Hong Kong 2021 – Day 12 and 13 (Second Weekend)

Day 12 – Saturday, 11th September 2021

Hmmm. Need sleep, which is exactly what I did after eating this breakfast. The ham and cheese sandwich wasns’t the greatest one I’ve had… Had to add the hash brown into it.

Extra sleep was what I needed. And I’m glad I took the opportunity because now I feel alive. 😀

I didn’t want the quarantine food for lunch, so I ordered some cart noodles but only had the opportunity to choose two toppings. So I chose beef brisket and wonton… Oh it was good. Even with the spicy chilli oil it gave some depth to the soup. Yummy!!

I did eat some of the quarantine food, but left out the rice and threw that in the bin. I did eat the cherry tomatoes this time around.

Continued to watch Penthouse 3, and I’m almost towards the end… what am I going to watch next weekend?! Hmmmm.

During that time, I really wanted to find a way to get my ipad mini to become a second screen. I tried SplashTop again. It didn’t work. Then I found a YouTube video that explained that I may need to update the iPad driver, which I did. And finally iTunes recognised my iPad! Wooo. But SplashTop still didn’t work even after a few restarts…. so finally in the end I chose iDisplay. And it finally worked out! I might be able to do some proper work…. just maybe.

After such a cahoot, it was time to do some much needed exercise. I’m very into Leslie Sansone’s walking video exercises, and recommend them to anyone who has limited indoor space and can’t go outside to exercise. This is my favourite one… a full 45 minute workout… It will make you sweat a bit. ^_^ I did 4699 steps!

Dinner came during this workout, but I held out until the very end of the workout before eating dinner. I ate the whole thing. Tofu with the pork mince sauce was great! I enjoyed it, maybe because I did some exercise. Heheheh.

It was back to watching Penthouse 3, sit back and relax… And lastly I talked to MummyGeek for a long 40 minutes via WhatsApp. She told me to eat all the fruit I saved from lunch time… Which I did, but had to throw the very sour green apple. I really don’t like them, but enjoyed the Washington Red apple…

Time for bed!

Day 13 – Sunday, 12th September 2021

Woke up, ate the breakfast, then back to sleep again. I’m sure it’s not healthy, but I was tired… it’s hard to sleep. The menu restarted from Day 2’s menu… It’s ok I guess, but I wish I had a bit more choice.

After 2 extra hours of sleep, time to wake up and watch Penthouse 3. The subtitles for the final episode wasn’t finished yet, and so thankfully I hadn’t watched episode 13 yet.

During that time I ordered again on FoodPanda. It was something I wanted to order on Saturday, but the restaurant wasn’t opened to ordering at the time. And finally, during my quarantine time I had crispy noodles. The noodles were very fine and very crispy, but there wasn’t enough sauce to soften the noodles. They were ok, but not the best I’ve had.

After lunch, I did some Korean revision, and started watching another Korean drama Police University… When the lunch came, I decided to wait out for a little while before having some of it. I skipped half the rice and the onions but had the rest of everything.

Korean drama syndrome didn’t last long, so I started catching up with Downton Abbey. Why didn’t I watch it many years ago? I even had it on Amazon Prime, but so couldn’t be bothered until it went onto Netflix. I think I’m quite picky at which site I watch shows from I guess.

Before dinner came, there was a knock at the door, they gave me a paper bag of goodies – 2 cokes and 1 bottle of popcorn. This was like an invitation to go and write a review about them… Will do it later when I get out of quarantine. :p

Dinner came before 6pm, and I gladly ate the half amount of rice and chicken leg. Good stuff.

After dinner, it was more studying and watching Downton Abbey… Just finished Season 3!

The hotel gave us a pack a couple of days ago to design our own Mid-Autmumn festival lantern… I gladly made mine, but won’t post on their Facebook page. I sent a picture to MummyGeek instead and posted on Instagram. LOL.

It may have been a slightly boring weekend, and the idea of quarantine has waned, but I have welcomed the peace and quiet and at least I don’t have to hear the constant nagging from my parents (and some other people in my life) ¬_¬””

End of Weekend 2 – Days 12 and 13!!

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 7 to 11 (Working Week One)

Day 7 – Monday, 6th September

Is it a burden to blog in the evening after work? It can be. But since I start early, I don’t there is much choice at the moment. Too groggy in the morning to even start typing, and that’s what happened to me on Monday morning. I woke up, ate breakfast, read a few webtoons, knitted 6 rows on the second fingerless glove, and then zonk… I fell asleep for 1.5 hours, or was it 2 hours?

Well breakfast looked better. The dumplings were cold, but the vermicelli noodles were nice.

I woke up just before lunch… that short nap after breakfast was refreshing. At least I would be able to concentrate before working.

Lunch today consisted of lukewarm chips, flat hamburgers (I was thinking Japanese style chunky burgers… oh well), sausage and the usual veggies and fruit. The meat was fine. I dipped into the slightly peppery sauce. The chips had to be eaten quickly, as they were getting colder by the minute… I beginning to hate plum cherry tomatoes… warm ones especially (coz they’re not sweet enough)…

After lunch, it was just constant work, there was no time to think about snacking. My remote access kept shutting itself down, but I think I have figured out how to stop it doing that! Fingers crossed!

