More TV and more rona cases

N took the day off today. So of course that didn’t help me concentrate on anything ๐Ÿ˜‚ I did teach all my lessons, but I didn’t do much else except watch more TV ๐Ÿ˜

We continued watching Timeless. I started watching it because it involves time travel, and I like shows that have time travel in the storyline. But it’s also quite funny: they make references to pop culture but they integrate it into the storyline in a creative way. They go back in time to significant moments in American history, so if I was American and actually knew more American history, I would probably like this show even more. And it’s also quite sensitive to the racism and sexism that existed in their history, and I thought they dealt with that issue quite well too. So overall, I’m really enjoying this series! It’s a shame it got cancelled after the second season. So yeah, it won’t be long before we’ll be on the hunt once again for our next show.

Any suggestions?? ๐Ÿ˜

The HK government has brought back restrictions, which start on Wednesday. Public gatherings have now been tightened to just 2 people, down from 4; most civil servants will be back working from home, and the government is encouraging the private sector to allow working from home to resume once again; and they’re considering increasing fines for violating social distancing rules. Gyms and sport facilities can stay open, but activities will be restricted to 2 people in each group. 76 cases today ๐Ÿ˜” But at least that’s better than yesterday’s 115.

Binge watching

I spent a ton of my day just watching TV ๐Ÿ˜† I continued watching Gossip Girl, and continued to still be disappointed with the cinematography. Then again, it was filmed back in 2007, so I guess I shouldn’t be so harsh ๐Ÿ˜Š

And then N introduced me to Timeless, this time travel drama. It turned out to be quite addictive! I think we watched the first five episodes today ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Not much to do, as you can see, when you’re at home coz the number of rona cases just continues to increase outside ๐Ÿ˜’ We had 115 cases today, the most we’ve seen since goodness knows how long. Maybe since July. I’m actually quite surprised that the government hasn’t brought back any restrictions yet. This surely is our fourth wave ๐Ÿ˜”

N isn’t as freaked out as me, so he’s been going out to get his exercise and meet friends. I’d rather that he didn’t, of course, but it’s his choice. And if the government brings back some of the previous restrictions, this choice may be taken away from him anyway.

Life imitating art

I watched more episodes of Gossip Girl tonight ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s a bit cheap looking, to be honest. It feels like I’m watching one of those dramas like The Bold and the Beautiful or Home and Away or something, even though it’s supposed to be all about the rich and well to do in New York City. Most of the time, it just feels like they’re on a set and not actually in some fancy schmancy hotel or apartment on the Upper East Side. So that sorta loses the glamour for me. So I’m trying not to focus on that and just watch it for entertainment and not for the cinematography ๐Ÿ˜† And it’s delivering on that, at least. I’m now about halfway through season one. I now know all the main characters, and things are now starting to get interesting ๐Ÿ˜Š

Speaking of interesting, apparently there was a little bit of drama at the Thanksgiving dinner that I pulled out of tonight. I don’t have all the details yet, that’s all I know so far. I’ll give you more goss when (if) I find out more ๐Ÿ˜‚ Gosh, they sound like they’re straight out of Gossip Girl ๐Ÿคฃ You’d think they were 16 ๐Ÿ™„ But I won’t judge. Yet ๐Ÿ˜œ

Cancellations

I have pulled out of tomorrow night’s dinner. The number of cases in HK continue to climb, with 92 cases today ๐Ÿ˜ฑ The seven-day average now sits at 75. I am really not comfortable going out again. HK is a densely populated city, and maintaining a safe distance from others is next to impossible. I’d much rather stay healthy and be stuck at home than go out for a bit of fun and risk catching this virus. And with my weak immune system, chances are that I’ll have more severe symptoms than the average person ๐Ÿ˜’ So, um, no thanks!

This also means that I am not willing to go to the Wan Chai Computer Centre, one of my favourite places these days. So buying our Christmas presents will just have to wait – even if that means I get my present after Christmas.

And it also means that I’ve cancelled all the research on staycations. What a fantastic way to end the year. Thanks again, Rona, for everything ๐Ÿ˜’

Books, travel and the rona

I finished reading Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None today. I first read this book as a kid, so this was the first time I read it as an adult. I’m surprised I even understood it as a kid ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Don’t underestimate children’s intelligence! Anyway, I remembered enjoying this book as a kid, so I thought I’d see if I’d enjoy it again as an adult. And I did! I guess because Agatha Christie isn’t really known for writing children’s books. Again, I’m surprised that I even read this book as a kid!

