Asia International Dance Championship

The Asia International Dance Championship was on today. I got to go last year, as I just happened to be in HK on one of my reconnaissance trips prior to us permanently moving here πŸ˜† I enquired about spare dinner tickets on the actual day of the comp last year, and luckily they had one, so I got to go. I was inappropriately dressed, as I was effectively on holidays then, so I wore the most dressy thing I had: a summer dress with sandals 🀣 But apart from that, I remember the standard of the comp being totally amazing. It actually felt like I was watching a comp in Europe, with all the top-level European dancers actually competing in the comp. And we also got dinner on the night too, a proper three-course dinner, which I could actually enjoy since we weren’t competing. But N couldn’t go because he had some work function on that evening, so as much as I enjoyed the dancing, I didn’t get to enjoy it with him, which was a shame.

So now that we’re actually living in HK, I figured I should go again. But can you believe it, N is in Shanghai for work for the next few days! So he missed out for a second year in a row πŸ˜” Terribly disappointing. So I went on my own again.

And once again, the standard of the competition was on a whole other level. When you have some of the world’s best competing at the comp, you know you’re in for an awesome evening. And the food there is amazing too. I don’t know how the chefs can cook such high quality food for an event as large as that. Kudos to them as well πŸ‘ It’s great to actually enjoy the dinner when you’re just at the comp as a spectator and not actually be part of the evening’s performances! πŸ˜†

It was raining tonight, so I decided to catch an Uber to the comp, despite it costing twice as much as a regular cab. But the service is a bajillion times better, and a lot of the Uber drivers can speak English unlike regular cab drivers, and their cars also don’t feel like they’re going to fall apart before we get to my destination. And you can pay by credit card through the app, unlike regular cabs, which pretty much only take cash.

But the rain had stopped by the time I was on my way home, so I decided to make up for the double cost of the earlier Uber by catching the bus home, which cost less than 10% of the Uber. I feel better now πŸ˜†

Advertisements

A stock standard, but enlightening, day

I went to the library today for the first time in weeks. I sorta got stuck there as it started pouring at some point while I was inside the library, and I only noticed the rain when I looked out the window to go out and grab a late lunch. So I had a quick bite downstairs at the library, where there is a fast food joint of sorts, HK style πŸ˜† I hadn’t been there for ages, since there are so many other better food options in HK, but I didn’t have much of a choice today. It’s relatively cheap, though: HK$49 (A$9) for bbq pork and rice and a drink, so it’s very friendly on the wallet. Reminds me of what I would buy at a food court in SG. Awww, SG. I still miss you πŸ˜”

We went to the gym tonight, and I skipped the weights and spent virtually the entire hour on dance practice. I might do a few more gym sessions focussing on dancing, just to push the cardio a bit more, to make sure I’m still working on my stamina as well, which is one of the things that kills me on the comp floor. This way I shouldn’t be so completely out of form when we do finally get back to doing comps.

N went to get a massage after the gym, while I just went back home and watched a few Asian Boss videos where they interviewed two North Korean defectors. It was quite interesting to hear their views. And that just led me to continue watching a few different YouTube clips on North Korea, including a few TEDx talks. I wonder if reunification is possible in my lifetime. I’ve lived through a few historic moments in my relatively short life, and this one would be a really nice one to add to the list 😊

Ballet

We were supposed to go to Mong Kok to go buy some insulation for the aircon pipes that run through the bathroom, but we didn’t have much time before we had to go to the ballet, so we decided to go another time. Next week, perhaps.

My brother rang just before we had to leave for the ballet, but at least I still got to chat to him and my nephew for a few minutes 😊 I inadvertently taught him how to say “angry cat” 🀣 I picked up Kitty so he could see her in the video chat, but I had to put her down soon after, as she doesn’t like being carried for very long before she starts getting rather upset. So I described her as being an “angry cat” – and he picked up on it! πŸ˜‚ You’ve gotta be careful with what you say in front of toddlers! πŸ˜‚

We watched The Rite of Spring, which was actually a compilation of three different performances: Chroma, Year of the Rabbit and The Rite of Spring. Of course The Rite of Spring was the best one, and it was worth going just to see this performance alone. But I didn’t mind the first one, and N didn’t mind the second, so at least we both enjoyed two out of the three performances today 😊 We’re not really fans of contemporary ballet, as we prefer the more traditional stuff, but I occasionally like to branch out and see what the contemporary guys are doing, if the description is interesting enough. Something must’ve attracted me to this one, but I can’t remember what that was now, though. Regardless, we went and watched it, and had a great evening 😊

They had a bit of a mini-interview at the end with the two choreographers for The Rite of Spring, so that was an unexpected bonus. One of the choreographers was Chinese, and he decided to answer one of the questions in Mandarin, as he is obviously more comfortable speaking in his native tongue. So I also got a bit of listening practice in πŸ‘ I picked up the odd word here and there, but I still can’t quite get a full sentence yet, unless it’s mega simple. Argh, when will my damn listening improve?!? It can be so frustrating sometimes 😀

Soon after we got home, N went out again to meet up with some workmates to watch some football match. Apparently this match is quite popular (is it a final or something??), and so they’re expecting sports bars to be really packed tonight (even though the game is starting at 3am HK time?!?). So to make sure they will definitely see the game, a whole bunch of them hired out a private room in one of the bars in Wan Chai! Must be a pretty damn important game?!? πŸ˜†