I got a phone call from Reception asking about my stay, and asking about the room – cleaniness was ok apart from some parts in the bathroom. Food was adequate – just too much rice. And they asked about the mart that they have at the hotel – I said I used it once, but said there isn’t enough choice, and there was no HDMI adapter to use for the TV, so I bought one. If that was available on the mart, I would have so rented it or bought it!

Then dinner came early again after 5pm. Was I hungry? Not really… but the eel, omelette, and pork tasted so good with the rice! But cut out those cherry tomatoes people! It doesn’t go well with the meal!

After this, I continuously worked, showered before a meeting, and did my laundry, plus cleaned all the food trays… I figured if I just wash all the trays at the end of the day, it would be so much better… spent the last hour of work procastinating, but looking at emails at the same time… I have worked for 11-12 hours!

Work time recorded: 11.00 to 23.30 (HK time!) … that’s beyonf my working hours…

Day 8 – Tuesday, 7th September 2021

I woke up past the breakfast knocking. Woohoo! So I ate the cold breakfast again. Did around 10 rows of knitting, then fell asleep again…

Seemed to have slept for another 2 more hours, but when I woke up I realised I had 2 missed calls in regards to my HDMI adapter. 😦 It wasn’t going to be delivered today. I may have to cope without it if I don’t get it in the next few days… Oh well… It will just be harder to do my work without a second screen.

Lunch came on time… Aaah vermicelli noodles and pork. I wish it were crispy noodles instead. Oh well…

As I was waiting for my night shift to start, I watched a Korean variety show… can’t get enough of them sometimes. Plus had a Curry Cheese cup noodle…

Once I started work, an hour later my dinner came… hmmm I don’t much like this one. It’s 3-cup Taiwanese chicken. I skipped the onions this time. But the sauce was nice.

Having used up my bin bags, I requested more from house-keeping… they gave me a lot this time.

Restarted work again, but for the love of someone, it kept crashing, and crashing. I think too many people at my workplace are back at work, and are using the network system which makes the remote access a bit more slower I guess.

In the middle of me starting an audit , I recieved a call from HKTV Mall… apparently I out the wrong address in! Oh dear, no wonder…. Nevermind, my delivery is coming on Friday. Hopefully I will get at least one week to use a double screen. In the meantime, I chose to cheer myself up by creating a stationery pot as my pens kept rolling around, and it was difficult to always keep them in one spot on the desk. ^_^

Continously worked until after midnight… I’m hoping this will be the last late, late meeting I have during the rest of quarantine…

Day 9 – Wednesday, 8th September 2021

I don’t think I had enough sleep, but I woke up before the breakfast call. Woohoo! Maybe I’ve started getting into the HK time zone, or maybe not.

The breakfast was so-so. UK frozen ones beat this version of mini glutinous rice packages and siu mai anytime. Siu mai was a bit rubbery. The glutinous rice parcels lacked some oily essence that I’m used to…

Fell asleep for half-an-hour. Then work up again to do some work for 2 hours – in case my remote access started playing up again.

Lunch came. I got rid of all the tomatoes. They were practically raw. My parents would cook them until they’re a bit soft… Hmmmm… But the pork chop and sauce was good!

Tried to get back into work, but had a brain freeze… So I watched stuff on YouTube. Then came my Day 9 PCR test – I was prepared this time round. Didn’t drink or eat after lunch… Just waited for it… (I’m sure I looked very tired).

Finally work time. But dinner comes round so quickly during the week… Too early for me!

Then I had a sudden Teams meeting with an upset staff member… It went on for a bit… After the meeting, my remote access was all gone. Grrr. I could still log in, but the apps weren’t appearing. ¬_¬” Not a good start to a working day.

So I ended up drinking some expensive Twinings Pure Peppermint tea. I forgot to bring my own. It’s much cheaper in the UK.

Waited around for an hour for my remote access to return to normal… so in the meantime, I answered emails and watched some TVB shows.

Remote access came back after an hour. Then finished and completed work on time. Shut down everything, and went to sleep at midnight… MummyGeek warned me there was going to be a typhoon coming through into HK soon. I checked the weather forecast – possibly happening on Friday.

Day 10 – Thursday, 9th September 2021

I’m tired… I had slept for around 7 to 8 hours but still felt groggy. I ate cold breakfast again. I do like HK bread, it’s so soft and tasty. I combined the second half of the tuna sandwich with the hashbrown and bacon. Good stuff!

Then I went back to bed. I’m not sure how I managed to sleep another 2 to 3 hours but it happened, and I had another missed call on the HK number? Why? Who’s calling me? I’m sure my HKTV mall delivery was on Friday! Anyway, I replied to yesterday’s customer service email, in case they were expecting an answer from me… ¬_¬””

Time for lunch… The braised chicken and taro was a bit bland, so I added some chilli oil. I threw away the cherry tomatoes. It was bothersome to eat, and I’m sure it wouldn’t have gone well with this meal.

