Another language meetup and an update on Kitty

I went to another language meetup today. There was supposed to be six of us going tonight, but only four of us turned up, which was a bit disappointing. I can understand that things can crop up at the last minute, so a quick apology to let the organiser know that you can’t make it now would be nice.

Nonetheless, the meetup was great! I learnt a ton of new words, and met two new people (I’d already met the organiser, who was attendee #3). One of them said that there’s another meetup tomorrow night as well, which she’s going to, so I’ve put my name down on the waiting list for that as well. I thought this one was specifically for English learners, but she said that Mandarin learners also turned up last week, so maybe I can still get something out of it. Hopefully the organiser will let me go tomorrow ðŸĪž

The vet rang me today to check up on Kitty, and to give me the results of Kitty’s urine sample. It looked ok, and had no traces of blood, which was a good sign. And I told her that generally, Kitty seemed to be doing better now compared to how she was on the weekend: she’s more alert and is eating a little bit more, which is good to see. Hopefully she’ll continue to improve more and more as she gets through her round of antibiotics 💊

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A curveball of a Saturday

I got woken up at around 7:30am this morning, with Kitty doing her usual scratching at whatever door took her fancy. Then she went to the bathroom twice, before throwing up ðŸĪŪ It wasn’t a great start to our day. I then went to clean up her mess, and put the bathmat that she threw up on into the washing machine. I then went to console her, and that’s when I noticed that she was bleeding, after having gone to the bathroom. So for the next hour, she just paced around the house, looking for somewhere to lie down and hide. She was clearly not comfortable 😔

The vet opened at 10am, which felt like an eternity. And then I wasn’t even sure if we could get an appointment, as I know the clinic gets very busy, especially on the weekend. When I rang, the receptionist did say that they were fully booked today, but because Kitty was bleeding, they squeezed her in somewhere, and we managed to see a vet, phewww

The vet suspects that she has cystitis, and has given her a bajillion meds. The poor little one 😔 And us too, as we have to administer some of these meds orally, and Little Miss is grumpy at the best of times. How are we going to get her to cooperate when she’s sick?? 😒 So let’s see how we go…

The aircon guys were also supposed to come this morning, but there was a bit of an issue with their earlier appointment and so the earliest they could come today ended up being 4pm. They asked if that was still ok, or if we’d prefer to reschedule. I chose the latter and rescheduled the quarterly clean for next Saturday instead.

And then my brother rang just before we were about to head out for some dance practice. I was speaking to my nephew as well, who’s almost three years old. He picks up English words really quickly and easily! I need to mimic like he does: just have whatever Chinese show on in the background, and repeat whatever they say, even if what I say is not perfect and I have no idea what they’re saying. The more I do it, the more phrases will come naturally to me, and hopefully over time, they will eventually start actually meaning something and not just be random sounds. You really just have to expect to be starting from scratch when it comes to learning a foreign language! 😆

And dance practice was good, although I couldn’t say the same about the quality of the actual dancing 😂 We had only booked the room for an hour, and when you essentially have eight dances to practice, one hour just ain’t enough. We managed to get through four dances, and even then, only superficially. We need to do these sorts of sessions more often.

On the way home, the streets seemed really quiet tonight, for HK standards, anyway. Normally this city is bustling, with lots of people everywhere. But tonight, where we were, it just seemed quite dead. And for this area to be dead at 9:30pm is highly unusual. I wonder if there was another protest today that everyone had gone to…

So it was quite an unexpected Saturday!

Humidity

A few people say that summers in HK can be even more brutal than in SG, which I think N agrees with, but I’m yet to feel it. As you may know, I don’t get hot very easily. My ideal temperature is in the low 30s, and only when it gets into the high 30s would I start considering it “hot” 😆 Temperature-wise, it can get warmer here, but I actually felt the humidity more in SG. Actually, let me rephrase that: I don’t really understand what humidity means, as I don’t really feel it ðŸĪŠ The only way I can judge the extent of the humidity is just how drenched my back is at the end of the day 😂 And so far, my back has barely cracked a sweat this summer. But today was the first time the weather was actually starting to rival SG’s, so maybe the proper summer is yet to come…?? I’ll find out soon enough… I’ll keep you posted 😉

