Happy, amused, and very full!

We went and had yum cha today for the first time in what feels like aaages. We went to one of our favourite places, but they’ve changed their menu a bit, and it seems like the quality of their dishes has dropped slightly. I’m sure they suffered during the past few months and are trying to cut costs, but you can’t sacrifice the quality of your food. Unless you are happy to take the risk of losing regular customers. I’m not sure if we’ll return again now. We probably will, since they’ve been one of our favourite restaurants since we moved to HK; but if we leave with the exact same opinion for a second time, then they may just have to be bumped off our list 🤷‍♀️

We then took Kitty to the vet after lunch. Getting her there is always a painful experience because she never likes leaving the house. She’s always been an indoor cat, and so new environments just aren’t her thing. And especially now as an older cat. She gets so angry at everyone, and she hisses and growls at anyone who comes close to touching her.

They still managed to get a blood sample. though, and her test results came out much better than the vet expected. So he commended us for managing her health really well this past year, as there was no major deterioration in her health, and to just keep doing what we’re doing. Yayyy, I was so happy to hear that 👏

And then later on in the evening, we went to this rather interesting hot pot restaurant. We went with a friend from China, and she asked us if we knew the meaning of the name of the restaurant, which is in Chinese. Apparently it’s the name of a famous brothel in ancient times! Interesting choice for a restaurant name! 🤣

The brothel theme continued in the restaurant, with some sex positions listed in their drinks menu and their moist towelettes in little packets that looked like individual condom wrappers 🤣 Quite amusing, and good food too 👍

I have to study the Chinese since, as you can imagine, this is not something I would ordinarily come across in my textbooks! 😂

A change of plans

We wanted to go have yum cha at one of our favourite restaurants today, but apparently it’s temporarily closed! I can only assume it’s because of this damn virus 😔 So we decided to go to another one of our other favourite places – only to discover that they too are currently closed! Argh! So we ended up at a Japanese restaurant in the end. It was really nice, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t yum cha! 😔 I wonder just how many other yum cha restaurants in the city are closed…

We then just did a bit of window shopping and then made our way back home. We finished watching Living with Yourself, the comedy drama with Paul Rudd. So now we’re back on the hunt again for another show to watch! I seriously think I should just go back to the Asian dramas and just find one that N may also like, one with action or comedy, perhaps 😆

SG is now over 2,000 and HK continues to inch towards 1,000. And the US is making its way to half a million cases 😔 Sighhh… When will all of this end…

Tough times

We went and had yum cha today at one of our regular places, and much like at the height of the protests, it was empty as. There was no queue whatsoever for a table. And even when we left at around 1pm, which is normally the busiest time for the restaurant, there were still a ton of empty tables inside. I wonder if airlines and hotels are offering good deals again for people to come to HK 😔

Last night, I managed to stick pretty close to my goal of keeping to our Sydney time: I got to bed by around 11:30pm (2:30am Sydney time), which is pretty good for a night owl like me 👍 And that then meant that I got up nice and early this morning! That’s one night, though, and today, I’m going to try again for a second night. I have to keep this going for as long as I can. It’s a new habit, so it’s going to be quite tough for a few weeks yet 😥 I thought the six nations rugby might keep me up, though, but I’m actually getting tired already, so I might be successful once again today! 🤞

Focus on the parents

We went and had yum cha with the parents today. I thought the food was pretty good, but there was the odd dish that let them down. And even after having had so much yum cha in HK, I thought the quality today was still pretty good.

We then went shopping for a while in the city, getting nostalgic again, seeing a few shopping centres that I used to regularly frequent, as well as all the Aussie brands around 😊

And then we finished off the evening watching the four-set Feds vs Fucsovics match, making a quick call to my brother and helping my mum with her exercises given to her by the physio. She was quite spent at the end of it, and really sore at times throughout, which means she was working her muscles 💪 👏 I’ll continue to help her tomorrow while we’re here, and hopefully she can maintain the momentum once we’ve gone back to HK. And hopefully the exercises do help her! 🤞

