Yum cha, shopping and karaoke

We went and had yum cha again today, I can’t get enough of yum cha 😊 If all I do while we’re in HK is to just yum cha my way through this city the entire time, then I will put it down as a successful stint here πŸ˜†

We then went shopping around the Central area, looking for some trans-seasonal pieces, which we don’t really have. SG is obviously summer at its best, and then we have winter gear for holidays in colder weather. But we don’t really have anything for autumn and spring, just those pieces that are light enough for the warmer temps but still provides just enough warmth as well when it cools down. It’s weird being back in a city with four seasons, actually, even though that’s what my hometown has and is what I’ve lived with almost all my life before we moved from there.

We had a bit of a rest back home before we went out at about 9:30pm for some karaoke 😳 I do not like karaoke, and I only went today to keep N company. I haven’t been for about twenty years, and if I can help it, I won’t be back for another twenty πŸ˜‚ It’s just not my thing. The guys who went today were full-on karaoke junkies, I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. They were basically fighting each other for the mike! Good for people like me who don’t like karaoke, at least no one was shoving a mike in my face, as they were all too keen to have one for themselves! πŸ˜‚ There were probably around 15 people in the room tonight, with around 4-5 mikes. At one point, everyone was up screaming at the top of their lungs, belting out the lyrics to a Queen or ABBA song. So like I said, I don’t know if it was a good thing or not that the room was full of serious karaoke fans! πŸ˜† But I did try to enjoy myself. And at least now I remember why I won’t be going again anytime soon πŸ˜†


Exploring more of our new city

I went to HK Zoo today. I read a blog post about how this zoo is really tiny and could barely be called a zoo, so I had pretty low expectations prior to going. The blog was pretty much spot on πŸ˜† It’s very small, probably around half the size of Hyde Park in Sydney, ie just one side of the park where you don’t have to cross Park Street, to give you a bit of an idea of size. But just a more hilly version, as HK is not a flat city, by any stretch of the imagination. There were a few different types of birds, a few different types of monkeys, and some tortoises. And that’s about it! So basically just view it as a park, with the added bonus of having some animals within. Having said that, though, it’s quite peaceful there, despite basically being located in the heart of the city: it is only about a 10-15 minute walk from Central MTR station – albeit it is pretty much all uphill! πŸ˜“ The walk back down is much more pleasant πŸ˜… It took me less than an hour to finish the zoo, and I was taking my time, texting friends and taking photos and videos of some of the animals. It’s not a bad trip out there, but don’t expect to see much by way of the types of animals that you’d see at a typical zoo. It’s free, though, so this makes for a good, cheap way to spend your morning or afternoon!

I then made my way down south, to a discount outlet mall in South Horizons called Horizon Plaza. The building is tall and skinny: there were only a handful of shops on each floor, but there are 25+ floors in the entire building! The lifts are slow, though, so if you plan on going, perhaps plan in advance which shops you want to go to, otherwise you’ll be spending half your time waiting for the lift, or you’ll be traipsing up and down the stairs to go to the different floors. All 25+ of them! 😲

The sun came out in brief, spasmodic moments today, which is what got me to explore the city a bit more. Usually it’s just too cold for me to do much of anything! I’m still waiting for spring to show itself…

Shopping and eating

I got up earlier than the two brothers today, although that wasn’t hard because N went to bed at around 4am and his brother hadn’t even arrived home yet 😲 So I watched a few episodes of Lover’s Lies in the morning, after which N had finally gotten up. So we left Little Brother to sleep and we went to that 24-hour breakfast place for a late breakfast. OMG all-day breakfast places – let alone a 24-hour place! – are the best! πŸ‘πŸ‘

We then went to IFC and Landmark, two shopping malls in Central. The latter has the Cocoa Monsters display, which was sooo cuuute! They have little Cocoa Monsters hanging on all their Christmas decorations in the mall (and any other building that Landmark owns), so I’ve seen these cute monsters scattered around in what I thought were just random places.

I’m glad I got to see them! I wonder if they always make an appearance in Landmark buildings at Christmas each year…

One thing I have noticed about HK is their poor signage. They’re not very good with telling people (ie new people to the city) where things are located. For example, the start of the Mid Level Escalators is actually quite hard to find. There are numerous signs telling you which direction you need to go in order to reach them, but they don’t tell you how far away they are, and if you reach a fork in the road, for example, which “prong” you need to take. Very similar to when we were walking up to The Peak. So it’s not the most tourist friendly city, unfortunately. You really have to just wander around and immerse yourself in the city – which can be frustrating, if you’re pressed for time! So maybe if you are wandering around, give yourself extra time to find your destination – as well as extra time to fight the throngs of people who will no doubt be all around you! πŸ˜‚

I cleaned up around the house a bit in the afternoon, in time for the New Year, and I’ll continue to do so for the remaining two days of 2018. I always like to have a clean house to welcome the New Year, and here in Asia, there is the western New Year as well as Chinese New Year. So I tend to do a massive clean twice, before the two New Year’s Days. I do a major cull, and I usually also clean out the cupboards and wipe down shelves and clean the windows etc. But since we’ve just moved in, everything is still quite clean, so it’s really more about tidying up this year for us. Except the home office! Argh! That’s a disaster and a half. We’re running out of time to get that sorted! ⏰😩

And then we went for hot pot in the evening. I have grown to really like hot pot! Despite the warm, humid weather in SG, hot pot was really popular there, and that popularity rubbed off on me, so now I’m totally into it. And now that we’re actually living in a city that gets cooler weather, hot pot is going to be even more enticing for me here! πŸ˜‹