Afterwards, I did feel a bit peckish, I looked on FoodPanda, but decided to save my money for another time. In the end I had my remaining Coke Zero and a Cup Noodle. Stomach satisfied!

An hour later it was time to get to work.

Work, work, work for a few hours and even had a WhatsApp conversation with a colleague about some irritating email. Humph. Then dinner came. Had to show MummyGeek how my food was delivered, so I took a pic for her.

The cherry tomatoes goes well with sweet and sour sauce. I did eat them this time.

Rubbish and 9 days plus 1 extra food tray were left outside the door. So. Much. Plastic.

Then back to work I go. OMG. So many people to chase. So many emails. I was even asked to make a phone call to a “client”, but I outrightly said I was abroad and unable to do the call. Irritating… I think I lost a nerve up until the 11pm (HK time). I gave in to my tiredness, and said to another colleague that I will catch up with them in the morning. Anyone thinking about doing a workation should really think about the time zone they’re in and how it will affect their lifestyle. Don’t jump ship and do it just for the sake of saving some holiday time. But the one thing I was thankful was that my remote access didn’t break down this time… It was the ThreeHK Network that put me down. It went down for a period of time, so thankfully my other SIM Mobile Duck was there to rescue me at that point.

Note: Weather forecast predicted that the cyclone/typhoon was going to miss out HK. Thank goodness. Now off to bed!

Day 11 – Friday, 10th September 2021

11 more days to go!! Woohoo!! Already at the half-way point.

Had a hard time sleeping as I kept the aircon on which irritated my skin. So I woke up reading webtoons before I finally fell asleep again. I woke up after the breakfast knock, I brought the breakfast in, then went back to bed for another hour. I think my jet lag is almost over… As predicted it does take me around 9 to 10 days to recover.

Breakfast was so-so. Pastries were fine. Japanese sweet potatoes were kind of weird. They’re so small. I threw away the cherry tomatoes, I didn’t want that sour tomatoe taste in my mouth after eating sweet stuff.

I managed to stay awake, watched some YouTube videos (Kritter Klub, SBS TV and even a video from Uncle Roger), and continued to knit… was just waiting for that HKTV Mall delivery phone call… Lunch came instead. The noodles were a bit oily, but I enjoyed this lunch. If only noodles were an option for my everyday meal. Washington Red apples aren’t my favourite… Had a traumatic experience as a child when I took one bite and threw it in the bin, then got told off by my parents. Never again will I waste food like that unless the food was really bad…

Time for first meeting of the day, UK time at 9am. I was waiting for that call from HKTV Mall, instead I got a text and no call… Delivery came in the middle of the meeting. And that HDMI adapter wasn’t the right one! Grrrr. Giving up on the second screen problem I have. I’ve survived for this long without it.

Dinner came. Chicken wings and hamburger steaks underneath them. You know what I did with the cherry tomatoes? Yep that’s right. Thrown in the bin! My tastebuds know what is right and wrong. Everything else was fine!

I was contemplating on whether to have an alcholic drink in the middle of work… ¬_¬” I went for it. And started procastinating for the rest of the evening (I did start work early)…

Have a happy weekend peeps and geeks!

And don’t worry, I’m not at breaking point yet. It’s hot outside, so I’m fine sitting inside with the aircon on. Feel like I need to talk a lot, but I’m doing via this blog. ^_^ Just want the longest sleep ever!

End of Days 7 to 11

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 5 and 6 (First Weekend)

Day 5 – Saturday, 4th September 2021

Another 6 hour sleep. It’s still too hard to sleep for the moment.

Breakfast as always was served early, so I quickly ate that and then tried to fall asleep. I almost did, but I thought I was supposed to have my Day 5 PCR test between 10 and 11am… That didn’t happen…

I wasn’t going to do anything, but ended up watching a Korean variety show called “I Live Alone” without the English subs. I got what they were talking about without having to know the specifics. (I actually don’t care about the constant criticism they face all the time – I think those celebs deserved to buy or rent whatever flat that they can afford. They’ve worked hard for it!

Lunch came on time… I’m thankful there was kimchi! It was definitely sweetened, and I did like it. ^_^

I was bored after lunch, so I ended showering and cleaning the bathroom, and wiping around the room… then I knitted for a bit of time… plus called one of my aunts who lives with my grandmother who’s almost 100 years old!!

I started eating crisps and drinking alcohol when the medical staff came to do the PCR swab. Humph. It didn’t matter to them that I ate and drank. Oh well… that’s not my fault!

I continued to knit and watch Korean variety shows – this time Delicious Rendezvous. I skipped a few parts as it becomes boring.

It was almost 5pm, and I really wanted something else other than the quarantine food, so I ended up ordering dim sum through FoodPanda… But the hotel dinner came first… I had to eat the chips and fried fish first… Too many carbs this week. I left the spaghetti for a bit later. And I’ve just noticed there was no fruit this time… Thankfully I have one more Chinese pear left.

The dim sum came around half-an-hour later… It’s so much better than the frozen stuff in the UK. If only I could eat this every week. I would be ultra happy!

