Weird sh*t coming out of my mouth

In complete contrast to yesterday, today I was full of energy. No idea how that happened! I was like the Energizer Bunny today, constantly on the go go go! I wish I was pumped with energy like this every day. Must be how kids feel all the time without needing caffeine 😂

Ah caffeine. I think that’s what gave me all my energy! I remember now: I had a large cup of tea from Heeretea, this bubble tea shop here in HK. I wonder how many non-Chinese speaking people actually walk in there, because the guy who served me today looked nervous as hell having to converse with me in English 😂 Welcome to my world, dude! You’re probably feeling what I’m feeling whenever I have to pull out my limited Mandarin! 🤣 I ordered in English, and he had to look over at the menu to check that he had entered my order correctly. I probably could’ve said my order in Chinese because I could actually read it for once, but instead “this one” in Mandarin came out of my mouth 😆 It’s so hilarious how the weirdest stuff comes out of my mouth when it comes to Chinese. I don’t have the same problem with Japanese. That language comes much more easily to me in comparison! But I’ve known the basics of that language for a lot longer than Chinese, so it’s not really a fair comparison.

We got our shower curtain shortened at an alteration place, and I picked it up today. The woman gave me a nice plastic bag, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m used to carrying my own shopping bag now, so I didn’t need theirs. Plus I figured they would re-use it much more than I would, so it made more sense for them to keep it. So I returned it to them. But what came out of my mouth as I gave the bag back to her wasn’t quite as eloquent as that, of course: I said “not ours”. That’s it! OMG. I didn’t even construct a full sentence 😆 Although complete sentences aren’t entirely necessary in Chinese conversation, so what I did say was probably ok. In any case, she did give me this bewildered look, which I didn’t quite understand. Was it because she was surprised I could speak Mandarin, even if it was broken? Or was it because I sounded so weird that she was taken aback, not having heard anyone with that weirdo accent before? Or maybe because native Chinese speakers would never actually say what I said? Was it because I greeted her with “hello” in English and then suddenly reverted to Mandarin? Was it because she herself doesn’t understand Mandarin?? Perhaps a combination of all of these things?? 😆 Nonetheless, they did a nice job with the shower curtain, and it now fits perfectly in our bathroom 😊

And then I spent the evening looking at Instagram and Pinterest photos for interior design and storage ideas. They’re good sources for ideas and inspiration, since I am pretty hopeless with that sort of stuff. While I was on social media, N half watched Legion (this looks interesting!) and half slept, as he’s still quite sick 🤒 Bizarro world, as normally I’m the one who’s sick and he’s the one running around with all the endless energy! But Legion sounds interesting, I may have to catch up on the first few episodes that he saw tonight!

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More HK experiences

Today was supposed to be all about culling and continuing to get the house in order. But we were both so tired this morning that we ended up taking a nap after breakfast 😆 Probably receiving a lack of nutrients due to our upset stomachs these past few days hasn’t helped 😔

N woke up to a message from one of his karate teachers in HK, asking if we wanted to go somewhere with him for a late lunch. He actually lives nearby, so he popped in to our apartment first to check it out, and then we went to a Chinese restaurant in Sheung Wan called Star of Canton (利寶閣) for some pretty decent yum cha. It was around 2:30pm when we got there, so the crowds had already died down by that time and we easily got a table. Apparently it’s pretty insane between 12-2pm, so it’s better if you go during off-peak time, like we did. The only downside though is that their signature dishes might already be sold out by then, so you have to be prepared for that possibility if you go later in the day. Or maybe another alternative is going before the lunchtime rush and rock up for brunch instead 😊

My stomach didn’t agree with yum cha, though, and about half an hour later, I needed to go to the bathroom to get it out of my system 😔 I must’ve caught a bug at some point a few days ago because my stomach is still not quite right… I need to drink more fluids and try to flush out this damn beast from my system 💦 So I just stuck to my bland dinner of potatoes and tea again for a second day running. Boh-ring 😐

I finally got to play around with our new tv today. There are a ton of tv dramas available, and they are categorised into a number of categories, these were the ones that were of most interest to me:

