Travel

I had my Chinese lesson today. I didn’t have a lesson last week because my teacher went to Sanya for a holiday last week. Prices are really good at the moment because of the rona: apparently their flights for the four of them cost around the same amount as the price of just one ticket normally 😲 And their hotel room in a five-star hôtel with a sea view cost something like A$60 per night! 😲 I wish we could travel to Sanya too!

It’s really close too, the flight is probably only around 1-1.5 hours, much like a Sydney to Melbourne flight. I think it’s about 1.5 hours to Taiwan (also on the map below), so I’m guessing that Sanya would be roughly the same. The problem is the rona and quarantine measures 😔 For mainland Chinese, they can travel around freely domestically to cities that are not deemed high-risk. But HK, despite officially being part of China, still runs very separately to the mainland (despite what the protesters and western mainstream media would have you believe) and so we follow the HK government’s regulations on travel. And that still means a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone coming back from overseas, which I think also includes mainland China.

So I have basically succumbed to the fact that we won’t be travelling anywhere in 2020 😔 And you know what one of my goals was for this year? Explore different parts of China! 😩 I thought that’d be a pretty cool goal, given our current proximity to the mainland at the moment. We may as well take advantage of it!

And then February rolled around, and all those ideas went out the window 😔

Learning

My parents rang today. They needed help to connect to YouTube on their tv. What should’ve been a five-minute explanation turned into an hour-long frustrating conversation 😒 Not only did we have to work with the tv, but we also had to work with my mum’s smartphone, since they were using that to talk with me. And they’re not all too comfortable using that either. It’s hard when they’re older now and all this technology is so new to them. So I tried to be as patient as I could be, but it can be so hard sometimes 😓 But we managed to get it sorted and they now have YouTube all set up again, at least 👍

We watched more of One Punch Man tonight. There are only two seasons with 12 episodes in each, so we’ll probably finish the whole series before the work week is even over 😆 I’m enjoying this anime, and it’s inspiring me to study more Japanese. I might watch another anime after this one, maybe one that has simpler language so I can follow more of the dialogue. But let’s see. Entertainment is trumping study-worthiness right now 😂

A pretty non-eventful day

There were four new cases in HK today, all imported cases from Pakistan. They anticipated this increase, as a number of people were flown back to HK recently after being stuck overseas. Hopefully they can isolate these cases and make sure there are no local transmissions.

And it was a pretty non-eventful day closer to home as well. I worked on my next YouTube video and then did some Japanese language study. I feel like I’ve been neglecting my language learning lately, so I’m trying to spend a bit more time on them now. I’m trying to make sure I just do even just five minutes a day. Five minutes a day is still better than nothing!

I’m also started reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. It’s quite good! I’m enjoying it 😊 He injects a bit of humour throughout the book, while also having a lot of useful tips to try in your own life. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Things are slowly returning to normal!

The library reopened for I think the first time since this virus broke out. And remember that the virus was here earlier than the rest of the world, so they’ve been closed since early Feb. So it’s been three months 😱 I’ve had to continually renew my loans online this entire time. And they kept extending the maximum loan period during this time because no one could actually return books! But because they reopened today, I had reached the maximum number of times I could borrow one of my books, so I had to actually go in and return it.

When I got there, there was a queue outside the building to enter! I guess a ton of other people also missed the library these past few months! They were limiting the numbers inside the library at any given time, so they were staggering the times that they were allowing people to enter. So I had to wait until the next ‘window’, which meant that I had to wait for almost half an hour 😱

Waiting in the queue to enter the library 😱

But once I was inside, it was faaantastic 😁 I felt like part of my old life had returned. The library is still not fully operational: they removed all the chairs so you couldn’t sit around and read, and any study areas/rooms were still closed. They’re still preventing large gatherings of people inside. But it’s slowly returning to normal and that’s really promising 👍

Things in general feel like they’re slowly returning to normal. Today was the 17th consecutive day where we’ve had no local cases, and only a handful of cases from overseas during that time – YEAH!! 👍 So the government is slowly relaxing some of the restrictions that have been put in place since around mid-March when we saw a spike in cases largely due to all the people coming back from overseas. So things like upping the number of people who can go out in a group from four to eight, and allowing bars and gyms and other places to reopen. But the strict social distancing remains, and cleaning and disinfecting also needs to stay.

