A tough day

It was a tough day for me today, I was feeling quite down for most of the day 😔 I spent a lot of time on my trading, probably to distract myself, otherwise I probably would’ve just wallowed in my sorrows and taken the day off and put it down as a mental health day. I haven’t needed one of those in quite a long time; today would’ve been a good day for one. I didn’t even go down to the local sports bar to watch tonight’s State of Origin with N and a few of his colleagues 😔 Hopefully I’ll feel a little better tomorrow.

I watched a few more episodes of Masterchef Australia instead. I reckon something is going on between Derek and Larissa, but I don’t want to Google this possible relationship in case any of the results that come up give something away from “the future” 😂 So if anyone out there is also watching this season’s Masterchef Australia, do let me know if something is going on between these two! 😆

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Learning Japanese in a Chinese speaking city

I decided to go to Causeway Bay for brunch today. I wanted to go to this particular cafe as they apparently serve scones, and I like scones 😋 But can you believe it, they open at 12pm! This city is sooo not for morning people 😂 I got there earlier than I expected to, and so I just wandered around the mall that the cafe was in. A few of the stalls in the mall weren’t open either, so I guess most places in this mall don’t open until later in the afternoon. I hung around until 12:30pm before I left, that was the longest time my patience could handle waiting. Such a shame that I didn’t get to try the cafe – and I didn’t get to have scones! Boo 😒

After I found a substitute place for lunch, I decided to head over to Eslite, one of the bookstores here in HK. They have Japanese language textbooks – written for native Chinese speakers. So all the explanations are in Chinese ðŸ˜ē I was sooo tempted to buy one, but looking through the textbooks, they’re actually at quite a basic level, so if anything, I wouldn’t be learning much Japanese, and if anything, more likely to be improving my Chinese, since all the explanations in the books are in Chinese! 😂 But having said that, what I do like about the textbooks though, is that they have no English whatsoever! I will effectively be forced to think in my two target languages, even if the sentences are at quite a basic level. But that’s not a bad thing! I can see how sentences are said in both languages. Hmmm… Maybe buying one of these books may not be a bad idea after all…! 😆

A page in one of the textbooks I was flicking through at the bookstore 😆

So when I got back home, I spent some time going through my actual Japanese textbook – a textbook written for English speakers 😆 None of the grammar is new to me, so I’m really just refreshing my memory of what I had learnt – omg – a quarter of a century ago ðŸĪĢ I still can’t believe how much of it I have actually retained after all these years. Now I’m just going through and trying to internalise the harder and longer sentences, and learning more vocab of course, continuing to refine my Japanese that little bit more.

And then I just spent the rest of the evening continuing to watch Masterchef Australia. I’m up to the top ten! So I’ve caught up on a ton of episodes! 😆 Once I’ve caught up, my tv habits can go back to normal and I can resume watching my Asian dramas 😂 But for now, it’s all about binge watching Masterchef ðŸ˜ģ

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 ðŸĪŠ 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 ðŸ˜ē

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?!? ðŸ˜ą 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 ðŸ˜ē This city is sooo gooood for foodies, especially those who like their Chinese food!

Food and geography

One of the contestants on Masterchef Australia cooked an Indonesian fish curry in one of the episodes that I watched last night. And being so easily influenced when it comes to food, I went searching for an Indonesian restaurant in HK 😂 I found one, and went there for lunch! I might write up a post on that in My Non Foodie Life (which I haven’t touched in months, unfortunately… 😔) so I’ll leave the review of the restaurant for that post. Maybe I need to watch more food shows to get me exploring different restaurants in this city 😊

Another episode had the contestants cook fried chicken, and one of them cooked Korean fried chicken 🍗 I still haven’t satisfied that craving, so I’ll have to do a search for that soon. And with Korea being so close to HK, surely I’ll find a place or two to go for that too?! I don’t think I’ve ever had Korean fried chicken, so that will definitely be a first for me, regardless of where I go! 😆 So I’m happy to hear of any recommendations 😊

N flew to Japan today, to Okinawa specifically. I discovered two things on the map as a result of his flight today:

  1. Okinawa is wayyyy down south and is quite far from what I consider to be “Japan”. In fact, it is closer to Taipei than it is to Tokyo!
  2. Hanoi is wayyyy higher than I thought it was, and is pretty much in line with HK! So perhaps a short trip is in order… 😉

My geography is clearly stuffed! There you go, you learn something every day. I just happened to get a geography lesson today ðŸĪ“

Indoors

It rained pretty much all day today, I assume from the remnants of the typhoon warning from yesterday that continued pretty much overnight, so I just stayed indoors.

