I felt like I had just as productive a day today as I did yesterday, only today I spent more time on Chinese than trading. I think it was the other way around yesterday, but regardless, it was productive 😊 It felt a bit like déjà vu, in a way.
By the time I finished working, I couldn’t be bothered making my way down to the supermarket, so I just had whatever was in the pantry: so I had spam for dinner tonight! Eating into our emergency food stash 😂 Not the healthiest of meals, so I shall make an effort to go to the gym tomorrow 💪
And I finished off the evening with an episode of Love O2O, my current Chinese drama. I’m getting closer and closer to the ending, so I really have to start looking for my next drama! Even if it is a Korean drama 😆 I’d prefer to find a Chinese drama so I can continue working on my poor listening skills, but the Korean dramas are just too good to pass up sometimes…! (Most of the time?? 😇)
There was a trading webinar last weekend that I wanted to join. It was split into two sessions, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday 6pm Central time, which is actually Sunday and Monday morning 7am HK time. But when I tried to log in to catch the Monday morning session, it said that the webinar had already finished. The link that they gave didn’t seem to allow for different time zones around the world, and just took Saturday 6pm local time, regardless of where you were in the world. So it seemed to have the webinar registered to start at 6pm HK time on Saturday and Sunday 😒 Bizarre… So luckily I didn’t try to join the webinar Sunday morning, and not have it work then either! The organisers emailed copies of the presentations today, as well as a link to the recordings of the sessions, so I started watching them today. I would’ve preferred to have joined the webinar live, but I guess this is the next best thing 🤷♀️
I also spent some time on my Chinese today. I did some active listening, something which I need to do more of – well, I really need to do more of any sort of listening! 😆 And by active listening, I mean focussing solely on what is being said and trying to understand as much as possible. I prefer to do this with a transcript, if possible, because my listening skills are still so bad. This way, I can associate sounds with the written word, which makes it easier for me to link the sounds with meaning. It takes a lot of effort, as you can imagine, which is probably why I don’t do it very often. But I’m going to try and actively listen to even just one minute on a daily basis, as surely this is better than doing nothing at all. This sort of listening is probably the best type of practice to really improve my listening skills, but it takes so much effort that I can really only do it for just a few minutes at a time. Most of the time I just do more passive listening: watching tv or listening to the radio and listening out for words and phrases that I know, but not getting too caught up with not understanding everything that they say. But it’s obviously still not enough, as my listening skills are still so shite! 😩 But I’m continuing to persevere, with the hope that one day, it will all magically come together…! 🤞
We watched another episode of The Umbrella Academy tonight. We’re running out of episodes – and they’ve only made the first season! They’re still working on season two! But we’re both really enjoying it. I haven’t enjoyed a western tv show as much as this one for a long time now, so I’m really happy that we stumbled across this series! I might have to go back to the Asian dramas once we finish season one 😊 Err, for listening practice… 😜🤣
Have I mentioned my Chinese diary before? Our previous teacher in SG suggested that we keep a diary, as he thought it was a good way to see how well we’d grasped the grammatical structures that we’d been taught. Even though we no longer take lessons with him, I still occasionally write in it, and even more regularly now that I’ve started doing these online lessons. I should try and write in it every day, even if it’s just a few sentences each time. It’s such good practice.
My Chinese diary reminds me of a friend’s daughter who kept a diary when they went travelling in Europe. His daughter was around five or something at the time, and so all her entries were basically like “today we went to a castle”. My diary reminds me of this diary of hers! 😂 OK, maybe not a five year old’s diary, perhaps an 8- or 10-year old’s! 😜
We actually spent most of today’s lesson discussing the grammatical points that I covered in these diary entries. Surprisingly, she didn’t correct much, so I was happy about that 👍 I think the speed at which I write these entries is getting faster, and I’m making fewer mistakes, so surely I must be improving! 🤞
Now time to get my speaking and listening up to the same level! 😆
Today was my first day back into my normal routine, after being sick for a few days and then family visiting for a few days after. It was nice to get back into the swing of things 😊
I got bitten really badly I assume when we went to Kowloon Walled City Park. I don’t think I’ve ever been bitten so badly in my life: I have at least half a dozen mosquito bites on each leg 😲 And I’ve also somehow reacted quite badly to them, as they’re all really massive and itchy. Mozzie bites on steroids, I tell you 😱 I actually got a bad sleep last night because they were so damn itchy! I’ve been putting some cream on them all day today, topping up every few hours when the itchiness becomes unbearable again. It’s been two days now since we went, so I’m hoping that they’ll start to die down tomorrow… Surely…?! 🤞
We have started watching this show called The Umbrella Academy, and we’re both really enjoying it! I haven’t enjoyed a tv series as much as this one in ages, so it’s refreshing to finally find a series that I am looking forward to watch. They’re only up to the first season, so we’ll be caught up in no time, and then we’ll have to find another series.
