Citygate and the end of season one

Our grocery home delivery came at around 11am today. Their morning window is 9am-2pm, which is such a huge window! But they seem to come at around 11am each time, so that’s not too bad.

We decided to watch an episode of The Umbrella Academy before heading to Citygate, a discount outlet store out near the airport. We actually spent more time out there than I had expected to, and we didn’t even finish the whole mall. Probably worth a visit a few times a year to stock up on anything that we need, as their stuff actually isn’t too bad πŸ‘

We also discovered Taste out there, this supermarket that has the most awesome ready made food section. Rivals Takashimaya in SG, if you ask me! And that’s saying something, because I thought Takashimaya’s downstairs food section was pretty good 😲 I was wondering if there was another Taste closer to home, as I don’t really want to be travelling all the way pretty much to the airport each time I want some ready-made food for dinner! They apparently have one in Wan Chai, so I will have to go check it out 😊 Hopefully it’ll be as good, although I don’t have high hopes on this, as I suspect there is much more space out near the airport to have a massive supermarket compared to other parts of the city πŸ˜’ I’d like to be wrong, of course, but like I said, I’m not getting my hopes up.

Korean! πŸ˜‹

There was karate tonight, but N was feeling too tired to go – and so decided to just head down to the gym with me πŸ€ͺ Never mind actually just resting! πŸ˜‚

And then we finished off the evening by finishing off season one of The Umbrella Academy. It was such a good first season! Now we can’t wait for them to finish season two so we can start watching it 😊 I really hope it’ll be just as good as – if not better than – season one 🀞 I have a feeling we’ll be waiting until 2020, though… Sighhh… πŸ˜”

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For 5-year-olds or 9-year-olds?

I think I’ve mentioned this before in an earlier post, but there’s this bookstore here called The Commercial Press, and they have one store in Causeway Bay that is dedicated specifically for children. They have both Chinese and English books, but of course I only care about the former. Some (most?!) of the Chinese books are still too advanced for me, but there are more than enough books that are at my level (or just a bit beyond) to keep me occupied for aaages, so I’m always tempted to buy a bajillion books every time I walk in there – so I always try and avoid the temptation to walk in! πŸ˜‚

But I couldn’t resist today. And of course I found something: a manga that seems to be right at my level – ie one that seems like I will be able to read without the use of a dictionary πŸ‘ Where I know about 80-90% of the words. So you can imagine that this manga is probably aimed at 5-year-olds πŸ˜‚ OK, perhaps a sight exaggeration, maybe 9-year-olds, then πŸ˜†

But having said that, I can’t even read the title! πŸ€£πŸ˜” But I could read “small princess”, and the drawings are really cute, and that was enough to win me over. OK, it must definitely be for 9-year-old girls, then πŸ˜‚

I started reading it when I got home, and the main character is actually 12 years old! OK, so my Chinese is actually a little more advanced than I thought πŸ‘ That’s freaking awesome! That’s basically end of primary school, right? Awe-some! So I’m starting to feel a little better again, after feeling like I’ve stagnated with my Chinese and thought that I was perpetually stuck at my current level. But 12 years old?! Wowww, happy with that! 😎

I’m still reading the Chinese version of The Little Prince, don’t worry, I haven’t given up on that (yet?!), but that’s more intensive studying rather than a casual read. I want something that is more for review, for cementing what I already know, and making sure I get some decent practice using material specifically for native speakers, and not just the dumbed down versions for language learners – even if the native speakers in this instance are still in primary school! πŸ˜‚

I bought a manga while we were still in SG, actually (I got it from Takashimaya. I loved that store, I miss it so much πŸ˜”), but it has somehow gotten lost in the move, and I can no longer find it. I’m a bit disappointed with that, as I really wanted to finish that manga series. But that too was a bit more advanced, so it wasn’t as leisurely a read as I suspect the above one will be.

Really enjoying this immersion with “real life” materials! 😊

HCMC – Day 1

I had the most disrupted sleep last night, waking up at least three times during the night: from people walking back to their rooms in the middle of the night; to needing to go the bathroom twice, presumably coz it was so cold in the room; and to having a nightmare that we were travelling to some very cold place, and I got mugged for all my winter gear, while everyone around me just looked on. It was a great way to start the first full day in Ho Chi Minh City! πŸ˜” Hopefully it’ll improve the next few days.

After breakfast in the hotel, I decided to head over to the War Remnants Museum, which is dedicated to the recent history of wars in Vietnam. They have a lot of information, and a lot of graphic photos and displays. It shows the brutality of war, and just how awful the Vietnam War was. I spent almost three hours in this place, and I probably could’ve stayed for longer, if the museum wasn’t closing for lunch and I wasn’t meeting up with N and a few colleagues for lunch as well. A really good place to visit, if you are into such museums.

The famous shot of “the Napalm girl” from the Vietnam War

After lunch I went to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, but unfortunately it was closed for renovations, so I just made my way to the Independence Palace instead. It’s basically the residence of South Vietnam’s president during the Vietnam War, and they have kept the place the way it was back then, so it feels like you’re stepping back in time. It’s pretty awesome.

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Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon was unfortunately closed for renovation

It started to pour soon after I got to the Palace, and it was starting to die down just as I was leaving. Pretty good timing! But it was still sprinkling a little, so I decided to just head straight back to the hotel. I was going to do another layer of my Oompa Loompa tan for the comp, but I was so tired from walking so much today that I decided to take a quick nap beforehand. I’m so glad I did, I don’t think I could’ve stayed awake for the rest of the evening if I didn’t!

And then in the evening, N and I decided to walk to Takashimaya for dinner. They have one here too! πŸ‘ We tried this place called Kichi Kichi, a hot pot place, but sushi train style! It was different, but really good! It was more on the expensive side, but after currency conversion, it’s still relatively cheap compared to how much we would pay for an equivalent meal in SG.

We walked back to the hotel, and N decided to try one of the massage places nearby. The massage itself was ok, but the pricing is bit dodgy… So there is the advertised price, but then at the end of your massage, they ask you for a tip, claiming that the masseuses don’t get a salary and just rely on tips. Not sure if that’s true or not, but that’s the line they give to tourists, so just be warned. Nonetheless, even if you decide to double the advertised price (heck, even triple it), you’re still paying a fraction of what you’d pay for an equivalent massage in SG, even if they’re ripping us tourists off!