Dramas and apps

I’m getting to the good bit of Nice Witch, which I really just want to finish now! It started off pretty slow, but I think it’s left the better episodes for the latter half of the series 😊 I still have a few episodes left to go, but I should start having a look to see what my next series will be. I keep saying that I should watch a Chinese drama to work on my listening, but the lure of the Korean dramas is just too strong! 😆

I also spent a bit of time in HelloTalk tonight, that language exchange app. I posted something in the app about liking this particular song, and someone then told me about this app where people can log in and basically have a karaoke sesh on their phone! You can choose whatever song you want, record yourself singing it, and then upload it onto the app. And then apparently you can follow people whose voice you like. It’s a pretty cool idea if you’re into karaoke, which Asia seems to be. I’m so not, which I might’ve mentioned in a previous post, but this app sounded interesting nonetheless. I might download it and check it out 😊

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Nail in the coffin

** Spoiler alert: Game of Thrones finale**

It wasn’t the best of days. I was feeling rather down today, and couldn’t really shake it off all day. So as a result, it wasn’t the most productive of days 😔 I ended up just reading / studying a bit more of my Chinese version of The Little Prince, and then watched a few more episodes of Nice Witch, my current Korean drama. It’s finally getting good! I’m glad I decided to persevere with it. It’s the usual over-the-top drama with a ridiculous plot, but I find that part of the appeal 😆

And then I ended the day with the most disappointing episode of Game of Thrones ever. It was really underwhelming, given how good the rest of the series was. And it was the final episode of the entire series, which made it even more disappointing. Just the final nail in the coffin of an already shite day, really. Sighhh… Fingers crossed tomorrow will bring more fun and happiness than what today brought 🤞

Music

I’ve been listening to a Chinese (Singaporean) radio station lately, exposing myself to more of the language as much as I can. Through that, I’ve been hearing a few interesting songs and Shazam-ing the ones that I like. And then I also Shazam songs that are interesting – for instance, this one. This singer’s voice reminds me of Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries! Every time I hear it on the radio, I always have this surreal feeling wondering why The Cranberries is playing on this Chinese radio station. “Oh it’s The Cranberries! Coool! Oh but wait, she’s singing in Chinese, how is she singing in Chinese? Is it The Cranberries?? Oh no, it’s that Chinese singer who sounds like Dolores!” It’s like this thought process goes through my mind in like a split second and puts me into this surreal world for the briefest of moments. It’s so strange!

And I also heard a Chinese version of Despacito; and then this morning, I heard a Chinese version of Enrique Iglesias’ song Pienso En Ti! I wonder how close the lyrics are to the original songs, or whether they just borrowed the music and fit whatever lyrics they wanted to it. But it’s sorta cool hearing these tunes that I already know being sung to Chinese lyrics! 👍 Music is one of those things that brings the world together. Haha that sounds so profound, but you know what I mean 😆

Another public holiday

It was another public holiday here in HK today, woohoo! 🎉 Not that we did much, though 😂 We went and had brunch at one of my favourite local cafes, and while we were at the cafe, I decided that we should go and vote today. We can actually vote any time during the two weeks leading up to the election, so that’s pretty handy. But of course you need photo ID – and I forgot to bring our passports with me today. And ironically, I carried them with me the last two days! Yesterday would’ve been the perfect day to go, but it was the only day that the embassy was closed – argh! 😤 So I decided to head back home and pick up our passports anyway, otherwise the next time we can vote will be on Election Day itself, and I have a feeling the rest of the Australian expat community in HK will be voting on that day, so I wanted to avoid going on that day.

Signs pointing us in the right direction 👉👆👈

It was actually quite quick, and they even had signs at the bottom of the building that the embassy is located in, pointing people in the direction of where to go – and they also had a bajillion people working today to help direct people. Not that there were that many of us there to vote – half a dozen max when we were there! There were more staff working than there were voters 😂 Not that I was complaining, at least we were in and out in no time 👍

We then went to the Wan Chai Computer Centre, which was only a few minutes down the road from the Australian Embassy, just to wander around. It’s a good place for all your electronic stuff, on the HK Island side. I think there’s a similar one on the Kowloon side, I can’t remember what it’s called right now. I’ll have to ask N, it’s more his forte 😊