Quiet

We went and had yum cha today at one of our usual places, and we actually had to wait for a little while for a table to free up 😱 We haven’t had to wait for a table the last few months, thanks to the protesters dampening the enthusiasm of both locals and tourists. I guess the Iran crisis has diverted the American funds over to the Middle East, leaving the protesters here high and dry. It’s no wonder things have quietened down 🙄 Plus their main account has been frozen, so they can’t access their funds anyway, even if the US wasn’t preoccupied with Iran 😂

We then watched a rugby match 🏉 at Happy Valley, and just hung out there for a few hours. I have no idea why this sport has gotten me intrigued. I’m usually not all that interested in sports, but this one has somehow gotten my attention. Weird! 🤷‍♀️

And then we just went to the gym in the evening and had a quiet night in, finishing the HK drama that we’ve been watching recently, Sexy Central. Quite a nice Saturday! 😌

A few firsts

We went and had yum cha in Wan Chai today, a new place that we hadn’t tried before. Not hard to do, really, when there are a bajillion yum cha restaurants in your city! 🤣 Although there’s an abundance of choice, we do tend to stick to our favourites and don’t venture out too often, so I’m glad we decided to step out of our usual yum cha comfort zone today 😊

I then spent a good few hours in the afternoon and evening editing my first ever video! 😱 It felt like it took foreverrr, but given that I had no idea what I was doing and that I also had to find my way around the editing app, I think the total length of time that it did eventually take me wasn’t too bad at all! And from here on in, I’m guessing it should just get easier – and more fun! The sound quality of my original footage wasn’t all that great, so that was rather disappointing, but all up, I’m pretty happy with the result! 👏 It was my first ever editing attempt, so I hope my editing skills will also get better with time. So for a first video, I’m pretty damn happy! It’s not quite ready to go up on YouTube yet, as well as on one of the equivalent Chinese sites (they have multiple equivalents in China 😱) but I’m hoping I’ll be able to upload it soon enough 😊 I just hope the sound quality isn’t too bad… 🤞

Foodie heaven on the decline

We went to yet another yum cha restaurant today, this time in Sheung Wan. We tend to stick between Central and Causeway Bay, so we ventured a little bit past our usual 3km strip.

Yes, this 3km strip literally has hundreds, if not thousands, of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants. It is insane. And we hardly even venture off HK Island, especially now with the douchebags out almost every day. So imagine just how many more there are on the Kowloon side. We barely scratch the surface in terms of the number of food and beverage places we go to. Plus we have our favourite places too, which we go to repeatedly, so that reduces the chances of us going somewhere new as well. And most of the ones that we’ve tried aren’t too bad either. And there are still new places popping up! This is pretty damn close to foodie heaven, if you ask me 😋

But on the down side, the douches are out again today, continuing to attack people who oppose their views and smashing public and private property alike, sighhh… 😒 Exercising their freedom by bashing anyone who exercises theirs. Good work, douches. Terrorism much? In any other country, you guys would’ve been shot already, and the army brought in to shut this all down.

Sighhh… I feel for HK and where it will end up after all this calms down. Coz it ain’t on the way up, that’s for sure 😔

A few disappointments

We went and visited what used to be our favourite yum cha restaurant in HK, but after today’s experience, it has now been downgraded. Very sad. The standard of their food has taken a turn for the worse, unfortunately. I guess our second choice has now been bumped up to first: Maxim’s Palace at City Hall. Now let’s see if someone else can bump her off… 😆

We gave Little Miss her meds today, and she was very angry about being disturbed from her slumber. She ended up scratching N pretty badly 😒 She might be in a bit of pain, which is why she got so angry at us. But the irony is that once she gets her meds, she’ll actually feel better! Sighhh… Hopefully her meds will kick in soon enough.

And then we finished the evening with another episode of Lucifer. We’re getting close to their latest episode, so we’re going to have to find a new show soon… A friend recommended Animal Kingdom, which I thought sounded like a doco 😆 Any thoughts on this show??

The calm before the storm, perhaps…??

We got our aircon units cleaned today, the obligatory quarterly clean. It’s built into our rental contract to get it cleaned every quarter, which was also the case back in SG – except the cost of getting aircon units cleaned here is about 4x as much as it was there 😒 Almost everything is more expensive here, blahhh… And there I was thinking SG was expensive.

