An unexpected evening

We got out of the house earlier than we did yesterday, but that’s not saying much, since left the house at something like 7:30pm yesterday πŸ˜‚ But N was feeling rather weak, after working out quite a fair bit this morning, and we suspect he hadn’t eaten nor drunk enough to replenish all the energy that he expended πŸ˜” So I suggested that we just go for an early dinner instead of walking around up at The Peak. I didn’t really want him fainting at some point during the trip due to hunger or dehydration!

They had a chessboard at the restaurant, so we played a game of chess while we waited for our food to be served. The manager noticed that we were playing and said that they also had Connect Four, and she brought around the Connect 4 board. So we played that at the same time πŸ˜‚

Connect Four and chess 😊

It took us forever to play our game of chess, and I was starting to feel like we were overstaying our welcome in the restaurant. Plus they had no more customers, and the staff were cleaning up, doing the paperwork, and just generally doing stuff to indicate that they wanted to close soon. So I set a 1-minute timer for each move just to hurry us up. But when we finally finished and paid our bill, we thanked them for the game, and the manager mentioned that we’re more than welcome to come back and play more games! Apparently they have even more games, and one of the things that they want to offer to their customers is to feel at home and for them to just hang out there. Awww, that’s really cool! I really like that. So to have good food and to have the restaurant offer this additional service of sorts to its customers is really great. I hope they can continue to remain in business.

We had a great time there tonight πŸ‘ It wasn’t what I had originally planned for this afternoon / evening (we were meant to go up to The Peak! I was already saying this yesterday πŸ˜†), but it turned out to be much more fun than I had expected.

TV and walking

I had a bit of a lazy day today. I ended up just watching TV all afternoon, taking a nap in the middle of all the TV watching πŸ˜‚

I finally started watching Breaking Bad today. It has a rating of 9.5 on IMDb! 😱 I didn’t know that when I first started watching it. I just knew that it was really popular when it first came out, so I wanted to watch it too. But I’m always very slow compared to the rest of the world, so I’m only just starting to watch this now πŸ€ͺ And it may still take me a while to get through, because I can’t really binge watch shows either. I can only really handle a maximum of maybe three episodes in one sitting, and then I have to get up and do something else (or take a nap hehehe). And I’m talking about 20-minute episodes! Maybe that’s why movies don’t interest me too much?? πŸ€”

I wanted to go for a bit of a walk today, and we finally left the house at around 7:30pm to do that. This is definitely one thing that I like about Asia: things don’t close until quite late, so there are always a lot of people still around, and you can easily find a restaurant that is still open. We stumbled across a Vietnamese restaurant that we hadn’t tried before, so we decided to give them a go. They were actually pretty good! I would definitely go back again if we were in the area. It’s always good to try new places, sometimes you find some pretty decent places 😊 And yes, sometimes you get a mediocre place too, but I think it’s worth the gamble 😊

I suggested that we go up to The Peak tonight, actually, but N pooh-pooh’d that idea πŸ˜‚ So I’m thinking of maybe going up there tomorrow instead. I wonder how he’ll feel about that same idea tomorrow…

No more bouncing back

The dull ache from yesterday has subsided, and it’s now between 0 to 1 on the pain scale. It’s still there, albeit virtually gone, but I decided to finally go and see a doctor anyway, the first time I’ll have visited a doctor since moving to HK.

We asked friends here for recommendations, and so I made my way to Central to go and see one of their recommendations. When I got there, I find out that she is on leave! 😩 Whaaat?!? She returns on Tuesday, but her first (and only!) available appointment is on Friday next week! So I decided to book myself in. If she’s that booked out, then she must be good. Well, hopefully πŸ˜† Even if this weird dull ache subsides before then, it’d still be good to get a general check-up anyway, given that we’re getting older now and things are just generally deteriorating πŸ˜”

Speaking of check-ups, one of our friends here had to go and have heart surgery! 😱 Did I tell you about this? That was very concerning. The surgery was a few weeks ago now and everything went well, but still, the fact that he even had to go and have this surgery was rather worrying. We’re entering that stage in our lives when we can’t just bounce back like we used to when we were kids πŸ˜” So I really want to get into the habit of getting regular check-ups done: medical, dental, and also my eyes -optometric?! Why yes, that’s the adjective! I just looked it up πŸ‘ Something to add to my list… βœ…

I then met N for dinner afterwards. He had a 2-for-1 voucher at a pretty casual restaurant near his office, so we decided to redeem it today. Not bad! The restaurant was pretty quiet when we got there, which was nice. No issues with social distancing πŸ‘ It was a nice way to end the evening 😊

Dragon’s Back, HK (Easter day 4)

We finally did Dragon’s Back! πŸ‘ It actually wasn’t too bad a trail, definitely one that I would do again. It’s not easy easy, but it’s definitely doable. It’s not like a typical mountain where there is an ‘up’ bit and then a ‘down’ bit. It’s called Dragon’s Back because you’re sorta walking along the ridges of the back of a dragon. And once you’re on his back, you just go up a bit and then down a bit, with lots of flat bits in between.

