A stock standard, but enlightening, day

I went to the library today for the first time in weeks. I sorta got stuck there as it started pouring at some point while I was inside the library, and I only noticed the rain when I looked out the window to go out and grab a late lunch. So I had a quick bite downstairs at the library, where there is a fast food joint of sorts, HK style πŸ˜† I hadn’t been there for ages, since there are so many other better food options in HK, but I didn’t have much of a choice today. It’s relatively cheap, though: HK$49 (A$9) for bbq pork and rice and a drink, so it’s very friendly on the wallet. Reminds me of what I would buy at a food court in SG. Awww, SG. I still miss you πŸ˜”

We went to the gym tonight, and I skipped the weights and spent virtually the entire hour on dance practice. I might do a few more gym sessions focussing on dancing, just to push the cardio a bit more, to make sure I’m still working on my stamina as well, which is one of the things that kills me on the comp floor. This way I shouldn’t be so completely out of form when we do finally get back to doing comps.

N went to get a massage after the gym, while I just went back home and watched a few Asian Boss videos where they interviewed two North Korean defectors. It was quite interesting to hear their views. And that just led me to continue watching a few different YouTube clips on North Korea, including a few TEDx talks. I wonder if reunification is possible in my lifetime. I’ve lived through a few historic moments in my relatively short life, and this one would be a really nice one to add to the list 😊

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A pretty uneventful day

It was a pretty uneventful day. I just watched an episode of my new Korean drama, The Heirs, and then watched a few more YouTube clips from Asian Boss. I’m really enjoying their clips 😊

And then N and I sang to Eric Chou’s γ€Šζ€ŽδΉˆδΊ†γ€‹(What’s Wrong). It’s a relatively easy song, so we’re both trying to learn the lyrics. He sings quite fast at some points, so it’s quite hard to keep up with him, but I’m getting there. I no longer need the pinyin to sing along to this song (pinyin is the romanised spelling for how to pronounce the Chinese characters), so that’s always a huge step.

I’ve been listening to so many Chinese songs lately, to improve my Chinese, that I have no idea what’s trending in the English speaking countries right now! It’s a bit insane, but I’m trying to immerse myself in all things Chinese, and people keep saying that singing to songs in your target language really helps. So it’s one way I’m trying to improve my Chinese 😊

The other thing that I’ve done is switch the language on my phone to Chinese 😱 Now this one is pretty insane, because everything is now in Chinese. I would look up the lyrics to an English song and Google now gives me the option to translate it into Chinese. And then the “translate” button in social media sites like FB and Instagram now gives me the translations in Chinese πŸ˜‚ And anytime I Google something, Google now gives me the Chinese version of Wikipedia first. My Chinese isn’t good enough yet to just “casually” read the Chinese version of Wikipedia, so I always still just scroll down to find the English version, which is also always given, it’s just now further down the list. It’d be nice if I could eventually read the Chinese version one day! #polyglotgoals

A late start

N went to watch some football match with a few workmates last night at a sports bar in Wan Chai. Football fans are probably disgusted that I don’t know much about the match other than the fact that Liverpool was playing πŸ˜‚ The match was starting at 3am local time, so you can only imagine what time he got home… Needless to say, the sun was already out πŸ™„

So that meant he slept in until the middle of the day, and by the time we got out of the house, it was around 2pm πŸ˜‚ I decided to go and have yum cha in Causeway Bay, as I wanted to go to IKEA afterwards to get a new shower curtain. I did a search for yum cha restaurants in this area alone, and a bajillion results came up 😱

And this is just one area! You have an endless amount of choice for yum cha in this city. Yes, I know it is The Source, but the sheer numbers are craaaazyyy!

I went to the gym tonight, although I had to tear myself away from Asian Boss, this new channel that I stumbled across on YouTube. I really like their videos, they have fun ones as well as ones that deal with some pretty serious issues that’s being faced by some Asian countries. They focus mainly on North Asia, but they do also have a few videos from South East Asia and India as well. They’ve pulled me away from my usual polyglot videos and general “learn Chinese” ones, so that’s a pretty big feat πŸ˜†

YouTube

** Warning: Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones spoilers below **

I was going through the recommended list of YouTube clips on my home page, and came across this: the official trailer for the upcoming Downton Abbey movie!! Omg I’m sooo excited! I loved this series, it was really good. And based on the trailer, it seems like the entire cast is back for the movie! Well, the ones who weren’t killed off before the series ended, that is – the number of people who left or died in that series rivalled the number in Game of Thrones πŸ˜‚ I wasn’t expecting that at all when I first started watching the show. I’m used to casts staying on for the entire duration of a series, and maybe the odd person leaving every now and then. So it threw me off when I started watching Downton, and regular cast members just kept dropping off like flies! It keeps you on your toes, that’s for sure πŸ˜‚

