Food and continued protests

We went and had a Japanese buffet brunch today with a few of N’s workmates. There’s unlimited champagne available, but I opted out of that, as the one lone glass that I would’ve had wouldn’t have been quite enough to justify paying for free flow πŸ˜‚ So I just took one sip of N’s champagne, which was enough for me πŸ˜† But food-wise, I reckon I actually got my money’s worth, for once. I’m pretty sure I ate my fair share of oysters, sushi and sashimi πŸ˜‹

I then went home and watched some more Masterchef Australia. I was going to head to the gym, but I was still so full from brunch that I had to give myself a few more hours to digest first before heading down πŸ˜† So I just watched a few more episodes. And that meant that I managed to catch up with Australia today – YEAH!! I’m one episode behind – ie the one that aired tonight, as I have to wait for people to upload it onto the interweb so I can watch it. But for all intents and purposes, I have caught up – woohoo!! πŸ‘

N went to karate tonight, and as they started making their way home, they noticed the protesters making their way down Connaught Road at Central. Greeeat. We already saw the barricades earlier today as we were walking to brunch, which was also coincidentally at Central, so we had a feeling that protesters would be out later today. We were both a bit worried about him getting home, but luckily it was all ok. The protesters are largely quite peaceful, it’s just the small minority who are a bit more radical that worry me. But even then, they’re not really targetting regular people, so I’m usually not that concerned. But you never know if/when things will escalate, and you don’t want to be caught in the crossfire, figuratively or literally speaking πŸ˜”

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This city is foodie heaven

If you’ve been reading my blog the past few days, you’ll know that I’ve been watching Masterchef Australia like a madman πŸ€ͺ OK maybe not that crazy, but I have been watching quite a lot of it. So I’ve been tempted to eat a variety of cuisines, and so I’ve been trying a few different restaurants the past few days 😊

Someone cooked a spaghetti alle vongole and so I wanted to go for Italian. So I went searching for an Italian restaurant in the two districts that I tend to go to for food: Central and Causeway Bay. These are the results that I got:

How insane is that?!? How can there be that many Italian restaurants in just these two districts?? And in Asia! And if you don’t know HK, just to give you an idea of the distances we’re talking about here, these are the distances between the circled places on each of the above pics:

Sheung Wan to Central Station in the first pic is 850m. Less than 1km!

Causeway Bay to Cookies Quartet in the second pic is less than 500m 😲

So hopefully that gives you an idea of how dense this city is – and just how many restaurants there are here! It is insane! It still makes me wonder how all these places stay in business when there are so many other competing restaurants. And these are just the Italian ones. Can you imagine just how many Chinese restaurants would come up?!? 😱 Actually, let’s do that, just for fun 😊

It turns out that “Chinese” is too broad a category! There must be so many that they had to split them up into various categories. You actually have to specify what type of Chinese food you want – eg: Sichuan; dim sum (ie yum cha); Shanghai; HK-style; Guangdong; hot pot etc etc 😲 This city is sooo gooood for foodies, especially those who like their Chinese food!

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!!

🀞🀞🀞🀞🀞🀞🀞🀞