I was hoping to continue reading one of the bajillion books that I have on the go at the moment, but instead, I binge watched Masterchef Australia 😂 I finished Nigella Week, and started watching Legends Week. I’m still making my way through the earlier episodes, so I’m busily watching as much as I can to catch up with where Oz is. I don’t think I’ll ever catch up, but I’d like to get as close as possible 😊 There are a few people that I like this season, which is more important to me than the cooking – I watch the show for the reality tv aspect of it 😆

N got home very late tonight 😔 He has taken the rest of the week off, so he needed to get some work out of the way before finishing work for the week. It’s a bit of a shame because I was hoping to spend some time with him tonight before he flies to Japan tomorrow, but that wasn’t meant to be 😔 Oh well, such is life ðŸĪ·â€â™€ïļ He’s actually in Japan the entire weekend, so I’m thinking I might get through a ton of Masterchef again then 😂

Old and new

I received an email from my SG broker saying that they’re closing my account in a few weeks, as new regulations won’t allow them to hold accounts for residents of HK 😔 I am soooo sad about this!! I really like this broker. Their service is great, and their platform is really easy to use and navigate your way around.

So I then went searching for a new broker, and wasn’t all that impressed with what I found 😒 But I did come across an Australian one, which I’d heard of before, so I signed up for a demo account. And less than ten minutes later I reckon, a relationship manager gave me a call to say that he’d seen my application! Talk about customer service! And note this was at 7pm Sydney time, where the call came from, and where their head office is. So that was quite impressive. But before I sign up properly, I just want to play with their demo platform for a while and make sure I know how to use it before I actually give them real money.

I spoke to my mum for a little while after I spoke to mr broker representative guy, and then just watched a few episodes of Masterchef Australia. I feel like I’m sooo behind this year. I’ve watched most seasons of this show, and maybe I watch it even more religiously now, as it’s one of the last few remaining symbols of my life in Australia. I do miss my life in Oz, but I have also had an amazing experience living in Asia the past few years. Not always sunshine and rainbows, but definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And as I keep saying, I don’t know how long we will have the privilege of living here, so I just try and be grateful for every day that we do get to spend in this part of the world. But that doesn’t mean I won’t vent here every once in a while! 😂

Great work

I decided to go to IKEA today to buy a new bath mat, one that our lame washing machine can handle, so I don’t have to go down to the laundromat each time I need to wash it. But IKEA’s current bath mats come in blah colours! I was going to just get white, but then I was undecided because the mat is actually quite small. So I hesitated. And when a non-shopper like me hesitates, it means nothing gets bought. And that’s exactly what happened today. I need to mull over this purchase now! This underbuying tendency can be so ridiculous sometimes. I can’t remember how much the bath mat was, but it’s IKEA, for crying out loud, it wouldn’t have broken the bank. Plus it cost time and money to get there, so now if I do decide to buy it, I’m going to have to spend the same amount of time and money again – and including the cost of today’s trip, perhaps with a total spend of almost the same amount as the cost of the mat itself! Ridiculous. Just ridiculous. If I had thought of this when I was at IKEA, I probably would’ve made the decision to buy the small, white bath mat then and there. Sighhh… But as it stands, I still don’t have a replacement bath mat, and the one in the bathroom is still stained with Kitty’s vomit. Lovely. Great work, 99, great work.

On a more positive note, after a good sesh at the gym, we watched the Christmas special of season two of Black Mirror. It was goood!! It’s such an awesome series. Jon Hamm was in the episode, which I didn’t expect, so that was a pleasant surprise. Lucky I’m behind with the series, so I still have a few more episodes to go before I’m fully caught up 👍 It was good to watch some western tv for once 😆 I’ve been stuck in my Korean drama world for ages, it’s nice to get out of my little tv bubble every now and again 😂