Causeway Bay

We went to Causeway Bay (CWB) today to play some mini-golf at Strokes! I haven’t played in yeeeears, it was actually a lot of fun 😊 It was entirely indoors, which was new for me, as most mini-golf places I’ve been to have been outdoors, or at least semi-outdoors, as in we were under cover. But as with all things in HK, space is a luxury, so the 18 holes were crammed in this tiny space inside one of the malls. And sometimes when I had to take a particularly awkward shot, I’d have to step into one of the neighbouring courses, as they’re literally all right next to each other 😆 And N had a few wild hits, one of which actually flew almost the entire length of the room 🤣 🤣 Luckily no one was around to get hit! 🎯 It was quite fun, though, with some crazy courses to get through 😆

I think this was actually just before he hit the ball almost across the entire length of the room 😂
The craziness of a few of the courses – and look how close they are to one another!
They had a few of these inspirational quotes scattered all around the room, which I thought was pretty cool 😊

We then just wandered around CWB to do a bit of shopping, one of the shopping Meccas in HK. There is also an IKEA at CWB, and we stopped by to pick up a few boxes to store some of our crap in, rather than having them spilling out everywhere in the house. Hopefully once we’ve put stuff inside them, it’ll make me feel a little better about the house not being so messy! But being back in IKEA after not having visited for a few months now brought back some fond memories of when I was practically living there 😂 I walked past the study desks and chairs and I’d reminisce about all the time I spent trying to figure out which study desk and chair to put into our study; and then the same would happen when we walked past their dining tables and chairs, and this would happen in virtually every other room in the store. I still remember the layout of the store all too well 😆

It was a fun day 😊

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Taobao

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a shopper. I don’t like to shop, and I am for sure an under-buyer, a term that Gretchen Rubin coined for people who only tend to buy things when they need it. And even then, sometimes I still won’t buy it, even when I know I need it! It can be very frustrating 😂

Anyway, there’s this Chinese version of Amazon called Taobao, which I heard about when we first moved to Singapore. I had friends who swore by it. I’ve checked it out a few times, but each time I’ve gone in, I was overwhelmed by all the Chinese on the site, and so never really bothered checking out the site in any more detail than this initial cursory glance.

Today, though, I stumbled across this blog post called The Foreigner’s Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Taobao, and it’s made me want to revisit the Taobao site and see how much of the site I can now understand, without having to use the translate function. Plus their app only has Chinese, and if I am going to browse the site, I’d be more than likely to be browsing on my phone anyway.

It turns out that I can actually somewhat navigate my way around! 😱 I think I know enough characters now that even though I may not necessarily know a word, I can get the gist of its meaning from the characters that it is made up of. And if I want to learn new words, I have plenty to choose from just on this site alone. And getting a bargain or two is enough incentive for me to learn some new words! 😂 Plus, now that we’re in Hong Kong, we’re even closer to the mainland, so deliveries should only take a few days. So I’ll let you know when I make my first purchase, as that will surely be a momentous occasion! 😆

Another public holiday

It was another public holiday here in HK today, woohoo! 🎉 Not that we did much, though 😂 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 👉👆👈

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 😂 Not that I was complaining, at least we were in and out in no time 👍

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! 😆

Shopping

Kitty woke me up in the middle of the night – throwing up 😔 And she threw up on that hard-to-wash bathroom mat, the one that we have to take down to the laundromat because our crappy washing machine can’t handle it. I think buying a new bath mat that our washing machine can wash will be better for us financially!

The weather this week has just been miserable. It has been cold and wet, and I’ve basically had to take out some winter gear, since I’d packed most of it away, as I thought we were done with the cold weather! And you know how I feel about cold weather… 😒 So it hasn’t been the best week on that front.

Nonetheless, I went to Causeway Bay today, specifically to Eslite, that bookstore that I went to the other day. I was actually going to check out a different stationery store, as well as Muji, but since it was forecast for rain, I figured I might as well stay put at Hysan Place and not bother trying to brave the weather, especially since the rain here can be quite torrential. I was quite happy that I did, because I discovered this part of Eslite that I didn’t see when I was there last week, a whole stationery and crafts section! Now I know one other place where I can go for my stationery needs in HK 😊

Yum cha, shopping and karaoke

We went and had yum cha again today, I can’t get enough of yum cha 😊 If all I do while we’re in HK is to just yum cha my way through this city the entire time, then I will put it down as a successful stint here 😆

We then went shopping around the Central area, looking for some trans-seasonal pieces, which we don’t really have. SG is obviously summer at its best, and then we have winter gear for holidays in colder weather. But we don’t really have anything for autumn and spring, just those pieces that are light enough for the warmer temps but still provides just enough warmth as well when it cools down. It’s weird being back in a city with four seasons, actually, even though that’s what my hometown has and is what I’ve lived with almost all my life before we moved from there.