The intriguing dim sum was this quail egg covered in pork…

I tried to avoid eating for another hour or so, and this point I checked how much data I used… I ended up using 40GB from morning to evening! Woah. That’s a lot. The Korean shows use up a lot of data… so I was now trying to figure out how to increase the amount of data on my ThreeHK eSIM… All I had to do was buy another 365 day Local data plan (~ £25), and it updated my total data, minutes and texts, and didn’t give me another HK number. Phew – that was what I was afraid of…

Before I topped up, I bought another eSIM for iPad Mini using Airalo – I bought the ASIA regional eSIM that gives unlimited data at LTE speed for USD$18.00 (~£13) for 12 days. I’m going to use as much data as I can by watching and downloading whatever on Netflix, and use ExpressVPN to watch Viki videos. Finally going to watch Penthouse Season 3. So far so good! Unfortunately you can’t use this eSIM as a mobile hotspot on the iPad Mini. I’m not sure if it can, if it was on a mobile phone.

After all that palava, I did finish off the spaghetti and beef tripe. Light exercise starts tomorrow? Maybe… ^_^ Just hoping all this food will make me sleep tonight, and if I miss breakfast, then so be it!

Somehow there was another delivery at the door, it wasn’t mine but for a room 2 doors down. It’s the first time I’ve had to call reception… I spoke in mixed English and Cantonese – my brain went automatically to English first. ¬_¬””

An exciting Saturday!!

Day 6 – Sunday, 5th September 2021

Sunday wasn’t too bad. I got to sleep around 8 hours, more or less. The best sleep I have had in these past few days. I had a brief moment where I woke up before 7am, but somehow fell asleep again, and I didn’t hear the knocking on the door for breakfast… I woke up again around 8am, and sure enough the breakfast was sitting out on the chair. Cold breakfast.

Oh well, I had to make do, so I combined the croissant, hash brown, and bacon into a croissant-sarnie, and added the ketchup on top. ^_^ I was satisfied with my own creation.

Since it was a Sunday, and obviously there’s not much to do, I started watching TV. I ended up watching Lego Monkie Kid. Hahahahah. I love Cantonese subbed animation. No doubt I had to watch the 11 minute episode plus the ads.

Afterwards, I flicked through the channels but got bored, so I started on my Korean revision… and watched Penthouse 3 at the same time – so intense! I’m glad I saved to watch this during quarantine.

Lunch came… The meat side was supposed to be beef bourguinon in Western wine… Hmmm. Really? I’m more used the big chunks of meat. My work canteen can do better than this (apart from the rice).

Then the eSIM I purchased from Airalo slowed down … ah man, I couldn’t watch anymore streaming using the eSIM, so had to use one of the mobile hotspots.

Dinner came early – it’s been arriving early than late these days. Sometimes, I feel like I’m not hungry, but I still eat for the sake of eating. The chicken chop was marinated well and tasted sweet. The curry sauce is a Chinese version – the one you get in the chippy in the UK. Onions were fresh this time! I’m sure someone has complained about them…

I watched more of Penthouse 3 – the last episode is on the 10th September, so I’ll be watching episodes 10 to 15 next Saturday. So I’m hoping by Sunday, the English subs will have finished by then. ^_^

End of Day 5 and 6.

Hong Kong 2021 – Days 3 and 4 (Working)

Day 3 – Thursday, 2nd September 2021

Humph. Still jet lagged! I only had 4 hours sleep from Wednesday evening.

I read online that your body recovers every 1 day per 1 time zone. That means as HK is 7 hours ahead, it will take me 7 days to recover. Probably more for me… I think it takes me an extra 2 days to completely be in sync with the time zone I’m in.

Because I woke up early, I was waiting for breakfast, and just sat around staring into space just thinking… But before eating, I had to provide a saliva sample. I read the instructions, and looked at the pictures, and watched the video. This reminded me of doing that 23andMe DNA test. (Do you think this lab might be doing a deep DNA test on me as well? … probably not, I didn’t consent to that). You’re not to eat, drink or smoke for 30 minutes before providing the sample… I resisted, but did have a sweet and water way before I provided my saliva. I left the sample outside on the chair before 9am.

Then it was time to eat breakfast. Hotcakes were good. Baby carrots were nice and soft. Sausage was ok. I have a feeling the hotel bought a lot of cherry tomatoes, they’re not sweet enough, but ok to eat.

After breakfast my FoodPanda delivery of crisps and facial tissue came. Tempo tissues are a bit stronger than the hotel ones, that’s why I bought them. The packets of Lays crisps are big, and they’ll last for 2 or 3 days (for me). The grilled seafood flavour tastes like prawns and has a little spiciness to them. The pork shogayaki tastes like sweet and salty soy sauce flavoured with a hint of pork.

After the morning excitement, I had another nap – I’m really trying to get over this jet lag quickly!

