Bathroom issues and a breakthrough

I went to bed quite late last night, close to around 2am. But then half an hour later, N unintentionally woke me up: he apparently has food poisoning. Greeeat. I know the drill, this has happened so many times before, but it doesn’t make me feel any better each time it happens. So basically for the next three hours, he was pretty much heading to the bathroom every half an hour, as if on a schedule ๐Ÿคฎ And of course, I’m getting more and more worried each time it happens, as he’s getting more and more dehydrated. And all I can do is just sit / lie there and watch it happen ๐Ÿ˜”

The most recent serious case of food poisoning was in SG. That time we actually went to the hospital. But now we’re in a brand new city, and it suddenly dawned on me that I don’t know anything about how their medical system works here! So I’m on my phone at 4am trying to locate the nearest hospital, and trying to figure out whether our health insurance will cover the cost. And then I realise that I don’t know how to say “hospital” in Cantonese, and “accident and emergency” in either Mandarin or Cantonese, which I will need in case we need to catch a cab there, if N’s condition worsens. Taxi drivers, by and large, do not speak English here, so I had to be ready to say it in Cantonese just in case.

Luckily, N’s condition stabilised by around 5:30am, and we both got a few hours’ sleep from that point.

Until it was time for Kitty to be fed at 8am. She, of course, did not hesitate to let me know that she needed food ๐Ÿ™„ So I got up and gave her breakfast. I normally would just get up and start my day from here, but given the circumstances, I felt like I needed another hour or two of rest. And since N was getting some respite now from this bug, I figured I should let him get some sleep. So rather than head back to bed and risk waking him up by doing so, I decided to just take a nap on the couch ๐Ÿ˜ด

Surprisingly the hour on the couch did wonders. I have no idea what magic happened there, but I felt so much more rejuvenated afterwards, and ended up having a very productive day! Totally not what I was expecting at 5 o’clock this morning!

But then something else had to go awry, in order to keep our lives interesting: the toilets in our bathrooms weren’t working. It wasn’t refilling with water after being flushed. Greeeat. I contacted building management, and they replied back and said that they’re doing an emergency repair. Greeeat x 2. After about an hour, they seemed to have switched the water back on for the spare bathroom, but still no such luck for our bathroom. And even after coming back from dinner, our toilet is still not getting any water. It looks like the engineers will resume their repairs tomorrow. Arghhh! But at least all the taps are still working, so we can still brush our teeth and take a shower ๐Ÿ˜… We just need to go and use the toilet in the spare bathroom. First world problems ๐Ÿ˜„ I’m just grateful we have a second bathroom!

We caught up with a friend from SG tonight. He’s here in HK for a short work trip, and he’s already flying back tomorrow. He gave us a pandan cake, a signature cake from SG. It is so nice, so light and fluffy ๐Ÿ˜‹

I wanted to find out how to say “pandan” in Chinese, and during my search, I stumbled across this article: http://news.nanyangpost.com/2017/04/cnn.html?m=1. This article is in Chinese, but for whatever reason, I decided to try and read the title. And I surprised myself when I realised that I could read most of it. So that gave me some confidence, and thought I’d try and read the actual article itself. Normally after about the first few words, I’m coming across a whole ton of new characters that I don’t know, so I don’t bother trying to read any further. But this didn’t happen with this article. I found myself being able to read almost everything in the first paragraph! So I continued. And continued. And I read about half of the article before stopping, as I had to run over to N to tell him about this totally amazing achievement of mine. My comprehension isn’t entirely there, but I got the general gist. I am sooo happy! So maybe all this effort that I’ve been putting into learning this language is starting to show up now. Perhaps I’ve taken a step up after being on the previous step for so long, and feeling like I will never climb to that next step. And now I may actually have reached it ๐Ÿ˜ฑ BREAKTHROUGH!!

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My poor listening skills

It was a pretty uneventful day, not much happened, really. I did watch an episode of Love O2O, a Chinese drama, to help me with my listening skills, which is by far the worst out of the four (reading, writing, speaking and listening). So my current focus is to listen a whole lot more, even if I understand only 5% of what’s being said. The Chinese sounds are much clearer than before, so I know it’s improving, albeit incrementally. And I’m also slowly adding to my vocab, so I’m hoping that, with time and practice, this will help with the comprehension too.

