I changed my settings on my phone today so that the default language is Chinese. So now virtually everything looks like this:
I’m doing ok so far, but I can barely read anything at the moment! I am going by memory most of the time to find where things are 😂 I am constantly looking up words. But I figured that once I get over the initial hurdle, things will get easier after a few weeks (or even better, days?!), and I’ll also have added even more vocab to my slowly-growing list. I am trying to go with as much immersion as I can. Let’s see how this little experiment goes…
We went and had yum cha again today. There is a seemingly endless number of restaurants that do yum cha in this city! Sooo good! 😋 Anyway, when the bill came, which was in Chinese yet again, I surprised myself when I could in fact read the entire bill without having to consult the dictionary. That is pretty exciting for me! It feels like this web of Chinese language “stuff” that I’m growing is actually getting tighter, and at quite a faster rate than I expected. I’m focusing on doing something – anything – every day, to make sure I am progressing daily. It doesn’t matter how much I do, just as long as I do something, I just need to make sure that I keep the momentum going. And it all seems to be helping. It’s that consistency that I keep going on about, I tell you. So exciting! 😊
We watched two Marvel movies tonight: Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok. I’ve seen Doctor Strange before, but I don’t really remember anything about the movie, so I basically enjoyed it all over again today 😆 And I’ve been enjoying the Thor movies, and this one didn’t disappoint either. We just need to watch three more movies (Black Panther and Captain Marvel, and Avengers: Infinity War), and then we’ll be fully ready for Endgame. I can’t believe we’ve watched almost all of them these past few months. Perhaps we can soon move on to the DC Comics movies now… 🤓
I went to Eslite today, a bookstore in Causeway Bay, looking for some Chinese language books. That’s not quite I found, though. The Chinese books were all in Chinese! They must be for more advanced learners. They had a much better range of books for English learners, for Chinese native speakers, so I was tempted to go in the “opposite” direction, to see how they phrase English sentences in Chinese. But it’s a bit odd reading text where all the English is in larger font than the Chinese, I’d feel like I was ignoring the main point of the book 😂
They also had a good range of chinese books for children. They even had Harry Potter in Chinese! But I may leave that for a later time when my reading is a bit more advanced… So instead, I went over to Roald Dahl‘s books…. 😆 Man they are lonnng when I see the size of the book, knowing it is all in Chinese! So even his books looked a bit intimidating 😫 Who would’ve thought I’d ever say that about Roald Dahl’s books?! 🤪
So I ended up not buying anything and decided to just continue making my way through the bilingual version of The Little Prince that I borrowed from the library. At least I have the English in that to help me work my way through it. If I can successfully finish that book, then perhaps I can move on to something else. But even this book is an effort and a half! So many new words and sentence structures… I guess it’s all part and parcel of learning another language!
We watched Ant-Man and the Wasp tonight. I like the Ant-Man movies, there are a lot of funny moments throughout the movie, so it’s not all action, which doesn’t really interest me. So maybe we can get through the other two movies tomorrow, Captain Marvel and Thor: Ragnarok, the last remaining movies in the Marvel series before Endgame.
** spoiler alert re Spider-Man: Homecoming **
We watched Spider-Man: Homecoming tonight. I was actually a bit disappointed, as it was a bit too “teenager-y” for me. He was just being a silly teenager for a lot of the movie, which I just found rather frustrating. But Ironman featured a few times in the movie, which I didn’t expect, and he always has some amusing lines, so that kept things a bit more interesting. And things did get better towards the end, but the lead up to it was pretty blah, unfortunately.
We actually have six more movies left to watch in the series, and I’ve already seen three of them, so I’m thinking of skipping those and just watching the other three, so we can go and watch Avengers: Endgame at the cinema on the weekend. So tomorrow we’re planning on watching Ant-Man and The Wasp, and then Captain Marvel, if we can squeeze it in. And then that just leaves Thor: Ragnarok, and then I’ll be ready for Endgame! 👍 I think it would be nice to see all six movies before Endgame, though, so let’s see what we can get through this weekend… Ambitious, much? Let’s see… 😉
It was a public holiday in HK today (and a bajillion other countries as well, apparently: Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, China and Singapore), but N has come down with the flu and so pretty much slept all day. So I ended up pretty much treating the day as a regular work day. A bit of a waste of a public holiday, but hey, such is life, what can you do 🤷♀️
I took a nap in the late afternoon / early evening, and when I woke up, it was 9pm! OMG! I was obviously rather sleep deprived and I didn’t even know it 😱
After I woke up, we resumed watching the Marvel series, after an unintentional 6-week break. We watched Captain America: Civil War, which started off really boring, but fortunately it got better. The next movie is Black Panther, which I’ve actually already seen, so maybe we just skip it and move on to the next movie on the list: Spider-Man: Homecoming, as we still have a ton of movies to get through! The series is lonnnggg!
