Another public holiday

It was another public holiday here in HK today, woohoo! πŸŽ‰ Not that we did much, though πŸ˜‚ We went and had brunch at one of my favourite local cafes, and while we were at the cafe, I decided that we should go and vote today. We can actually vote any time during the two weeks leading up to the election, so that’s pretty handy. But of course you need photo ID – and I forgot to bring our passports with me today. And ironically, I carried them with me the last two days! Yesterday would’ve been the perfect day to go, but it was the only day that the embassy was closed – argh! 😀 So I decided to head back home and pick up our passports anyway, otherwise the next time we can vote will be on Election Day itself, and I have a feeling the rest of the Australian expat community in HK will be voting on that day, so I wanted to avoid going on that day.

Signs pointing us in the right direction πŸ‘‰πŸ‘†πŸ‘ˆ

It was actually quite quick, and they even had signs at the bottom of the building that the embassy is located in, pointing people in the direction of where to go – and they also had a bajillion people working today to help direct people. Not that there were that many of us there to vote – half a dozen max when we were there! There were more staff working than there were voters πŸ˜‚ Not that I was complaining, at least we were in and out in no time πŸ‘

We then went to the Wan Chai Computer Centre, which was only a few minutes down the road from the Australian Embassy, just to wander around. It’s a good place for all your electronic stuff, on the HK Island side. I think there’s a similar one on the Kowloon side, I can’t remember what it’s called right now. I’ll have to ask N, it’s more his forte 😊

And then N went to karate and I resumed watching Nice Witch, a Korean drama that I’m still working my way through. I’ve been so focussed on my Chinese language study lately that I’ve barely had time for the Korean dramas. I’m also watching Love O2O, a Chinese drama, but that’s more for listening practice than for personal enjoyment. So I have a bit of a backlog of Korean dramas to watch at the moment! πŸ˜†

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Semblance of a typical Sunday

Little Miss woke me up at around 7am πŸ˜’ 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 πŸ˜† 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! πŸ‘ΆπŸ»

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 πŸ€ͺ 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! πŸ˜‚

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 πŸ˜†), but it’s not too bad. The episodes are getting better as the series goes on πŸ‘

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

My poor listening skills

It was a pretty uneventful day, not much happened, really. I did watch an episode of Love O2O, a Chinese drama, to help me with my listening skills, which is by far the worst out of the four (reading, writing, speaking and listening). So my current focus is to listen a whole lot more, even if I understand only 5% of what’s being said. The Chinese sounds are much clearer than before, so I know it’s improving, albeit incrementally. And I’m also slowly adding to my vocab, so I’m hoping that, with time and practice, this will help with the comprehension too.

It’s funny how native speakers always speak so fast. I was talking to a Chinese friend once and for whatever reason, I asked her if she understands N and me when we talk to her. She said that we talk a little too fast sometimes – and that’s with me already slowing down for her, because I know her English isn’t too good! (Which is still wayyy better than my Chinese πŸ˜”) So I try not to get too discouraged when I can’t understand much at all when native speakers are talking. I just have to keep persevering, listening as often as I can and also adding to my vocab. Over time, with continued focus and study, it should hopefully improve. Hopefully πŸ˜†

Learning Chinese

I did an online survey in Chinese today 😲 Their 15-minute estimate to complete the survey was obviously for people who could read the language with relative ease, not for someone like me who reads like (and has as much vocab as) a five year old! It took me forever and a day to finish it, constantly copying and pasting into Google Translate πŸ˜‚ Words like “music streaming services”, “provide exclusive content” and “download” are not quite standard in your usual beginner/intermediate Chinese lessons…! But I persevered, and I finally got through it πŸ˜…

My initial reaction when I see a whole page of Chinese writing like this is “OMG I can’t read that! Are you insane?!” But I have noticed, though, that if I actually calm down, look at each character properly and not just throw my hands in the air and give up straight away, I can actually make out some of it, and sometimes enough that I can get the gist of a sentence without knowing every single word. It’s quite motivating when that happens πŸ‘ It doesn’t happen often (unless I’m reading a children’s book πŸ˜†), but when it does, it’s terribly exciting 😊

I also logged back into Tandem today, a language exchange app. I forgot how useful it can be! I just remember the annoying guys who just want to chat to women, who aren’t really there to learn a language πŸ˜‘ Plus I think there are so many more Chinese people on there wanting to learn English than the other way around, so of course I get a lot of people introducing themselves to me. In fact, I don’t need to introduce myself to anyone, I get more than enough people saying hi that I can barely keep up with these! I don’t need to add more people to this list! πŸ˜† I think the toughest part is finding people who you click with, much like with friends in general, I suppose. But it’s good fun, and I’ll have to try and log in there more often to get some real-life practice in – and along the way, help others with their English too!

And I started watching two dramas today: Love O2O (Chinese) and The Heirs (Korean). I’ll give you one guess as to which one has me hooked already… I really should be learning Korean, based on the amount of their dramas that I watch! πŸ˜†