A bit discouraged

There are days when I feed Kitty a can of food, she’ll sniff it, and then walk away without touching it, as if she could smell poison in her bowl ๐Ÿ™„ Today was not one of those days, thankfully. She was devouring it all, and I actually gave her a third can this evening, which will take her through the night. She is so unpredictable. I never know when I’ll have wasted money on supposed poison, or when I’ve hit the jackpot. But even when she seems to like something, she will eventually get sick of it, and that flavour will eventually become poison too ๐Ÿ™„ And then I have to go and find some new flavour for her. Such a fusspot!

I was getting a bit discouraged with my Chinese today, I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with my listening, it feels like it hasn’t improved whatsoever. But objectively, I know it has, as I’m slowly starting to hear the odd few words, and I can also hear the other words more distinctly now, whereas before it was just a jumble of sounds with nothing discernible within it. I just don’t know that many words yet, and I also can’t process entire sentences that quickly. I need to have listening practice as part of my daily routine, in order to improve in this area. I don’t think I’m exposed enough to the language at the moment.

It is Good Friday tomorrow, the start of a four-day weekend – YEAH! We lost Easter Monday in SG, so it’s good to have it back now ๐Ÿ‘

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Bathroom issues and a breakthrough

I went to bed quite late last night, close to around 2am. But then half an hour later, N unintentionally woke me up: he apparently has food poisoning. Greeeat. I know the drill, this has happened so many times before, but it doesn’t make me feel any better each time it happens. So basically for the next three hours, he was pretty much heading to the bathroom every half an hour, as if on a schedule ๐Ÿคฎ And of course, I’m getting more and more worried each time it happens, as he’s getting more and more dehydrated. And all I can do is just sit / lie there and watch it happen ๐Ÿ˜”

The most recent serious case of food poisoning was in SG. That time we actually went to the hospital. But now we’re in a brand new city, and it suddenly dawned on me that I don’t know anything about how their medical system works here! So I’m on my phone at 4am trying to locate the nearest hospital, and trying to figure out whether our health insurance will cover the cost. And then I realise that I don’t know how to say “hospital” in Cantonese, and “accident and emergency” in either Mandarin or Cantonese, which I will need in case we need to catch a cab there, if N’s condition worsens. Taxi drivers, by and large, do not speak English here, so I had to be ready to say it in Cantonese just in case.

Luckily, N’s condition stabilised by around 5:30am, and we both got a few hours’ sleep from that point.

Until it was time for Kitty to be fed at 8am. She, of course, did not hesitate to let me know that she needed food ๐Ÿ™„ So I got up and gave her breakfast. I normally would just get up and start my day from here, but given the circumstances, I felt like I needed another hour or two of rest. And since N was getting some respite now from this bug, I figured I should let him get some sleep. So rather than head back to bed and risk waking him up by doing so, I decided to just take a nap on the couch ๐Ÿ˜ด

Surprisingly the hour on the couch did wonders. I have no idea what magic happened there, but I felt so much more rejuvenated afterwards, and ended up having a very productive day! Totally not what I was expecting at 5 o’clock this morning!

But then something else had to go awry, in order to keep our lives interesting: the toilets in our bathrooms weren’t working. It wasn’t refilling with water after being flushed. Greeeat. I contacted building management, and they replied back and said that they’re doing an emergency repair. Greeeat x 2. After about an hour, they seemed to have switched the water back on for the spare bathroom, but still no such luck for our bathroom. And even after coming back from dinner, our toilet is still not getting any water. It looks like the engineers will resume their repairs tomorrow. Arghhh! But at least all the taps are still working, so we can still brush our teeth and take a shower ๐Ÿ˜… We just need to go and use the toilet in the spare bathroom. First world problems ๐Ÿ˜„ I’m just grateful we have a second bathroom!

We caught up with a friend from SG tonight. He’s here in HK for a short work trip, and he’s already flying back tomorrow. He gave us a pandan cake, a signature cake from SG. It is so nice, so light and fluffy ๐Ÿ˜‹

I wanted to find out how to say “pandan” in Chinese, and during my search, I stumbled across this article: http://news.nanyangpost.com/2017/04/cnn.html?m=1. This article is in Chinese, but for whatever reason, I decided to try and read the title. And I surprised myself when I realised that I could read most of it. So that gave me some confidence, and thought I’d try and read the actual article itself. Normally after about the first few words, I’m coming across a whole ton of new characters that I don’t know, so I don’t bother trying to read any further. But this didn’t happen with this article. I found myself being able to read almost everything in the first paragraph! So I continued. And continued. And I read about half of the article before stopping, as I had to run over to N to tell him about this totally amazing achievement of mine. My comprehension isn’t entirely there, but I got the general gist. I am sooo happy! So maybe all this effort that I’ve been putting into learning this language is starting to show up now. Perhaps I’ve taken a step up after being on the previous step for so long, and feeling like I will never climb to that next step. And now I may actually have reached it ๐Ÿ˜ฑ BREAKTHROUGH!!

