Rejig her hours

I have come to realise that Kitty’s schedule is totally out of sync with mine these days 😔 Shes mega awake during the day, while I’m trying to work, and then goes to sleep sometime in the early evening – right when I have time to spend with her. And then she wakes up again sometime in the middle of the night. If she could just rejig her hours by just a few measly hours, it would be sooo much better for me! Sighhh…

Although having said that, I did have a very productive day, despite being interrupted numerous times throughout the day by her highness 🐈

And then in the evening, I watched some more of Ode to Joy 2, my current Chinese drama. I’ve decided to study one of the episodes, as, for some reason, that particular episode has both Chinese and English subtitles together, making it much easier for me to study the dialogue. It’s about a 40min episode, and if it takes me about half an hour (at least!) to study a five-minute scene, it’s going to take me at least four hours to study the whole episode ðŸ˜ą But it’s all good practice, from listening to new vocab to new sentence structures. It’s long, yes, but I think it’ll totally be worth it ðŸĪ“

Supermarket discovery

I bought this weird combo from the supermarket the other day. Well I thought it was weird. You may think it perfectly normal ðŸĪ·â€â™€ïļ It was the ingredients for a pork and papaya soup, with snow fungus and some other nuts that I didn’t know. I just dumped it all in a pot with boiling water and hoped for the best! 😆

I had no idea what snow fungus was, I just read the Chinese on the label and looked it up in my Chinese-English dictionary. And I still didn’t know what the English meant ðŸĪŠ

But whatever the ingredients were, all together, it was freaking nice! 😋 I’m so glad I gave it a go. I figured if they’ve packaged it all up like that, surely it’d be quite nice. I might try other weird combos that I find in that supermarket. I may be pleasantly surprised once again 😊

The Amazons of China

Little Miss kept waking me up again throughout the night, and I think all the interrupted sleep over the past few weeks finally caught up with me today. Despite having two cups of coffee this morning – which I avoid as much as possible unless I absolutely need that second cup to function – I still felt really out of sorts all day. So I had to take a nap to make sure I got through my Chinese lesson tonight!

And luckily I did, because I was then actually functioning like a normal person during the lesson 👍 We talked about online shopping in China, as of course I had to mention my new headset 😆 We talked mainly about two websites that I view as sorta like the Amazons of China, Taobao and JD, or Jing Dong. There are others too (competition in China ironically seems to be much better than in the west), but I think these are the two main ones.

They both have Black Friday type sales and the amount of turnover during these sales is staggering. This year, one of the sites, Taobao, I think, had sales in the first hour of over ÂĨ200 billion. That’s over US$28 billion in the first hour alone ðŸ˜ą I struggle to count in Chinese when the numbers are that huge, so I had to actually write the number down 😅

I told her I still buy off Amazon because the Chinese sites don’t have English, and I don’t yet trust my Chinese to buy stuff on those websites. I really should give it a go one of these days, I probably don’t give myself enough credit 😊 Especially since we are now living in China and all, I really should take advantage of it! Even if it is a Special Administrative Region and the HK protesters are currently wanting to sever all ties with the mainland, it is still currently part of China. I should make the most of it while we’re here 😊

My new toy!

My Amazon purchase arrived today and I absolutely love my new headset. My voice sounds so clear through them! Although I don’t really have anything to go by except for the earphones that my iPhone came with 😆 But for US$20, I think they sound pretty damn good! My voice comes across quite naturally. Now all I want to do is record stuff! I sorta wish I had my own podcast now, just so I can record stuff with my new headset. Maybe I can start one 😉

I called my parents to try out the new headset, just to make sure they were working ok. My mum said I sounded like I was really far away, so I started to become discouraged, thinking that I might have just wasted US$20 on a crap headset. But after fiddling around with the audio settings on my computer, I managed to get the volume back up, and I sounded perfectly fine again – a bit too loud, actually, according to my mum. So it was all good 👍 So I’m really happyyy!

I’ll get to try it out again tomorrow during my online lesson. No doubt I’ll be going on about how excited I am with my new headset – in Chinese! 😆 But to what extent I can express that excitement in Chinese, let’s wait and see, shall we?!? ðŸĪ”

Oh what exactly are these headsets, you may be wondering. Well it’s these ones:

MPOW BH071A USB Headset

And here is the Amazon link, if you’re interested. Not that I get any kickbacks for sending you this link, I’m just sayin’ it’s here, FYI. But I should give them some feedback anyhow, because I’m so happyyy with this product! 😁😁

Google Translate, shopping and the RWC

I texted a handyman here to fix our leaking toilet. I used Google Translate to reverse-engineer my English, to make sure that what I say in my text in English can be understood in Chinese if he chooses to use Google Translate to translate my text 😂 I’ve done it before too, when people send me texts that sound really odd in English. I just put it into Google Translate and read the Chinese, which ends up making more sense 😜 A different way to use Google Translate, but hey, whatever works!