But having said that, we have a mould issue in the apartment, which is terribly annoying and apparently very common in these high humidity climates! And people’s suggestions on how to combat the problem? Leave the aircon on 24-7! ðŸ˜ē I don’t think it’s a very cost effective way to solve the problem, nor is it the most environmentally friendly, which is just as frustrating as the problem itself! We didn’t have this issue in SG, but apparently it’s a big issue there too 😔 Maybe because we live in an older building here, and so ventilation isn’t as great?? ðŸĪ·â€â™€ïļ So as a compromise, I tend to turn on the aircon whenever I’m in a room, and turn it off when I leave. And I also turn the aircon on in whichever room Kitty is sleeping, so she’s a little comfortable too. I hardly ever turned on the aircon in SG, it was only ever on when N was home too. But here, I use all the aircon units on a daily basis because of the mould issue. Isn’t that just lovely 😒

A lame cop-out

I went to bed quite late last night, and was woken up a few times by Little Miss, which has been the norm for her now for goodness knows how long ðŸ˜Đ So the lack of sleep, which was also disrupted, didn’t leave me very alert today 😔 I wonder if there’s a way to stop her from waking up in the middle of the night. I might try spraying this “calming spray” that we bought at the vet, for when your cat is about to do something stressful – like go to the vet! 😆 It’s supposed to help them relax a bit. I don’t know how effective it is with her, but I use it anyway, just in case it actually does help her to relax. I tend to use it more for when we’ve just moved into a new home, which is obviously very stressful for everyone. But it may help her for more day to day relaxation as well.

We were supposed to go to the gym again tonight, but I was tired and also rather comfortable on the couch watching Goblin, my current Korean drama, so N just went without me. Not good! Especially after yesterday’s session that felt really good. A pretty lame cop-out, in all honesty 😔

Ballet

We were supposed to go to Mong Kok to go buy some insulation for the aircon pipes that run through the bathroom, but we didn’t have much time before we had to go to the ballet, so we decided to go another time. Next week, perhaps.

My brother rang just before we had to leave for the ballet, but at least I still got to chat to him and my nephew for a few minutes 😊 I inadvertently taught him how to say “angry cat” ðŸĪĢ I picked up Kitty so he could see her in the video chat, but I had to put her down soon after, as she doesn’t like being carried for very long before she starts getting rather upset. So I described her as being an “angry cat” – and he picked up on it! 😂 You’ve gotta be careful with what you say in front of toddlers! 😂

We watched The Rite of Spring, which was actually a compilation of three different performances: Chroma, Year of the Rabbit and The Rite of Spring. Of course The Rite of Spring was the best one, and it was worth going just to see this performance alone. But I didn’t mind the first one, and N didn’t mind the second, so at least we both enjoyed two out of the three performances today 😊 We’re not really fans of contemporary ballet, as we prefer the more traditional stuff, but I occasionally like to branch out and see what the contemporary guys are doing, if the description is interesting enough. Something must’ve attracted me to this one, but I can’t remember what that was now, though. Regardless, we went and watched it, and had a great evening 😊

They had a bit of a mini-interview at the end with the two choreographers for The Rite of Spring, so that was an unexpected bonus. One of the choreographers was Chinese, and he decided to answer one of the questions in Mandarin, as he is obviously more comfortable speaking in his native tongue. So I also got a bit of listening practice in 👍 I picked up the odd word here and there, but I still can’t quite get a full sentence yet, unless it’s mega simple. Argh, when will my damn listening improve?!? It can be so frustrating sometimes ðŸ˜Ī

Soon after we got home, N went out again to meet up with some workmates to watch some football match. Apparently this match is quite popular (is it a final or something??), and so they’re expecting sports bars to be really packed tonight (even though the game is starting at 3am HK time?!?). So to make sure they will definitely see the game, a whole bunch of them hired out a private room in one of the bars in Wan Chai! Must be a pretty damn important game?!? 😆

But I, on the other hand, will be asleep instead. So on that note, have a wonderful evening, and I shall speak to you again tomorrow 😊

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! 😆

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 😊