Successful and unsuccessful practice sessions

We went and did some dance practice today. We booked the dance room for two hours, and only did three dances: one hour on waltz, and half an hour each on rumba and cha cha. I remember our old ballroom teacher telling us that she used to train for four hours each day. That’s how you become Chinese champion, I suppose! So we are barely scratching the surface 😔 But we do this for fun, not to become world champions or anything, and we’re currently not competing, so at least we’re keeping up with some training…!

While we were practising, I got a text message – from the HK police! 👮‍♀️ It’s rather stressful getting a random text message from the police! It was in Chinese, but since I was so stressed that I just got a text from the police, I just copied and pasted directly into Google Translate, rather than trying to read the message myself 😆 It was just a public service announcement letting everyone know that there’s another march today, and to make sure to receive updates from social media about it. I thought that was a really nice thing to do, despite the initial stress of seeing “HK police” show up on my phone! 😆

N decided to still go to karate tonight, despite this rally that’s going on. But as soon as he got to the venue, they cancelled the practice session! Apparently the venue had decided to close for the rest of the evening, we assume because of the rally. So he had no choice but to just head back home 😔 I guess I should be grateful that these minor inconveniences is the extent to which we are impacted by these protests. I just don’t want them to escalate into something worse – and I don’t want to find out what “worse” could be 😔

Citygate and the end of season one

Our grocery home delivery came at around 11am today. Their morning window is 9am-2pm, which is such a huge window! But they seem to come at around 11am each time, so that’s not too bad.

We decided to watch an episode of The Umbrella Academy before heading to Citygate, a discount outlet store out near the airport. We actually spent more time out there than I had expected to, and we didn’t even finish the whole mall. Probably worth a visit a few times a year to stock up on anything that we need, as their stuff actually isn’t too bad 👍

We also discovered Taste out there, this supermarket that has the most awesome ready made food section. Rivals Takashimaya in SG, if you ask me! And that’s saying something, because I thought Takashimaya’s downstairs food section was pretty good 😲 I was wondering if there was another Taste closer to home, as I don’t really want to be travelling all the way pretty much to the airport each time I want some ready-made food for dinner! They apparently have one in Wan Chai, so I will have to go check it out 😊 Hopefully it’ll be as good, although I don’t have high hopes on this, as I suspect there is much more space out near the airport to have a massive supermarket compared to other parts of the city 😒 I’d like to be wrong, of course, but like I said, I’m not getting my hopes up.

Korean! 😋

There was karate tonight, but N was feeling too tired to go – and so decided to just head down to the gym with me 🤪 Never mind actually just resting! 😂

And then we finished off the evening by finishing off season one of The Umbrella Academy. It was such a good first season! Now we can’t wait for them to finish season two so we can start watching it 😊 I really hope it’ll be just as good as – if not better than – season one 🤞 I have a feeling we’ll be waiting until 2020, though… Sighhh… 😔

Changed plans

Facebook kindly reminded me of the World Cup last year, and it got me wondering what I was doing during the previous World Cup, the one in 2014. I remember where I was because I entered our office betting pool. It was the first time I had entered a World Cup betting pool, and everyone in the office was obsessed, so I couldn’t help but be swept in all the craziness as well. That was five years ago, and we were still living in Australia. We have moved to Asia since then, and no way in my wildest dreams would I have imagined my life would be in HK five years later. 2014 feels way more than just five years ago. So now I wonder where the next five years will take us and whether it will be as crazy as the last five… I don’t take any hometown for granted anymore, and so now I just make the most of my time in the city. I remember when our Aussie friends left SG last year, how our time together in the city country abruptly came to an end. You just never know when what you take for granted today will be taken away from you, so I try and make the most of each day. Who knows what tomorrow will bring…

Anyhoo… I just went off contemplating life for a second there 😆 But it was nice to pause and reflect on the last five years. Overall they were great years, and I hope I enjoy the next five just as much 🤞

The protest in HK continued today. And because of the potential unrest that could happen whenever such things are organised, N’s karate teacher decided to cancel today’s class. Even though class is not within the protest route, students still have to come from various places, and public transport will probably be heavily affected. And coupled with potential unrest, their teacher decided to just cancel today’s class.

So we watched Adam Sandler’s new movie instead, Murder Mystery 😆 It actually wasn’t too bad! There were a few annoying bits, particularly in the beginning, but soon after that, the movie got going and kept us entertained. Sure it’s not going to win any awards, but it’s a fun movie, and if you just watch it with no expectations of being blown away by anything and just go in for the ride, then you may actually enjoy it too. Maybe. Hopefully 😊

Our two sports

We went to the second day of the karate comp today, but just to the morning session. They had the official ceremony this morning, which was odd, as I would’ve thought they’d have it at the beginning of day 1?? Perhaps one of the officials wasn’t available to attend yesterday or something, and so they moved it to today.

We went and had lunch with a few of N’s mates from karate, and then after that, we just went home and took a nap before our first proper dance training session since we moved to HK 😱 It wasn’t a complete disaster, we didn’t forget everything 😂 N remembered more of the Ballroom choreography while I remembered more of the Latin, which doesn’t come as a surprise since he prefers Ballroom and I prefer Latin 😆 It was good to get back into it, nonetheless. Plus the room booking fee is way cheaper here than in SG, and for a much larger room: we’re basically paying the same amount here as in SG, but in HK dollars (S$1 is about HK$6 – so wayyy cheaper!). Something that is actually cheaper, for once! And the room was a decent enough size that we could somewhat practise our Ballroom, something which we struggled to find in SG. This too is quite surprising, given the lack of space in this city.

