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… 😑

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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 ðŸĪŠ 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!

Biting the bullet

We tried to catch up with one of N’s mates from Oz today and go and have yum cha with him and his wife; they’re in HK for a few days for his wife’s work. But it didn’t quite pan out that way, so we just ended up having our usual weekend brunch on our own 😆

We were a bit adventurous today and thought we’d try a place that didn’t have an English menu ðŸ˜ą

Yum cha menu all in Chinese ðŸ˜ą

I know the Chinese for most of the dishes that we like now, so I’m relatively more comfortable walking into these places nowadays, and seeing a yum cha menu entirely in Chinese isn’t as intimidating anymore. Plus it gives me the opportunity to learn a few new dishes, so it’s all good 😊 Dinner menus, on the other hand, are a different story… But we don’t tend to do Chinese for dinner; and if we do, we would normally go with friends who can read Chinese anyway, so they end up doing the ordering 😆

We went to Muji afterwards to buy a portable essential oil diffuser. I’ve been wanting one for ages now, but the under-buyer in me continually stopped me from buying one. But for some reason, something just compelled me to go and buy it today, so I bit the bullet and just went for it. And I absolutely love it! People go on about the health benefits of essential oils, but I just love the smell of bergamot and can’t sniff enough of it, it’s like a drug for me ðŸĪĢ And if it’s a drug that’s good for me, then even better! 👏 I won’t say no to the stuff *sniff sniff* hehehe

My new Muji portable aroma diffuser 😊

A movie and a drama

** Warning: Dark Phoenix spoiler alert below **

We somehow managed to get out of the house by 8:30am today – on a SUNDAY. That was total amazeballs. I didn’t think we’d be able to do it. They have cheaper movie tickets for the 9am sessions, compared to sessions later in the day, so this was a good enough reason for us to try and make it to the cinema early 😆 HK is generally a night time city, which makes me all the more inclined to try and turn into a morning person while we’re here, simply to avoid the crowds that are everywhere in this city, especially on weekends. I’ll keep you posted on how this is working out… or not 😂

We watched the new X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix. I actually had no idea what the movie was about, just that Sansa was in it 😂 Apparently she plays Jean Grey. I was actually enjoying the movie, until people started dying – ie people who are still alive when the first X-Men movie finished. And if you go by the timeline of it all, I thought this movie would fit somewhere more like a prequel. So why did these characters die??

And there was no Wolverine, which doesn’t make sense either because this was set some time before the first ever X-Men movie, as McAvoy and Fassbender are playing the younger versions of Professor Xavier and Magneto respectively, and ditto with the other actors who were playing characters who were featured in the first film. But no Wolverine probably has more to do with Hugh Jackman probably not wanting to reprise his role any longer, so I reckon there were more external factors at play with this omission more than anything else, so this one didn’t bother me too much.

And then, Professor Xavier “retires”, and the movie ends with the school being named the “Jean Grey School”. Seriously, what the f is all this about?!? I am confused and at a complete loss as to where they’re taking this. So unless these characters somehow come back to life in the next film, and they somehow get the story back on the right track, they may have lost me as a fan 😔 It’s quite sad. Especially as it is supposed to be in memory of Stan Lee. I would be turning in my grave if I were Stan 😒

We then went and had yum cha (of course 😋) before heading back home. I took a quick nap, as the early morning start was just that: early. And then I just binge-watched more of The Heirs, my current Korean drama, while N went to karate. I’m getting close to the end, so now I’m keen to just finish it off! It’s quite good, of course, I’m really enjoying it. It’s so crazy and out there, which is one of the main reasons why I watch these dramas. They’re just fun and silly, and takes you out of reality for just that little while 😊

All about friends

It was all about friends today. We caught up with some old friends back from our uni days who have been living in HK for the past sixteen years. We went and had yum cha (what else, man, it’s HK 😆) in Causeway Bay and then afterwards we just wandered around a bit and did some shopping.

We then went back home and I just watched a few more episode of The Heirs, my current Korean drama, before heading out again and having dinner and drinks with one of N’s workmates. It was supposed to be with him and his wife, but she got stuck with the parental duties, so she ended up having to go home to attend to the kids. It was quite fun anyhow, but still, hopefully next time it’ll be all four of us. Both him and his wife are also from Sydney, so it was good to just speak normally and be completely understood and not feel like a bogan, like I usually do 😆

It was a good day 😊

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 😂 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 🙄

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 😂 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 ðŸ˜ą

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 😆

Brunch and The Little Prince

I went to Sai Ying Pun today and tried two different cafes: one for brunch and another one for coffee and dessert. Neither of them were that great 😂 It’s hard to find good western breakfast/brunch food in Asia. And as you may know, I find it very difficult to stray from western breakfasts. Lunch or dinner I can have any other cuisine, no problem, but when it comes to breakfast/brunch, it’s hard for me not to have a western style meal. The only thing that has been able to pull me away from this restrictive habit is yum cha! 😂

I read more of my Chinese version of The Little Prince 👍 Well, it’s probably better described as “studying”, as it is by no means a leisurely read! 😂

There are a ton of new words on this page, and there were a few sentences that I found quite difficult to understand, so I had to refer to the English version to get the translation. But I’m really enjoying the process, and the story, so despite the absolute slowness of my progress, I still somehow magically push on. I don’t know when I’ll finish the book! I’m reading about a page a day, as that is all the time I’m willing to spend studying it, since I have other commitments in my life! 😂 But maybe there will come a turning point where all the vocab will somehow magically come together, and slowly I won’t have to look up so many words, and I can just figure out from the context the meaning of the remaining few words that I don’t know. Maybe…?? Here’s to hoping! 😂