On the hunt for a few apps

We went to one of N’s workmate’s places for lunch today. A few others came over as well, and they all played mahjong. I don’t really know how to play. My knowledge of mahjong is just as good as my knowledge of poker – ie very little! 😆 So I just watched on the sidelines, asking questions and trying to figure out the rules of the game. I want to learn how to play both, but mahjong requires a whole kit: the tiles and all the other bits and bobs, as well as an actual table. I wonder if there’s an app where I can just learn to play on my phone, and I don’t have to actually bet any real money (yet?? 😜). And same with poker. I’ll be trying out a few different apps tonight! 😊

And then I watched the men’s singles final at the Australian Open. It was too quick a match, unfortunately, but it was still great to watch. It’s not as easy as just turning on the TV and having it on free-to-air TV like in Sydney, so at least I didn’t put my life on hold for two weeks just to watch tennis 😆 So I only watched the odd game this year. But at least I could still watch it at home here in HK without having to go find a sports bar that’s playing it on one of their TVs 👍

But my one and only project for this weekend never happened: my closet was not touched 😔 Maybe next weekend.

Life in HK at the moment

N paid his tax today. You pay your tax here at the end of the year in one lump sum. Well, there are two instalments, but the point is it’s a lump sum. In Oz, they take out a portion of your estimated income tax before you even get paid, so you only ever have to worry about a small calibration either way at the end of the year. And more often than not, we would get a refund. But here, you have to make sure you don’t spend that portion of your income that you will eventually have to pay in tax. We’re not too bad with our savings, but still, having such a huge amount come out of your account in one go is quite disheartening! 😂 Even though you know it was never yours to begin with, it still hurts!

The government is locking down more than 150 residential buildings on the Kowloon side starting tomorrow, thanks to an outbreak over there. Sighhh…

Victoria Harbour reminds me of Sydney Harbour: If you live on one side, it’s mentally difficult to cross over to the other side. It just seems soooo far – even though the trip across is literally just a few minutes 😂

The numbers haven’t come down since late last year, so quite a few places are still closed. Libraries, cinemas, bars and gyms are all still closed; and restaurants cannot offer dine-in services after 6pm. It must be having such a huge impact on these businesses 😔

The Chinese New Year extra-long weekend is coming up soon, but because of these neverending new cases, I don’t really want to do anything, not even a staycation. If there’s anything positive for me that’s come out of this, we’ve saved money these past 12 months!

Is it weird? Is it helping or hindering?

I went to pick Kitty up from the vet today. It was both sad and nice at the same time, it was a very weird feeling. So we took a walk around the neighbourhood before heading back home. She was an indoor cat, so she never really went outside, and especially not in HK. So this walk was in fact the first time she’d been around the neighbourhood! 😂

I spoke to her during our walk, is that weird? Or is all of this helping me get through this? Or is it doing the exact opposite and not helping me move on?? 🤷‍♀️

Anyway, so she’s now sitting next to her photo frame in the study. So in a way, it’s like she’s back. In this weird morbid way 😂 I still don’t know if we’ll scatter her ashes or if we’ll keep it. If we did, I think I’d want to do that in Sydney. She’s from Sydney, so I think it’d be nice for her ashes to be scattered somewhere there. That is, if we decide to scatter her ashes at all. But at the moment, I’m happy for her to sit in the study with me once again 😊

The lid won’t stay on her container, though. How so typical of her hahaha 🤣

The loss of a close friendship

Have I mentioned a friend who I am having trouble parting ways with? I think fully parting ways will be impossible, as I have known her for a very long time, so I have moved her from my ‘close friends’ list to just a ‘normal’ friend. And even the latter is stretching it.

I have struggled with this friendship for a long time now, and what finally sealed it for me was when I told her that I’d be in Sydney because my mum was in hospital (this was before the pandemic all started so international travel was still happening) and the only thing she said to me was, “I can’t meet up with you because I’ll be in Melbourne”. Nothing about wishing my mum well or sending her regards. And no follow up about how she was doing afterwards either. I found it quite upsetting that a supposedly close friend of mine didn’t even bother to ask how my mum was doing 😞 She’s fine now, btw, in case you’re wondering 😊🙏

So that was the final straw after years of constantly making snide remarks about me. For years now, I haven’t felt like she supported me in any way. And even with my relatively new YouTube channel, she hasn’t bothered to even watch the videos or show her support in any way, Yeah, sure, she’s not my target audience, but she’s supposed to be one of my close friends, and I would like my close friends to show some interest or support in something that is important to me 😔

So I’m distancing myself from her, not engaging with her on social media as much, if at all, anymore. I think friends should bring each other up and not make you feel like you’re not worth their time, or only talk to you when the friendship is convenient for them.

