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 πŸ‘

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 😲 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 😊 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 πŸ˜’ I’d like to be wrong, of course, but like I said, I’m not getting my hopes up.

Korean! πŸ˜‹

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

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

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Felt like dΓ©jΓ  vu

I felt like I had just as productive a day today as I did yesterday, only today I spent more time on Chinese than trading. I think it was the other way around yesterday, but regardless, it was productive 😊 It felt a bit like déjà vu, in a way.

By the time I finished working, I couldn’t be bothered making my way down to the supermarket, so I just had whatever was in the pantry: so I had spam for dinner tonight! Eating into our emergency food stash πŸ˜‚ Not the healthiest of meals, so I shall make an effort to go to the gym tomorrow πŸ’ͺ

And I finished off the evening with an episode of Love O2O, my current Chinese drama. I’m getting closer and closer to the ending, so I really have to start looking for my next drama! Even if it is a Korean drama πŸ˜† I’d prefer to find a Chinese drama so I can continue working on my poor listening skills, but the Korean dramas are just too good to pass up sometimes…! (Most of the time?? πŸ˜‡)

Listening and watching

There was a trading webinar last weekend that I wanted to join. It was split into two sessions, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday 6pm Central time, which is actually Sunday and Monday morning 7am HK time. But when I tried to log in to catch the Monday morning session, it said that the webinar had already finished. The link that they gave didn’t seem to allow for different time zones around the world, and just took Saturday 6pm local time, regardless of where you were in the world. So it seemed to have the webinar registered to start at 6pm HK time on Saturday and Sunday πŸ˜’ Bizarre… So luckily I didn’t try to join the webinar Sunday morning, and not have it work then either! The organisers emailed copies of the presentations today, as well as a link to the recordings of the sessions, so I started watching them today. I would’ve preferred to have joined the webinar live, but I guess this is the next best thing πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

I also spent some time on my Chinese today. I did some active listening, something which I need to do more of – well, I really need to do more of any sort of listening! πŸ˜† And by active listening, I mean focussing solely on what is being said and trying to understand as much as possible. I prefer to do this with a transcript, if possible, because my listening skills are still so bad. This way, I can associate sounds with the written word, which makes it easier for me to link the sounds with meaning. It takes a lot of effort, as you can imagine, which is probably why I don’t do it very often. But I’m going to try and actively listen to even just one minute on a daily basis, as surely this is better than doing nothing at all. This sort of listening is probably the best type of practice to really improve my listening skills, but it takes so much effort that I can really only do it for just a few minutes at a time. Most of the time I just do more passive listening: watching tv or listening to the radio and listening out for words and phrases that I know, but not getting too caught up with not understanding everything that they say. But it’s obviously still not enough, as my listening skills are still so shite! 😩 But I’m continuing to persevere, with the hope that one day, it will all magically come together…! 🀞

We watched another episode of The Umbrella Academy tonight. We’re running out of episodes – and they’ve only made the first season! They’re still working on season two! But we’re both really enjoying it. I haven’t enjoyed a western tv show as much as this one for a long time now, so I’m really happy that we stumbled across this series! I might have to go back to the Asian dramas once we finish season one 😊 Err, for listening practice… 😜🀣

My Chinese diary

Have I mentioned my Chinese diary before? Our previous teacher in SG suggested that we keep a diary, as he thought it was a good way to see how well we’d grasped the grammatical structures that we’d been taught. Even though we no longer take lessons with him, I still occasionally write in it, and even more regularly now that I’ve started doing these online lessons. I should try and write in it every day, even if it’s just a few sentences each time. It’s such good practice.

My Chinese diary reminds me of a friend’s daughter who kept a diary when they went travelling in Europe. His daughter was around five or something at the time, and so all her entries were basically like “today we went to a castle”. My diary reminds me of this diary of hers! πŸ˜‚ OK, maybe not a five year old’s diary, perhaps an 8- or 10-year old’s! 😜

We actually spent most of today’s lesson discussing the grammatical points that I covered in these diary entries. Surprisingly, she didn’t correct much, so I was happy about that πŸ‘ I think the speed at which I write these entries is getting faster, and I’m making fewer mistakes, so surely I must be improving! 🀞

Now time to get my speaking and listening up to the same level! πŸ˜†

Mozzie bites and TV dramas

Today was my first day back into my normal routine, after being sick for a few days and then family visiting for a few days after. It was nice to get back into the swing of things 😊

I got bitten really badly I assume when we went to Kowloon Walled City Park. I don’t think I’ve ever been bitten so badly in my life: I have at least half a dozen mosquito bites on each leg 😲 And I’ve also somehow reacted quite badly to them, as they’re all really massive and itchy. Mozzie bites on steroids, I tell you 😱 I actually got a bad sleep last night because they were so damn itchy! I’ve been putting some cream on them all day today, topping up every few hours when the itchiness becomes unbearable again. It’s been two days now since we went, so I’m hoping that they’ll start to die down tomorrow… Surely…?! 🀞

We have started watching this show called The Umbrella Academy, and we’re both really enjoying it! I haven’t enjoyed a tv series as much as this one in ages, so it’s refreshing to finally find a series that I am looking forward to watch. They’re only up to the first season, so we’ll be caught up in no time, and then we’ll have to find another series.