So the next book that I want to read is Murder on the Orient Express. I’ve never read that one, so I have no expectations – other than the fact that I enjoyed her previous book, so, in a way, I’m hoping that this one will be just as good! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿคž

It’s the last week of November, can you believe that?! Where did 2020 go?? Well, the rona sorta screwed it pretty bad ๐Ÿ˜’

I’ve been wanting to travel so badly, but I know it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Apparently the chief exec of HK, Carrie Lam, went to Beijing to see if we can have a travel bubble between mainland China and HK. Apparently she came back empty-handed and they effectively told to get her city’s act together first before they will even consider such a deal ๐Ÿ˜” And then the HK-SG travel bubble has been delayed because of the increasing number of cases here. We had 81 cases today. That’s pretty much a whole week with cases in the high double digits. Dang. So I’m guessing these travel bubbles ain’t happening anytime soon. Sighhh…

So it’s making me not really want to go out again. We have this dinner thing on Saturday that we have already committed to, but if I had a choice, I wouldn’t go. It’s a large gathering, and large gatherings freak me out a bit these days. In fact, I’m tempted to forego the money that we’ve already paid so that I’m not exposing myself unnecessarily in this current environment.

My constant struggle with learning Chinese

I had my Chinese lesson today. I never feel like I’m improving ๐Ÿ˜” I’m sure that not practising during the week isn’t helping my cause either!

There’s this thing with the Chinese language called tones. They basically indicate whether a word should be said, for example, as if you’re asking a question or if you’re exclaiming something. So let’s use the word ‘hey’ as an example. If you said hey as if it had a question mark after it: ‘hey?’ vs if you said it as if it had an exclamation mark after it: ‘hey!’, these two sounds now have two different meanings in Chinese. And Chinese has FOUR of these punctuation marks! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ And every syllable has a punctuation mark, so not only do you have to remember the sound of the word (‘hey’) but also the punctuation mark attached to it (‘?’).

I think this is one of the hardest things about learning the language. And you just have to remember the sound and the punctuation that’s attached to it. Knowing English is of absolutely no help because the two languages are not related to each other in any way! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Anyway, that’s my first whinge about these tones, which I think is bad enough. My second whinge is about having two words related to one another have the same sound but having two different tones. So imagine that the word grape can mean either ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ depending on what punctuation you use with it. So, for example, ‘grape?’ means ‘buy’, but ‘grape!’ means ‘sell’. WHY would you have these two related words, ‘buy’ and ‘sell’, both use the same word ‘grape’, and the only way to differentiate whether the speaker is saying ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ is by listening to the punctuation mark at the end of ‘grape’! Argh! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

This is indeed the case for ‘buy’ and ‘sell’. But it is also the same for:

  • ‘where’ and ‘there’; and
  • ‘season’ and ‘episode’

And goodness knows what other related words are out there! It’s hard enough getting your head around all the different tones, but then to have related words sound virtually identical is just cruel! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Early Christmas presents

I’m turning into a bit of tech geek. I am watching techy YouTubers talk about the specs of different tech gear that came out last month – and I’m being tempted to buy them! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ This is all so weeeird…. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Before, it was always N who was interested in tech stuff, and I had no interest whatsoever. And I definitely wouldn’t be watching YouTube videos on new gear that’s just come out – because I wouldn’t have even cared about the old stuff that’s already available! Now I’m the one seeking out the info, knowing the improvements they’ve made to the previous model, and I’m the one telling N about it! What. The. Hell!

But he’s still techy, don’t get me wrong. I’m the one who’s jumped on the same bandwagon. He’s probably thinking, “Finally!” ๐Ÿ˜‚

The problem with this, though, is that tech stuff costs money ๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ฒ Moolah. Dough. Cash. Whatever you want to call it ๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿ’ด๐Ÿ’ถ๐Ÿ’ท So it starts becoming a rather expensive hobby ๐Ÿ˜‘ But now, since it’s a shared hobby, we can at least sorta share the gear. OK, so at the moment, it’s all about me using his existing gear: I use his tripod, his cables, his SD cards, his camera bag…. But he’s more than welcome to use my stuff too, if he wants! ๐Ÿ˜†