Three hours of my day

I felt better today, and so actually got some stuff done, unlike the last two days ๐Ÿ˜’ I went down to the open public area in our apartment building and read my trading textbook there for about an hour, as our neighbours downstairs are currently renovating, and the noise was a bit too disruptive today. Plus the sun was out, so it was nice to just sit out there and enjoy it for a bit โ˜€๏ธ

I rang my mum and dad just before I was going to head out to buy some groceries. I just wanted to say hi and to also let them know that I was ok, since I have been absent on social media lately. Well, the language exchange apps are a form of social media, so that’s not quite true ๐Ÿ˜Š What I expected to be a 5-minute conversation turned out to be an hour long ๐Ÿ˜ณ I forgot how chatty my mum is. How could I forget?!? ๐Ÿ˜‚

And then I wandered around the neighbourhood and went to five different supermarkets (!!), none of which stocked the brand of cat litter that I like! What is up with that?!? The one supermarket that I go to buy it has run out of stock, and the other four didn’t seem to stock it at all. That’s just ridiculous. So I might go online and see if I can order it from there and get it home delivered. Although this also seems just as ridiculous, since all these supermarkets are within walking distance from home! ๐Ÿคช

The focus continues – as does the dodginess

Ever since I started this detailed scheduling, I have been so mega focussed – and it’s so addictive! I don’t have to think about what I need to do next, I’ve planned it all out in my schedule and I just go ahead and do it. No umm-ing and ahh-ing, no putting things off, because I know that if I procrastinate on one thing on the list, the rest of the schedule will be out of whack, and I just don’t want to be in that position. So I just do. It is sooo good! ๐Ÿ˜Š I just feel like the more I focus, the closer I will get to my goals, and therefore the more motivated I become – and the cycle continues. It feeds on itself, it’s insane. I even thought about taking a bit of breather today, to give myself a bit of a reward, since I’ve done so much this past week. But this bizarro, focussed me pretty much said no to that, and so I just pushed on, in exactly the same way as I have been the last couple of days, as if my life depended on it. It’s all a bit insane at the moment! And so I’m fully taking advantage of it! ๐Ÿ˜†

And my learning Chinese is part of all of this. I’m learning at any given opportunity: I learn new words and phrases from various people on the language exchange apps; listen to native speakers speak to improve my listening (which is still by far my worst skill ๐Ÿ˜”); and I even try to talk to myself in Chinese – and even to Kitty! ๐Ÿ˜† I’m hoping that all this effort is helping me get to that next level with my Chinese…

There are still some guys on the language exchange apps, though, that are a little creepy. I know there could be a bit of a language miscommunication, but still, some people still freak me out a little. But like I’ve said before, you get all sorts on these apps, and you just have to filter through all the crap to find some nice people, and also people you get along with. And in the meantime, just focus on getting some more practice in! ๐Ÿ˜†

Language exchange apps

I continued with my detailed schedule today, working in half hour blocks, and using Pomodoro to keep me from going overtime with any one particular task, and making sure I take short breaks along the way. I managed to stay on track, and pretty much did everything as per the schedule. This is working for me really well! Let’s see how long I can keep it up for…! ๐Ÿ’ช

I logged in to that Tandem app again today, that language exchange app. Someone asked if I could speak Chinese, and I replied back (in Chinese) with “I can say basic sentences, but I’d like to be able to say longer and harder sentences”. He then replied back and asked if I wrote my previous sentence myself or if I got the computer to help me. Why would I get the computer to help me?? What would be the point in that, since I am using the app to learn the language?? ๐Ÿคจ And if I was going to use the computer to help me, I would have gotten it to translate exactly what I wanted to say, not just use the basic sentence structures that I already know! ๐ŸคชI took that as a compliment anyhow, since there mustn’t have been any problems with the grammar of my sentence for him to have said that – YEAH! ๐Ÿ‘ But you get all sorts on the app. I’ve blocked more people now too, I’m so sick of guys who are obviously just there to meet women ๐Ÿ™„ But I guess with all people, you click with certain people and not with others, so you just maintain chats with those who you do get along with.