Unlike the route that the above link suggests, instead of catching the #9 bus to the To Tei Wan stop, we actually got off at Cape Collinson on Shek O Road and started the hike from there. So we didn’t start from the bottom and make our way up. We went in the complete opposite direction. Because we had already gone to Big Wave Bay Beach on our first walk on Friday, we had already done the walk between stops 3 and 4 described in the link. So we just did the remainder of the walk today.

Going from the Cape Collinson bus stop all the way down to the To Tei Wan bus stop

Going from north to south felt like it was easier. The biggest hurdle felt like the uphill bit from the Cape Collinson bus stop up to a certain point. So it felt like we were climbing the dragon’s head first, and then spent the rest of the hike walking down its back all the way down to its tail πŸ˜‚ But if you go the more traditional route going south to north, then you’re starting at the dragon’s tail and making your way up to its head. I think I prefer the reverse route. Unless it’s harder for you to go downhill than uphill (or if you want more of a workout 😜), then I would definitely recommend going north to south. There are also a ton of people going the traditional route, so going north to south means that you’re also going in the opposite direction to most people, so there is less traffic 😊

It took us 2 hrs 15 mins to do almost 6km, so slightly different to Google Maps’ suggested time above πŸ˜‚ AND I was going mega fast because I was trying to keep up with this guy who looked like he was almost twice my age. He must do this walk quite regularly because he wasn’t stopping to take photos or anything, he was just walking – and walking briskly at that! Plus he had awesome music playing – soft rock from the 1980s! – so I kept trying to stick as close to him as possible to listen to his music 🀣

He stopped around about the halfway mark and tied a ribbon to a tree. Not sure what the significance of the ribbon was, but that was where we overtook him and continued walking the trail without him. It was such a shame that we had to leave him behind because he set such a good pace! πŸ˜„

There is very little shade during this walk, so it’d be pretty tough to do during the warmer months of the year. It was a little cooler today, and mostly overcast, so it was a perfect day to do this hike πŸ‘ It was actually a little cool at the top, and very windy, so we also didn’t have heat to contend with, which made the hike more bearable again πŸ˜†

There are not-so-clean toilets at the start and end of the hike, so if you can, try and go beforehand. There are public toilets near Shau Kei Wan bus stop next to Shau Kei Wan MTR (exit A3), which were pretty clean when I went there today. And there’s no food (or drinks) available anywhere on this trail, so bring both of these beforehand. There is a supermarket near the bus stop (Wellcome supermarket), so stop in there and grab a few things if you need to – water, at the very least! Especially if you’re walking during the warmer months. You will need it in the HK heat, TRUST ME πŸ˜’

And remember what I’ve said a few times now: I’m not a fan of hiking πŸ˜† but this hike is actually not bad. And I would actually do this hike again, it is totally doable πŸ‘ I totally understand why people say they bring visitors to do this hike. I would do the same 😊

Taken somewhere near Shek O Peak

Easter day 3: confusion all around

We booked tickets to go see the 11:15am session of Godzilla vs Kong at Admiralty. We get there, and the woman at the counter said that we were at the wrong cinema. WTF. So I asked her which cinema we actually booked the tickets for. She said somewhere in Kowloon – i.e. on the other side of Victoria Harbour. I checked where it was exactly on Google Maps: around 14km away, which Google Maps estimated would take 20 minutes 😱 We got to Admiralty at around 11am-ish, so chances are, we’d get to apm, the mall where the other cinema is, by around 11:30am. If we’re lucky, we might just get there right when the movie starts. Otherwise, we’ll be 5-10 minutes late.

