Hong Kong 2021 – Day 8 & Return to London

Tuesday, 28th September 2021

It’s been a very long month! It really doesn’t feel like I’ve been in Hong Kong for that long. I’m hoping the quarantine situation will end next year (it better do!).

I didn’t want to wake up early, so I lied in as much as I could before I needed to go to the toilet. Heheh. It was my last day in Hong Kong, and I need to feel relaxed… I drank a coffee, but I didn’t want to leave the room to get breakfast, so I sat there waiting for lunch time to come.

I ordered a sweet soy sauce chicken and rice. My family kept saying I should order it… ¬_¬”

I also went to 7Eleven and bought snacks and a sandwich. I was going to leave the sandwich for later, but I think I was hungry, so I scoffed it down.

Time took forever that afternoon, but I checked out before 3pm, and then waited for an Airbus to arrive. One was supposed to come at 2.55pm and 3.15pm (as it said on the Moovit App), but neither bus came at that time. There must have been a reduced service as no-one is flying. It finally did come at 3.39pm, and throughout the whole journey, I believe I was the only person on the bus that was actually travelling out of HK.

As I didn’t do my PCR test before leaving, I had pre-booked a test at the airport – Prenetics provides a 2 hour waiting time service (or less) and costs HK$499 (cheaper than the UK!). The desk is pretty far. When you arrive, you need to go down one floor into Arrivals, and find the Prenetics desk in the A area. You check in with your QR code and whatever ID you placed onto the website (the person at the desk asked if I was a BNO – nope not a BNO), and the person at the desk will take you to their testing station.

Waited and waited. I even had a video call with my aunt and grandmother! LOL!! The airport seemed like a ghost town compared to Heathrow!!

My results came back in less than 2 hours! If you need to print off your results (which you should), you can go to Area D in Departure lounge, and there is a desk next to the Turkish Airlines desk where the person will ask you to link your WhatsApp to their PC. You need to send the files to someone in your chat, then the person at the desk will open and print it off. It’s HK$15 per sheet.

I had no idea when check in time was so I queued and waited forever. I saw a lot of HKers – were they students or people fleeing the country as BNO’s? Some people were also crying along the way… awww, I know that feeling! … When check in started, the person at the desk said I was in the wrong queue. I practically argued with the guy… but yep, it was my fault for being the wrong! Sorry airport staff!! Defo my fault… Eventually the staff member gave in seeing how the queue was on the other side (and probably angry at me – but he didn’t show it!). Thank you for standing up to my HK/British arrogance.

Finally checked in, I went to Border control, my passport was not being recognised, and one guy asked if I was using a BNO passport. “It’s not a BNO passport” I said… Sugar levels down, irritated mode on. I finally went through. It was my first time using the HKID card machine (I usually use the desk counter) – you just slip it in, it comes out, and the gates open if you’re all ok.

Time for security check too… I took out my three phones, ipad, laptop… lots of stuff… I think the security guard was thinking “Why on Earth does she have three phones?!”. One work, one personal, one HK phone. LOL! I was almost scott free, but they asked to check the front centre of one bag… There was a bottle of hand gel there! I forgot, sorry!

Now it was time to look for food. Boy, there weren’t many options anymore or by time I passed through Border Control, and flight staff are segregated from us passengers. The only food place that was opened was the Thai place. Boring… So I asked around, and there’s a little sandwhich shop at Gate 27. For an International Airport that’s so big, this is all they could offer during the evening 😦 Even the Hokkaido egg tarts looked so sad. Not even one convenience store was available…

I walked forever to my gate area – just to sit down and eat. It feels like such a sad ending to my journey.

I sat around charging my phone, texting friends and family. It was a dull moment. Can you spot me in this picture?

Finally boarding time! When I boarded, I realised my flight is really, really full! Why are there so many Chinese students (the ones from the Mainland). Well, it’s Freshers Week for most universities in the UK, and I’m guessing most of these students were travelling to get to their classes in time. Blimey. My uni days are over. Miss Money also explained to me later that there’s no direct flight from China to the UK and vice versa. Oooh.

I sat next to a lady who was quite fidgety throughout the flight. Thankfully I was able to sleep an hour each time. I only went to the toilet once during the whole flight, when I usually go several times. The lady started chatting to me in English towards the end of the flight. She probably noticed I was more English as I was reading the mini TV screen in English. The lady was a retired Math teacher from China, but settled in the UK with her husband who is an Englishman who was previously a scientist turnt English teacher in China… I wonder if English people really become fed up, and just go teaching English wherever they can. (One friend from China offered me a job to teach English to primary school kids last year… I didn’t take the job offer – I have no patience with school kids).