It’s just really sad because we’ve been friends for so long now. But I guess friendships evolve, and unfortunately, this one has evolved into the loss of one 😔 I guess I can still remember our years of friendship when we did have a good time together, and just accept that we have now both changed and we are no longer the same two people anymore. It’s just a bit sad to have to mourn the loss of what was once a close friendship 😞

Still going strong

Kitty’s just not letting me have a good night’s sleep 😔 I should just let you know when I do have a good sleep, because they occur much less often these days!

Today she wanted more food – at 3:15am. Because what better time is there to eat than smack bang in the middle of the night?!?? 🙄 She had licked her bowl clean, so I had no choice but to give her some more food. Luckily I could get back to sleep today, though, unlike yesterday’s tossing and turning.

Anyway, have I told you about how I reframe these disruptions? I am just grateful that she is still alive to wake me up in the middle of the night 🙏 I still remember the vet three years ago now, when we were living in SG, emailing me while we were overseas, saying that our pet sitter had brought her in, and that she was weak and wasn’t eating. Her condition was pretty serious and potentially life-threatening, he said. We were in Sydney at the time, and I still remember being really upset that I might not see her alive again 😢

We went to see her as soon as we could once we got back to SG, and miraculously, she perked up as soon as she saw us, and even the vet was surprised. He really didn’t think she had much left in her.

And here she still is. I am still grateful every single day that she’s still going strong. She’s almost 90 years old in human years, and she can still attack me, so that’s pretty impressive! 😄

I’m going to go and give her a big hug now – while also being careful not to be scratched yet again! 😆🤗


A friend posted a video on Facebook of her son playing Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved. I went looking for the original song, and, once I heard it, I knew that it was going to be my song for the year. It’s a rumba, and rumba is my favourite latin dance. I was out having lunch when I discovered this song, so I couldn’t wait to go back home and practise! 😆

I would normally be practising at the gym, but that’s been out of the question for most of this year 😔 My last latin song was Daddy Yankee’s Dura, and when that was my song for the year (I think it was last year??), all I wanted to do was practise samba! 😂 Now I just need some more addictive songs for ballroom, and I may actually practise some of the ballroom dances for once! 🤣

So now I may be doing quite a fair bit of rumba for the next few days/weeks! 😊

I’ve also been mimicking paddling on a surfboard, thanks to Bondi Rescue 😆 The lifeguards have been doing various iron man type races in each season of the show, and so of course N wants to try doing the course too. We don’t live in Sydney anymore (at least not for now), so he’s doing the best he can to replicate the race here in HK. One leg of the race is to paddle your surfboard from Bronte Beach to Bondi, which is something like 2km 😱 So he’s tried to mimic this part of the race by using resistance bands. It’s on dry land, and you don’t have the punishing ocean to contend with, but it’s good enough for exercise purposes 👍

Anyway, in the race on Bondi Rescue, they probably have to paddle for at least 10 minutes. N is currently dying after about 2 😂 And I am dying after about 10 strokes 🤣 Well, I’m now up to 20 strokes, but still nowhere near his 2 minutes! And I think 10 minutes will just be impossible for me! Regardless how many I actually do and for how long, it’s all good training for my upper body 💪

An uneventful day, but still feeling blah

The typhoon signal was actually ‘upgraded’ to a T9 overnight, the second highest level, but it was back down to a T8 when I woke up this morning, and then all signals were cancelled by around lunchtime. An uneventful typhoon, thankfully. Hopefully all typhoons remain uneventful while we’re living in this part of the world! 🤞

I had another meh day today 😕 I called my mum to see how they are. My dad is continuing his long road to recovery, and my mum is tired from all the walking going to and from the hospital each day 😔 But otherwise, they’re holding up ok 👍

I watched more Bondi Rescue today 😆 I’m so obsessed with this show right now that I made my Chinese teacher listen to me talk about it for our entire lesson today 🤣🤣 It was a good lesson because there are so many words about the show that I didn’t know how to say in Chinese: things like people drowning (or almost drowning); people getting stung by jellyfish; lifeguards catching petty thieves; ringing the ‘shark alarm’ if one is spotted in the water; and chasing them away when there is one nearby 😆 Lots of new words and phrases!