I can’t believe there are only two more days left in 2018. Where did this year go?!? 😲 I’ve almost finished my usual annual review of my year, so I’ll post that up sometime in the next two days 😊

No routine yet

My friend visiting from Sydney texted me saying that her and another friend were walking up The Peak today, and they were meeting up at 10am. I’ve been wanting to walk up too, but the only problem was, I got up at about 11am today πŸ˜‚ So I missed out today πŸ˜” I’ll have to do the walk up another time. Apparently the walk is relatively easy, and takes about half an hour from Conduit Road, the highest point that the mid-level escalators take you. Easy or not, I’d still like to do the walk during the colder season – ie now. I reckon the temperature at the moment is a really nice time to do hikes in this city, so I’d like to do a few over the next few months, especially while we are not quite in a regular daily routine yet, before dancing, karate and Chinese classes eventually become a significant part of our daily lives once again.

Instead, we went and had yum cha with N’s brother at Dim Sum Square in Sheung Wan. This place is really popular: even though we got there at around 3pm, well after what could be considered lunchtime, we still had to queue for about 15min before we got a table. But it was worth the wait, the food was awesome! πŸ‘ And cheap as: we paid HK$224 (S$40) for the three of us! That’s pretty damn good. It’s cash only, but you’re paying so little that this isn’t too much of an issue. At those prices, I could go for lunch every day! πŸ˜‚

We then wandered around Central and Sheung Wan before heading back home and watching a few more episodes of Legion. The lead actor in Legion was also in Downton Abbey!! We totally did not recognise him. He looks completely different in the photos on IMDb from the two shows. He’s a good actor. I really enjoyed watching him on Downton, and now he’s playing this complex character on Legion really well too. I’m only four episodes in, but it’s a good series so far, very bizarre and unlike anything I’ve seen in a long time. Looking forward to finishing season one, which only has eight episodes. So I’m halfway through already 😊

The property hunt continues

A second property agent came back to me today, so I went to view another property with him this afternoon. He wasn’t the most friendly: he didn’t shake hands; he didn’t introduce himself: and he didn’t introduce his colleague or whoever the third person was. Not quite how I would do business… πŸ˜’ So obviously this viewing didn’t start off on the best terms.

The building itself is relatively new, but generally we have found that the newer the building, the apartments themselves get smaller and smaller. So despite the property agent saying that this is quite big for a two-bedroom (565 sqft – or just over 50 sqm!), I don’t think we’d be comfortable in an apartment of that size. I couldn’t even figure out how anything larger than a double bed would fit in the main bedroom! 😲 So even though we’ve lived in apartments our entire adult lives, we’ve never stayed in anything that small. So basically we’re going to have to pay more for less in this city. I’m pretty much resigned to this fact already. Faaantastic… πŸ˜”

So with the size of this apartment and the rather uninterested agent, I think we will be giving this one a miss.

So now I’m even more keen for apartment #1 from Saturday!! 🀞🀞 Negotiations have started for it, and we’ve offered a lease start date of 1 November… 😱 So even if there are a few weeks’ overlap between our SG and HK leases, we’d rather pay those few weeks to ensure that we have an apartment in HK that actually ticks a lot of our boxes, knowing just how, ummm, mediocre, HK apartments can be… 🀨

I stumbled across this cute cat at PMQ today, and he just happened to be holding a four-leaf clover πŸ€ I am hoping that this cat brings me/us good luck for our apartment hunting over the next few months!!


A disappointing destination

After such a good day yesterday, today I came crashing down from that high. I was feeling rather down, didn’t really feel like going around at all πŸ˜”

I went and had breakfast at The Brunch Club, which was near the serviced apartment. I ordered the continental breakfast, which was huge! It came with three different types of bread; fruit; muesli with honey and yoghurt; your choice in coffee or tea; and your choice in juice. It took me sooo long to finish it, but after about 1.5 hours of taking my time with it, I managed to get through most of it. It was all quite good! I would go there again tomorrow, if there wasn’t a bajillion other cafes I wanted to try in the area.

I decided to wander around IFC mall, one of the shopping areas nearby. But as you know, I don’t really like to shop, so that got boring very quickly πŸ˜‚

From there, somehow I decided to get one of the famous HK trams and ride it all the way to the very end of the tram line on the east, to Shau Kei Wan. It took forever and a half, but I made it eventually. And all for a mere HKD$2.60 one way (less than S$0.50). Bargain as! πŸ‘ The trams are slow as, they don’t have aircon, and you’re exposed to the elements when it’s raining, but I love them for some reason! πŸ˜† They’re just so quaint 😊 I always sit upstairs and admire the view from up there, as the tram plods along on its tracks, manoeuvring in between cars, trucks and buses along the way.

I wanted to stop by this park near the water at Shau Kei Wan, but the whole area was closed due to construction, which was terribly disappointing, after having sat on the tram for what felt like a bajillion hours. I could’ve just taken the train back, but where’s the fun in that?! So of course I caught the tram back 😊

I then just went back to the serviced apartment and wrote a bit more in my soon-to-released blog, while I waited for N so we could go and have some dinner. We went and had some Japanese, and then wandered around for about half an hour, walking up and down the numerous flights of stairs in this hilly area that we’re in, just to get in a little bit of exercise, at least.

Not the most exciting day, unfortunately. Hopefully I can enjoy myself more tomorrow.