Dinner was ok… nice and hot. Wasn’t sure about the potato salad, it tasted a bit raw to me.

Many hours passed, I think we started flying over Scandinavia at this point…

Breakfast was rubbish – sandwich was kind of sad. I’ve paid so much for a flight, but get half-decent food – and that’s from both flights!! I smirked when a flight attendant said to a passenger when he/she asked for a latte, “This isn’t Starbucks”. 🤣 Obviously not. We would have got some decent food and drinks if it were.

I hope British Airways improve their meal plans once covid is over.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021

We landed just before 5am, so happy to have reached London! Trying to spot my home from one of these pictures. I can see the Thames, London Eye, The O2 Arena… lots and lots of lights on so early in the morning… Does the world really need so many lights on at this time of the day? No wonder there’s so many activists. We need to stop using so much electricity.

We were treated like school kids before disembarking the plane. We had to get off from one section by one section. I didn’t mind really, as I didn’t live as far as where most of these people were going (probably).

The irritating part about Heathrow Terminal 5 is the long distance walk from the exit of the plane to Passport Control. Could they not have created a train service for this part (like they do in HK). I think I walked at least half an hour. So tired!

I queued in the UK passport section – Blimey, there weren’t many UK citizens on that flight. In the past, there would be a massive queue in the UK section compared to the foreign passport section. E-gates weren’t in use during that morning. Oh well.

Afterwards, buggage claim took forever! Everyone had at least more than one luggage piece. Me, I only had one!! And it took 1.5 hours for my suitcase to appear. ¬____¬” Not happy people!

In the end, I opted to go home via a black cab. I wanted to take the Heathrow Express and take a cab afterwards, but nope, I took a black cab all the way home. There was a long queue of black cabs, and I’m sure they all needed the money!

My cab driver said I didn’t need to wear my mask anymore, but to be on the safe side, I decided to wear mine as my flight was full. Got home safe and sound. Avoided the M4 traffic that morning (as the taxi driver said), AND thankfully no M25 protests that morning. Wooo.

I thanked the cab driver, went home, and slept most of the morning. I thought I wouldn’t sleep as I slept a bit on the plane, but I think I’ve got older and weaker.

Boots DAY 2 PCR Test done on 30th September. Results came back on 3rd October as NEGATIVE!! I read recently in October that someone who quarantined in HK after 21 days showed covid symptoms 5 days after being released. Well… what can I say… One case out of many, many people… I think I was just one of the lucky ones!

I’ve had my booster jab recently – another 3 days of arm pain. 😭😭😭

Well, I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts or just passed by to view the pictures, and hope anyone planning to go, or go back to HK soon should really plan ahead, and keep checking the HK covid info website.

So far, HK have stuck to their current rules since August 2021, and it hasn’t changed much since I’ve come back to the UK.

And I’m so glad I missed all those typhoons that passed through HK last week. PHEW!

End of my HK Journey. 🤓

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 7 Post-Quarantine

Monday, 27th September 2021

Not sure why or how I woke up so early. I’m sure I went to bed late.

It was a slow day… It’s always the day before you go, that things seem to slow down, you don’t really want to meet people or go anywhere… Well I did go out to Shatin Plaza in the end. It was kind of boring. Just brand name shops, the local shops were boring too. Couldn’t find the fun stationery shops and cute stores were missing ☹️ … But KFC wasn’t! Whilst I was ordering food, an old man was just shouting about not wearing his mask… Well, I guess the whole world is thinking the same thing. I don’t want to wear my mask, but there are rules that you have to stick to in HK. None of us want to wear them in any country.

Anyway, I made my order – a set menu. The order came so fast, faster than any UK fast food place!! It was ok, but I really don’t understand why KFC chicken always has to be so salty… They should learn how to make Korean fried chicken, less salty but in fact it’s really oily. I wonder if KFC can change their recipe to a non-salty version? I ate part of the mushroom rice, I really wasn’t up for it in this heat.

I walked around the plaza a bit more, then went across to the Phase 3 part. Mr Stingy told me about it 2 years ago. I’ve never been there before… It was a lot of walking! Finally found a cute store!!! There were lots of toys and stationery… but did I buy anything? Nope. I resisted the whole time. I’ve bought ZERO stationery on this trip to HK. ☹️ It’s been my saddest trip ever. ZERO excitement. ☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️

I’ve been looking for a bookstore, and I found one – a lady (I guessed employed) was hovering around the escalator trying to help people who probably get lost in the Phase 3 area… Well I had Google Maps opened, so I was bound to find the bookstore eventually 🤭.