Speaking of finding another series, I am still yet to find a new Chinese drama… Love O2O is okayyy, but it’s a bit too soppy for me, and not enough excitement. I’m still just watching it for the listening practice πŸ˜† So if I can’t find another semi-decent Chinese drama, I’ll have to go back to my Korean list, I have a huge backlog of those! πŸ˜‚

Looking forward to β€œnormal”

It was their last day in HK today, so we just took it easy. We went to Din Tai Fung in Causeway Bay for lunch, and then bought some Tiger Sugar and a mooncake for them to try. We somehow managed to contain Nephew, and he didn’t have a meltdown today, amazingly. He took quite a long nap when we got home, which gave his parents the chance to pack and even some time to just chillax, which was great for them.

And once they were in the taxi, I took the opportunity to head down to the supermarket and buy some wine and cheese to celebrate having peace and quiet in the house again πŸ·πŸ§€ I sorta got to see why parents would want a drink at the end of each day! πŸ˜‚

Kitty was rather stressed the entire time they were staying with us. She doesn’t like having other people in the house – in her house – so she pretty much just stayed in our bedroom for the past few days. And even when she ventured out to get some food, she didn’t really eat much. So I decided to move her food into the bathroom today, which seemed to help tremendously: she ate both her breakfast and lunch in there! And now that she has her house back to herself again, she seems a bit more relaxed and more her usual self, which is good to see πŸ˜…

And then N also flew back from Japan today. It’s nice to change things up every now and then, as you can then look forward to “normal” once again πŸ₯°

Touristy stuff in Kowloon

Nephew didn’t get much sleep last night, so his parents and I were a bit nervous about how he would be today, particularly in the current heat. And sure enough, he started losing it on the train to ICC, on our way to Sky100. He took a nap for about half an hour while we were up there, and that helped his mood a bit, thankfully. What didn’t help my mood, though, was the haze! You could barely see anything up there! It was such a shame πŸ˜”

The haze got progressively worse as the afternoon wore on πŸ˜”

They had a cafe up there, though, and we decided to have a light lunch there instead of going somewhere separately. The tables around us had ordered high tea, and I was curious as to how I could get in on some of that action, as 1) all the tables having high tea had been reserved; and 2) there was no high tea option on their menu. So I just googled it: apparently it is an online offer that they have, so that’s why it’s not on their menu there. Fair enough. So if I’m in the mood for some high tea-ing all the way up ICC one day, I shall remember this place 😊 And to do so before 2 Jan 2020 when the offer expires!

We then caught a cab to Kowloon Walled City Park, where I pulled out some more Mandarin to speak to the cab driver. I had been practising how to say “Walled”, as I can say the rest in Chinese. But the whole place name is still pretty damn long, so I was getting a bit concerned that he won’t understand my dodgy accent, as the taxi drivers in HK aren’t renowned for being very friendly. So I had its Chinese name written down just in case he gives me this puzzled/annoyed look. So in the end, I ended up saying “We would like to go to this place” and showed him the Chinese name. So I still got some speaking practice in, but I didn’t over exert myself by saying the full Chinese name of the park πŸ˜‚ The cab driver seemed to understand what I was saying, but he never said anything in reply. So maybe he can understand a little Mandarin, but he’s not able to speak it, which is also fair enough. Or maybe he just didn’t understand a word I said, and he was just guessing what I was trying to say the entire time πŸ€ͺ In any case, we got to our destination, and I got the correct change, so all was well in my Chinese speaking world πŸ˜‚

We spent a bit of time at the park, but everyone was pretty tired by now, and so tensions were a bit high by this time in the afternoon. We decided to catch a bus back home, which ended up being a fantastic decision, as it was one of the double decker buses and everyone enjoyed sitting right up the front on the upper deck. The bus was virtually empty – at least upstairs it was – so I didn’t feel too bad making a ton of noise up there! πŸ˜†

But everyone was still tired, including the little one, so tensions were still high until finally he went to sleep, and his parents could once again relax 😌

It’s their last day in HK tomorrow, so I’m thinking maybe we can just head over to Causeway Bay for yum cha, hang out there for a while, and then casually head back home so that they can get ready to leave for the airport. Not much stress, and they can also give themselves plenty of time to navigate their way through the airport, which can be a stressful ordeal at the best of tines, especially when travelling with a toddler!