A lottery

I ran a few errands today, including getting my Octopus card all set up with automatic top-up. A few weeks ago, I lost my old Octopus card, if you remember all the stress associated with that 😒 Now I have finally got it all sorted: I got the balance on my old Octopus card transferred to my new card, and I also got the automatic top-up set up on the new card – woohoo! It’s now all done 👍 I really should just set it up on my phone like N has, so I don’t have to worry about carrying one extra item – and therefore worry about having one extra item to lose!

One of our friends here just went and had his annual check-up. Apparently the doctors have recommended that he go for an angioplasty! 😱 He’s not even that old, I think he’s in his mid-40s, so I don’t understand how the doctors can recommend surgery straight away. What about changing his diet first and seeing if that will improve the situation?? What about lifestyle changes? Medication? Surely there are other things he can do before surgery?! Obviously I’m not a doctor, and I don’t know his medical situation, but unless his heart is in really bad shape, then I can’t understand why surgery is what they’re recommending already. Maybe his heart really is in bad shape? Hmmm… Anyway, he is still relatively young, so even if he does go for the surgery, he should come out OK 🤞

It’s news like this that jolts me back to reality, that life can be a real b!tch and 💩 happens to good people, and not always to the bad ones; that children can die from incurable diseases; that you can lead a mega-healthy lifestyle and still be struck with some disease; that you can be diagnosed with something with NO family history – and that you can escape something even if everyone else in your family had it. It’s such a lottery sometimes. Which is another reason why I try and enjoy my life as much as I can, because who knows what the universe has in store for you tomorrow 🤷‍♀️

Octopus card and a staycation

After my rant yesterday about my Octopus card, Octopus redeemed themselves by calling N back this morning about his online query that he sent through late Saturday night. They then called me to cancel my card, and they actually redirected the auto top-up facility to my new card without me having to do anything. They’ll also refund any remaining funds on my lost card. They also said that I’m only liable for charges made on the lost card for the first three hours since I reported the card lost. Does 1am Sunday morning count as the time I reported it lost or is it 10am today when it was officially reported lost?? I’m taking it as 10am today, which means a maximum loss of HK$750 (~A$150). Sighhh… That is worst-case scenario, yes, but regardless, I need to take better care of my card.

So that was a good start to my day / week. It wasn’t the most productive day, but at least I felt better compared to last week!

And I also finally booked our Chinese New Year staycation 👏 It took me forever to book. Under normal (ie non-COVID) circumstances, everywhere probably would’ve been booked out. But luckily the hotel that I’ve been looking at still had rooms. I guess a lot of hotels still have rooms available, given that virtually no tourists are in the city right now. Plus we’re staying out in woop woop, so there would ordinarily be fewer tourists out there anyway, even if there were tourists in the city. I’m excited now! I hope we have a fun and relaxing few days out there 😊

And I also discovered this Enjoy Hiking website, which will hopefully give me some ideas on hiking trails to do this year. I mentioned in a post recently that we probably don’t have much time left before it starts getting too hot for N to want to go hiking, so I’m not sure if we’ll do much more this winter. Spring might already be a bit too warm for him. So I might just have to start preparing for next winter! 😆

👍 to 💩 to 👍 again

So my lovely day yesterday sort of quickly turned to 💩 when I discovered that I had lost my Octopus card last night 😒 It’s basically the equivalent of the Opal card in NSW or the Oyster card in London. I don’t know what the deal is with the ocean theme – and all of them starting with an O 😂 Anyway, my Octopus card is linked to my credit card, so you can spend up to HK$250 (~A$50) per day on it. You can normally just cancel your Octopus card in their app and then just buy a new one, and the just go through the whole process of setting it up again to link it to your credit card. But for some stupid reason, the link to my credit card isn’t showing up in their app, so there was nothing to cancel. And you can’t even cancel the Octopus card either. Like WTAF. And then on top of that, their customer service hotline isn’t open on Sundays, so we couldn’t even call them today. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

We also called the bank to see if we can cancel the automatic top-up that is charged to their credit card, but they can’t cancel the top-up either. FFS. So I felt like I was back in the 20th century 🙄 I just wouldn’t expect this sort of thing in this day and age. This is what happens when you set expectations. You are bound to be disappointed.

Anyway, so we should be able to call them tomorrow, so the worst thing that can happen now is to have had someone charge HK$500 (~A$100) worth of stuff on my Octopus card this weekend before we could cancel it. Ridiculous. I know it was my fault for losing the card in the first place, but still. They should make it much easier to cancel as well, especially if they’re promoting increasing the automatic top-up value to HK$500 and even HK$1,000 😒. But to not have that option show up in their app is just ridiculous. Glitch or otherwise. N can see his Octopus card in the app and he can cancel his card, so you can obviously cancel it under normal circumstances. But for some reason – perhaps because the universe is making my life pretty 💩 right now – my card just hasn’t been set up in the app properly, and I can’t cancel my card. Seriously. WTAF.