We had a bit of a rest back home before we went out at about 9:30pm for some karaoke 😳 I do not like karaoke, and I only went today to keep N company. I haven’t been for about twenty years, and if I can help it, I won’t be back for another twenty 😂 It’s just not my thing. The guys who went today were full-on karaoke junkies, I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. They were basically fighting each other for the mike! Good for people like me who don’t like karaoke, at least no one was shoving a mike in my face, as they were all too keen to have one for themselves! 😂 There were probably around 15 people in the room tonight, with around 4-5 mikes. At one point, everyone was up screaming at the top of their lungs, belting out the lyrics to a Queen or ABBA song. So like I said, I don’t know if it was a good thing or not that the room was full of serious karaoke fans! 😆 But I did try to enjoy myself. And at least now I remember why I won’t be going again anytime soon 😆

My evolving goals

It is the end of March, people! The end of the first quarter of 2019! Where in the world is this year going?? I feel like I haven’t accomplished much at all so far this year, and we are already a quarter of the way through it?! 😩 So not only am I going to review my month tomorrow, but I will also review the entire quarter, and see just how much progress I have made with my various goals. I have been very much focussed on making sure I get my daily tasks done lately, so surely I am making progress?? I have been so focussed on them that I feel like that’s pretty much all I’ve been talking about on this blog these past few weeks! 😆

We went and had yum cha at another new place today. There are sooo many restaurants in this city, it’s just ridiculous. We wanted to go to Uniqlo today, so I just went on to the OpenRice app again and chose a yum cha restaurant near the Uniqlo store 😊 I ended up choosing a restaurant that had an English menu, as I wasn’t feeling all that adventurous today 😆 We probably could’ve fumbled our way through a Chinese-only menu, but they’re still such an effort and a half to read! And also sometimes I can’t figure out what the dishes are based on the English descriptions alone, so I end up looking for the Chinese names of the yum cha dishes that I like to eat anyway. So we just need to know the Chinese names of all our favourite yum cha dishes, and then we’ll be good to go 👍

Speaking of Chinese, I have set myself a goal of knowing at least 2,000 words by the end of the year, as I think this is the minimum number of words that I need to know to have a half-decent conversation in Chinese. I’ve broken this down to 10 new words a day, which I think is a lot! Especially considering that I still need to review previously learnt words as well, and make sure that they remain in my memory. I downloaded the TinyCards app by Duolingo, to create flash cards with all of these new words, which I can just review whenever I have some spare time. I just have 36 cards in there at the moment 😆 But over time, this will grow, and before I know it, I’ll be letting you know that the number has grown to 500, then 1,000, and then eventually 2,000 words! 👍

I won’t create flashcards for words that I already know, so these 2,000 words will be totally new words for me. This will be quite a challenge – bring it on! 💪

Productive day in a different way

I had a pretty shite sleep last night 😔 N woke me up when he got home in the middle of the night, and I couldn’t get back to sleep after that, so I started reading one of my trading textbooks – at something like 4am. For an hour. OMG. I eventually fell back asleep, but then Kitty woke me up soon after with her scratching, for crying out loud. I sorted that out quickly, and from there, I finally got a few hours’ sleep in, and surprisingly stayed awake the rest of the day.

We received a letter from HSBC the other day, and there was no English translation. Normally most large organisations will have both English and Chinese, but for whatever reason, this letter was just in Chinese. So we went into a branch to get them to translate for us, and everything was all good 😅 That’s all we wanted to hear, and off we went on our merry way 😊

We then went for yum cha somewhere near the branch. I seriously can’t enough of yum cha, it’s just the best, man! And we’re now at The Source, so yum cha is everywhere, at all price points and all varieties. We went to one today, Social Place, which apparently serves a more contemporary style, pushing the boundaries on what can be served at yum cha. It was quite good! Randomly choosing a restaurant from the OpenRice app can obviously be a bit hit and miss, and today was a good hit 👍

We then went to Wan Chai Computer Center to get a new phone case and mouse, as both of mine are dying. The state of my phone case is now embarrassing, with bits of material flaking off it 😂 Reminds me of the sad state of my old handbag and my old pair of shoes, both of which I replaced recently as well. I use things right up until they’re on their deathbed – and then use it some more 😂 But I managed to find replacements for both today the Computer Centre, so I’m happy 😊

And then we spent the evening on fitness, with N going to karate and me to the gym.

Quite a productive day in a different way, this time 👍