So I think we will be getting each other techy stuff for Christmas this year ๐Ÿคฃ But we’re going for dinner with a bunch of people on Saturday, and we both want to buy our tech toys before that so we can play with them at the dinner. Now why do we want our toys specifically for this particular dinner? Because it’s up at The Peak, and there is an awesome view of Victoria Harbour from up there. And we want to have some fun capturing the view with our toys ๐Ÿ˜†

So we might be getting our Christmas presents early this year ๐Ÿ˜œ

The rona, then and now

Yep, I think we are going through our FOURTH wave ๐Ÿ˜” There were 73 new cases today. I know that’s piddly compared to so many other cities in the world, but this is a lot for HK. And now that’s three days in a row where the average has been around 60 ๐Ÿ˜ฑ The three-day average exactly one month ago was 8. and the three-day average two weeks ago was 9. So this is a big jump in such a short period of time. Like I said yesterday, I’m expecting the restrictions to kick in once again any day now… ๐Ÿ˜”

And a lot of these recent cases have apparently been linked to dance clubs ๐Ÿ˜ณ Faaantastic. Thankfully we haven’t started dancing again! We’ve only been practising on our own. So you can never be too careful.

Masks are still mandatory here, and hand sanitisers are still everywhere. And my little travel-sized one is always hanging off my handbag, which I always use every time I touch anything in public, and just before I eat anything. I still shut the lid when I flush in whatever bathroom I’m in, public or otherwise; and I still try and maintain my distance from others, which has always been quite challenging in this densely populated city. It doesn’t mean that others maintain their distance from you, though, and that is quite annoying ๐Ÿ˜’ My rules back in March is now just the new norm.

I also still remember back then when I was wondering for how long I would be waking up to hearing about 10,000 new cases overnight. Now there are half a million new cases every day. I never imagined back then just how much our world would change as a result of this damn virus. Crazy stuff. I was going to say it might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but given how insane our world has been in recent years, I think there is the very real possibility that it will happen again in my lifetime ๐Ÿ˜ข

Haircuts and rona cases

I got my hair cut today. My second haircut for the year ๐Ÿคฃ It’s so much easier when your hair is longer! Short hair quickly looks unkempt after just a few weeks. With longer hair, I can just continually tie it back, and presto! It looks okay again ๐Ÿคฃ I don’t like going to the hairdresser’s, it’s a bit of a torturous experience. So having COVID as an excuse not to go is perfect too hehehe So today was only the second time I got my hair cut all year. Perrrrrfect! hehehe

The other reason that I’m letting it grow is because we’re not competing at the moment. I prefer having my hair short for competitions because it’s so much easier to style. I don’t have to do the whole bun thing (or heaven forbid anything even more complicated than that! ๐Ÿ˜‚), and I can pretty much keep it the same for both Ballroom AND Latin. I’m lazy, and my care factor for all that stuff is pretty much zilch ๐Ÿ˜‚ So the easier it is to manage my hair, the happier I am. I’d much rather focus on my dancing than on all the fancy schmancy stuff that comes with the sport. I would actually prefer just to dance in a black dress than have to deal with all the make-up and jewellery and all the other rigmarole ๐Ÿ™„ But that’s the sport, and I have to at least try and look the part. So I do the least amount of work and make it as easy as possible for myself! ๐Ÿ˜†

Oh, and there were 68 cases in HK today. Faaantastic. I thought yesterday’s 43 was bad enough. How did we go from single digits to now being around 50?!? WTH?!? I feel the restrictions are going to be piled on again any day now ๐Ÿ˜”

Travel

I went to Kowloon Walled City Park today and filmed what will hopefully be my next vlog. It was overcast today, and I did feel a few raindrops every now and then, so that might have kept people away from the park. I like parks in general, though, and I had the time to read a bit more about Kowloon Walled City today in the little information building in the park.

The SG-HK travel bubble has been postponed for two weeks because cases have suddenly increased here in the past two days ๐Ÿ˜” We were thinking of taking advantage of that bubble, but the price and all the rigmarole that you have to go through is putting me off. It’s still not as simple as what the marketers would have you believe. It’s still not quite like how it was travelling in the pre-COVID era ๐Ÿ˜‘

So instead, I’m thinking of doing a staycation over Christmas and/or New Year’s. So I’ve started having a look at a few different hotels. A lot of places have staycation deals, so Iโ€™m going to see which hotel has the best deal for us ๐Ÿ˜Š I never really wanted to do a staycation when Kitty was still here, because I always felt bad for leaving her at home. But now sheโ€™s letting us go. I would still much rather have her back with us, though ๐Ÿ˜ข