Good size room, good enough even for Ballroom 👍

Afterwards, we then just went to Shake Shack – not quite the best choice in food after a training session! 😂 But it was nice, my first time eating at a Shake Shack in HK 👍

Karate, yum cha, and my new book

We went to watch a karate comp at Happy Valley today. We got there pretty early (well, early for us 😆) as one of N’s friends was competing earlier in the day, and he wanted to get there early to watch her event. We ended up staying for pretty much the entire day! But sitting up in the stands is definitely much better than having to wait out the back, waiting for your events to be called and then waiting again for your results 😊

We briefly stepped out for lunch at Causeway Bay, trying yet another yum cha place. Yum cha is everywhere in this city, it’s sooo good! Well I guess it is The Source 😆 The one we went to today, though, was pretty mediocre and very overpriced, so we won’t be going back there again! I’m surprised it wasn’t all that great, because there was a crowd outside when we arrived, waiting to be seated, so I was expecting the food to be good. Nope, that wasn’t the case at all 😒

Anyway, we’re going back to watch the second day of the comp tomorrow, so maybe we’ll try another yum cha restaurant nearby. Or maybe we’ll just eat something completely different and move on from yum cha, that’s a possibility too 😊 Let’s see how we feel tomorrow…

I also finally decided to buy Antoine de Saint- Exupéry’s The Little Prince – in Chinese 😱 They had a good version of it at The Commercial Press, this bookstore that caters specifically for children. One of my local friends introduced me to it, and this is the first time I’ve returned to it. It’s a treasure trove of books for Chinese language learners like me! I wanted to buy a paper version so I could write in it to help me learn the language. I’m three pages in and I absolutely love it! I want to quickly finish the English version so I know the story, to help me with the translating part when I read it in Chinese. It’s at a really good difficulty level, it’s not too hard like high school level books, but it’s also not too easy, like books aimed at infants. It’s at primary school level, which I think is perfect for me. I’m not looking up every second word, but enough so that I am learning new words. The sentence structures are at my level as well, so I haven’t come across anything yet where I was like “wth does this mean??” 🤷‍♀️ Plus I love the author’s writing style – in the English version, of course. I wouldn’t know what any Chinese writing style is at this stage in my learning! 😂 Anyhow, long story short, I’m so happy I bought it!

A shitty mood never helps

I had one of those days where everything felt shitty. Firstly, I didn’t get a very good night’s sleep, so that already wasn’t a great start to my day. But then that shitty start just carried on throughout the day 😔

Firstly, we went to a karate expo out in Kowloon Bay. We caught a bus for part of the trip, but ended up missing our stop, so we just got off at the next one, which, according to Google Maps, was FIVE KILOMETRES AWAY. W-T-H!! It felt like we were well on our way to China, that’s how far the next stop was!! It was a bit insane 🤪 And then the drizzle wasn’t helping matters either 😒

I have mentioned this before, but it was apparent again today, and exacerbated when one is in a shitty mood: HK is not very tourist friendly. The signs to various tourist spots are not very clear, if they even exist, and signs in general are pretty lacking. So we were just wandering around the general area where the expo was being held, not knowing where in the world the entrance actually was. And even when we found the entrance, there was still no sign saying what the venue was called, so we weren’t even sure if we were in the right building! 🤷‍♀️

Well we were, and we managed to fumble our way to the expo , after a rather frustrating journey to get there. It actually wasn’t all that great, even for N, so it was a shame that we went all the way out there only to be disappointed when we finally got there. I think it was the inaugural one, though, so hopefully it’ll continue to improve each year. We didn’t stay for long. And afterwards, we just had a quick lunch in the food court there, and just went home.

N then went to karate and I spent most of the evening just watching Chinese language instruction videos and general polyglot videos on YouTube. They’re still so inspiring! Which then made me want to practise some more Chinese, so I did 😊

Productive day in a different way

I had a pretty shite sleep last night 😔 N woke me up when he got home in the middle of the night, and I couldn’t get back to sleep after that, so I started reading one of my trading textbooks – at something like 4am. For an hour. OMG. I eventually fell back asleep, but then Kitty woke me up soon after with her scratching, for crying out loud. I sorted that out quickly, and from there, I finally got a few hours’ sleep in, and surprisingly stayed awake the rest of the day.

We received a letter from HSBC the other day, and there was no English translation. Normally most large organisations will have both English and Chinese, but for whatever reason, this letter was just in Chinese. So we went into a branch to get them to translate for us, and everything was all good 😅 That’s all we wanted to hear, and off we went on our merry way 😊

We then went for yum cha somewhere near the branch. I seriously can’t enough of yum cha, it’s just the best, man! And we’re now at The Source, so yum cha is everywhere, at all price points and all varieties. We went to one today, Social Place, which apparently serves a more contemporary style, pushing the boundaries on what can be served at yum cha. It was quite good! Randomly choosing a restaurant from the OpenRice app can obviously be a bit hit and miss, and today was a good hit 👍

We then went to Wan Chai Computer Center to get a new phone case and mouse, as both of mine are dying. The state of my phone case is now embarrassing, with bits of material flaking off it 😂 Reminds me of the sad state of my old handbag and my old pair of shoes, both of which I replaced recently as well. I use things right up until they’re on their deathbed – and then use it some more 😂 But I managed to find replacements for both today the Computer Centre, so I’m happy 😊

And then we spent the evening on fitness, with N going to karate and me to the gym.

Quite a productive day in a different way, this time 👍