Was trying to look for a book in Chinese-Korean. My Chinese ain’t great, but I thought it might help me out a bit in understanding the Korean language/grammar and vocabulary a bit more. Some books don’t help you to explain certain grammar points, but I think I found one book that will help. I did’t buy it from the store, as my suitcase was already full. So instead I ordered from the Taiwanese bookstore later in the evening (世界最強韓文文法). It cost a bit more, but it saves me from carrying it in my luggage! LOL! (Basically I couldn’t be bothered to go back out again, heheheh…). Registering on the Taiwanese online site was time-consuming, I had no idea that there were so many verifications etc.

I headed back to the hotel… I felt tired and bored… I hope business in HK will go back to normal soon. I miss the busy side of HK.

Later on I did my last minute laundry. It saves me having to get most of my clothes washed when I get back to the UK. During laundry time I filled in my UK Locator form and repurchased another Day 2 PCR Test from Boots that cost another £68. I think the one I previously ordered in May couldn’t be used (actually I’ve just noticed that I used the frigging wrong booking reference number from the email!! But I think I can still use it up until early next year). ☹️

Then I went out and bought cart noodles for dinner… it wasn’t fantastic as the first one I had during quarantine. ☹️ There was so much sadness on this day. The sides just didn’t taste good or fresh enough… business looks sad…

It was pretty much a long evening. I had almost cleared up everything… just a few more bits and pieces to pack away!

Finally I called one of my aunts who I often see when I go back to HK, but she changed her number, so I had no idea. I think MummyGeek really, really wanted me to call her in case I got scolded by her in the future. LOL! Blimey, HK families can be complicated. ^_^

My aunt is probably worried about her son who moved to the UK last year, Grrrr, So I was grilled with questions for over 5 minutes…. “no, I haven’t seen your son (my younger cousin) auntie, he lives hours away from London. No, I didn’t know that his sister (my older cousin) is also planning to come to the UK too… Yes, of course I’ve been double vaccinated, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to travel.” 😱😱😱

One more sleep to go!

End of Day 8 P-Q.

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 6 Post Quarantine

Sunday, 26th September 2021

I slept well!! These past 2 to 3 nights has been awesome! Waking up in time and going out has been great.

I got my Day 26 PCR Test results in less than 24 hours! And amazingly (well not surprisingly) I tested NEGATIVE for covid-19. ¬_¬” Let’s just hope when I get back to the UK, I will be ok.

I ate bread and drank coffee for breakfast, then headed out.

I forgot the bus 81C outside the hotel goes all the way to Tsim Sha Tsui. I wanted to walk along the Avenue of Stars and see where the statues were originally placed. ^_^ It took me a while to figure out how to cross the road from the Bus Station… all I had to do was take the stairs to the top, and cross over the flyover. I was out of breath when I got to the top. Hahahah.

Walk, walk, walk in the heat. SIGH. As I’m posting these pictures, I wonder how people who have immigrated or those not able to fly right now feel at the moment. Homesick? Nostalgia? Don’t care? Envious? I felt freedom. The freedom to walk with not many people out.

There’s even signs on seats to tell you to where a mask, and only 4 people are allowed to sit on the stone benches.

As I got to the clock tower in Tsim Sha Tsui, I got to see the bunny rabbits that were displayed during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Do we spend too much time on our phones and electronic devices? Yes we do. That’s why I like to sleep most of the time, so that I don’t spend too much time on the laptop or my phone.

Got to Star Ferry, and headed to Ladies Market in Fa Yeun Street… It was quite disappointing in the market. I gather that there’s hardly any tourists, so there’s fewer stalls out, and fewer things to buy… So sad! I walked the small length of the market twice and got bored.

I headed back to the hotel but kinda got lost, so I took the Metro from Mong Kok to Kowloon Tong. I got lost in Mong Kok Station… I think I took a wrong turn, and ended up in the mall part. Eventually I found my way to the station…

When I got to Kowloon Tong, I again got lost. The station has changed so much! I’ve realised not all HK people know their way around outside even when you look at the smartest people or even foreigners who have been in HK longer than me – they just don’t even know 😢 … There’s a shopping mall part that I’ve not seen before… I even bought a top from M&S to change into later as one cousin asked me to go and have dinner with her.

