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 😊

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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

Another productive day

I got up really early this morning, which is always such an amazing feat for a night owl like me. So again, I had a very productive day! This is becoming a good habit that I’d like to maintain for as long as possible! 😊

I returned my bilingual Chinese/English picture book today, and went searching for another one in the same series, since I’m really enjoying them. It took me forever to find them, as they were on the shelf! They have sooo many children’s books that some books just sit on nearby trolleys. I couldn’t quite figure out if there was any sort of order to the trolleys, and even some semblance of order to the books on the trolleys, as the books weren’t always in order either. But luckily I decided to go through the half a dozen or so trolleys scattered around near the shelf where the books were supposed to be, and finally found the series. I decided to borrow “I am Punctual!” today. I figured I could learn a thing or two from it, and not just Chinese πŸ˜‚

I went to the gym again today. I decided to do some dance basics on the treadmill, something I haven’t done in months. I was halfway through a slow fox song, and my calves were already sore! I am obviously so out of training! πŸ˜” We really need to get back into it asap. Or at least go back to the gym on a more regular basis and just continue doing basics and also to keep up the stamina. But first things first, we need to find a new studio and new teachers … πŸ˜”

I needed to buy some cat litter today, so I went to virtually all the supermarkets near home. Only one stocked the cat litter that we have now switched to – and, wouldn’t you know it, it was the last supermarket on my list! So typical. But I have recently started turning annoying things into times of gratitude – in this instance, for example, instead of being feeling inconvenienced by having to wander around to various supermarkets, I’ve decided to view this as being fortunate enough to have a few different supermarkets so close to home for me to be able to choose from. It feels like such a more positive way to view it! I’m liking this new technique, I’m going to try and do it more often whenever I start getting annoyed at something; turn it around and be grateful that I have the problem in the first place! 😊

And in the evening, I watched another episode of my Korean drama, About Time. I’m getting close to the end of the series, so I need to find my next drama soon. I need to create a watchlist, so I can just go straight to that for ideas 😊

Lazing about trying to recover

I watched more of my current Korean drama today, About Time. You might remember that I mentioned shameless product placement in the show right from the very first episode. Well they’ve actually gone one step further now and getting the products involved in the dialogue too! 😲 From the actors saying how their skin must look great now because of some beauty product that they’re currently using **queue product placement here** to dialogue between two characters about instant coffee and one asking the other which flavour they would like to try today **zoom in on product here** Shameless advertising in these Asian dramas, apparently! I wonder if/when this blatant advertising will eventually find its way in to Western shows…

I did consider going to the gym again today, but my arms and legs are still so sore from yesterday’s workout that I figured I should skip today and give my body a bit of a rest. I’m no spring chicken anymore, so it’s probably better if I give my body some time to readjust to exercise once again. We haven’t started dancing in HK yet either, so we are nowhere near getting back into an exercise routine of any sort. At least the gym is one step in the right direction! πŸ’ͺ Hopefully my muscles will have recovered a bit more tomorrow, so we can drop by the gym in the evening sometime 🀞

Brunch together before we went our separate ways

We went and had yum cha today. We decided to go to Maxim’s Palace at City Hall, the restaurant that we missed out on going to the other day because we got there so late. So today, we aimed to get there by about 10:30am. We weren’t far off that time, and it was actually quite a good time to go. We were given a choice in table, because there were quite a few still available at that time. So based on our experience today, I would recommend going for brunch / early lunch rather than a late one.

The food is great here too, as is the range. They had so many dishes that we wanted to eat, but we just didn’t have enough room for them all. Their trolleys had labels on the front to tell you what dishes that particular trolley had, in both English and Chinese, and some also had a little tv screen of sorts that scrolled through photos of the dishes. It was very impressive! It’s also all very orderly, so there isn’t too much of a culture shock in this particular restaurant 😊

We went back home afterwards and just hung out there for the rest of the afternoon. I spoke to my mum for a little while, and we were playing around with the fun filter options on Messenger. It’s good to be silly, I need more of that in my day 😊

And then in the evening, we all went our separate ways: N went to karate; N’s brother went to catch up with a friend; and I went to see The Nutcracker! πŸ‘

It was a weird storyline… It deviated a bit from the story that I’m used to, and the first act was a little hard to follow (or maybe it was just me?). But the second act was SUPERB. The principal dancers were good, but what I really enjoyed – surprisingly – was the small contemporary pas de deux performance between the Egyptian dolls. Their control, strength, partnership, interpretation of the choreography… WOW. Just wow. Ok so they didn’t do a bajillion fouettes or jetes, but their little section of the performance really moved me. They were so amazing. And that’s coming from me, someone who’s not even a fan of contemporary ballet! So I’m very glad that I got to see the performance, as tonight was the last performance for the season.

It was a fun day 😊