We then went to Wan Chai and Fortress Hill to do a bit of shopping. It was pretty quiet, which is still really odd to see on the weekend. I guess people are still not really going out, despite the protests quietening down the last few weekends. I still think it’s a good time for people to take advantage of this time! Snap up a few bargains virtually everywhere 👍

We went home soon after to watch the Wales vs South Africa rugby semi-final, which was a really close match. It was anyone’s game for pretty much the entire 80 minutes! Now just one more match to play and then the Rugby World Cup will be over once again. That’s quite sad. I am really enjoying it, and so it’ll be quite sad to see it come to an end 😔

Stress and my continued language learning

Kitty threw up again last night. She seems to be throwing up a bit more now, which isn’t good. If she continues to throw up more regularly now, we may have to discuss with the vet again in terms of her medicine dosage. Poor little one 😔

I did some online shopping today, shock horror ðŸ˜ą My bi-annual online purchase, it seems. I don’t tend to do much online shopping at all, which is so odd because you’d think I’d be all over it, given how convenient it is! But I don’t like shopping in general, so perhaps this is just an extension of that ðŸĪ·â€â™€ïļ

I bought the next textbook in the series of textbooks that we’ve been using to learn Chinese. Book four! I’m not sure if I’m ready for book four, as I barely remember what we learnt in book three! So maybe I should review book three while I wait for book four to be delivered 😊

And I had my Chinese lesson today, which was actually quite ok! The ones where we’re just talking about general day-to-day stuff is relatively ok and easier to follow. It’s when we’re talking about the harder topics (eg the ongoing HK protests, government policy, and even expressing my opinions on a particular topic) that is when my mind is completely blown ðŸĪŊ I still have to get her to repeat herself quite a number of times, but nonetheless, it feels like my comprehension is getting better. I’m still learning a ton of new words, it’s an ongoing, endless journey! 😆

A comedy of errors

We decided to go to this HK-style cafe for brunch today. Every time we’ve walked past the cafe, they’ve always just had a Chinese menu, so we’ve never walked in. But recently, they’ve decided to add English, so we thought we’d finally give it a try.

It was relatively full when we arrived, and so we were seated with another couple on a table of four. We sat on one side of the table and they sat on the other. The waiter came to take our order, and as soon as I started to order in English, she turned away and reverted to her colleague behind the counter. I then basically had to stand up to give my order over to the other staff member 😆

The other couple at our table of four eventually left, and so I decided to swap seats so that I was sitting opposite N. Our order eventually came and while I was happily eating away, N notices this sign in Chinese just above our table, and asks me what it says.

My Chinese isn’t that great, but based on what I do know, I think the general gist is “This is a table for four people. For two people, you need to sit on the same side.” ðŸĪĢ ðŸĪĢ But because I ordered in English, the staff probably think that I can’t read Chinese; and because the main waiter can’t speak English, she couldn’t tell me off anyway for not having read the sign – which she probably assumed I couldn’t read anyway! ROFL such a comedy of language errors ðŸĪĢ ðŸĪĢ I was basically in hysterics and could barely contain my laughter. That was a rather amusing start to my day!

And just FYI, in HK, the main Chinese dialect is Cantonese, while I am studying Mandarin, the official language of mainland China. But all Chinese speakers, regardless of dialect, use Chinese characters to read and write. So even if you don’t understand each other’s dialects, you can still communicate in the written form as the meaning of the characters remain the same. There is, though, the added complication of simplified vs traditional Chinese characters, but I’ll leave that for you to read up on if you wish to do so 😊 As for which one I’m learning, well I’m actually learning both. Probably a bit masochistic here, but I have always enjoyed learning the characters, so I don’t find it all that onerous, to be honest ðŸĪ“ But of course the simplified characters are easier to learn as they are, well, simplified 😆

We then went up to The Peak and just wandered around up there for a little while, as it was a relatively nice day today.

A relatively nice day up at The Peak today

And then in the afternoon / early evening, we watched the last two quarter-final matches in the Rugby World Cup. I got the kick-off time wrong, so we missed the first half of the Wales vs France match ðŸ˜Ŧ You would think I’d learn my lesson after numerous issues I’ve had with time zone differences recently and actually double check everything, but nooo, that would be too sensible 😒 So I want to make sure I get the kick-off time right for the semi-final matches next weekend!