Google Maps’ recommended route

Amazingly, we arrived right when the opening credits were rolling. So we might’ve missed a few minutes, but not much. I won’t say much about the movie in case you want to watch it, but I will comment on our 4D tickets. Maaan, they were totally worth it! If you can watch it in 4D, then I would go for that option instead of just the regular 2D. It just adds a whole new level of fun to the movie! I seriously felt like I was going to be flung out of my seat πŸ˜‚ N felt like he was going to be flung out of his seat, and he weighs almost twice as me! So he kept looking over to make sure that I wouldn’t actually literally fly out of my seat! 🀣 I felt like I needed a seatbelt! Now I understand why there was a height restriction sign outside the cinema. Kids would easily get flung out of the seat! And you’re not allowed to bring food and drinks in at the moment because of COVID, but I don’t know if they’d let you bring food and drink in there anyway even without COVID. Popcorn and drinks would just be flying everywhere in that cinema, all over yourself and those sitting around you! πŸ€ͺ But that was fuuun. I want to watch more movies in that 4D cinema now!

We had lunch in the shopping mall afterwards, and then just wandered around and did a bit of shopping. We then just went home and I called my mum to help her log into her YouTube account on their new TV. What would ordinarily take less than 5 minutes took around 1.5 hours with her πŸ˜±πŸ˜’ It’s just so hard teaching them over the phone. It would’ve been faster if I was there in person, but it still wouldn’t have taken 5 minutes πŸ˜’ It’s hard when she’s never really used a computer in her life, and all of a sudden, she’s being asked to do all these foreign things. So I was trying to be as patient as I possibly could, seeing her as a student who wanted to learn. But I could tell that there was an element of ‘just tell me what to press so I can log in’ in her attitude, which doesn’t really help her learn. But I persevered and tried to teach her, instead of just telling her to press this button and then that button. Hopefully she learnt something today!

Easter day 2 – more walking and more beaches!

I got up at 6:30am today 😱 It was so good! I really love being up that early. I get so much done in the morning πŸ‘

I had decided that we were going to do Dragon’s Back today. But as we were heading to the train station to make our way there, N changed my mind: we decided to to the Southern Beaches Walk instead! πŸ˜† It was a toss-up between these two anyway, but N’s comment to ‘change things up’ easily swayed me to do the latter. Plus, it was forecast to be another hot and humid day, and I didn’t really want to be hiking in such weather – heck, I’m not really keen on hiking in any weather! πŸ˜‚ So walking along the southern part of HK Island right by the water, and walking past a number of beaches down there, was much more enticing 😊

Our walk today, around 8km all up 😊

We finished at Stanley Main Beach, which is actually quite a small, narrow beach. I was too tired to walk back to Repulse Bay Beach, the largest of the three beaches that we walked to today (we skipped two of the five beaches on the trail πŸ˜„), so we just had to squish in really close with the other beachgoers at Stanley πŸ˜’ Despite the numbers being pretty low these days (there were only two new cases today! Woohoo!), I am still acutely aware of all the things that I need to do now, thanks to this stupid 🦠, including social distancing. I also know that we can’t be complacent, because the damn thing multiplies if we’re not careful.

Repulse Bay Beach
Stanley Main Beach

The weather started getting cooler, so we took that as our cue to go home. Similar to yesterday, I was already feeling really tired in the early evening. So we just watched some TV and we’ll probably have another early night tonight. Maybe we can be morning people during this Easter extra-long weekend?? πŸ˜†

Easter extra-long weekend: day 1

We were going to go and do Dragon’s Back today, a popular hiking trail trail here that is supposedly one of the easier ones to do. I will be the judge of that and tell you what I think hahaha From someone who actually doesn’t like to hike and will whinge when there is even the slightest incline, you will get my honest opinion! 😜 I might have mentioned this before, but I only do hikes for the destination. If someone can winch me all the way up to the top, then I’ll take that option every time! πŸ˜‚

We started doing the hike, and I was already ready to whinge. It was hot and humid, and there were a ton of people on the trail. Well, it is a public holiday, after all, so I already expected this. But still, it’s a different matter when you actually see it and experience it πŸ˜’

We then got to a fork in the road: we either do the trail or do the easier (and shorter!) walk to Big Wave Bay beach, and then just chillax on the beach for the rest of the afternoon. We did the latter πŸ˜‚ It was really nice 😊 Although the beach didn’t quite live up to its name: it was flat and calm as. Not sure how surfers can surf here… Maybe the waves only come at certain times of the year?? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Big Wave Bay Beach

We got home at around 5pm and decided to pick up some dinner on our way back. We walked past this shop that apparently sells yum cha items for takeaway! O.M.G. This just blew my mind. I can order my favourite items here whenever I want! And because it’s takeaway, it’s sooo cheap. My favourite yum cha dish is like less than A$4 for 3 pieces 😱 We’d normally pay at least double that if we go to an actual restaurant. I’m so happy we decided to stop by and check out this place!

