Happy dance!

I got up quite late this morning, so had a pretty late start to my day. But having a good sleep did wonders to my productivity, and I did a ton of stuff today! 👍 Despite being a night owl, I find that the most productive part of my day is in fact in the morning, so I find that the more I can get done before noon, the more productive my day will be. So I keep wondering if I can turn into a morning person…. Although it doesn’t help when I consistently stay up past midnight every night! 🙄 Kitty has been waking me up at around 6:30am each morning lately, so maybe she’s inadvertently helping me become one… (This is me looking on the bright side of being woken up by her every single day! 😂)

I posted something on that quasi Facebook feed in that language exchange app today, and someone commented that he reckons I am past the primary school level with my Chinese! Phwoar! Now that’s a compliment and a half! I was so happy with that! **happy dance** But that’s all well and good in a lab environment like a classroom or within the four walls of our home, but when it comes to speaking and listening out in the real world, I still flounder pretty much like a toddler. So I’m continuing to work on both of these skills. I’m listening a lot to Chinese radio (more specifically Singapore radio 😊) to expose myself more to material that’s aimed at native speakers, so I don’t just get the clinical classroom “safe” dialogue that’s been slowed down – and dumbed down! – for learners of the language. But I am also listening to the classroom audio material, as this is, in fact, my listening level! 😂 But I’m trying to be more active with them, and also following along with the accompanying text and reading along with them. Listening is by far my worst skill, so I want to dedicate more time to it so that it is in fact at primary school level, at the very least, and so more in line with the other three skills! 😆

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Shopping

Kitty woke me up in the middle of the night – throwing up 😔 And she threw up on that hard-to-wash bathroom mat, the one that we have to take down to the laundromat because our crappy washing machine can’t handle it. I think buying a new bath mat that our washing machine can wash will be better for us financially!

The weather this week has just been miserable. It has been cold and wet, and I’ve basically had to take out some winter gear, since I’d packed most of it away, as I thought we were done with the cold weather! And you know how I feel about cold weather… 😒 So it hasn’t been the best week on that front.

Nonetheless, I went to Causeway Bay today, specifically to Eslite, that bookstore that I went to the other day. I was actually going to check out a different stationery store, as well as Muji, but since it was forecast for rain, I figured I might as well stay put at Hysan Place and not bother trying to brave the weather, especially since the rain here can be quite torrential. I was quite happy that I did, because I discovered this part of Eslite that I didn’t see when I was there last week, a whole stationery and crafts section! Now I know one other place where I can go for my stationery needs in HK 😊

Semblance of a typical Sunday

Little Miss woke me up at around 7am 😒 Our usual morning routine is after giving her breakfast, we go sit in the study together until she gets bored with me and hops off my chair and sleeps somewhere else in the room. So even though I was half-asleep this morning, I knew she’d want to do the same thing this morning. She couldn’t care less that it was a Sunday 😆 So I sat in the study just surfing the net, trying to stay awake, to keep her company. She’s like a baby sometimes, I tell you! 👶🏻

So at around 9am, she finally let me head back to bed to get a bit more sleep.

And the next time I woke up, it was 12 noon! 😲 Wahhh! So I scrambled to get ready, so that we could go have our usual weekend yum cha brunch before they all close on us so they can prepare for their dinner service.

After brunch, we just headed back home and N just picked up his gear and headed to karate. I went down to a nearby laundromat to wash one of our bath mats, as our own washing machine doesn’t like it when we wash it in ours 🤪 It always gives us an error message whenever we try to wash it at home. And Kitty has thrown up on it, so it definitely needed a wash. The washing machine at the laundromat is industrial size in comparison to ours, so the lone mat looked tiny inside it. I should’ve taken a photo. This one could definitely handle this teeny mat! 😂

I then just went home and watched another episode of Love O2O, a Chinese drama that I initially started watching just for listening practice, but now I’m actually getting into it 😊 Not my favourite Chinese drama, and it doesn’t even come close to any of my favourite Korean ones (they reign supreme in this world, I tell you 😆), but it’s not too bad. The episodes are getting better as the series goes on 👍

It was a fun Sunday, despite the rather disrupted start to the day!

A bit discouraged

There are days when I feed Kitty a can of food, she’ll sniff it, and then walk away without touching it, as if she could smell poison in her bowl 🙄 Today was not one of those days, thankfully. She was devouring it all, and I actually gave her a third can this evening, which will take her through the night. She is so unpredictable. I never know when I’ll have wasted money on supposed poison, or when I’ve hit the jackpot. But even when she seems to like something, she will eventually get sick of it, and that flavour will eventually become poison too 🙄 And then I have to go and find some new flavour for her. Such a fusspot!

I was getting a bit discouraged with my Chinese today, I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with my listening, it feels like it hasn’t improved whatsoever. But objectively, I know it has, as I’m slowly starting to hear the odd few words, and I can also hear the other words more distinctly now, whereas before it was just a jumble of sounds with nothing discernible within it. I just don’t know that many words yet, and I also can’t process entire sentences that quickly. I need to have listening practice as part of my daily routine, in order to improve in this area. I don’t think I’m exposed enough to the language at the moment.

It is Good Friday tomorrow, the start of a four-day weekend – YEAH! We lost Easter Monday in SG, so it’s good to have it back now 👍

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 🤮 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 😔

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 🙄 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 😴

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 😅 We just need to go and use the toilet in the spare bathroom. First world problems 😄 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 😋

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 😱 BREAKTHROUGH!!

Three hours of my day

I felt better today, and so actually got some stuff done, unlike the last two days 😒 I went down to the open public area in our apartment building and read my trading textbook there for about an hour, as our neighbours downstairs are currently renovating, and the noise was a bit too disruptive today. Plus the sun was out, so it was nice to just sit out there and enjoy it for a bit ☀️

I rang my mum and dad just before I was going to head out to buy some groceries. I just wanted to say hi and to also let them know that I was ok, since I have been absent on social media lately. Well, the language exchange apps are a form of social media, so that’s not quite true 😊 What I expected to be a 5-minute conversation turned out to be an hour long 😳 I forgot how chatty my mum is. How could I forget?!? 😂

And then I wandered around the neighbourhood and went to five different supermarkets (!!), none of which stocked the brand of cat litter that I like! What is up with that?!? The one supermarket that I go to buy it has run out of stock, and the other four didn’t seem to stock it at all. That’s just ridiculous. So I might go online and see if I can order it from there and get it home delivered. Although this also seems just as ridiculous, since all these supermarkets are within walking distance from home! 🤪

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 👍