It’s funny how native speakers always speak so fast. I was talking to a Chinese friend once and for whatever reason, I asked her if she understands N and me when we talk to her. She said that we talk a little too fast sometimes – and that’s with me already slowing down for her, because I know her English isn’t too good! (Which is still wayyy better than my Chinese ๐Ÿ˜”) So I try not to get too discouraged when I can’t understand much at all when native speakers are talking. I just have to keep persevering, listening as often as I can and also adding to my vocab. Over time, with continued focus and study, it should hopefully improve. Hopefully ๐Ÿ˜†

Yum cha, shopping and karaoke

We went and had yum cha again today, I can’t get enough of yum cha ๐Ÿ˜Š If all I do while we’re in HK is to just yum cha my way through this city the entire time, then I will put it down as a successful stint here ๐Ÿ˜†

We then went shopping around the Central area, looking for some trans-seasonal pieces, which we don’t really have. SG is obviously summer at its best, and then we have winter gear for holidays in colder weather. But we don’t really have anything for autumn and spring, just those pieces that are light enough for the warmer temps but still provides just enough warmth as well when it cools down. It’s weird being back in a city with four seasons, actually, even though that’s what my hometown has and is what I’ve lived with almost all my life before we moved from there.

We had a bit of a rest back home before we went out at about 9:30pm for some karaoke ๐Ÿ˜ณ I do not like karaoke, and I only went today to keep N company. I haven’t been for about twenty years, and if I can help it, I won’t be back for another twenty ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s just not my thing. The guys who went today were full-on karaoke junkies, I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. They were basically fighting each other for the mike! Good for people like me who don’t like karaoke, at least no one was shoving a mike in my face, as they were all too keen to have one for themselves! ๐Ÿ˜‚ There were probably around 15 people in the room tonight, with around 4-5 mikes. At one point, everyone was up screaming at the top of their lungs, belting out the lyrics to a Queen or ABBA song. So like I said, I don’t know if it was a good thing or not that the room was full of serious karaoke fans! ๐Ÿ˜† But I did try to enjoy myself. And at least now I remember why I won’t be going again anytime soon ๐Ÿ˜†

Balance

I decided to go and have cake at Lady M today, and noticed that they had osmanthus tea on their menu. I had never even heard of this tea before we moved to HK, and now I see it everywhere. It’s in sooo many things here. The funny thing for me is that I actually find the Chinese word for osmanthus (ๆก‚่Šฑ guรฌ huฤ) even with tones easier to say than ‘osmanthus’! It’s such a tongue twister! So today, I ordered and said pretty much this: โ€œCan I have the pistachio mille crepe and can I try the ๆก‚่Šฑ่Œถ?โ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚ She had to repeat the tea to make sure she got my order right, as I probably threw her off by mixing English and Chinese ๐Ÿคฃ

The fun and enjoyable time I had at Lady M was then soon wiped out by a shite trading session ๐Ÿ˜” You’d think I’d learn by now, but no, I keep repeating the same damn mistakes over and over ๐Ÿ˜’

I took out my frustration at the gym and had a pretty good session there tonight. I did a few Jive kicks, which were a real killer, but definitely something that I need to do more often to help boost my stamina. I should end each gym session with one song’s worth of Jive kicks. And then work my way up to two songs, then three songs, then who knows how many songs! ๐Ÿ˜†

I’ve actually been so focussed on my goals lately that I have barely had the chance to go on the usual social media sites, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. I should make an effort to log in more often, and get the latest on what’s happening in the lives of my family and friends. I tend to be all or nothing when it comes to my goals, but I think a more balanced approach would be better and more sustainable over the longer-term. But with my detailed schedule now and achieving a good momentum with my goals, I feel like all the progress is just feeding itself and I just want more of it! ๐Ÿ˜†

