New experiences

N flew out to SG today, he’ll be there for work for the next few days. And for some reason, I like going up to The Peak whenever he’s not in town 😆 So I went back up there today. I had lunch up there, and my table had a pretty awesome view of Victoria Harbour.

I saw they had a pav on their menu, and so of course I had to order it 😆

There was a bit of a haze today, unfortunately, but it was still nice enough.

I was stuffed after lunch, so I figured walking down would be a good option today. I was going to do the easy trail up there again, but decided against it as it was getting quite late and I didn’t really want to walk back down if it’s already dark. And it’s getting darker earlier now, since we’re in autumn and all 😒ïŋž

I watched a few more episodes of my new Chinese drama, Ode to Joy II, before checking to see if they have any live footage on the protests. If they do, it means it’s serious. And they did, sighhh…

N doesn’t understand why I watch this live coverage, and frankly, neither do I. It just ends up frustrating me and draining me of my limited mental energy. I’ve watched hours of this stuff. Ridiculous, I know! But it’s sorta like a car crash, I just can’t tear myself away…. 😂

But nothing ever happens in them, and what does happen is absolutely nothing like the mainstream western media reports it. I never realised just how biased they were until these HK protests happened. And I’d never even heard of Five Eyes until recently. I’ve lived in a Five Eyes nation for most of my life, so now I’m starting to question just how accurate the news really was that I had been watching my entire adult life right up until I moved to Asia, when I started to get news more from Singaporean and now Chinese perspectives. Moving to a different country really does open your eyes and can give you new experiences on a whole other level.


The calm before the storm, perhaps…??

We got our aircon units cleaned today, the obligatory quarterly clean. It’s built into our rental contract to get it cleaned every quarter, which was also the case back in SG – except the cost of getting aircon units cleaned here is about 4x as much as it was there 😒 Almost everything is more expensive here, blahhh… And there I was thinking SG was expensive.

Anyway, when they finished, we decided to go and have yum cha. We decided to go to this one place that is always busy. But this place (and their chain of restaurants) is currently being targeted by the protesters, as its owner has made public comments that don’t agree with the protesters’ narrative. Funny how as soon as you express an opposing view, the protesters actually target you. And here I was thinking they were fighting for freedom, which, by the way, includes freedom of speech 🙄

Anywayyyy… we decided to go there, as we figured the queue wouldn’t be so bad, given the above situation. And we were right. Last time I went there about two months ago – and on a Friday, at that – we had to wait around 1.5 hours for a table. Today it wasn’t even five minutes. It was still busy, don’t get me wrong, but it was definitely much quieter than it normally is. Crazy stuff. Definitely a good time to come to HK! 😆

I finally finished watching Ode to Joy, my current Asian drama. I immediately went and looked for Ode to Joy II. I eventually found one with English subtitles – and they have Chinese subtitles as an added bonus too. This next season will be much easier to learn from, then! Woohoo! 👍 I’m very excited 😊

And then in the evening, we went out for birthday drinks with one of N’s workmates. It was at a bar/restaurant located on one of the main roads that the protesters like to traverse, so I was a bit concerned that we’d get up close and personal with them tonight 😒 Luckily they were nowhere near us, and if anything, it seems like the protests have died down. But now that I’ve said that, I’ve probably jinxed myself (and the city!) and they’ll be out in full force again tomorrow… 😑

Worrying too much

I feel like I’m losing my hair. I’m sure it’s linked to ageing, as everyone does lose hair as they age, but still, *I* know the difference from how my hair was when I was in my teens to how it is now. Yeah, ok, that was over a quarter of a century ago now 😂 So I really shouldn’t compare. And then I just got my hair straightened, so it’s feeling “flatter” than it normally would too. And then all this worrying is probably not helping either! Argh! ðŸ˜Ŧ I should just accept that this is a fact of life and move on. Although it’s hard to when I see my parents’ hair still looking pretty damn good at their age! I was hoping to have hair as good as theirs when I get to that age. Now I’m wondering if I will… 😔

I watched more of Ode to Joy today, my current Chinese drama. I’m getting close to the end, which I didn’t expect, actually. I felt like I was aaages away from the end, but apparently it’s crept up without me even noticing. It’s been a really good drama, I’m so glad I found it 😊 And it’s also serving as good Chinese practice too, which is awesome 👍

Tomorrow is a public holiday here, it’s National Day. But HKers are pretty much seeing it as non-National Day, with a number of protests planned all around the city. So I’m not sure if it’s really worth doing anything tomorrow. It’s all quite sad, to be honest. I feel for the city. It’s really suffering as a result of all these protests 😔

Beautiful weather today

I started watching the original Dumbo movie today, but stopped it about a quarter of the way in when I noticed just how nice the weather was outside today ☀ïļ I thought it’d be a good day to go up to The Peak, as I’d probably get a good view of Victoria Harbour on a nice day like today.

