Fun and relaxation

N did a ton of karate today, two hours in the middle of the day and two hours later in the evening ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I did the complete opposite: absolutely nothing ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜”

Well, in terms of exercise, that is. I did manage to cobble together a quick video from yesterdayโ€™s brunch, I actually had enough footage to work with ๐Ÿ‘ I hope the birthday girl liked it. If anything, itโ€™s the thought that counts ๐Ÿ˜Š This whole vlogging business is so much fun, though. I really should do more, I enjoy making them so much ๐Ÿ˜„

N is also doing some research for me in the camera space. The difference between us, though, is that he is willing to spend a lot more money on technology than I am. So the camera he suggested to me is 5x more than what Iโ€™m willing to spend ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ FIVE TIMES! So I didnโ€™t even look at the specs of the camera. But for that price, Iโ€™m sure itโ€™s pretty damn awesome. Or least it better be!

Anyway, I still need to read up on the various options that I have. I still have no idea what I want to buy! ๐Ÿ˜’

And I finally finished Crash Landing On You, five months later. I donโ€™t know exactly when I started watching that drama, all I know is that it took me months to finish it! Not that it was bad or anything, it was just that I never really had the time to watch it. And when I was watching TV, it was usually with N, and Korean dramas arenโ€™t really his thing, so we usually just watch whatever American show looks interesting.

But Iโ€™ve finally finished it, so now itโ€™s time to find a new show. Actually, weโ€™ve also just finished Community, so if you have any suggestions for our new show (or an Asian drama for me ๐Ÿ˜‰), then please let me know! ๐Ÿ™

What is โ€˜normalโ€™?

We went and got our passport photos taken today. It cost an arm and a leg, OMG! We paid close to A$50 for both our photos! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Do passport photos normally cost a bomb or is it just HK?? I wouldnโ€™t be surprised if you said, โ€œItโ€™s just HKโ€, because this city is just so damn expensive! ๐Ÿ˜’

N went to karate today for the first time all year, I think. We still havenโ€™t resumed dancing. We were going to go back this year, but then the rona happened, and that threw out that plan, as well as my travel plans this year ๐Ÿ˜” And Iโ€™m still hesitant to go back now. Sighhh… I think my โ€˜normalโ€™ life is effectively put on hold this year.

And then in the evening, we started watching a Chinese drama! Itโ€™s called All is Well, and apparently it was one of the most popular dramas in China last year. It has been recommended to me by a few people now. The first episode was intriguing, so Iโ€™m definitely going to continue watching ๐Ÿ‘ It doesnโ€™t have the same pull as the Korean dramas, but itโ€™s gotten me interested in a different way. Plus the listening practice is good, even if I am still reading English subtitles! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Oh, did I mention typhoon season has started? We had our first T1 and T3 signals in the past few days. Luckily it didnโ€™t progress any higher than T3. Although N would get the day off if it goes to T8, so thatโ€™s not bad. So everyone keeps wanting a T8 to be called! ๐Ÿ˜† I remember last year when I was freaking out about my first T8, and people just kept saying, โ€œDonโ€™t worry about it! Enjoy the day at home, and just have a bottle of wine to get you through the day!โ€ So Iโ€™ll definitely take up this suggestion this year! ๐Ÿ˜†

Quiet again

We had another quiet day today, picking up some groceries and just generally cleaning up the house and running errands.

We practised a little bit in the evening, me dancing and N karate. We hired a dance room in one of the sports centres here. I might’ve mentioned this before, but hiring a room in a sports centre is one of the cheapest things you can do in HK ๐Ÿ˜† It surprised me just how cheap it was, considering how almost everything else is so damn expensive in this city.

We have decided to start a ballroom group class after Chinese New Year ๐Ÿ‘ We’ll try it out first and see how we like the class, the teacher and the studio. I find that getting back into our regular activities when we move cities is always quite challenging. And perhaps it’s because it’s not as urgent as, say, finding a new home, it always tends to get put on the back burner ๐Ÿ˜” So more than a year later, hopefully we can get back into our dancing ๐Ÿคž

Holiday coming to an end

We went and watched a karate comp in Kowloon today. I’m not all that particularly interested in karate, I just go for N โ˜บ๏ธ So I just spent most of my time there editing a video and trying to come up with a relevant but interesting name for my YouTube/ Youku channel (or whatever Chinese app I decide to use!) But because I lack in creativity, I have come up with rather boring names so far! Or names that are already in use ๐Ÿ˜” So unless some brilliant name comes to mind in the next week or so, I’ll probably end up going with one of the boring ones. I’ll keep brainstorming nonetheless, and hopefully I’ll come up with a few less boring ideas ๐Ÿ˜†

A friend of ours who has recently moved back to SG has asked us to throw out the few foodstuffs that they had left in their kitchen. So we went over to his place tonight to do this. We were expecting a few teas and maybe one or two other random things. But instead, we came across all this! ๐Ÿคฃ

Not to mention the stuff still in their fridge ๐Ÿคฃ We weren’t prepared for so much food to still be there that we didn’t come prepared with garbage bags, or even just bags for us to carry back some of the stuff that we do want to keep! We have to come back another time. But now we know ๐Ÿ˜œ

Tomorrow is effectively the start of our “regular” 2020. We’ve been on holidays for the past few weeks, so it’s going to be hard to come back to reality ๐Ÿ˜” My Bullet Journal for 2020 isn’t even set up yet, and I haven’t done my 2019 review yet either. Blahhh… Feeling so unorganised! But the last few weeks has been great ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m sure I’ll be back to my regular routine before I know it, and wishing we were back on holidays!

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 ๐Ÿ˜” 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! ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™€๏ธ 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 ๐Ÿ˜† 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! ๐Ÿ˜†

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 ๐Ÿ˜” 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 ๐Ÿ˜”

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 ๐Ÿ‘

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฒ 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 ๐Ÿ˜Š 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 ๐Ÿ˜’ I’d like to be wrong, of course, but like I said, I’m not getting my hopes up.

Korean! ๐Ÿ˜‹

There was karate tonight, but N was feeling too tired to go – and so decided to just head down to the gym with me ๐Ÿคช Never mind actually just resting! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š I really hope it’ll be just as good as – if not better than – season one ๐Ÿคž I have a feeling we’ll be waiting until 2020, though… Sighhh… ๐Ÿ˜”

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 ๐Ÿ˜† 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 ๐Ÿคž

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 ๐Ÿ˜† 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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฑ It wasn’t a complete disaster, we didn’t forget everything ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜† 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 ๐Ÿ‘

Afterwards, we then just went to Shake Shack – not quite the best choice in food after a training session! ๐Ÿ˜‚ But it was nice, my first time eating at a Shake Shack in HK ๐Ÿ‘

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 ๐Ÿ˜†) 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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜† 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 ๐Ÿ˜’

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š Let’s see how we feel tomorrow…

I also finally decided to buy Antoine de Saint- Exupรฉry’s The Little Prince – in Chinese ๐Ÿ˜ฑ 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??” ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜”

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 ๐Ÿคช And then the drizzle wasn’t helping matters either ๐Ÿ˜’

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! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š