The HelloTalk app is better on this front. The guys don’t come out and say stupid things like “you’re beautiful” as their opening line – but that’s because I have a photo of Kitty as my profile pic on that app ๐Ÿ˜† They won’t let you submit a photo on Tandem that doesn’t show your face. They say it’s more personal. Whatevs. I wonder if they’ll let me change it to some random person’s photo from one of the stock photo sites, then ๐Ÿ˜Š

Grossness and annoyingness

I had the strangest dream last night: I unintentionally put an insect in my mouth, one of those insects that looks like a leaf. I don’t even know why I’d put a leaf in my mouth in the first place, wthhh ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ And then the insect left some gross stuff on my tongue! ๐Ÿคข I’m still so grossed out, even though it didn’t even actually happen!

I did a quick Google search to find what it means when you have insects in your dream. โ€œDreaming of bugs and insects suggest that you are worried about something. They are symbolic of your anxieties or fears.โ€ I wonder what I’ve been worried about…

And then coupled with Kitty’s new regular routine of scratching at various doors in the middle of the night (it was 3am last night ๐Ÿ˜ฉ), I had yet another poor night’s sleep. I was struggling to concentrate today, basically falling asleep at my desk, and I could barely focus on what I was reading at the library ๐Ÿ˜ด

I went to the supermarket near my local library for the first time today, after spending probably a rather unproductive hour at the library. Apparently this supermarket has a nice selection of fresh, ready-made Japanese food! They also have a nice range of salads too, but I was paying much more attention to all the nice sushi and sashimi ๐Ÿ˜† So I bought lunch and dinner from here today, and will probably be back here for more in future ๐Ÿ˜Š

I didn’t make it to the gym again today, as I was focussed on my Chinese practice yet again. I’ll have to make an effort to go on the weekend. I focus on one goal, only to have another suffer. I can never seem to get a good balance… ๐Ÿ˜”

I blocked someone for the first time on the Tandem app. It felt like he was stalking me, constantly saying hello every time I was online. I didn’t want to talk to him, as his profile just didn’t interest me, but he never got the hint and just kept bugging me, even asking something along the lines of, “Why aren’t you talking?” Errr, perhaps because I don’t want to talk to you?!? Hopefully this block will be the end of him. Unless he creates a brand new profile (that actually appeals to me), comes back and says hi again, and I wouldn’t even know… ๐Ÿ˜ฑ But apart from annoying creeps like him, in general, it’s been pretty good. I’ve been able to practise the same sentences over and over again, as I’ve said the same things to a bajillion different people now ๐Ÿ˜‚

Practising

Kitty woke me up at 5am, after she had cleaned out her food bowl. Argh, why is she going through this phase at the moment?!? Why can’t she just sleep through the night?? You’d think she was a kitten, not the pensioner kitty that she is! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I used the Tandem app to chat with a few new people today. I always get all these guys saying hi, so I went looking for women to chat to. A few other women said hi too, so I got a good mix today. I do think that certain sentences are flowing much more easily easily now – eg “we recently moved to Hong Kong”; “it was nice chatting with you”; “I’m trying to log into this app every day now to practice my Chinese” etc etc. But constructing sentences in reply to other people’s questions still takes me a while to put together. I’m still just trying to improve my conversational fluency, not just on my side, but also on the listening side – the harder side, in my opinion, as the other party can say any number of things. So I’m also trying to work on my vocab, which I think will help with the listening too. Slowly… ๐Ÿ˜Š

N flew to Japan today. I was tracking his flight, of course, and that’s when I noticed just how close Taiwan is to Hong Kong! His flight to Osaka was three hours, so to Taipei, it’ll be more like just one hour ๐Ÿ˜ฒ We’ll definitely have to go there a few times while we’re living here! It’s basically like a Sydney-Melbourne trip, so it’s pretty damn close! N will want to go for the food, of course, while I want to go to practise my Chinese ๐Ÿ˜Š And no visa required for Aussies, unlike China, so it’s even easier to visit ๐Ÿ‘ Oh, and Seoul is close too. We are basically in North Asia – my favourite part of Asia! Wowwww, this is so exciting. One of the best things about living in Hong Kong may just be its proximity to these awesome North Asian countries! ๐Ÿ˜„