I woke up in time for lunch. The food came before 1pm. Japanese style beef with rice and vegetables. The beef was a little under seasoned (I have a salt grinder with me – so I added a bit of salt to it). There was some raw onions underneath the beef, they tasted “old” as my parents would say… as in they’ve been around for too long, and taste tough to eat. There was too much rice, but mostly tried to finish it… Time to excercise? Yep, I will have to! The orange was left to be eaten after dinner.

Just before I was going to start work, I received a call about the next 5 swabbing tests during my quarantine – make sure to have your HKID card and passport in reach as they ask you to verify your details and phone number.

It was now time to work… but for some reason, I kept getting kicked out of my remote access. The computer just said “No” to me a few times. I sat in front of the screen for 4 meetings on Teams, answered loads of emails and tried to keep myself busy… It was easy in the beginning, but I got tired by 9pm HK time. The last meeting was at 10pm! 😦

After the first three meetings (hoping I didn’t disturb my one neighbour next door – I tried to talk quietly, so I only covered one ear with my headphones), time flew by so quickly that my dinner was actually waiting outside, and I didn’t even hear the staff knock on the door.

I had a cold dinner of deep fried pork, spaghetti, mushroom sauce and chips. The spaghetti and pork were fine. The chips went too cold. 😦 The mushroom sauce went well with the spaghetti.

After the last meeting, I think my body just flopped. I stayed up another 2 more hours.

The aircon was too cold and I was complaining to MummyGeek that I was cold, but then I realised I can turn up the temperature… turned it up to 25 degrees celcius. In the middle of the night, I took off my thin jumper… too warm now. LOL!

Day 4 – Friday, 4th September 2021

Got around 5 to 6 hours sleep. Still jet lagged, but feel much better than the past two days.

I was up in time for the breakfast, and then I tried to get back to sleep but couldn’t, SO…

I decided to just stay up, I had my coffee and watched a Korean variety show called Delicious Rendezvous, which I’m behind on. Hopefully I can catch up before the end of quarantine as each episode is around 1.2 hours long… Trying not to nap so that I can sleep longer after work.

Lunch came on time today. Not complaining about the rice this time as it was enough. I also added a bit of my own chilli oil in at the last minute just to spice the cabbage, soy sauce chicken wings and the rice. I forgot to eat the pear!!

I was going to start a little early, but got interuptted at the door with all of this…

The big white bag contained towels and pillow cases. As it was there, I felt obliged to change them, then I left the big white bag with the old towels and pillow cases I used.

Do I like online shopping? Yes I do, and if one can’t go out and shop, the next best thing is to shop for your needs using the HKTV Mall app. You need a HK mobile number to use this, so if you haven’t got one, I suggest you get your hotel or family to buy you one. HKTV Mall is a bit like Amazon but there is a 2 or 3 day shipping delivery. So there’s no next day delivery unless you’re going to use their lockers to pick them up. From the app I bought some Japanese alcohol, cup noodles, Pringles, another date SIM (I’m using around 4 GB a day) and a USB extension (I completely forgot to take one out of my work bag in the UK, grrr). I bought a HDMI-USB adapter after receiving this, because I can’t for the life of me, remove the TV and plug in the cable. It’s very difficult… will write about in the final post about the hotel.

After the “Friday morning meeting” with lots of colleagues (it was a little tense actually), I worked through some emails and had a catchup meeting with my Team who looked tired and wanted to be out of the country too. 😦 Fingers crossed the UK will be out the horrible sticks… At least they’re not facing a 21 day quarantine!

Dinner came quite early… so I hurriedly ate that. I still wish the onions were cooked properly. No one likes warm raw onions…In the end they were thrown out into the pot of sauce and in the bin! The beef was fine… and the rice of course was too much (for me). Didn’t drink the green tea – it remains in the fridge for another day.

Then back to work. My remote access defo doesn’t like it here in HK – I kept getting cut off. Oh well… I’ll do some of the work on the weekend to make up the time.

End of Days 3 and 4.

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 2 (jet lagged)

Day 2 – Wednesday, September 1st 2021

It’s already Day 2! And I’m already jet lagged. 6 hours of sleep is my usual sleeping time during work days, but the sound of the whirring aircon didn’t help. If you can’t sleep because of the noise, I recommend getting earplugs – I do have some, so I’ll definitely try using them for the next few nights. I can’t hear anything from my fellow quarantine peeps, my room is not completely soundproof, but it’s good to know I can’t hear much from the outside world.

As I couldn’t sleep, all I kept thinking about was food. I looked at the hotel’s menu, and had a feeling it was going to be small… It was indeed, and I was still hungry. 😦

So I ordered food on FoodPanda, the equivalent to Just Eat and Uber Eats. I ordered some noodles and toast. The soup came separately. I forgot to add the separate sauge and extra egg into the noodle mix. Oh well… I ate it all. Even drank the HK Style milk tea. Yeek.

Obviously I had too much for breakfast, but I did try to eat the lunch. I probably left about two bites of rise and the onions. The raw onions aren’t good. I had the apple at dinner time… I don’t like shiny green sour apples. Luckily I have some M&S light honey with me (brought from the UK too). I’m hoping my luggage becomes light when I leave this quarantine hotel. Heheheh.