But I, on the other hand, will be asleep instead. So on that note, have a wonderful evening, and I shall speak to you again tomorrow 😊

Happy to be the weirdo

I had a good productive evening. My sesh at the gym was really good. I did a few basics on the treadmill, as per usual. I had one guy on the treadmill next to mine as I was doing Ballroom basics, and then a new guy replaced him when I switched over to Latin πŸ˜‚ I still wonder what people think when they see me do these basics on the treadmill. Afterwards I do actually dance a bit in the small space available near the equipment, so hopefully people put two and two together! Not that it matters, I’m happy to be the weirdo at the gym πŸ€ͺ

And then when N came home from karate, for some reason he had decided to only speak Chinese for the rest of the evening. Sometimes I think to do this, but it is so much effort that once I say a sentence, I then revert to English pretty much straight after that. But for whatever reason, he persevered tonight, and so we had a good – and very challenging – practice session! πŸ‘ We probably said a bajillion things incorrectly, but that’s ok, it’s all about getting the message across to the other person, and I understood him most of the time, which is the whole point of language. Native speakers and teachers can correct us as we go along this language journey, but we have to make the mistakes first in order to be corrected. Ah, it’s all part of the fun 😊

Feeling positive

I had quite a productive day today, successfully working on all my main goals today: my Chinese, my trading and my fitness πŸ‘

I went to the gym for the first time in aaages, ever since I got sick, so I didn’t feel all that strong today. But I just wanted to get back into the routine of going, so I achieved that, at least. But then about half an hour in, my earphones ran out of juice πŸ”‹ And I do my dance practice in the second half of my gym session, and my earphones died on me right when I needed them. Isn’t that lovely πŸ˜’ But that’s ok, at least I went, I just needed to get back into it today, that was really my only goal today.

And then we watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones. It’s still making me interested in reading the book series, so I’ve pulled out book one from the study – N has the whole series πŸ“– It’s thick as! πŸ˜† Like I mentioned before, it’s not a genre that I usually read, so I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it, but I’ll give it a go anyway. I’m enjoying the tv series, so I’m hoping that I’ll get some level of enjoyment from the books too 🀞

Friends, language learning and generally just having fun

We met up with a friend who’s here in HK for the weekend. We took her to yum cha, of course 😊 She apparently just turned 21! I didn’t realise she was so young. I made a comment saying that we are probably as old as her parents, which she agreed with πŸ˜‚ So not sure why she likes hanging out with us oldies. I guess dancing just brings everyone together, regardless of age 😊

N went to karate, while I practised some more of my Chinese. I’ve been really focusing on my speaking and listening, to get it up to the same level as my reading and writing. I don’t want to get to a point where I can read a Chinese novel, and still not be able to hold a basic conversation! I’m still learning new words, so I’m automatically still working on my reading, but it’s just not where my focus is right now. I just want to speak more and listen more at this stage, and be as exposed to the spoken language as much as I can.

YouTube has been an absolute goldmine, a seemingly endless resource for all things related to improving these very skills. There is a ton of stuff specifically for my level, and then of course there’s more stuff that’s aimed at native speakers. I’m obviously just looking for Chinese resources, but I’m sure you could find almost any other language on there. It’s pretty crazy.

And then in the evening, we watched an episode of The Exorcist’s Meter, our current Cantonese drama. We’re getting close to the end, so we’ll have to find a new one soon! 😊

2019 is all sorted!

N’s determination in improving his Mandarin is rubbing off on me too, which is great πŸ‘ I logged into Tandem again today, that language exchange app, making a conscious effort to talk more, which is helping me reach my short-term goal for Chinese: basically to improve my speaking and listening! Chinese speakers in the app are always very impressed with the limited amount of Chinese that I do speak, but I need to move on from my basic sentences and start speaking longer and more complex ones. They’re hard, and I sound so stunted and slow when I hear back what I just said. But then I remember how slow and stunted they sound when they’re speaking in English, yet I still have the patience to listen to them speak and I still also want to help them improve. So I hope they feel the same way about me fumbling my way through their native language! πŸ˜† So at the moment, we’re pretty much learning Chinese all throughout the day. But just like with dancing, the improvement is so incremental that you don’t even notice anything on a day-to-day basis, but when we look back after a few months, that’s when you notice just how far you’ve come. So I’d like to see how far my Chinese can go by, say, June, halfway through the year 😊 Which, really, isn’t all that far away – especially when I remember just how fast the first two months of the year came and went! 😱

I continued my Marvel journey today: Ant-Man was next on my list. I actually enjoyed this one! There was more of a story, and quite a fair bit of humour.

But the highlight of my day was N telling me about this website: icdrama.to. It seems to be like a Netflix for Asian dramas, O-M-G!! WHY DIDN’T HE TELL ME ABOUT THIS SITE BEFORE?!?? πŸ™„πŸ™„

OK, so I do vaguely recall him telling me about this site back when we first moved to SG – but that was before I went all k-drama crazy, so I would’ve barely been interested back then. But now… I’m in K-DRAMA HEAVEN!! 🀣🀣 I think this whole year is going to be directed at three things: my trading πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»; my Chinese πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³; and now, Korean dramas πŸ‡°πŸ‡·! 2019 is all sorted! πŸ₯³