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 πŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ˜† 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 πŸ‘

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

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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 πŸ˜†) 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 πŸ˜† 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 πŸ˜’

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- ExupΓ©ry’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??” πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ 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! πŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ˜”

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 πŸ€ͺ And then the drizzle wasn’t helping matters either πŸ˜’

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! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

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 πŸ˜” 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 πŸ˜… 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 πŸ‘

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 πŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ˜‚ 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 πŸ‘

Moving in the right direction

I spent quite a fair bit of time learning Chinese today. Someone on the Tandem language exchange app recommended that I watch this Chinese sitcom called Home with Kids, as I was asking for some suggestions for tv shows to watch, something relatively easy to understand for intermediate learners like me. I watched the first episode on YouTube today. YouTube has Chinese subtitles for this show, but if I don’t look at them, I pick up next to nothing of what’s being said. But once I start reading them (or rather, skimming them and picking out known words as fast as I can, as people speak faster than I can read!), I can at least start to make out the general gist of what’s going on. I obviously still need subtitles, and apparently even Chinese subtitles are better than none at all! But I think my listening is definitely getting better. Words are starting to sound much clearer now, and I am even starting to get better with the tones. I now just need to get my brain to start turning these sounds into words to give them meaning, if that makes sense! And to continue to add to my vocab, as that will also help my brain know what certain sounds mean. The little bit of improvement in my listening skills that I saw in myself today has given me hope that my listening can indeed improve over time, with some more active practice! πŸ‘ It’s very motivating when you notice progress. It’s like with dancing: you don’t notice the improvement on a day-to-day basis, but then one day, a few months down the track, all of a sudden you have this “Woah, I can do that now?! Where did that come from??” moment, and you are just so pleased with yourself and what you’ve just accomplished 😊 No matter how small the improvement, you’re still moving in the right direction, and that’s so motivating for me.

We then spent the evening at a karate dinner. It was an annual dinner, so we wanted to make sure we didn’t look too shabby on such an evening, so N asked what the attire was, and he got the gist that it was “smart casual”. So we both wore jeans, a collared shirt and nice shoes. But the other guys, all being karate people, just rocked up in their training gear! Sneakers, training jacket and all. Maybe they just finished training, we don’t know πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ So we felt rather overdressed tonight! πŸ˜† But despite the language barrier (they spoke very little English and I know next to no Cantonese), I still had a fun evening.

Feeling wonderful

It was a beautiful day today, I feel a change of season is just around the corner. I am sooo happy!! πŸ˜„ I have never been a fan of cold weather, so when I feel this change in the air, I can’t help but feel extremely excited. I cannot wait for the warm weather to arrive – bring it on!! 😊

I decided to go and have yum cha today. We returned a few of our library books while we were waiting for our number to be called, as the library was just around the corner from the yum cha place. They have the numbers all online in an app, so you don’t have to stand around the entire time waiting for your table. You can just see what number they’re up to in the app, and start heading back to the restaurant when they’re getting close to your number. It’s such a good idea!

We then went to IFC afterwards and just wandered around the mall for a while, before heading home and running a few errands. We went to the gym in the evening, with N practising a bit of karate while we were there. And then we finished off the evening with a few episodes of my/our new Cantonese drama, Love in Time.

It was a wonderful day 😊

Family time

We took Kitty to the vet today, just for a general checkup, as well as to get some more meds for her. And to introduce her to her new doctor πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ So we had to initiate Operation Sydney again…

It was mega busy at the vet. We had a 12:15pm appointment, and we weren’t seen until close to 1pm. That’s rivalling hooman doctor waiting times! I hardly ever had to wait in SG. There must be sooo many more cats here (or fewer vets).

Nonetheless, the vet was very thorough, and was concerned about both her heart and one of her kidneys. But because they’re fully booked today, the vet asked if we can bring her back to do a full checkup next week. So I have to trigger Operation Sydney once again… πŸ˜’ Poor little miss. Hopefully the vet is just being overly cautious and that she is ok for her age 🀞

We then went for a late lunch at Fortress Hill, and did a bit of window shopping at the Nike and Adidas factory outlets nearby. I know where to go now if I need some bargain shoes πŸ‘ (and you now too, if you’re ever in HK πŸ˜†)

And then we just went home and I watched a few more episodes of my Chinese drama Lover’s Lies, while N went to karate and N’s brother tried to sleep off a headache. I also listened to a few Chinese songs on YouTube, continuing to work on my listening and reading while enjoying some nice songs song the way. Here are a few songs that I liked from tonight:

ζ„›ιŽδ½ ζœ‰ε€šδΉ…ε°±ζœ‰ε€šη—› Love Hurts by Xiao Bing Chih

εΉΎεˆ†δΉ‹εΉΎ You Complete Me by Crowd Lu

ε‰ε€§ηš„ζΈΊε° Little Big Us by JJ Lin

ζΌ”ε“‘ Actor by Xue Zhi Qian

學貓叫 Learn to sound like a cat (πŸ˜‚) by Xiao Feng Feng

The last one is just fun and not really on the list for musical beauty πŸ˜‚ But it’s a good one to learn as it has quite simple words in the song πŸ˜† But listening to songs is definitely a fun way to learn some new words 😊