After eating lunch, I took a two hour nap. Trying to get over jet lag is so hard.

Then 6 hours later, during my WhatsApp call to my family in the UK… dinner came.

Stomach satisfied!

End of Day 2.

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 0 and Day 1 (Flight and Pre-Quarantine)

Daily log of HK quarantine starts now.

Day 0 – Monday, August 30th 2021

I received a text message on the day before I was to fly out to be at the airport 5 hours before my flight to get my documents checked. 5 hours! Isn’t that more of a risk of catching covid? And as in my previous post mentioned, I also received an email to upload my documents.

Took a cab to Heathrow Terminal 5, and was looking for the toilet, but noticed that my flight was already checking in because of the document checks. I had everything printed thankfully so it was pretty much a checklist for BA. They ask you once before you queue. They even ask if you have an HK ID card. Perplexed? Yes, I was too. Then you have to go through the same process with the document check at a kiosk before the bag drop.

After all the checks, your boarding pass is given to you. Then you do your bag drop, and then it’s the security check… one would be surprised I had three phones on me. One work, one personl and one for HK usage… now the long wait before boarding begins – that means knit, eat and wait.

Before you even board, British Airways recheck your documents. SIGH. I can hear a lot of moaning from some people… the most complained about part is the Certificate of Accreditation. Yep. It’s because the labs don’t actually email you this part as probably most of the world don’t care, so you have to find it.

My flight was practically empty…

Food wasn’t bad but portion size was too small. The first picture shows a very oily aubergine bake covered with some cheese. There was a small bowl of cous cous with I think some creamy houmous.

Lunch was nice but only half a sandwich? That’s just terrible for the amount you pay for the flight!

Motion sickness tablets also worked! I’m glad I took them….

Day 1 – Tuesday, August 31st 2021

After landing, they ask you to wait before you get off the plane. Once you disembark from the plane, you then travel using the short train service to the Departure Lounge, which is entirely closed off and now used as the testing ground and waiting area for all arrivals into HK.

Then starts the checks (writing in point form… it’s just long, and I don’t recommend this to anyone who plans to travel in and out of HK. And if you’re totally unfit – don’t even bother! It’s a lot of walking to and throw):

  • Checks for Health Declaration Form and QR code – make sure to get this done before you fly
  • Collect bottle for swabbing and lanyard, which will have a barcode on it – you must wear this
  • Swabbing is done by medical staff – they are so gentle with the swabbing, the person I had spoke English, she didn’t realise I spoke Cantonese. Hahahah.
  • Hand swab in to the next station
  • Walk to the next area for documentation checks – all the stuff done pre-boarding at the UK airport
  • You’re given your health declaration form (hardcopy) with all the policies for you to read, and handed a booklet
  • Then it’s another long walk to the waiting area. Hand in your form, and they give you a seat number which will be written on the lanyard given to you.
  • Sit and wait with the given snacks (I didn’t get a sandwich – I should have done)

3 hours later... My results came back negative. They hand back the health declaration form to you with the result written on there… Here I thought they were supposed to give you a bluetooth wristband for a team somewhere in HK to monitor so that you don’t go outside of your hotel room. I didn’t get one! No-one did. STRANGE…. I checked the news, but there was nothing to say it wasn’t happening…

  • Go to the next area where you travel back to the arrivals area.
  • Go through immigration with your ID – they didn’t even ask me any questions even though I was gone for more than 36 months!! I guess even if they ask, the answer will be because of the pandemic, and I assume there isn’t any point in asking. ¬_¬” I think someone higher up should have said that before I decided to go on this trip. But nevermind.
  • Next was to collect luggage, then onto the quarantine hotel registration. You again hand in your health declaration form again (just keep it out as you need to use it again until you get to the hotel), and they’ll add a sticker onto the lanyard that you’ve been wearing the whole time plus a tag for your luggage. Then you wait in your designated quarantine hotel queue until the mini bus comes.
  • It wasn’t a long wait… and before you get onto the mini bus, they spray your luggage (I’m guessing antibacterial stuff is used).

After a short ride from the airport, I checked into the hotel. They give you a load of information at the desk, forms to sign, check your HKID too and a saliva kit to be done and collected on Day 3, some freebies are given, and I had to pay a deposit of HK$1000 (I forgot HK hotels do this) – it’s in case of any damages made.

I wondered if they were going to give any food, and they did… Thanks quarantine hotel!

Finally time to unpack. If you saw the room right now, it looks like a mess. I feel like I’m Miss Pinky just pouring out my stuff all over for the duration of my stay. ^_^ (but what happens if I have coronavirus…? Hmmm… maybe I should put some stuff back into my luggage… or not).

Wi-Fi at the hotel is rubbish, but thankfully I bought an e-SIM which I’m currently using now as a Wi-Fi hotspot on a new phone, that supports e-SIM. I recommend using Three HK – DIY Prepaid Plan. Get the Local package with 100GB local data.

If you don’t have the latest devices or not sure about e-SIMs, then purchase a data sim from HKTV Mall. It might take a couple of days to get you, but it will be worth it… Otherwise, check with your hotel and see if they have anything special to offer.