So that was last night, just before we were about to go to bed. And instead, we stayed up until almost 2am trying to figure out how to cancel this damn Octopus card. And then at around 4:45am, I woke up, and couldn’t get back to sleep. It was just such an unfortunate way to end such a good day yesterday 😔

Today, though, was generally pretty good. We went and had Japanese for lunch at Causeway Bay, and then we bought a few cake slices from Lady M and just took them home. And then we decided to end the day with a prosperity burger from maccas 🤣 I just really wanted to try the burger before they take it off their menu. I think the burger is part of their Chinese New Year promotion, so they might take it off later this week or sometime next week. I was running out of time to try it! 😆 I’m glad I had one, though. It was pretty good! 😋

Things going wrong at every turn

We decided to head over to HK University today, hoping to see some interesting buildings around there. Walking around the campus made me miss our uni days, and part of me actually wanted to go back! What was up with that?!? 😆

Anyway, after wandering around for a little bit, we headed back home, and as we were almost home, N realised that he had left his sunnies somewhere at HKU 🕶 Argh! So we traipsed all the way back, hoping that they’d still be where he thought he left them. Luckily they were still there, even though there were people sitting right next to them! Phewww 😅 Good to see that the honesty in HK rivals that of SG 👍

But then as we went to catch a bus to make our way home, it was then my turn to lose something: my Octopus card! 😩 It’s basically like the Opal card in Sydney or the Oyster card in London (was the sea theme here an intentional collaboration?! 😂), but it is used much more extensively in HK: it is not only the main payment method for public transportation in the city, but it also allows you to pay for items at numerous stores and vending machines as well. Plus you can link it to your account so that it automatically tops up to a pre-selected value every time your balance falls to or below $0, so you don’t constantly have to manually top it up. I have this linked to my Octopus card, so of course I was even more concerned about having lost it 😔

So we retraced our steps and went back to HKU for a third time. But unlike N’s sunnies, I didn’t have any luck finding my card 😔 So we cancelled the Octopus card then and there. I was reading up on what happens with an automatic top-up service on the card, and apparently an Octopus card will only top up once per day, so the maximum I am liable for is the value already on the lost card, as well as one top up. Good to know! I was a bit stressed that they could just go on a crazy spending spree until I cancelled the card 😩 Hopefully with the honesty that we encountered with N’s sunnies, I will also find the same level of honesty with my card, and it is either just lying somewhere untouched or it has been handed in somewhere, waiting to be claimed 🤞

So after we cancelled the card, I went and bought a new card so that I could get home! Now I have to go through the lovely administrative process of linking this new card to my account again… Sighhh… The price I have to pay for being careless with my card 😔

We decided to have fish’n’chips for dinner tonight – and then the store owner got our order wrong! He is normally so precise with our order. Of course today had to be the one day where he stuffs it up 😒

The universe was obviously not in our favour today… 😔

Touristy stuff on HK Island

We did a lot of touristy stuff today, as much as Nephew could handle. In fact, we pushed him pretty far, so by the end of the evening, he was grumpy as, and his parents’ patience was also wearing thin.

We first went to HK “Zoo”. It is officially called the HK Zoological and Botanic Gardens, but I would describe it more as a small park that has a few birds and monkeys and other small animals 😆 It was a hot day, so everyone was struggling, so a small park was really all any of us could handle in today’s heat and humidity. Plus there are some hilly parts, so f you have a toddler who refuses to climb up stairs, it makes for a challenging outing. But they had this airconditioned education centre for kids, so we got a bit of a reprieve from the heat while Nephew played around with the different games that they had inside there.

We then made our way to Maxim’s Palace at City Hall for a yum cha lunch, which was busy as. We had to wait for about an hour for a table, which was mega insane. But the food here is good, and they still have the traditional push trolleys – with labels in both English and Chinese, listing the various dishes that a particular trolley has, and sometimes even a screen that scrolls through photos of the dishes! So this place always makes for a fun yum cha experience 😊 🥟🍲

The labels on one of the push trolleys at yum cha

And then in the evening, we decided to catch the Peak Tram up to – where else 😂 – The Peak. It had been under renovation for a few months, and I thought I’d quickly check to see if it was up and running yet, as I thought it would be nice to catch it up and/or down while they were in town. Luckily I checked, as they had just recently resumed operations in late July! Perfect timing! 😅

But when we got up to the top, Nephew was mega exhausted by this point and was testing his parents’ patience, so we didn’t didn’t really get to explore the area too much, which was a bit of a shame. But the Peak Tram experience itself was totally worth it – especially the ride down! Oh, and you can use your Octopus card to ride the Tram, which is sooo convenient. You can use it to go up to Sky Terrace 428 as well, apparently, but we didn’t go up there as Nephew had already lost it before we got the chance to go 😔 We may consider going up again sometime over the weekend, hopefully when we can catch the little one in a better mood!

The Peak Tram

Not sure about the parents, but I had a fun, touristy day 😊