I had my Chinese lesson today, and apparently temperature taking prior to boarding public transport in my teacher’s city of Xi’an is no longer happening. Hopefully we’re not far behind with removing this requirement prior to entering buildings and restaurants too 🤞

A promising start to the week

The weather was niiice today. I finally felt comfortable, which means that summer is pretty much here – woohoo! 🥳 I need to swap my summer and winter clothes, I still have jumpers and ultra-warm Uniqlo Heattech gear in my closet 😂 I’ll try and do that this weekend.

HK will be relaxing some of its restrictions soon. We haven’t had any local cases since the 19th April, I believe 👏 The few recent cases that we’ve seen have been people coming back from overseas, so it’s still looking promising! I think civil servants are back at work this week, which means government owned facilities will probably slowly start to open up again soon too. I think schools will slowly start reopening in late May / early June. We will soon start to see what our new world is going to look like.

And I watched a few more episodes of One Punch Man today. I can’t believe just how much I’m enjoying this anime! I’m enjoying it so much that I’m considering reading the Japanese version of the manga series 😱 Never mind that it’s for advanced Japanese language learners! The story is so interesting that I can probably persevere and try to study it anyway! 🤪 I might go and see if I can find the manga at a bookstore somewhere. Maybe I can get a Chinese and English version of it as well hehehe 😆 #polyglotgoals

Day 4: trying new things

N has been baking so much bread lately that we are now running low on bread flour! 😂 So we went to Wan Chai again to that baker specialty store to restock. He made another batch today too, I think that’s three days in a row that he baked bread. Three out of the four days of the long weekend. I think we are totally carb’d out now! 😆 Maybe it’s time we switch to some low/no carb meals for the next few days…

But a friend has given me a recipe to make cinnamon rolls, and I’d like to try them out this week, if I can. But I might leave them for later on in the week after we’ve cut back on our carbs a little bit…! 🤪

N also introduced me to One Punch Man today, which is quite funny! I’ve heard of this manga before, but I always dismissed it for two reasons: it looks like it’s full of action, which doesn’t really interest me, and especially not in manga; and also because I heard that the language used in the manga is for advanced Japanese learners, which I’m definitely not. So I’ve just avoided it. But N has been watching the anime series this long weekend, and it looked intriguing, so I decided to start watching it today. And it’s really good! Yes, the language is quite advanced, but I’m watching it primarily for entertainment, so I’m not getting caught up studying the dialogue or getting upset that I barely understand any of it. Learning the odd word is perhaps a better way to put it 😆 And yes, there is action in it, but it’s presented in a totally different way, and I like it! So I’m really enjoying this anime, much to my surprise. And it’s spurring me on to study some more Japanese too, which is never a bad thing 😊

I don’t want to get my hopes up

I spent a ton of time today thinking about my next YouTube video, a particular grammar point again. And then tonight, one of students changed all that. Now my next topic is going to be completely different to what I’ve been thinking about for the past few days! 😂 I’ll eventually come back to my original idea, I might continue with it next week 😊 I’ve been doing quite a few grammar videos lately, so this new idea (all to do with listening practice) is perhaps a bit refreshing anyway.

We had beautiful spring weather today, it was very exciting 🌺🌸🌼🌻 But this happened to me last year too: the weather warms up and I get really excited that spring is upon us, only for the weather gods to take that hope away and bring back cold, miserable weather the following week 😔 So I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high, and instead, just enjoy the gorgeous weather while it’s here 😊

We had no new cases again today, three days in a row now, omg. Exciting!! 😄 Rumour has it that some restrictions may ease next week, but again, I don’t want to get my hopes up. The only restrictions affecting me are the gym closures and the library closures. Once those reopen, then my life will effectively be back to normal – well, as normal as it could be, post the rona. I still wonder how our daily lives will forever be changed now…