YouTube has also been an endless resource for me for my language learning. I’ve been watching a ton of polyglot videos, as I’ve mentioned before, and I also watch YouTube clips on learning Chinese, as well as clips that have been posted by native Chinese speakers for other native speakers. This last category is really tough, as you can imagine, even if it’s just general banter, as native speakers, regardless of the language, always speak fast! But I persevere anyway, hoping that through osmosis, I am still picking up the odd word here and there. I mix it up between stuff for native speakers and stuff that’s been dumbed down for learners of the language, so I am still exposed to the natural speed of native speakers but also not totally discouraged, as I still listen to and learn from the ones that are more tailored to language learners, which also still has English translations. Like I said, Youtube is an endless resource, so I can watch either type whenever I want. Plus a lot of the clips have subtitles as well, so that helps me too, especially since my listening is still really poor. And best of all: it’s free! 😊

Slight progress

We went to Mong Kok today to find some foam pipe insulation for the bathroom. Apparently there is some condensation forming on the aircon pipes, which was dripping down onto the ceiling, and therefore onto the bathroom lights. So the electrician suggested that we go to Mong Kok where there are apparently a lot of aircon maintenance-type stores, to pick up some pipe insulation. Despite the crappy wet weather, we decided to go check out the area – but the whole street was basically closed today! 😩 I should’ve remembered our experience the last time we visited the area on a Sunday. Virtually everyone takes the day off πŸ˜” So now we’ll have to return another day, which will hopefully be next Saturday. We did buy some makeshift insulation in the meantime, though, so hopefully that will still help. And at least we know where to go next time around πŸ‘

We then just went back home, and N went to his usual Sunday night karate, and I fell asleep on the couch watching polyglot videos on YouTube πŸ˜‚ After being inspired by them, I then went and studied more of my Chinese version of The Little Prince. It’s still taking forever to finish a page, as I’m still looking up a ton of words. But I think it’s getting slightly better… But only ever so slightly… πŸ˜†

A shitty mood never helps

I had one of those days where everything felt shitty. Firstly, I didn’t get a very good night’s sleep, so that already wasn’t a great start to my day. But then that shitty start just carried on throughout the day πŸ˜”

Firstly, we went to a karate expo out in Kowloon Bay. We caught a bus for part of the trip, but ended up missing our stop, so we just got off at the next one, which, according to Google Maps, was FIVE KILOMETRES AWAY. W-T-H!! It felt like we were well on our way to China, that’s how far the next stop was!! It was a bit insane πŸ€ͺ And then the drizzle wasn’t helping matters either πŸ˜’

I have mentioned this before, but it was apparent again today, and exacerbated when one is in a shitty mood: HK is not very tourist friendly. The signs to various tourist spots are not very clear, if they even exist, and signs in general are pretty lacking. So we were just wandering around the general area where the expo was being held, not knowing where in the world the entrance actually was. And even when we found the entrance, there was still no sign saying what the venue was called, so we weren’t even sure if we were in the right building! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Well we were, and we managed to fumble our way to the expo , after a rather frustrating journey to get there. It actually wasn’t all that great, even for N, so it was a shame that we went all the way out there only to be disappointed when we finally got there. I think it was the inaugural one, though, so hopefully it’ll continue to improve each year. We didn’t stay for long. And afterwards, we just had a quick lunch in the food court there, and just went home.

N then went to karate and I spent most of the evening just watching Chinese language instruction videos and general polyglot videos on YouTube. They’re still so inspiring! Which then made me want to practise some more Chinese, so I did 😊

Trying to keep things interesting

I spent pretty much all day on our finances, so you can imagine just how unbelievably boring my day was πŸ˜‚ But it was the end of the month, and I just felt like it would be a nice way to finish off the month, which is what made me persevere through the extreme boredom.

And then in the evening, I just did some more Chinese study. I wrote out a few sentences from the Chinese half of The Little Prince book, and studied them in more detail. I also compared the Chinese in my book to the one that she was reading in this YouTube clip, which was slightly different – and actually very different at times. I found my book easier to understand, so maybe my one is aimed more for kids, hence perhaps why the book was in the kids’ section of the library 😊 But I like watching and listening to the YouTube clip so I can hear a native speaker reading it, and also see the text that she’s reading, so I can read along with her and try and emulate her pronunciation.

N is now sick too, btw. We seem to get sick more often in the city. I’m always sick, so that’s no surprise, but for him to also be sick almost as often as me is a big surprise πŸ˜” What’s the dealio, HK??