Decisions

A friend’s dad recently had a stroke, and apparently he’s not doing too well ๐Ÿ˜” She’s trying to be strong throughout it all, but of course it’s tough for her and the rest of her family. You never know when your time will be up, which is why I try and make the most of every day that I have. It’s not always easy – like having a shite trading day like I did today ๐Ÿ˜ซ – but it’s moments like this when I become even more grateful for what I do have. I hope he pulls through ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž

I took out some trans-seasonal pieces from storage today; it felt appropriate to do so, for some reason. It hasn’t been all that cold these past few weeks – I’ve been living quite comfortably in cardigans – so I also put away the thicker winter gear that I haven’t worn recently. You know what this means, then: that I’ve been overly optimistic and that the temperature will probably drop tomorrow! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ In fact, it’s actually raining right now… ๐ŸŒง

One of N’s colleagues invited him/us to walk up The Peak tonight, but I declined, as I wasn’t feeling all that great today. I’m glad I stayed home, as apparently the colleague is a bit of a hiker and was powering up the mountain! ๐Ÿ” I would’ve held him / them back. But even N’s legs were screaming, so I’m definitely glad I didn’t tag along! ๐Ÿ˜… It wouldn’t have been a leisurely walk at all for me!

Walking and learning

We went to Sham Shui Po this afternoon and just wandered around the neighbourhood for a little bit. While we were walking around, we discovered this little hiking trail that quite a few people were walking, so I did a quick Google search to see what trail this was. Apparently it goes up to Garden Hill – and it’s a really easy trail! So we’ll have to go back and walk up there next time – when we’re both wearing sneakers, perhaps ๐Ÿ˜Š

We decided to do a flatter walk instead, and walk the 3km from Sham Shui Po to Yau Ma Tei. There are a few kitchenware shops in Yau Ma Tei, on Shanghai Street, which N wanted to go and check out. But by the time we got there, though, the shops were actually all starting to close! And it wasn’t even 7pm yet, which is rather early for HK, so we were quite surprised that they were all closing already. So we’ll have to return to Shanghai Street as well, maybe on the same day before or after we climb up to Garden Hill ๐Ÿ˜Š

We then just went home and I watched a few TEDx talks on YouTube in the evening. Some are a bit boring, but some are actually quite informative and/or inspirational, so I enjoy watching these every now and then. Today I watched a few on learning languages, and got a few tips from them ๐Ÿ‘ One that I liked is 10 adjectives x 10 nouns x 10 verbs = 1,000 combinations. So even if you just know ten of each, you can make a ton of different sentences. And I’m pretty sure I know much more than ten of each type, so I want to be more conscious in practising the various combos (no matter how outrageous the sentences are – the more outrageous, the better, anyhow, as they’ll be more memorable that way! ๐Ÿ˜†) and continue to add to my vocab each day. And if I say the sentences out loud, it’ll reinforce the tones of each word as well, which is one of the hardest things that I find about the Chinese language. These tones! Argh! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

And then we finished the evening with a few more episodes of Friends. It was quite a relaxing day ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Content

We went and had lunch in Kowloon with a friend from Oz, and then just wandered around Elements mall afterwards, checking out what stores they have there. I was still on the lookout for a replacement black handbag, as the straps on my current one are literally falling apart, to the point where it is now rather embarrassing walking around with it ๐Ÿ˜‚ But somehow, I found the replacement bag today ๐Ÿ˜ฒ I still can’t believe it, after looking for aaages now. Apparently it’s a new product in their range, so it was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, I think. Happyyyy ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

We then just went home and watched the second half of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, the movie that we’re up to in the Marvel series, followed soon after by Avengers: Age of Ultron. Both weren’t too bad, actually, these Marvel movies keep surprising me ๐Ÿ˜Š

And I watched some more of Devilish Joy, my current Korean drama. It’s not bad too, a light-hearted rom com, which is a nice break from all the intense dramas that I’ve been watching recently ๐Ÿ˜Š

We didn’t get to go to the gym as we were hoping to, so we’ll have to make more of an effort to go tomorrow ๐Ÿ’ช

It was a fun, relaxing day ๐Ÿ˜Š