Finally asked an older couple at the Metro exit/entrance part but they didn’t even know … gosh … In 5 years, the entrances have changed a bit – it’s the same entrances but redesigned (mainly to confuse me)! But finally found one person who said, “it’s just here”. Yay!! Once I saw the outside, I thought phew, I know where I am. On the main road was where the bus stop was to head back – on Waterloo Road. This, I will never forget in the future. I just need to remember to exit on the RIGHT and don’t head to the mall.

Quick stop at the hotel – with a quick drink and toilet break. My cousin hadn’t left home yet, so I headed to hers instead … All the way in Lohas Park – it’s about an hour away from Shatin. Thankfully there were some super speedy buses heading to that direction (Bus 798 and then change for the Bus 797 at the Bus Interchange). Apparently these are new buses, and my cousin hasn’t taken them before. She was surprised how quick I got there. I refused to get the train because of the amount of changes. No way. So thanks to Google Maps! Awesome!!

Pictures were taken on the return back to Shatin.

We had sushi with her daughter (one of my many second cousins … most of my cousins on DaddyChef’s side are older than me … it doesn’t make me want to get married any time soon … happy with the single free life at the moment 🤭), and we chatted at her flat for a while as there were some hungry customers outside the sushi place… My cousin lives on one of the highest floors. It’s too scary at the top, my legs were feeling wobbly! Don’t envy my cousins that much. Living that high floor apartment life is not for me. Stick me to the ground floor anytime.

It was time to head back, and I bought ice-cream, crisps and Vitasoy drinks on the way back to the room. Can’t get enough of this Lipton Yellow Label Tea ice cream. I wonder if this is available in London… 🤔 I think the English tea lovers would love this flavour!! If they like matcha green tea, then they would like this one. If you even like bubble tea, then yeah, THIS IS THE ICE-CREAM to go for! According to Wikipedia, Lipton is a British brand (to be honest: Scottish) but people don’t like it because it’s weak… But this product is defo not. Bring this ice-cream flavour to the UK please…!!

Have I had these before? I can’t remember, but nothing too special with these Big Ring cheese snacks. They have Monster Munch texture crisps but flavoured with cheese.

Hmmm. I think these are relatively new. I can’t remember if I’ve had the VitaSoy Chocolate Mint, but it tastes awesome! The one that suprised me was the HK Style Milk Tea. I can’t remember if I’ve had this before… maybe I have. If you don’t like the hot HK style milk tea, then go for this carton version. It’s a bit lighter in tea taste (there is a stronger one) and I believe there’s soy milk rather than evaporated milk… Interesting.

TIRED. My watch said I walked 12,000 steps that day, but in fact I walked 14,000 steps! Getting lost in HK is amazing. LOL.

End of Day 6 P-Q.

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 5 Post Quarantine

Saturday, 25th September 2021

It happened to be Day 26 of my arrival in HK. Gosh, I’ve been in the country for almost a month! I felt like I haven’t done much.

On Day 26 after my arrival, I needed to do another PCR test (this was my 9TH PCR TEST in 4 WEEKS!!!!). Geez. Is there another country out there that does that many PCR tests for international arrivals? I heard that the Republic of Ireland does something similar. Grrrrr.

Anyway, I went out before 9.30am and headed to Lek Yeun Community Hall. When I reached the first place on the main street, they said it wasn’t that one. There’s another Community Hall across the street and it’s within the building blocks. Blimey… It was a bit confusing, but if anyone aims to go to this Community Centre ask a few people around (if you know your Cantonese).

After my PCR test (I didn’t seem to have to pay… and I didn’t know if I’m supposed to get my report from the centre afterwards – it’s not clear on the HK government website), I headed back to the main street (after getting a bit lost again), and went out to find a mini-bus stop that headed to my grandmother’s place…. It was a long walk in the heat! Make sure to put some sun cream on!

I got onto the mini-bus, and when I got off, my legs were all wobbly… I really don’t like them.

I had lunch at my grandmother’s – my Aunt cooked again. I ate a lot of vegetables LOL! I think it was just too hot for me to eat that day.

And then there was a lot of chatting, lots of computer talk and helping my Aunt with learn a few things about her iPhone and Apple Mac – I don’t usually use Apple Macs, but had to experiment on one. Ugh. Why must a Windows user like me have to endure the cruelty of an Apple Mac. Make commands and controls the same as Windows! iPhones are somewhat easy to use but if it’s all in Chinese… then it’s all guess work for me! (In the meantime I bought a tablet (a cheap one from Amazon) in the UK for some Zoom calls that will hopefully solve some virtual background issues that I keep having with one of my spare laptops. The tablet comes with a bluetooth keyboard, and it’s really similar to an Apple keyboard. Hopefully, I will get used to it! Saves me from having to buy an expensive Apple Mac!!).