Anyway, when they finished, we decided to go and have yum cha. We decided to go to this one place that is always busy. But this place (and their chain of restaurants) is currently being targeted by the protesters, as its owner has made public comments that don’t agree with the protesters’ narrative. Funny how as soon as you express an opposing view, the protesters actually target you. And here I was thinking they were fighting for freedom, which, by the way, includes freedom of speech 🙄

Anywayyyy… we decided to go there, as we figured the queue wouldn’t be so bad, given the above situation. And we were right. Last time I went there about two months ago – and on a Friday, at that – we had to wait around 1.5 hours for a table. Today it wasn’t even five minutes. It was still busy, don’t get me wrong, but it was definitely much quieter than it normally is. Crazy stuff. Definitely a good time to come to HK! 😆

I finally finished watching Ode to Joy, my current Asian drama. I immediately went and looked for Ode to Joy II. I eventually found one with English subtitles – and they have Chinese subtitles as an added bonus too. This next season will be much easier to learn from, then! Woohoo! 👍 I’m very excited 😊

And then in the evening, we went out for birthday drinks with one of N’s workmates. It was at a bar/restaurant located on one of the main roads that the protesters like to traverse, so I was a bit concerned that we’d get up close and personal with them tonight 😒 Luckily they were nowhere near us, and if anything, it seems like the protests have died down. But now that I’ve said that, I’ve probably jinxed myself (and the city!) and they’ll be out in full force again tomorrow… 😑

Touristy stuff in Kowloon

Nephew didn’t get much sleep last night, so his parents and I were a bit nervous about how he would be today, particularly in the current heat. And sure enough, he started losing it on the train to ICC, on our way to Sky100. He took a nap for about half an hour while we were up there, and that helped his mood a bit, thankfully. What didn’t help my mood, though, was the haze! You could barely see anything up there! It was such a shame 😔

The haze got progressively worse as the afternoon wore on 😔

They had a cafe up there, though, and we decided to have a light lunch there instead of going somewhere separately. The tables around us had ordered high tea, and I was curious as to how I could get in on some of that action, as 1) all the tables having high tea had been reserved; and 2) there was no high tea option on their menu. So I just googled it: apparently it is an online offer that they have, so that’s why it’s not on their menu there. Fair enough. So if I’m in the mood for some high tea-ing all the way up ICC one day, I shall remember this place 😊 And to do so before 2 Jan 2020 when the offer expires!

We then caught a cab to Kowloon Walled City Park, where I pulled out some more Mandarin to speak to the cab driver. I had been practising how to say “Walled”, as I can say the rest in Chinese. But the whole place name is still pretty damn long, so I was getting a bit concerned that he won’t understand my dodgy accent, as the taxi drivers in HK aren’t renowned for being very friendly. So I had its Chinese name written down just in case he gives me this puzzled/annoyed look. So in the end, I ended up saying “We would like to go to this place” and showed him the Chinese name. So I still got some speaking practice in, but I didn’t over exert myself by saying the full Chinese name of the park 😂 The cab driver seemed to understand what I was saying, but he never said anything in reply. So maybe he can understand a little Mandarin, but he’s not able to speak it, which is also fair enough. Or maybe he just didn’t understand a word I said, and he was just guessing what I was trying to say the entire time 🤪 In any case, we got to our destination, and I got the correct change, so all was well in my Chinese speaking world 😂

We spent a bit of time at the park, but everyone was pretty tired by now, and so tensions were a bit high by this time in the afternoon. We decided to catch a bus back home, which ended up being a fantastic decision, as it was one of the double decker buses and everyone enjoyed sitting right up the front on the upper deck. The bus was virtually empty – at least upstairs it was – so I didn’t feel too bad making a ton of noise up there! 😆

But everyone was still tired, including the little one, so tensions were still high until finally he went to sleep, and his parents could once again relax 😌

It’s their last day in HK tomorrow, so I’m thinking maybe we can just head over to Causeway Bay for yum cha, hang out there for a while, and then casually head back home so that they can get ready to leave for the airport. Not much stress, and they can also give themselves plenty of time to navigate their way through the airport, which can be a stressful ordeal at the best of tines, especially when travelling with a toddler!