A dull ache

I feel like there’s something not quite right in my lower right abdomen, which is starting to freak me out a bit. Is that where your appendix is? I’m wondering if something is up with my appendix. There’s this dull ache there, which comes and goes. It’s not painful, maybe a 1 or 2 out of 10 on the pain scale. And it hurts a little bit more if I press on the area, so it’ll bump up to 2-3. But still, it’s not zero, and that’s what bothers me. So I’m feeling a bit anxious about it, and I’d like to get it checked out asap. But I’m not good with doctors (or dentists or optometrists etc), especially overseas. I’m not familiar with the whole medical process here. And I’m also worried about the cost, again because I’m not familiar with how it all works. But I guess once I go, I can start to find out more about it!

Ugh, I really should go tomorrow, get it over and done with. At least then I’ll know what the problem is, or if I need to go and see a specialist to find out more. And the longer I leave it, the more anxious I’ll get. So I may as well just get it sorted tomorrow, and find out what the next steps are, if there are any.

An even keel

Today wasn’t as great a day as yesterday, surprise surprise. I caught up on a bit of our finance stuff, paying bills and liaising with our real estate agent about this legal bill from our landlord. He sends us an email saying “We’re splitting this bill”, and we’re like wth?!? It was for the preparation of our new tenancy agreement, because we decided to sign a new lease. But he didn’t mention the fact that we would have to fork out half the legal cost of cost of preparing the damn thing! But our agent said that this was not an unreasonable request here in HK, but yes, it was unfortunate that we didn’t discuss this earlier. We’ve never had to pay for this our entire lives! And we’ve been renting ever since we left Sydney almost ten years ago! But new country, new rules. You live and learn 😔

We really like this apartment, and the rent is really good for what you get – especially in HK. But the downside to that is the douche of a landlord that we get with it 😔 So if we’re still here in this city at the end of the lease period, then I think we’re going to see if we can find a new place. Even an apartment in the same building. The only problem, though, like I said, is the really good deal that we’re getting with the rent. Sighhh… You always have to take the good with the bad. The universe must maintain an even keel…

A screwed up world

Apparently the HK government has decided to extend the vaccination invitation to everyone over the age of 30. So from tomorrow, we can sign up to get vaccinated. There are two vaccines available in HK: the Sinovac vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech one. I couldn’t decide which one to get, as choices like this are not normally available to consumers. I just get jabbed and that’s it 😆 But one thing that I wanted to make sure was that the Australian government would recognise the vaccine. At the end of the day, we are Australian, so we need to make sure that whatever vaccine we take would allow us to enter Oz.

And now I’ve heard that Australia won’t recognise the Sinovac vaccine 🙄 I don’t know how true this is, but given the current political climate, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is indeed the case. I don’t know if this will change over time, but right now, apparently that’s their stance. So true or not, rather than risking it, I think we will just go with the less risky option. The decision has effectively been made for us 😒

I feel like we live in such a screwed up world at the moment 😔

On the hunt for a few apps

We went to one of N’s workmate’s places for lunch today. A few others came over as well, and they all played mahjong. I don’t really know how to play. My knowledge of mahjong is just as good as my knowledge of poker – ie very little! 😆 So I just watched on the sidelines, asking questions and trying to figure out the rules of the game. I want to learn how to play both, but mahjong requires a whole kit: the tiles and all the other bits and bobs, as well as an actual table. I wonder if there’s an app where I can just learn to play on my phone, and I don’t have to actually bet any real money (yet?? 😜). And same with poker. I’ll be trying out a few different apps tonight! 😊

And then I watched the men’s singles final at the Australian Open. It was too quick a match, unfortunately, but it was still great to watch. It’s not as easy as just turning on the TV and having it on free-to-air TV like in Sydney, so at least I didn’t put my life on hold for two weeks just to watch tennis 😆 So I only watched the odd game this year. But at least I could still watch it at home here in HK without having to go find a sports bar that’s playing it on one of their TVs 👍

But my one and only project for this weekend never happened: my closet was not touched 😔 Maybe next weekend.

Uselessness

My parents still couldn’t locate my dad’s mobile today. The doctor’s surgery was closed today, and Find My Device is still telling me that it’s in that general area. He doesn’t have much battery left, so I really hope that they can find it at the doctor’s surgery tomorrow 🤞

I also tried contacting Telstra to figure out what we can do to secure his device in the meantime (if we can do anything at all), but their messaging service is sooo baaad. I felt like I was getting the same message over and over again from them, all from different people, and no one was even bothering to read the messages that I was sending back. I wonder if Telstra still outsources their customer service hotline offshore… I was so happy when the banks moved their services back onshore. Surely they realised just how much of a waste of time and money that was 🙄

So if it’s definitely not at the doctor’s surgery tomorrow, then I’ll ask them to just go to a Telstra shop and cancel it then and there, rather than stuffing around with these useless people online 😒

To add to my woes, I also got an email from the Australian Electoral Commission telling me that they’ve taken me off the electoral roll because I didn’t reply back to them to extend my overseas elector status. And it’s not just my overseas status that they cancelled. They’ve basically taken me off the entire electoral roll, and I didn’t even get a warning. I didn’t get any sort of notification to tell me that I had to action something! FFS 😒 WTAF. Seriously ridiculous. And even if they did send a letter by snail mail, with COVID, who knows where that letter ended up 🤷‍♂️

So I wrote a letter back, as they requested, asking them to reinstate my voter status in Oz. It was the most formal letter that I have written in a lonnnggg time 😆 Well, it was the first letter that I have written in a long time 😂 I could barely remember the structure of a letter, it’s been that long since I’ve actually had to write one!

This uselessness in Oz is definitely something that I DON’T miss!