Time to sleep after a long two days.

End of a Day 0 and Day 1.

Hong Kong 2021 – Pre-Travel Checklist

Finally travelling!! HK has now accepted UK flights but we still have to quarantine for 21 days.

Many people have vlogged on their travels to Hong Kong and they’ve written short descriptions of their ordeal, but me, I’m a blogger. I like taking pictures and writing about my experience (and I haven’t taken a lot in the past year and a bit). So, you’re going to see pictures rather than videos along the way!

I’m fully vaccinated and now I’m off to Hong Kong (actually I’ve arrived in HK, and it’s my first day in the country)! It’s been just over 3 years since I last went to Hong Kong, and so I’m overdue to go back (I’m one of those overseas British born HKers who need to go back every 3 years or less… I’m unsure if this is what we should be doing, but there are varied answers online. I’m not taking the risk of getting downgraded with my ID card, so it’s just best for me to go, right?). I’ve taken the risk of entering HK – 6 weeks overdue my 36 months from my last entry. But it’s not my fault!! The orignal dates I chose to fly out in July all got cancelled, because of some covid cases from the UK in June… so my flight on July 1st was cancelled. I also attempted to go back last year but the vaccine wasn’t out (too early), and the UK was on lockdown… plus a 14 day quarantine in HK sounded absurd at the time, and I don’t think my boss would have let me go either.

At the moment, the quarantine system has been unfair. Hong Kong has seen a number of new imported covid cases recently but didn’t ban flights from those countries at the time (especially the USA). So disappointed! Even in recent weeks Nicole Kidman got away with having to quarantine… what nonsense is that?! How can Hong Kong residents even trust their own government when they can give out exemptions to celebreties but not to their own citizens who HAVE been fully vaccinated. But you know, even our own PM Boris decided to not quarantine when his dog caught covid… shame on the world… (no-one seems to be letting go of the Nicole Kidman story. OMG. What HK should be worried about now is getting more than 70% of their population vaccinated so that businesses and people can get on with their lives!).

Here’s my pre-travel checklist before I flew from the UK to HK:

  • Printout of Vaccine letter (most important) – I have 2 NHS letters, one from June, and a recent one with a Chinese descriptive page on how to read the English letter
  • Printout of PCR Test results (also very important) – I was going to use the Randox Health self-swabbing kits but was persuaded by my colleagues to get a same day swabbing… which meant I had to pay extra… 😦 – ALSO MAKE SURE to get a copy of the the lab’s UKAS accreditation certificate with whichever recognised lab you go with, here us the Randox Health one online, as it’s not included in the email! It took me a couple of hours to figure out what British Airways needed. It was like a prompt to get one printed for the HK border control.
  • Printout of quarantine hotel (because HK needs to view it)
  • Printout of air ticket – boarding pass was downloaded on the app
  • Passport
  • Hong Kong Health Declaration Form – to do online on the day I fly out
  • HK ID Card – to be used when I get to HK

British Airways will email you to upload the first three points above just to check you have everything before you even reach HK. Have scanned and printouts of everything!

Other things I need on this trip:

  • Laptop … going to be working during quarantine
  • Phones (my work phone is coming along, boohoo!)
  • Clothes (minimal)
  • Lots of antibacterial wipes
  • Hand gel
  • Siracha sauce, chilli oil, coffee sachets, cup-a-soups
  • Humidifier
  • Toiletries
  • Motion sickness pills – I wasn’t sure on how I was going to cope with the flying after a 2 year hiatus, just thinking about it was making me nauseous

And the list goes on… I even bought a laptop bed stand (in June) because originally I was going to stay in a cheaper hotel without a table and chair, but decided not to take it as I was able to get a hotel room with a table and chair.

Very, very importantly are face masks… I bought a few types, as my colleagues and friends just keep telling me to stay safe on the plane. I don’t like the N95 masks. I’ve worn them a few times, they stick to your face, but you can easily breath in them. Instead I bought the non-medical surgical masks (made in China), KN95/FFP2 masks (EU certified ones) and the KF94 masks (made in South Korea).

p.s. I actually threw this post into the trash can in July, I was just really peed off with how many U-turns from one country … thankfully the post didn’t completely delete itself.

No pictures today, but there will be in the next post!

The Failings of Travelling during a Pandemic

This one Geek had it all prepared to go travelling during a pandemic.

I got jabbed twice with Pfizer. Made sure people around me were getting their jabs and wearing masks 😷.

Bought my plane ticket to Hong Kong (in May), booked my quarantine hotel for 21 days (then 14 days, and then back to 21 days … oh come on!), then booked my post-qurantine hotel … then s**t hit the fan. Hong Kong decided to ban all flights coming in from the UK from July 1st 2021. Grrrrr.

My flight was on July 1st. 🤬

My cousin text me to tell me to cancel my flight and hotels… Whatever!! I wasn’t going to lose my money… I waited for the airline to cancel my flight, which they did. (I bursted out crying in front of my manager during a Teams meeting… Sorry Boss!!).

