A curveball of a Saturday

I got woken up at around 7:30am this morning, with Kitty doing her usual scratching at whatever door took her fancy. Then she went to the bathroom twice, before throwing up ๐Ÿคฎ It wasn’t a great start to our day. I then went to clean up her mess, and put the bathmat that she threw up on into the washing machine. I then went to console her, and that’s when I noticed that she was bleeding, after having gone to the bathroom. So for the next hour, she just paced around the house, looking for somewhere to lie down and hide. She was clearly not comfortable ๐Ÿ˜”

The vet opened at 10am, which felt like an eternity. And then I wasn’t even sure if we could get an appointment, as I know the clinic gets very busy, especially on the weekend. When I rang, the receptionist did say that they were fully booked today, but because Kitty was bleeding, they squeezed her in somewhere, and we managed to see a vet, phewww

The vet suspects that she has cystitis, and has given her a bajillion meds. The poor little one ๐Ÿ˜” And us too, as we have to administer some of these meds orally, and Little Miss is grumpy at the best of times. How are we going to get her to cooperate when she’s sick?? ๐Ÿ˜’ So let’s see how we go…

The aircon guys were also supposed to come this morning, but there was a bit of an issue with their earlier appointment and so the earliest they could come today ended up being 4pm. They asked if that was still ok, or if we’d prefer to reschedule. I chose the latter and rescheduled the quarterly clean for next Saturday instead.

And then my brother rang just before we were about to head out for some dance practice. I was speaking to my nephew as well, who’s almost three years old. He picks up English words really quickly and easily! I need to mimic like he does: just have whatever Chinese show on in the background, and repeat whatever they say, even if what I say is not perfect and I have no idea what they’re saying. The more I do it, the more phrases will come naturally to me, and hopefully over time, they will eventually start actually meaning something and not just be random sounds. You really just have to expect to be starting from scratch when it comes to learning a foreign language! ๐Ÿ˜†

And dance practice was good, although I couldn’t say the same about the quality of the actual dancing ๐Ÿ˜‚ We had only booked the room for an hour, and when you essentially have eight dances to practice, one hour just ain’t enough. We managed to get through four dances, and even then, only superficially. We need to do these sorts of sessions more often.

On the way home, the streets seemed really quiet tonight, for HK standards, anyway. Normally this city is bustling, with lots of people everywhere. But tonight, where we were, it just seemed quite dead. And for this area to be dead at 9:30pm is highly unusual. I wonder if there was another protest today that everyone had gone to…

So it was quite an unexpected Saturday!

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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 ๐Ÿ˜† 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 ๐Ÿคฃ 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 ๐Ÿ˜” 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 ๐Ÿ‘ 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! ๐Ÿ˜†

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 ๐Ÿ˜†

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 ๐Ÿ˜† 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 ๐Ÿ˜”

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 ๐Ÿคช

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! ๐Ÿ‘ 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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

Our two sports

We went to the second day of the karate comp today, but just to the morning session. They had the official ceremony this morning, which was odd, as I would’ve thought they’d have it at the beginning of day 1?? Perhaps one of the officials wasn’t available to attend yesterday or something, and so they moved it to today.

We went and had lunch with a few of N’s mates from karate, and then after that, we just went home and took a nap before our first proper dance training session since we moved to HK ๐Ÿ˜ฑ It wasn’t a complete disaster, we didn’t forget everything ๐Ÿ˜‚ N remembered more of the Ballroom choreography while I remembered more of the Latin, which doesn’t come as a surprise since he prefers Ballroom and I prefer Latin ๐Ÿ˜† It was good to get back into it, nonetheless. Plus the room booking fee is way cheaper here than in SG, and for a much larger room: we’re basically paying the same amount here as in SG, but in HK dollars (S$1 is about HK$6 – so wayyy cheaper!). Something that is actually cheaper, for once! And the room was a decent enough size that we could somewhat practise our Ballroom, something which we struggled to find in SG. This too is quite surprising, given the lack of space in this city.

Good size room, good enough even for Ballroom ๐Ÿ‘

Afterwards, we then just went to Shake Shack – not quite the best choice in food after a training session! ๐Ÿ˜‚ But it was nice, my first time eating at a Shake Shack in HK ๐Ÿ‘

Earphones and Asian Dramas

We went and had yum cha in Wan Chai today. There’s a computer centre in Wan Chai, not sure if I’ve mentioned it before. We like going there for all our electronic needs. I needed a new pair of earphones. I wanted to get a wireless pair, as it’s hard to practise dancing without headless earphones, as I have to hold my phone the entire time, and I can’t move my arms around as easily, which is necessary in Latin. We found a pretty cheap pair, as I don’t really need anything fancy, especially if it’s really more for when I’m practising. I could easily lose it, or break it, so an el cheapo pair is perfect ๐Ÿ‘Œ

And so I used them tonight at the gym. It doesn’t have much of a bass, but like I said, good enough for my purpose. I felt so free today! ๐Ÿ˜„

And we finished off the evening with another episode of the Cantonese drama, The Exorcist’s Meter. It’s not a bad drama. For some reason, it’s taking us forever to finish it. Oh, I know why: because N has been travelling so much for work lately! Ugh. He’s in HK all of next week, at least. I am currently juggling about four Asian dramas at the moment, it’s a bit insane ๐Ÿ˜‚ And I’m not making much headway on any of them as I’ve been busy working on my goals lately! Which isn’t a bad thing ๐Ÿ˜Š

Moving in the right direction

I spent quite a fair bit of time learning Chinese today. Someone on the Tandem language exchange app recommended that I watch this Chinese sitcom called Home with Kids, as I was asking for some suggestions for tv shows to watch, something relatively easy to understand for intermediate learners like me. I watched the first episode on YouTube today. YouTube has Chinese subtitles for this show, but if I don’t look at them, I pick up next to nothing of what’s being said. But once I start reading them (or rather, skimming them and picking out known words as fast as I can, as people speak faster than I can read!), I can at least start to make out the general gist of what’s going on. I obviously still need subtitles, and apparently even Chinese subtitles are better than none at all! But I think my listening is definitely getting better. Words are starting to sound much clearer now, and I am even starting to get better with the tones. I now just need to get my brain to start turning these sounds into words to give them meaning, if that makes sense! And to continue to add to my vocab, as that will also help my brain know what certain sounds mean. The little bit of improvement in my listening skills that I saw in myself today has given me hope that my listening can indeed improve over time, with some more active practice! ๐Ÿ‘ It’s very motivating when you notice progress. It’s like with dancing: you don’t notice the improvement on a day-to-day basis, but then one day, a few months down the track, all of a sudden you have this “Woah, I can do that now?! Where did that come from??” moment, and you are just so pleased with yourself and what you’ve just accomplished ๐Ÿ˜Š No matter how small the improvement, you’re still moving in the right direction, and that’s so motivating for me.

We then spent the evening at a karate dinner. It was an annual dinner, so we wanted to make sure we didn’t look too shabby on such an evening, so N asked what the attire was, and he got the gist that it was “smart casual”. So we both wore jeans, a collared shirt and nice shoes. But the other guys, all being karate people, just rocked up in their training gear! Sneakers, training jacket and all. Maybe they just finished training, we don’t know ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ So we felt rather overdressed tonight! ๐Ÿ˜† But despite the language barrier (they spoke very little English and I know next to no Cantonese), I still had a fun evening.