A stressful first day back

My dad lost his phone today, so I was helping my parents track it down. I used Google’s Find My Device and found it quite quickly. It was saying that it’s in the general area where my dad was this afternoon for his doctor’s appointment, and luckily it hadn’t moved. So I asked them to go and check out the area. My mum said that it wasn’t anywhere, and she asked all the places in the area that were still open, and no one had handed in a phone. So I’m guessing that he left it at the doctor’s surgery. Of course it was already closed by this time, so all they / we can do is wait until the morning to check to see if he did indeed leave it there . I kept tracking it all afternoon and evening, and it’s still in the exact same spot, so I’m really hoping that it’s at the doctor’s! 🤞

After all that stress (and it’s doubly stressful when you literally have to do everything online because you live in a totally different country 😒), I felt like I needed a stiff drink 🥃🥃

But instead, I did my stretches. It’s actually Day 30 of my 30-day splits challenge, and even though I didn’t quite make it to the full splits, I’m getting pretty damn close 😱 I’m going to keep continuing with these stretches, and hopefully I will eventually achieve my goal. I might do a check-in at the end of 3 months and then 6 months, see where I am at that point. But it’s very exciting 😊 I’m still very happy with my progress, though. And maybe getting to the splits at the end of the 30 days isn’t the point. Maybe it’s to build the discipline to stretch every day in order to eventually achieve it 🤷‍♂️

Life as an expat

I had one of those relatively productive days. Although Thursdays are pretty busy days for me, it’s probably my busiest day. So having a productive day on a Thursday is sorta a default for me anyway, so I shouldn’t take the credit for it 🤣

N went into the office today because he wanted to get some work done there. The work connection from home is a bit slow, and he only has one monitor at home, whereas he has two in the office. Plus with the current policy encouraging everyone to work from home while the virus is going berserk in the city, it’s also really quiet in the office. So he gets that as a bonus too.

He came back home with another colleague, one of our good friends here. He and his wife are fellow Aussies, and we all get along really well. But he just told us today that they’ll probably be moving back at the end of next year 😔 This reminds me of that time when friends of ours moved back to Oz when we were all living in SG. That was quite a sad time too.

But that’s life as an expat. It’s part and parcel of being an expat. It just comes with the territory. There are a ton of expats in both cities (SG and HK), and people move in and out of the two cities all the time. It’s a very transient lifestyle, and it certainly doesn’t suit everyone. It can be quite lonely, and you never really spend that much time in any one city yourself. And with friends coming and going, it’s hard to make lasting friendships.

I remember reading an article when we first embarked on this expat journey, and I usually read it about once a year. It’s been a while since I last read it, so I’m well overdue for another read. But because it’s been so long since I last read it, I don’t know if I can find it again! 😔 It’s one of the only articles that has really resonated with me, so I hope I can find it again and share it with you here too.

Oh phew, I found it 😅 Here it is: https://www.elitedaily.com/life/culture/what-to-know-moving-abroad/1075004. Enjoy! 😄

HK and YouTube

I saw some school kids today, and they were wearing this cool school uniform. It was in the style of the traditional Chinese dress, the cheongsam or qipao. And then the school emblem is worn as a badge right under the collar, along with the student’s house. It was a cool idea. In reality, though, the uniforms didn’t have any shape, so the uniform didn’t look all that flattering 😔 And the high collar is probably terribly uncomfortable during the sweltering HK summer 🥵 But the idea is pretty cool 😊

It’s been a bit cooler lately, so we decided to go for a bit of a walk around our neighbourhood. N was looking for a basketball court near home, but we didn’t come across any places where he could shoot some hoops. We had a nice walk, though 😊

And it allowed us to think whether we want to move from where we are. The end of our lease is coming up any day now, and I’m guessing we’re just going to sign on for another two years. We haven’t really found anything that has blown us away. Despite the 2019 protests and now the rona, prices haven’t really changed much in the areas that we’re looking at 😔 A few of N’s colleagues found some really good deals in Happy Valley near Causeway Bay (and the racecourse!), but that’s not really an area that suits us. So unless something mind-blowing becomes available in the next week, we’ll probably continue on in our current place for another two years.

Oh, and I reached 200 subscribers on YouTube! Woohoo! 🥳 I’m so excited! It’s taken forever to get here, and I’m probably moving mega slowly compared to so many other people, publishing much fewer videos than your average YouTuber. But whatevs. This is my pace, I’m doing the best I can, and I’m happy with my progress. And that’s all that matters! 😁

More welcome distractions

We flew out of Manila today. But of course we got another round in of local food before we left 😂 I’ll write up a review or two shortly in my food blog of some of the places we went to during this short trip.

I got into my head again on the flight. I know what it is that I do: I have no wifi, stuck in this tiny seat up 10 bajillion miles in the air, and sometimes I’m in no mood to watch anything on their entertainment system, so I just listen to music. And then the music somehow starts turning into background noise while I let my mind run loose, contemplating everything from family to our upcoming move to HK to the meaning of life and my role in it. I didn’t get too caught up in my thoughts this trip, at least not as much as I usually do 😆 I was listening to a few songs that we could dance to, so I just ran through a few of our routines in my mind. That was a welcome distraction! 😂 And then for some unknown reason, someone sitting near me on the flight piled on his aftershave mid-flight, so the occasional whiff wafting by my seat also randomly jolted me out of any reverie that I could have been in during the flight 😂

But now we’re back to reality, and along with it, my apprehension about this upcoming move to HK. I’m trying to change my nervousness to excitement, as the experts say that physiologically your body’s reaction is exactly the same whether you’re scared or excited, and that it’s just what’s playing in your mind that is different. So I’m VERY EXCITED about this move to HK!! 😂 SOOO EXCITED!! BRING IT ON!! 😂😂