And then N went to karate and I resumed watching Nice Witch, a Korean drama that I’m still working my way through. I’ve been so focussed on my Chinese language study lately that I’ve barely had time for the Korean dramas. I’m also watching Love O2O, a Chinese drama, but that’s more for listening practice than for personal enjoyment. So I have a bit of a backlog of Korean dramas to watch at the moment! 😆

Karate, yum cha, and my new book

We went to watch a karate comp at Happy Valley today. We got there pretty early (well, early for us 😆) as one of N’s friends was competing earlier in the day, and he wanted to get there early to watch her event. We ended up staying for pretty much the entire day! But sitting up in the stands is definitely much better than having to wait out the back, waiting for your events to be called and then waiting again for your results 😊

We briefly stepped out for lunch at Causeway Bay, trying yet another yum cha place. Yum cha is everywhere in this city, it’s sooo good! Well I guess it is The Source 😆 The one we went to today, though, was pretty mediocre and very overpriced, so we won’t be going back there again! I’m surprised it wasn’t all that great, because there was a crowd outside when we arrived, waiting to be seated, so I was expecting the food to be good. Nope, that wasn’t the case at all 😒

Anyway, we’re going back to watch the second day of the comp tomorrow, so maybe we’ll try another yum cha restaurant nearby. Or maybe we’ll just eat something completely different and move on from yum cha, that’s a possibility too 😊 Let’s see how we feel tomorrow…

I also finally decided to buy Antoine de Saint- Exupéry’s The Little Prince – in Chinese 😱 They had a good version of it at The Commercial Press, this bookstore that caters specifically for children. One of my local friends introduced me to it, and this is the first time I’ve returned to it. It’s a treasure trove of books for Chinese language learners like me! I wanted to buy a paper version so I could write in it to help me learn the language. I’m three pages in and I absolutely love it! I want to quickly finish the English version so I know the story, to help me with the translating part when I read it in Chinese. It’s at a really good difficulty level, it’s not too hard like high school level books, but it’s also not too easy, like books aimed at infants. It’s at primary school level, which I think is perfect for me. I’m not looking up every second word, but enough so that I am learning new words. The sentence structures are at my level as well, so I haven’t come across anything yet where I was like “wth does this mean??” 🤷‍♀️ Plus I love the author’s writing style – in the English version, of course. I wouldn’t know what any Chinese writing style is at this stage in my learning! 😂 Anyhow, long story short, I’m so happy I bought it!

Feeling positive

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

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 🔋 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 😒 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 📖 It’s thick as! 😆 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 🤞

Consistency

I changed my settings on my phone today so that the default language is Chinese. So now virtually everything looks like this:

I’m doing ok so far, but I can barely read anything at the moment! I am going by memory most of the time to find where things are 😂 I am constantly looking up words. But I figured that once I get over the initial hurdle, things will get easier after a few weeks (or even better, days?!), and I’ll also have added even more vocab to my slowly-growing list. I am trying to go with as much immersion as I can. Let’s see how this little experiment goes…

We went and had yum cha again today. There is a seemingly endless number of restaurants that do yum cha in this city! Sooo good! 😋 Anyway, when the bill came, which was in Chinese yet again, I surprised myself when I could in fact read the entire bill without having to consult the dictionary. That is pretty exciting for me! It feels like this web of Chinese language “stuff” that I’m growing is actually getting tighter, and at quite a faster rate than I expected. I’m focusing on doing something – anything – every day, to make sure I am progressing daily. It doesn’t matter how much I do, just as long as I do something, I just need to make sure that I keep the momentum going. And it all seems to be helping. It’s that consistency that I keep going on about, I tell you. So exciting! 😊

We watched two Marvel movies tonight: Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok. I’ve seen Doctor Strange before, but I don’t really remember anything about the movie, so I basically enjoyed it all over again today 😆 And I’ve been enjoying the Thor movies, and this one didn’t disappoint either. We just need to watch three more movies (Black Panther and Captain Marvel, and Avengers: Infinity War), and then we’ll be fully ready for Endgame. I can’t believe we’ve watched almost all of them these past few months. Perhaps we can soon move on to the DC Comics movies now… 🤓