  • Western
  • Korean
  • Chinese
  • Japanese

OMG, there are so many Asian dramas that they have to be categorised by country! 😲 The only problem for me, though, is that the subtitles are all in Chinese! But dramas are such a good way to learn a foreign language, as they use everyday language, with people just generally talking to each other about life, so it’s not like you need a whole ton of “specialist” words to understand them. So if I just watch a little every day, then hopefully my reading and listening will both improve. And then I could even start working on my Japanese too! But listening to Japanese and reading Chinese subtitles is too hard, so I think I’ll only be able to do this when I get to a good enough reading level with my Chinese. Which is aaages away! So I’ll just have to work on my Chinese first 😊 In any case, it’s probably a good thing that there are no English subtitles. Otherwise I may just waste hours upon hours watching these very addictive dramas! 😂

I swapped over my winter and summer clothes today – ie basically my entire SG wardrobe has now gone into storage 😔 Boohoo… I miss my endless summers! I haven’t needed to swap seasonal clothes like this since living in Sydney! Melbourne was almost always winter gear, and SG was always summer gear 😆 It seems HK weather is closer to Sydney weather, so I’m going to need to build up my winter wardrobe again. And in particular, shoes! I just don’t have many good shoes for cold weather anymore. So in the meantime, I’ve just been surviving on my cold weather gear for when we go on holidays to somewhere cold, which consists of very little items! So shopping for winter gear may be the next pressing item on my to do list…

Unsettled, and settled

N and I have had pretty unsettled stomachs these past few days, and as per usual, N’s is much worse than mine. It kept him up last night, never letting really get a proper night’s sleep. It was better today, but we tried to eat more bland foods anyway, rather than testing the limits of what our stomachs can handle.

We went grocery shopping and bought potatoes, bread, saltines, tea and apple juice. What a lovely diet for the weekend 😆

While we were at the supermarket, I remembered a few more things that I’ve noticed recently about grocery shopping in HK:

  • The supermarkets near us do not have self-service registers, so queues can be out the door at peak times. I would have expected the city to be much more efficient and streamlined;
  • They don’t hand out plastic bags automatically, which is a good initiative. And if you do need a bag, they charge you HK$0.50 (S$0.09) for it. It’s not much, but it’s enough of a deterrent for me (and hopefully others) to remember to bring my own bag;
  • They sell ready-to-eat sushi and sashimi in one of the main supermarkets here! 😲 These were only available at Meidiya in SG, so to have them readily available here is pretty damn good 👍
  • There are tons of cute things everywhere, like Gudetama on bandaids!
  • And speaking of kawaii things, there are a lot more Japanese products available here compared to SG, I guess because it is closer to Japan. I wonder if there’s a larger Japanese expat population here too, and hence, more opportunity for me to resume picking up my Japanese…? 😊

We finally got our internet connected at home, woohoo! And internet also means tv! It’s all starting to come together, it’s very exciting 😄 Every little piece helps to bring the place together, making it feel more and more like home.

We applied for a HK library card today. It’s free, which is what I expected, unlike the ~S$50 fee that I paid in SG. But having said that, the ebook collection in HK is atrocious. Well, at least the English collection is, I can’t comment on the chinese collection, obviously. And that’s pretty much all I borrow! 😔 So despite having paid S$50 in SG, I got to read so many more ebooks and audiobooks there than I think I’ll be able to here, simply because they’re just not available. So I’m feeling rather disappointed with that. I’m hoping that I’m just not searching properly, or accessing the wrong database or something, I’ll have a better look in the next few days… 🤞

Go forth and be grateful

I flew back to SG today. The flight itself was one of the smoothest flights I’ve had in a long time. I think the pilot has had to switch on the seatbelt sign at least once on almost every flight I’ve taken this year. But the sign wasn’t switched on at all today, so for once, I actually felt ok when I stepped off the plane!

I watched Book Club on the flight, which turned out to be better than I had expected. I wanted a light-hearted comedy and that’s exactly what I got 👍 There are has some big names in the movie, in comedic roles that I don’t normally associate them with, so that made it all the more fun to watch 😊

I actually first started watching Inside Out with Japanese dubbing and a Chinese subtitles, just to work on my language skills 😲 I thought that’d be a good movie to watch in a foreign language, because I’ve seen it so many times and I know the story really well. But that failed miserably 🤣 All I ended up doing was listening very intently to the Japanese, and paid next to no attention to the Chinese subtitles! Maybe I should just stick to learning one language at a time… 😆 And because watching a movie in a foreign language takes effort, I could only do this for so long before my mental energy was depleted, so that was when I switched over to Book Club where I could just relax and enjoy the movie 😊

