Reading and Allergies

Pretty uneventful day: I spent the day reading my textbook of sorts on trading; watching an episode of my Korean drama About Time; and doing a bit of cleaning around the house.

I also had a look at my list of books that I want to read: there are over 150 on the list! 😲 I don’t think I could get through all of them in my lifetime, since I’m such a slow reader πŸ˜‚ And I do other stuff in my life too, and not just read books, which adds to the time it’d take to get through that rather intimidating list. Maybe I can aim to read 2 books a month, one fiction and one non-fiction. Is that too ambitious? πŸ€” Or maybe I should first do a speed reading course so I have a better chance of achieving that goal?? πŸ˜†

N reacted a bit to Kitty tonight 🀧 His eyes were puffy and red, his nose was all stuffy and he was sneezing. He doesn’t react as badly to her as his brother does, but sometimes his allergy flares up, like it did tonight. Luckily we bought some Claratyne a few weeks ago, so he could take one to ease the symptoms.

I find it interesting that they spell it as Clarityne here (note that there is no English on their website here! 😩) and Claritin in the US. Why the subtle differences in spelling? Is it a copyright issue in each region??


Trying to save money

We had a pretty lazy Sunday. I didn’t want to spend any money today, as we’ve spent quite a fair bit these past few weeks, while we’ve had family and friends visiting. And if I went out, the temptation to spend money will be greater, so I chose to stay home and be a scrooge πŸ˜†

I watched a few Chinese dramas, trying to find my next series, but nothing drew me in as much as Lover’s Lies did right from the start. I was hoping to find a Chinese drama so I can continue working on my listening skills, but I haven’t enjoyed the dramas that I’ve picked so far. So I may just watch the Korean dramas that I have on my list at the moment (About Time and Money Flower) and just watch for the entertainment, rather than for language study.

I am currently subscribed to Audible, which I have really enjoyed for the last few years. Then I became of a member of SG Library, and I started borrowing a lot more books through them, as they had a huge collection of both ebooks and audiobooks, my preferred methods for reading books. Even though it cost me around S$50 to be a member for one year, it was totally worth it. Now I have membership at HK library, but their ebook and audiobook collection is terrible. So this has prompted me to review my Audible membership. I am now thinking of cancelling it and moving to Scribd. It’s a little cheaper than Audible, and its offering is more like what I had with my SG library membership. Only problem is, I have 13 credits left with Audible, and if I cancel my membership, I lose all my credits. So I need to use up my credits before I cancel my membership, meaning I have to find 13 audiobooks that I want to buy! 😲 This will take me a while to come up with 13 audiobooks that I want! So I won’t be cancelling my membership and swapping over to Scribd anytime soon…!

But having said all that, I will be heading down to one of my local libraries tomorrow anyhow! πŸ˜† I still want to make use of whatever HK library has to offer, no matter how limited that may be 😊

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 πŸ˜†

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 πŸ‘
  • 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 πŸ˜„ 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! πŸ˜” 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… 🀞

Health and reading

I booked a health screening this morning, scheduled in a few weeks’ time. The customer service officer and I both have heavily accented English, and we had a hard time understanding each other. I don’t think my accent is that heavy, but I guess any accent can be quite different if you’re not used to it. But it was a bit ridiculous at times: eg I had to spell my first name to her, as she was obviously not used to common English names. I start with the first letter “K”. She goes “J – for Japan?”. Wth?! πŸ˜‚ I had to come up with a country for each and every letter in my name. That was actually quite challenging! πŸ˜‚

Anyway, the health screening is basically a comprehensive health check up. Apparently it’s going to take half a day for them to do all the tests! That’s going to be fun 😳 But the funnest bit of all is that I have to give urine and stool samples omggg I seriously don’t know how I’m going to do that! πŸ˜†

I’m just a bit more concerned with my health these days, now that I’m getting older. Not that I’m really doing anything to warrant the concern, I’m just a bit of a worry wart. So I’d like to do this more for my own piece of mind than anything else. I did feel very anxious that day when I went to get my eyes checked and that was just my eyes. This is a whole body checkup! My blood pressure is going to go through the roof!

I finished Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women. There’s actually seven stories in the book, not six, as I originally thought. The last four stories were more in line with what I would expect from this author: weird, what-in-the-world-was-that-about stories that just give you a different view of the people in this world. I did enjoy the book overall, in a slightly odd, Haruki Murakami way πŸ˜†

So one book down and another one picked up: I’ve now started book 3 of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, Rich People Problems. I actually did start reading this a few months back, but stopped reading it for whatever reason. I decided to just start again from the beginning, as it’s been so long since I started reading this book that I’m sure a re-read would probably be a better idea than trying to pick up from where I left off from last time. But it’s been good so far. Hopefully I won’t stop reading again this time around! I think it was only because I had read books 1 and 2 in quick succession that I felt like I needed a bit of a break before reading book 3. So I should be ok second time around 😊

Derailed plans

I was having a conversation by text (in Chinese) with our Chinese teacher yesterday, trying to arrange the start of our next lesson, which was supposed to be today. He said that he was going to send through an email to organise payment, and we left it at that.