And I try and hold as much of the conversation in Chinese, so I had to try and describe all of this to her in Chinese with my limited vocab! And sometimes I just had to rely on charades 🤣 But I still didn’t use English, that’s the main thing!

The show just makes me miss Sydney 😔 I wonder if that’s adding to my blahness lately. Normally we fly back quite regularly, but with the rona, that’s all been ground to a halt. And then with my dad in hospital but not being able to visit him in person, that’s pretty tough too 😔

Bondi / Sydney / Australia

It was quite a nice, relaxing day. We quickly went and bought some groceries, and then spent the rest of the afternoon just watching Bondi Rescue, Modern Family and The Umbrella Academy, flicking through the shows so we didn’t get too bored with any one show!

I’m actually a bit addicted to Bondi Rescue. It sorta even makes me want to be a lifeguard! 🤣🤣 It ain’t happening in this lifetime, but they do make the job look quite appealing 😊 I’m watching from season one. I used to watch it in Oz when it first came out, but I haven’t watched it for yeeears, and definitely not since we moved to Asia. But now I’m back onto it again, and I reckon I like it even more now than I did back then!

I think it’s because it makes me miss Oz. Bondi isn’t my favourite beach – there are too many tourists, as this show clearly shows 😂 – but it still shows a part of Sydney that we still visit every now and then. And it also gives you an idea of the Aussie culture. I miss that too. So it’s nice to see all of this in the show 😊

Family and beaches

Kitty woke me up at around 3:30am because she wanted more food. She finished everything that was in her bowls and she needed a top-up. Her appetite enhancing meds had kicked in 👍

At around 6:30am, she went to the toilet. And she didn’t miss the tray! Woohoo! 👍

But then she kept going to the toilet. Again and again, trying to empty her already very empty bowels for the next hour or so. As you can imagine, I was up this entire time, cleaning her tray for any urine skerricks that she might’ve left. I tried to go back to sleep, but she kept making all this noise each time she used her litter tray, so by the time 7:30am rolled around, I just decided to get up. So another night of broken sleep of around 4-5 hours 😔

I rang the vet to ask for some advice, because she’s already on a second round of meds for this infection. They’ve decided to dispense more meds 😔 I just feel like we’re just feeding her so many drugs at the moment 😔 Poor thing. I hope that at least one of them clears up this infection! 🤞

My next YouTube video is going to be about safety at Australian beaches, but because I can’t film in Oz right now, I was going to film at one of the beaches here in HK instead. But as I was getting ready to head out to one of the beaches, the skies opened up and it just poured 🌧 Filming at the beach all of a sudden became out of the question 😒 So I just filmed it in our bedroom, like a few of my other videos 😆 Now I just have to find some photos and videos of a few Sydney beaches that I’ve taken in recent years to add to the video. It’s the best I can do given the circumstances!

And then to top it all off like a big fat cherry, my dad had his bypass surgery today. Apparently everything went fine, though, thankfully, and he’s now just recovering. I’ll give my mum a call tomorrow, hopefully I can get to see them both in a video chat or something.

Family update

I got up at ridiculous o’clock this morning, thanks to Little Miss (who else?? 😒). So by around 9:30pm, after dinner, I fell asleep in front of the TV. I was really trying not to, as now this nap may disrupt my sleep tonight. But what I shouldn’t have done was lie down in the first place! That was where I went wrong! 😂

My mum rang me this afternoon to let me know that the date has finally been scheduled for my dad’s bypass surgery. I’m surprised it’s happening so quickly, given all the rona issues in Oz at the moment. But I guess the biggest problem is in Victoria, so maybe the hospitals in Sydney aren’t too bad at the moment, which is great. Under normal circumstances, I would fly back, but right now, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do so. There’s the 14-day quarantine, and the increased risk of being exposed to the rona myself 😔 So I’ll just have to keep in touch with technology. At least we have that option these days! 🙏