;

– I try and maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from people, which isn’t always possible in congested HK, but I try my best; and

Don’t touch your face with your grubby fingers!

Coronavirus woes

I was messaging a few friends from Oz today, and apparently the panic buying is starting there now too. Greeeat. Now friends and family are going to have to endure what we’ve been going through here for the past few weeks 🙄 The apocalypse has apparently moved south 😂

Numbers have surged in other countries in recent days, so controlling the virus throughout the rest of the world is now the more pressing concern. My question from yesterday still stands…

I went to the library today to return a few books, but once I got there, I immediately find out that the libraries are still closed. Obviously I didn’t read the update properly! So the two books that I lugged around were effectively just weights to give me more exercise today. That’s how I’m going to look at it. It’s called ‘reframing’ 😂

So I went to Lady M instead. They took my temperature there and gave me hand sanitiser 😱 That’s the first time that’s happened to me in HK, but I know other places in the city are doing this too. And in some cities in mainland China (if not the whole country), I know this whole temperature taking thing is mandatory. Care factor about the temperature taking, but I really appreciated the hand sanitiser 😊 I’ve been using mine all the time, I am very conscious of having clean hands whenever I’m outside now. They have hand sanitiser everywhere here, a lot of public places have it readily available. And I’m also very conscious of touching my face with my grubby fingers. I couldn’t believe just how many times I had to stop myself from touching my face! Count it for yourself and you’ll be surprised 😱

Different pockets of the city

We went and had brunch at a western-style cafe today – and it was packed. We had to join a queue for a table! I guess some pockets of HK aren’t overly fussed with the coronavirus outbreak situation in the city 😂

And then there are other pockets that think the apocalypse is coming: these are the shelves in one of our local supermarkets, which are normally full of rice and toilet paper. So yes, what you’re seeing on the internet is actually happening here in HK 🙄 It’s straight out of the movies, I tell you! And then because all these people are hoarding, then I start feeling like I need to too, simply because I don’t want to be left with nothing! Argh, do you see the ridiculous spiral that this creates?!? 😤

These empty shelves are normally stacked with rolls of toilet paper…
… And these shelves are usually full of rice. Now all the doomsday people have hoarded all the supply 🙄

Apparently this is happening in SG too, our SG friends are telling us the ridiculous hoarding behaviour that’s happening there too. Crazy times.

Last day in Sydney

We didn’t really do much today. I accompanied my parents to their GP, who seems to be nice enough. We then went to a local shopping centre and had a quick lunch, and then did a bit of shopping before we went home.

We then met up with a friend at a pub in North Sydney. I specifically requested pub food, because we don’t get much of that in HK. Well there are actually a ton of pubs around, but there are so many other Asian food options that it’s hard to ignore them! 😆 So I always crave pub food whenever we’re back.

We fly back tomorrow. It’d be good to see Little Miss again. I hope she’s been ok this whole time 🤞 And now that both the western and Chinese New Years will soon be behind us, I hope I can now start getting into some sort of routine for 2020!

Not the best day for parents

My mum is currently in hospital, after losing sensation/control of her right arm for about half an hour, before regaining control of it again. Apparently it happened three days in a row. The doctors don’t know anything yet, and she’s still waiting for the results of her MRI scan. Apparently her initial CT scan showed a bit of a ‘cloud’, and so they suspected a possible blood clot – even though she doesn’t show any signs of a possible stroke. Which is why they have asked her to do an MRI scan. Hopefully they’ll get the results tomorrow. So in the meantime, she’s staying overnight at the hospital again 😔

I spoke to her twice today, and both times, she seemed perfectly fine, so I hope everything will be ok 🤞

And then later this evening, we messaged one of our friends from Oz to give her our new mobile numbers here. Apparently her dad passed away last year! 😢 It hasn’t been the best day for parents 😔

So now we’re considering heading down to Oz for the Chinese New Year long weekend…