I didn’t do much of anything today, sighhh. I was feeling really tired, after getting up with N this morning, who had an early flight to catch. I never really recovered from the early start to my day 😔
After a shite trading session, I just consoled myself by watching more of my current Korean drama, Go Back Couple. It’s not a bad series; it takes you from laughter to sadness to anger and frustration all in one episode. And does it all over again in the next one. It’s mainly set back to 1999. Even though it’s in Seoul, they still have posters up in the kids’ rooms of some western movies that were out at that time – eg The Matrix and The Truman Show. It takes me back to that time, and also back to our uni days, which is where a lot of the scenes also take place. It’s quite a fun series, but with some serious themes running through it as well, so I think it’s quite well written. But I can see the ending from a mile away, though, and I normally can’t predict where storylines will go. So let’s see if the writers can surprise me with a different ending 😊
I created a profile on mydramalist.com, which is sort of like an IMDb equivalent for all (North?) Asian dramas and movies – all in English! You can create a list of all the dramas and movies that you’ve watched, are currently watching or want to watch (or decided not to watch!), rate them and add reviews. I selected all the dramas that I could actually remember watching, and I came up with 13. I’ve watched 13! 😲 And they’re the ones that I remember, I might have missed a few that I just don’t recall anymore. And I also haven’t included the Singaporean dramas that I watched while we were in SG, as the site only seems to list North Asian shows (although I have seen a Thai drama listed in there…) That’s actually much more than I thought! 😳 After you’ve listed all the dramas that you’ve seen, the site then gives you a summary. Here is mine:
Apparently for someone who doesn’t like them, I watch a lot of dramas with a supernatural theme! But when they are in the dramas, most of the time it’s not scary at all, so it’s not quite the same as watching The Ring or anything similar (I’m not listing any more examples, otherwise I’ll freak myself out 😂).
And apparently almost all of the dramas that I’ve watched had a romantic component in them, which was also quite surprising, as I normally don’t choose dramas to watch on this basis. But I’d say that in general, the vast majority of Asian dramas have a romantic element within them, though, so this number is probably slightly overstated…
Nonetheless, it was still quite interesting to see this summary! 😊
N’s determination in improving his Mandarin is rubbing off on me too, which is great 👍 I logged into Tandem again today, that language exchange app, making a conscious effort to talk more, which is helping me reach my short-term goal for Chinese: basically to improve my speaking and listening! Chinese speakers in the app are always very impressed with the limited amount of Chinese that I do speak, but I need to move on from my basic sentences and start speaking longer and more complex ones. They’re hard, and I sound so stunted and slow when I hear back what I just said. But then I remember how slow and stunted they sound when they’re speaking in English, yet I still have the patience to listen to them speak and I still also want to help them improve. So I hope they feel the same way about me fumbling my way through their native language! 😆 So at the moment, we’re pretty much learning Chinese all throughout the day. But just like with dancing, the improvement is so incremental that you don’t even notice anything on a day-to-day basis, but when we look back after a few months, that’s when you notice just how far you’ve come. So I’d like to see how far my Chinese can go by, say, June, halfway through the year 😊 Which, really, isn’t all that far away – especially when I remember just how fast the first two months of the year came and went! 😱
I continued my Marvel journey today: Ant-Man was next on my list. I actually enjoyed this one! There was more of a story, and quite a fair bit of humour.
But the highlight of my day was N telling me about this website: icdrama.to. It seems to be like a Netflix for Asian dramas, O-M-G!! WHY DIDN’T HE TELL ME ABOUT THIS SITE BEFORE?!?? 🙄🙄
OK, so I do vaguely recall him telling me about this site back when we first moved to SG – but that was before I went all k-drama crazy, so I would’ve barely been interested back then. But now… I’m in K-DRAMA HEAVEN!! 🤣🤣 I think this whole year is going to be directed at three things: my trading 👩🏻💻; my Chinese 🇨🇳; and now, Korean dramas 🇰🇷! 2019 is all sorted! 🥳