I decided to try my luck and catch the Peak Tram up. I figured the queue for the tram would be really bad, given that it’s the weekend, but for whatever reason, I decided to try my luck anyway. I don’t know if it’s because tourist numbers are down at the moment and/or because people are not yet aware that the tram has resumed its services after being closed for renovations for a few months, but I didn’t have to wait at all! I easily got a seat, and a window seat at that 👍

When I got up there, I accidentally stumbled across the information centre, and they recommended doing this walking trail that’s pretty flat and is mostly shaded. So I did that. It was about a 3km walk and, like they said, pretty flat and mostly shaded! Fancy that 😆 You get some good views of the water that surrounds HK Island (where the Peak is located), and you get a nice, relaxing walk out of it as well. I listened to an audiobook while I was walking around, so I made good headway with it 👍

Walking around The Peak

I had a late lunch while I was up there, and was actually thinking of walking back down afterwards to continue with the walking. But I didn’t wear my sneakers today, unfortunately, and the shoes that I was wearing weren’t the most comfortable for walking long distances. And coupled with the fact that I had just walked 3km in them, I figured it wasn’t a good idea to walk down today. But I definitely have to keep The Peak in mind for future walks, for those times when I just want to get away from everything for a little while. It’s not bad up there 😊

View from Peak Galleria

I finished Dumbo when I got home, and by this time, I was too tired to go to the gym, so I just binge-watched a few more episodes of Ode to Joy, my current Chinese drama. I’m now, finally, around the halfway mark. It feels like it took me ages just to get to this point! 😆 But I’m really enjoying it, and I’m glad there’s also an Ode to Joy 2 that I can start watching after I get through this series 😊 And apparently they’re making Ode to Joy 3! Seems like the show was a major hit in China 👍

I noticed it in previous episodes, but it was so much more apparent in the last episode that I just watched, but every computer and mobile phone used in the show is an Apple product. It was everywhere in that last episode! I felt like the product placement went into overdrive ðŸĪĢ

Oh, and speaking of product placement, Weet-Bix also made an appearance! Apparently sales of the cereal went up in China when that episode was aired 😂 And its product placement was nothing compared to what Apple must’ve paid. Apple must be really wanting to increase its footprint in China!

It’s a good show, actually, to see what daily living is like in one of the largest cities in China by population (if not the largest city!). And of course, a good source of language practice for me 😊 I’m glad I’m enjoying the series, otherwise, I wouldn’t be getting all this practice!

An improvement on yesterday

I had one of those mega-productive days that I wish every day could be like 😆 I finished a module in my TEFL course, as well as another lesson plan; I had an unusually good trading session; and I made it to the gym! Oh, and then to relax, I watched a few episodes of Ode to Joy, my current Chinese drama. Pretty good, even if I do say so myself! 😊

And Little Miss also seems like she’s back to her usual self. She’s not losing her balance today, and she’s come up to me numerous times to get some attention. And she’s eating quite well too. I feel as if I was just crying wolf at the vet yesterday! 🙄 I guess she is getting older, and she does have kidney problems, so I guess these things will show up every now and then. I should just be thankful that they don’t happen very often and that she is still somewhat pretty good for someone her age 🙏

Learning and more learning

I’m enjoying the library here in HK more than I thought I would. I didn’t expect them to have such a good range of English books – non-fiction books, in particular, especially finance books. They don’t have many English fiction books, which is disappointing, so I stick to non-fiction books when I’m there. And of course they have a ton of Chinese books in the children’s section for me to work my way through. So it’s unexpectedly been quite a good resource for me 😊

But unfortunately, they are still all paper books. What I liked about the library in SG was that it was the other way around: they had a lot more e-books, which I prefer. As a foreigner, I had to pay an annual fee to join the SG library, but it was totally worth it, given the extensive range of e-books that they had.

I managed to make it to the gym tonight, after having spent what felt like a bajillion hours watching YouTube. I usually watch YouTube for educational purposes, watching “learn Chinese” type videos or clips in Chinese aimed at native speakers, or watching things like TED talks. But today I just watched it for pure entertainment. That site is such a time sucker, I tell you! 😂 You really have to watch your YouTube watching, otherwise, before you know it, the entire evening is gone! ðŸ˜ē

And then when I got back from the gym? I watched another episode of Ode to Joy, my current Chinese drama. Oh, remember my BHAG from yesterday? Well I finished writing up the first five minutes! 👍 I am so proud of myself 😊

A portion of the dialogue from Ode to Joy (S1E12)

I’m going to continue doing this for the scenes that I liked (and in this episode, there are plenty!), so hopefully I’ll pick up some decent words and phrases along the way ðŸĪ“ I’ll have to show my teacher tomorrow. She’ll probably think I’m a total nutcase! 😂

My new BHAG

I watched an episode of Ode to Joy today, my current Chinese drama. It was a really good episode in that it contained a lot of very typical, everyday dialog that I would want to use if (when! 😊) I want to have a conversation in Chinese.

So I decided that I’m going to study this one episode and treat it like my own real-life textbook of sorts. I’m going to understand every single word that they utter in the episode, and compare every single sentence to the English subtitles.

But of course my life ain’t that easy. The script isn’t just handed to me on a silver platter. I’m going to have to write the whole thing down – in both languages ðŸ˜ą So let’s see just how far I get with this new ambitious goal of mine! ðŸĪŠ So far I’ve written down the first five minutes of the English subtitles. That’s the easy language. Now let’s see how long it takes me to write down the equivalent Chinese subtitles… Gotta love my Big Hairy Audacious Goals! ðŸĪŠ

I think the lack of sleep over the past week is now starting to catch up on me 😔 I feel a little rundown now, and my throat feels a bit scratchy…. Hopefully I can get a good night’s sleep tonight, and that it will be enough to get me back on the healthy track ðŸĪž