Quiet

We went and had yum cha today at one of our usual places, and we actually had to wait for a little while for a table to free up 😱 We haven’t had to wait for a table the last few months, thanks to the protesters dampening the enthusiasm of both locals and tourists. I guess the Iran crisis has diverted the American funds over to the Middle East, leaving the protesters here high and dry. It’s no wonder things have quietened down 🙄 Plus their main account has been frozen, so they can’t access their funds anyway, even if the US wasn’t preoccupied with Iran 😂

We then watched a rugby match 🏉 at Happy Valley, and just hung out there for a few hours. I have no idea why this sport has gotten me intrigued. I’m usually not all that interested in sports, but this one has somehow gotten my attention. Weird! 🤷‍♀️

And then we just went to the gym in the evening and had a quiet night in, finishing the HK drama that we’ve been watching recently, Sexy Central. Quite a nice Saturday! 😌

Holiday coming to an end

We went and watched a karate comp in Kowloon today. I’m not all that particularly interested in karate, I just go for N ☺️ So I just spent most of my time there editing a video and trying to come up with a relevant but interesting name for my YouTube/ Youku channel (or whatever Chinese app I decide to use!) But because I lack in creativity, I have come up with rather boring names so far! Or names that are already in use 😔 So unless some brilliant name comes to mind in the next week or so, I’ll probably end up going with one of the boring ones. I’ll keep brainstorming nonetheless, and hopefully I’ll come up with a few less boring ideas 😆

A friend of ours who has recently moved back to SG has asked us to throw out the few foodstuffs that they had left in their kitchen. So we went over to his place tonight to do this. We were expecting a few teas and maybe one or two other random things. But instead, we came across all this! 🤣

Not to mention the stuff still in their fridge 🤣 We weren’t prepared for so much food to still be there that we didn’t come prepared with garbage bags, or even just bags for us to carry back some of the stuff that we do want to keep! We have to come back another time. But now we know 😜

Tomorrow is effectively the start of our “regular” 2020. We’ve been on holidays for the past few weeks, so it’s going to be hard to come back to reality 😔 My Bullet Journal for 2020 isn’t even set up yet, and I haven’t done my 2019 review yet either. Blahhh… Feeling so unorganised! But the last few weeks has been great 😊 I’m sure I’ll be back to my regular routine before I know it, and wishing we were back on holidays!

An unexplained rule and Mandarin practice

We went to the Chi Lin Nunnery today, and spent most of our time in the Nan Lian Garden right next door to it. It’s really pretty there and I got a ton of footage, which I’m hoping to eventually turn into a nice vlog post 😊

Towards the end of our visit, I got pulled up by one of the security guards for using my gimbal. I asked him why I wasn’t allowed to use it within the gardens, and he never gave me a reason why, just that they’re not allowed. So if anyone knows why selfie sticks and gimbals are not allowed here (and in other places), please do let me know. The only reason I can think of is that they want to prevent accidents and mishaps, if people aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing while they’re wandering around with them. A reasonable reason would’ve been nice, rather than just a flat “you’re not allowed” 🤷‍♀️ Since couldn’t you also randomly just say something like, “you can’t wear that yellow t-shirt in here” with no follow-up reason?? 🙄 Luckily, though, I had finished most of my filming by the time he told me off, so I still got quite a fair bit of good video 😅

And then we went to a birthday dinner in the evening, which was quite fun. I sat next to a Taiwanese woman, and she was kind enough to entertain me and give me some Mandarin practice! 😊 We went to a Spanish restaurant, and they even had a piñata for the birthday girl! That was pretty cool 👍

And then I started packing when we got home: we’re off to Shenzhen tomorrow for a few days! ☺️ I’m actually really excited, as it’ll be my first holiday this year! I’m also a bit nervous, as I think there is a total lack of English there, so we may have to rely on our limited Mandarin for the next few days… 😱 So it was a good thing that I got some Mandarin practice in tonight! 😅