Speaking of finding another series, I am still yet to find a new Chinese drama… Love O2O is okayyy, but it’s a bit too soppy for me, and not enough excitement. I’m still just watching it for the listening practice 😆 So if I can’t find another semi-decent Chinese drama, I’ll have to go back to my Korean list, I have a huge backlog of those! 😂
Nephew didn’t get much sleep last night, so his parents and I were a bit nervous about how he would be today, particularly in the current heat. And sure enough, he started losing it on the train to ICC, on our way to Sky100. He took a nap for about half an hour while we were up there, and that helped his mood a bit, thankfully. What didn’t help my mood, though, was the haze! You could barely see anything up there! It was such a shame 😔
They had a cafe up there, though, and we decided to have a light lunch there instead of going somewhere separately. The tables around us had ordered high tea, and I was curious as to how I could get in on some of that action, as 1) all the tables having high tea had been reserved; and 2) there was no high tea option on their menu. So I just googled it: apparently it is an online offer that they have, so that’s why it’s not on their menu there. Fair enough. So if I’m in the mood for some high tea-ing all the way up ICC one day, I shall remember this place 😊 And to do so before 2 Jan 2020 when the offer expires!
We then caught a cab to Kowloon Walled City Park, where I pulled out some more Mandarin to speak to the cab driver. I had been practising how to say “Walled”, as I can say the rest in Chinese. But the whole place name is still pretty damn long, so I was getting a bit concerned that he won’t understand my dodgy accent, as the taxi drivers in HK aren’t renowned for being very friendly. So I had its Chinese name written down just in case he gives me this puzzled/annoyed look. So in the end, I ended up saying “We would like to go to this place” and showed him the Chinese name. So I still got some speaking practice in, but I didn’t over exert myself by saying the full Chinese name of the park 😂 The cab driver seemed to understand what I was saying, but he never said anything in reply. So maybe he can understand a little Mandarin, but he’s not able to speak it, which is also fair enough. Or maybe he just didn’t understand a word I said, and he was just guessing what I was trying to say the entire time 🤪 In any case, we got to our destination, and I got the correct change, so all was well in my Chinese speaking world 😂
We spent a bit of time at the park, but everyone was pretty tired by now, and so tensions were a bit high by this time in the afternoon. We decided to catch a bus back home, which ended up being a fantastic decision, as it was one of the double decker buses and everyone enjoyed sitting right up the front on the upper deck. The bus was virtually empty – at least upstairs it was – so I didn’t feel too bad making a ton of noise up there! 😆
But everyone was still tired, including the little one, so tensions were still high until finally he went to sleep, and his parents could once again relax 😌
It’s their last day in HK tomorrow, so I’m thinking maybe we can just head over to Causeway Bay for yum cha, hang out there for a while, and then casually head back home so that they can get ready to leave for the airport. Not much stress, and they can also give themselves plenty of time to navigate their way through the airport, which can be a stressful ordeal at the best of tines, especially when travelling with a toddler!
I finally started feeling close to normal today, so I got through a ton of stuff, trying to catch up on everything that I didn’t do over the past few days since I’ve been sick 👍
N flew to Japan today, so of course I tracked his flight ✈️
His fellow karate mate who is also on this trip with him lost her train ticket when they got to Osaka, and he was asking me how to say various things in Japanese that was relevant to their situation – eg: “she lost her ticket”. The problem is, I’m not there to help them! 😂 So I told them to use Google translate, which is actually quite good for a lot of things. I use it to help me with my Chinese all the time. I don’t use it word for word, but it sometimes guides me or gives me a better idea on how to structure a particular sentence that I can’t seem to get right on my own.
And of course they were fine – they’re in Japan, after all 😉
I had my online Chinese lesson again today. I’m really enjoying them! They’re freaking hard as, since we spend the entire time doing exactly what I need: speaking and listening practice! And since my listening is so bad, I swear I ask her to repeat every second sentence that she says 😳 I hope it eventually improves, because right now I’m feeling pretty dunce-y! I’ve already told her that my listening is the worst, so she already knows my biggest problem. She’s really patient, though, and rather than resorting to English, she just repeats herself a few times, mega slowly, until I get it. It is exactly what I need 👍 I just wish I had her with me day in day out, correcting everything I say – like a parent! 😆 But alas, as an adult, I don’t have this luxury. I just have to do some more studying on my own….
And so I finished the day watching a few episodes of Love O2O, my current Chinese drama, just continuing to persevere with the show for some listening practice, which is what I desperately need for my Chinese!
I slept until noon today, excluding the time when the FedEx guy buzzed in this morning 😒 I must’ve looked so out of it when I opened the door, I felt pretty shite when he buzzed in, pretty much just grunting at him the entire time 😂
But somehow I managed to still do some work in the afternoon, but then I had to take a bit of a nap in the early evening to get some more rest.
I then got up and finished off Goblin, my current Korean drama. This drama actually picked up in the second half of the series, as a lot of them seem to, so overall, I enjoyed this series too. It has nice music and impressive cinematography, and quite artistic at times as well. I think this series has the potential to be watched a second time, and you’d still get something out of it the second time around. I don’t say that with many (any?) dramas, so I think this one is a bit more multi-layered compared to other dramas.
I went looking for a Chinese drama to watch, to work on my poor listening skills. But I can’t find any that I like! I resumed watching Love O2O, which is okayyy… But it still doesn’t have the same pull as the Korean dramas 😔 But I’m persevering with it anyway, just so I can work on my listening skills a bit, and continue looking for a series that is more up my alley – that is not a Korean drama! 😂 The Story of Yanxi Palace and Eternal Love have both been recommended to me, but the former is a period drama and the latter is a full-on fantasy, neither of which appeal to me. I prefer dramas set in the modern day, with a bit of fantasy thrown in – much like Goblin! 😆 So I’m open to other recommendations, if anyone has any!