So this morning, we got ready to go to Chinese class, even though we hadn’t yet paid for it as I hadn’t yet received his email. So as we were walking to class, ten minutes before it started, I texted our teacher asking if class was starting today, as I hadn’t yet received his email. Apparently I had misunderstood everything: there was no class today, and we’re starting back up in two weeks’ time. Argh! I should’ve just had the conversation in English and not be practising my Chinese πŸ˜‚

Anyhow, so that meant that we now had the morning to ourselves. We started wandering around a nearby mall, but that soon got boring, so we sat down somewhere and tried to figure out what to do with the rest of our suddenly empty morning. N then came up with the idea of watching Crazy Rich Asians. I checked to see when the next available screening was, and to see if there were any decent seats left. The first screening for the day at the closest cinema was at 10:45am – and the cinema was not even half full! So we got a very decent seat πŸ‘

I actually enjoyed the movie much more than I expected to. If I had done that FB challenge after having seen this movie, then this one might have made my top ten. Comedy, drama and romance all featured. It was light and whimsical, and I really liked the soundtrack. They filmed most of the movie in SG, so I spent pretty much the entire movie trying to place where they filmed any given scene πŸ˜‚ Overall it was a good, light-hearted movie, and followed the main plot of the book quite well. I think there will be movie #2 and #3 eventually, in line with the books as well, so that’s something to look forward to in the coming years.

And then we had our first Latin lesson later in the afternoon, our first lesson in weeeks, followed by Latin practice afterwards. We worked on Paso Doble in our lesson, so that routine isn’t quite in our memories yet; but the other four Latin dances didn’t fall apart too badly when we were practising afterwards. I was pleasantly surprised, given how long it’s been since we’d stepped onto a dance floor. So we’re inching ever closer to our five dances for Latin, and ten dances overall… Very exciting!

We finished practising quite late, so I suggested that we eat at one of the local hawker centres, as I was getting awfully close to the end of my 12-hour eating window, and I would definitely be well into my 12-hour fasting window if we went home and made dinner instead. Eating at the local gawker centre wasn’t going to be as healthy as cooking something ourselves at home, but my primary goal at the moment is to try to stick to this 12:12 plan (12-hour fasting / 12-hour eating windows), so that took precedence. I finished eating and drinking 10 minutes after my eating window had closed, which isn’t too bad 😊 I don’t have any plans tomorrow, so nothing should derail 12:12… Fingers crossed! 🀞

Kitty, books and travel

The vet gave Kitty a blood test this morning. I completely forgot that the whole process was a bit traumatic for her! They lay her down on her side, and they draw blood from the inside of one of her hind legs – which meant having to hold her down in order to do so! So of course she was totally unimpressed, hissing, biting and scratching everyone in sight. But they got what they needed, thankfully, with everyone relatively unscathed πŸ˜‚ And results were unchanged from last time, phewww πŸ˜…

For day 1, I actually stuck to my 12:12 plan of intermittent fasting! I was so proud of myself 😊 I had my coffee just after 9am, and I finished dinner just before 9pm – woohoo! Now let’s see if I can maintain this for a little while, before ratcheting it up to 14:10…

I finished story #5 in Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women. Bizarrrre story, more like what I was expecting from him πŸ˜† Let’s see what the sixth and final story has in store for us readers… I’m hoping he has left the best for last 😊

I have now also borrowed book #3 of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. With the movie just recently released, I figured this was as good a time as any to finish off the trilogy 😊 I was hoping to watch the movie this weekend, but the cinemas near us are all packed, and the only available seats are either right up in the front row or just single seats randomly plonked around. And this is despite being screened virtually every five seconds! So I think I’ll wait a few weeks before watching it. Well, I HAVE to wait a few weeks to watch it: N is in Hong Kong again for work for the next two weeks. All this travelling to HK reminds me of when we were going to and from Sydney and Melbourne. Only this time it’s HK-SG πŸ˜‚

Photos and healthy food

It was a public holiday in SG today, so we had the day to ourselves. I wanted to go see a photo exhibition in Joo Chiat, so I thought that was a good enough reason as any to go and have lunch there 😊

We went and had brunch with some friends at this place called Thunder Tea Rice. They serve Hakka food, which I’d never tried before, and apparently this place does good Hakka food, so I thought it was a good place to go and try it. However you’d think I was torturing everyone by choosing to go here πŸ˜‚ No one else seemed to like the food here, but our friends were kind enough to entertain me by agreeing to join us, even though they’d been there already. I actually liked their food, I just wasn’t a fan of the green veg broth that accompanied the rice. I would order the thunder tea rice again, but just skip the green veg broth. We went for lunch part 2 because the others weren’t quite satisfied with part 1 πŸ˜‚

We parted ways after lunch, and N and I headed over to the photo exhibition. They had hired a room in this co-working space building. I was reading the blurbs of the photographers, and a lot of them had mentioned God and/or had quotes from the bible. I figured these photographers were quite religious, and thought nothing more of it. After I finished waking around, that was when I realised the meaning of the name of the exhibition: “Through His Eyes”, H in capital letters. So I’m guessing the photographers belonged to some church group. Their photos weren’t at all religious, so I think their church group was what bound them together and brought this exhibition to fruition.

I think the woman on the left in this photo was one of the photographers featured in this exhibition. Her photos just happened to be my favourite shots in the exhibition, which made this photo all the more meaningful for me.

After that, we just went home and N took a nap while I read more of my book The Diabetes Code. I am now even more freaked out about sugar – and eating in general! 😧 I’m probably catastrophising, as I always do, since I generally do eat in moderation, and I like to think that we do have a well rounded diet. But still, I know I can eat better. And I’m probably even more motivated now to do so, after having read this book. I’ve almost finished it, so I’m wondering if I can finish it either tonight or tomorrow.