I’m feeling all pumped and ready to go through all the clutter in our apartment tomorrow 💪💪 Let’s see what I can get through. Even though we have two months to vacate, we’re aiming to have sorted through all our stuff by the end of October, so we don’t feel so rushed in the last few weeks that we have left in the country. Today is T-58… 😳 Not long to go. One way to truly put you in the moment and to appreciate what you have right now is when you know it’s going to be taken away from you very shortly. Appreciate what you have right now, because you never know when it will be taken away from you. That’s my lesson for today, peeps. Now go forth and be grateful 😊

The conversion begins…

I continued to run around like a headless chicken again this morning, making sure I ticked off everything on my imaginary checklist before I flew out this afternoon. I took Kitty to the vet again this morning, and as soon as we got back home, I suddenly remembered that I forgot to ask for a new batch of anti-vomit medicine for her 😱 Since we were going to be away for one whole week, I couldn’t do without it, since I can’t have her vomiting while we’re away 🤮 So I had no choice but to go back, adding to my stress of making sure I get everything done this morning.

But somehow I managed to do everything I wanted to get done. I don’t know why I stress out about it. It would be so much better for me if I just calmly worked my way through my imaginary checklist 😊

I flew Cathay Pacific today. The switch from everything SG to HK begins… 😱 Cathay Pacific flies in and out of Terminal 4 at Changi Airport, so it was my first time in the brand new terminal. And because it was new, everything was clean and purteee 😊 It was very quiet when I was there, very few planes must’ve been flying at the time, so I got to soak in the surrounds in peace. Although Changi generally is very peaceful and calm anyway, despite the thousands of people transiting through the airport each and every day. Ah Changi. I’m going to miss you as my home base airport 😔

Everything in the terminal is electronic, I barely had to talk to any airport personnel. Even boarding was electronic! It was all so high-tech. The conveyor belt in the customs area was pretty funky too. After each tray was scanned, it would stop at a fork in the “conveyor belt” road and the person scanning would determine which road a particular tray will take: the “ok” road, where you can just go and take your luggage and off you go; or the “needs manual intervention” road, where a customs officer will need to go through whatever suspicious things there are in your luggage. It is so cool! Although probably not so cool if your luggage gets stuck in the “manual intervention” queue 😳

I got a brand new plane ✈️ So exciting! Singapore Airlines always uses old planes to fly the SG-HK route – well, I always seem to get the old planes! So being on a brand spanking new plane was awesome 😊 The food was really good too, I was very pleasantly surprised.

I watched a Japanese anime on board: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女). I like time travel shows, so as soon as I read the storyline of this movie, I just had to watch it. They had both Chinese and English subtitles, which was PERFECT for me, so I could listen in Japanese, and read in both Chinese and English. The dialogue was very conversational too, so it’s the perfect type of movie to watch for language learning. Problem is, it’s hard to find a movie where the subtitles are in two languages like that. And is it even possible?? It was a good learning opportunity anyhow. I wish I could do that more often.

And then when I finally made it to the serviced apartment, I started looking online for apartments that I wanted to have a look at over the next few days while I’m here. Even if we don’t like any of them, at least we can get in touch with a few property agents and hopefully start getting to see some other places that they may have on their books, which they may not have listed online yet. Fingers crossed we can find something half decent and at an ok price…! 🤞 I’ve emailed a few agents, so let’s see if any of them come back to me tomorrow…

Shopping and movies

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.

Day 1 – Inside Out

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 😊

Day 2 – Color Me True

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.

More Oz in SG

We met up with a friend from Oz who’s been living in Vietnam for almost four years now. He had a stopover in SG for about nine hours, and so he decided to come out and meet us for dinner tonight. We went to Xu Ting, this hot pot place that we like to take friends to whenever they’re in town to visit. They speak limited English though, so we always have to pull out whatever Chinese we can. And as you know, whatever gets learnt in the classroom somehow goes out the window whenever I’m put into a real life situation! That doesn’t happen with Japanese, but yes, I have known the basics for that language for much longer than I’ve been learning Chinese. Obviously I need to practise more 😊

And I watched a few more episodes of Masterchef Australia today. I have just finished Gordon Ramsay week, which was surprisingly quite a good week! He’s a tough one, that guy, but the contestants seemed to learn a lot from him. And he seemed to be bringing out the best in them, so he must be doing something right!