And by around 8pm, we were both exhausted and ready to go to bed πŸ€ͺ We were thinking of doing the proper trail tomorrow, but given how tired we are right now, I’m not sure if this is a good idea…!

My long to-do list and a purchase update

I got up relatively early this morning feeling really pumped. I must’ve had a really good night’s sleep! πŸ˜† I wrote down everything that I wanted to do today, as I usually do in the morning, and it came to 10 things 😱 Errr, yeah right. As if that was going to happen. And in terms of the urgent-important matrix, this is the breakdown of those 10 things:

Urgent AND important – 5

Urgent but not important – 0

Important but not urgent – 5

Neither important nor urgent – 0

And where were the 5.5 completed items in the above matrix?

Urgent AND important – 4

Urgent but not important – 0

Important but not urgent – 1.5

Neither important nor urgent – 0

So not bad. I did attend to 4 out of the 5 urgent AND important items. But Thursday is my busiest day, so I don’t know why I thought I would magically have all the time in the world today to get all of the items done πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

And by the time the evening rolled around, I was totally shutting off, getting ready for the Easter long weekend πŸ˜† So yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking. I think it was my keen bean-ness early this morning that made me think I’d be superhuman and be mega-productive today.

I spoke really quickly to my mum this morning: they bought their new TV and it was delivered today! 😱 That was a very quick delivery! Didn’t I just speak to her yesterday about their planned purchase?? How did they order the TV and get it delivered all within 24 hours?! Efficiency is not a very Aussie thing! πŸ˜‚ I was very surprised. I only spoke to her briefly, so I’ll have to get more info from her about it next time.

N had dinner with some workmates, so in the evening, I just watched some of my favourite YouTubers for inspiration. I don’t watch YouTube for entertainment (apart from watching music videos). I watch YouTubers for educational purposes first and foremost. And I like them. Something about their personality and/or the way they deliver their content appeals to me. And so I continue to watch more of their stuff because I like them and also for the content that they produce. I also need to start watching more of their videos with a critical eye, to learn how I can improve my own videos. There is so much to learn, and I don’t think I spend enough time trying to improve with each video. Something else to add to that to-do list! πŸ™„πŸ˜œ

A possible new purchase and my language analogy

I spoke to my mum briefly today. Apparently they’re thinking of buying a new TV! She’s been wanting to buy a new TV for a while now, and I think they found a good deal recently. Good on them. They’re both retired now, and they’ve been spending a lot of time at home, thanks to the 🦠 πŸ˜’ So they’ll get good value out of the new TV. I’m sure they’re going to have a ton of questions about setting it up, though. And I’ve whinged here before about how much fun it is setting up technology via a video call… πŸ˜’

And I had my Chinese lesson today. It was a tough one: I heard about the H&M debacle in China from my teacher today. It was the first time I’d heard about the incident, so it was very hard to understand what happened when hearing about it in Chinese! But I just read a news article on it – in English πŸ˜‚ – and I basically understood the general gist of the story during my lesson today, woohoo! So I learnt a ton of new words as a result of today’s lesson πŸ‘

But I’m now learning words that are not very common (e.g. ‘boycott’!), so they’re getting harder and harder to remember. Not to mention the sheer number of words that I’ve learnt, and trying to keep as much of them in my memory. I see it as sorta like having a fishing net, with all the words being kept within this language fishing net, if you will. And regular practice shrinks the size of the holes in the fishing net, allowing fewer and fewer words to fall out of the net. And practice also makes the size of the ‘fish’ (words and phrases) bigger and bigger, making them easier to pull out when you need them. And the number of ‘fish’ in my net is also growing, and so more fish are also falling out, as a result of the additional pressure put on the net.

Ah, the fun of learning a foreign language! πŸ˜‚

Lack of productivity and planning

It was one of those days where I was all keen bean at the start of the day, ready to do a ton of work, only to end up ticking off just one thing off my to-do list by the end of the day πŸ˜” How depressing. I was hoping to get some more stuff done today because I will lose Friday and Monday because of Easter. But I ended up doing even less. What is up with that?? πŸ˜’ Hopefully I can have a more productive day tomorrow 🀞

Speaking of Easter, we left it too late to do a staycation πŸ˜” The hotels that I was hoping to stay at are now all booked out. Plans A, B and C. Danggg. You’d think I’d learn by now that I need to book in advance. And with the 🦠 numbers improving here (we’re averaging probably around fewer than 10 cases per day now – woohoo!), people are starting to go out again. Hence why the hotels that I want to stay at are all booked out! πŸ˜” So we’ll probably just go out and do day trips to an island or two, and just wander around and explore this city.