Then it was time to contact Booking.com to get my money back from the quarantine hotels (two hotels – as the HK govenment changed the quarantine time back to 21 days, and I stupidly cancelled one hotel, and booked another). If the hotel admin were stressed out then I was extremely stressed! I wasn’t going to lose out on almost £2K. But thankfully, the hotels agreed to give me back my money. I’m sure they didn’t lose out, since other people coming from the UK would have needed to extend their stays. Thanks Booking.com! They are so patient!!

I decided to get a refund for my flight. It was easy… but I didn’t expect a £300 admin fee from Cathay Pacific. Wow. That’s so extreme from an airline. 😦

Total loss (excluding things I bought for the journey and the hotel quarantine – since I can still use these now and next time):

  • £300 from Cathay Pacific admin fee (not happy… 😤)
  • £180 for PCR swab kits (not even used 😖)

Think I need to work a little bit harder to gain this money back (or just not spend on anything drastic for the next few months).

Do I care about my status in Hong Kong now? Not at this very moment… I failed to go back in time to validate my HKID card. Oh well! Did I really want to go? Not really… My boss was understanding and would have let me worked from abroad if I had the chance to go… It was not meant to be! The Heavens told me not to go twice. 😇

Not to worry peeps. I cheered myself up in the past 3 weeks (in the time I would have been in quarantine)…

  1. I cooked sweetcorn with raclette cheese. I cheered up after eating this.

2. I bought an expensive keyboard from South Korea on eBay (which arrived just before I was aiming to go to Hong Kong). You can’t type Romaja on Western keyboards… You have to learn the Korean keyboard!!

3. I took a picture of a blimp that read “Good Year” on it… What good year?

4. I went out with my friend Mrs Hen (long awaited time out with her)… we went to eat at Nando’s at London Bridge… she was late, so I ended up stationery shopping in Paperchase, and I bought a book (Swing Time by Zadie Smith – still reading it). Then we sort of met with her colleagues in Vinegar Yard for an hour before they headed off to another pub).

5. Went out all the way to Tooting and met up with Miss Money and Miss LuTu… Was gardening tips, even though I don’t own a garden…

6. Why did I go out to Leicester Square during the Euro 2020 Finals? I was craving some Korean food, and I wanted to go to Oseyo for them … then I took the Tube back and saw some wild fans going up the escalator singing (there were wild England fans everywhere, I’m just glad I didn’t go into Leicester Square to the witness the chorus singing and see the mess they made).

7. A fox appeared at Herne Hill Station on my way home … It brightened my evening …

8. And finally today, it rained, like it has been all over the world. I expect some services to be disrupted later on.

Cheer up Everyone!!!

I may have failed to travel in the last two years, but I have tried to enjoy myself (and I did get most of my money back). LOL! 🤪

KiKi & MiuMiu Market – London, Walworth Road / Elephant & Castle

And we have another Asian supermarket in the Walworth Road and, Elephant and Castle area… Despite the Asian backlash, which I personally haven’t seen or have come across since the start of the pandemic. Maybe my body language says “backoff or I’ll do something to you”, LOL! ^_^ …

Kiki and MiuMiu Market opened in late April, I’ve already been in there twice. They have a variety of frozen foods, bakeries, some things that aren’t available in Longdan or Daily Fresh Supermarket in East St Market.

Comparing some of the prices, it is slightly cheaper – depending on what you buy…

They’ve tried to utilise the space, but it does feel a little cramp… you may have to wait for people to finish what they’re doing to get pass them… In a way, it’s better than going to China Town for the moment.

Address: 141 Walworth Rd, London SE17 1RW

Golden Tea 凰茶- London, Elephant and Castle

Howdy peeps! Hope everyone is staying safe as usual. 🤓

Third lockdown almost over but with other variants running around at the moment we will never know what will happen in June…

Haven’t blogged for a long time, just haven’t found anything much to blog about, so here’s something I found on my way home one afternoon after a long walk in February. So many things change if you don’t go out and have a look at your surroundings. Not sure when this opened, but Golden Tea is another bubble tea shop in London. There’s a lot of Chinese students living around the Elephant and Castle – maybe it’s become a new trend over there with new flats and new shops… and hopefully a new shopping centre (or new social housing). We will see!!

Golden Tea looks very decorative and pretty inside compared to the building it’s based in. LOL. 凰茶 (Mando: huang cha; Canto: wong cha) means Phoenix Tea rather than Golden Tea.

They have a variety of teas for you to choose from, and there’s something slightly expensive desserts that you could try.

I ordered a large and a medium cup of original tea with brown sugar (one for MummyGeek to try out). I wanted the large one to have more sugar, but when I tasted it, it didn’t have enough sugar… I was a little disappointed. MummyGeek wasn’t sure about it.

Hmmm, I think if you like bubble tea, it’s worth a try…

And if you live in the area, it might be worth ordering on Deliveroo.

https://deliveroo.co.uk/menu/london/kennington/golden-tea-elephant-and-castle

Address: Unit 13, 91-95 Newington Butts, London SE1 6SF