It was time to head back, and I spotted a really cute dragonfly just sitting on top of the gate. Don’t know if you can see it here. It blends well with that crane in the background. 🤭

As soon as I headed back to the hotel, I called MummyGeek, then I chatted to Miss Pinky (it was Baby B’s birthday, but she went out to her Uncle’s at Solo Wood! ¬_¬”” Happy Birthday to Baby B!!

Dinner time … and I had the same dinner from 2 nights ago. I love fried noodles!! But the soup wasn’t that great… salty again!

Have you tried this new drink? Is it out in the rest of the world? It’s VitaSoy’s Chrysantheum mixed with Hawthorn berry. It actually gives off a weird taste. I think I threw away part of the drink as it didn’t taste great… Think the mix needs rethinking VitaSoy. 🤓 Go back to the drawing board!! (Haven’t said that for a long time!).

Called Miss Pinky again … this time they answered! But it was a very short call. Baby B lost two front teeth, and the Tooth Fairy gave her £2. LOL!

End of Day 5 P-Q.

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 4 Post Quarantine

Friday, 24th September 2021

Friday was a working day, so I didn’t do much. I went shopping in the nearby supermarket and bought breakfast in a nearby congee shop. I’ve blogged about the congee shop before, and wow in the past couple of years it’s changed a lot! MummyGeek said it must have changed recently as when she went there two years ago it was still the same look.

I bought preserved egg and chicken congee, with “jia leung” and a separate fried dough… It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve had this! Yes, I have missed HK style congee. MummyGeek’s version is far too thick!

I sat in the hotel room for quite a long time, but I read work emails along the way, and did as much as I could before everyone else started work…

Skipped lunch, and carried on working for a bit… Then worked and had meetings over Teams. I kept getting kicked off the Internet af few times that day – I tried all Internet accesses but nothing seemed to have worked. It was a difficult time of the day!

Finally dinner came, MummyGeek insisted I try out the fried beef with flat noodles. Well… It’s pretty much normal but it’s a small portion compared to the fried noodles I had the day before… The soup was a bit salty on that day too. 😕 I also had a lot off BBQ pork… why not? I was on holiday mode.

Continued to work throughout the evening (with some procastination), then decided to call it for the day. I had to get up early the next day! (I did regret not working a lot that day, but I have caught up with lots of work on my return to the UK … still need to finish some audits and attend a lot of meetings though 😖).

End of Day 4 P-Q.

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 3 Post Quarantine

Thursday, 23rd September 2021

Even after quarantine, I’ve found it very hard to sleep. Had a little chat with Mrs Hen the night before, and she said it’s because I’m too relaxed and my body doesn’t need sleep anymore. LOL. I wanted a very long sleep.

As I didn’t sleep much, I got up and had some bread and coffee for breakfast. I think bread is what I had missed the very most whilst in quarantine. Mainly bread. I had bought some cheesesticks from 7Eleven the day before, then placed them in the fridge as they were expired… Didn’t much like the bread.

I managed to fall asleep again for an hour. It was practically raining all morning when I fell asleep. And it was still raining when I woke up … luckily I woke up in time before housekeeping came in… I asked about the laundrette in the hotel – she said it was on the 8th Floor, so I went out to have a look. I found it but I needed to get some tokens, in which I went down to reception to purchase – HK$30 a coin, and each coin can be used for either washing or drying. There’s even no need to buy washing powder, as it automatically comes out of the machine! Wow… all this time I’ve been at this hotel (throughout the many years), and I never even knew!!

So what to do next… Wait for the rain to stop before going out…

I waited for a bit until the rain subsided. Then I made a move to go to Ma On Shan. I took the 86K, but I got off the wrong stop… so I walked and walked… and eventually I got lost! I ended up in Ocean View.

As I was waiting at the bus stop, I asked two Filipinos in English (I’m better at asking in English) which bus was it to get to MOS Town… but a Hong Konger intervened and told me to either get the 286M or 810 minibus… In the end I took the 810 (thanks everyone at the bus stop!).

MOS Town hasn’t changed one bit. Most of the stores are still around. Boriiiiiinggggg!

I decided to head back to Shatin, so I took the train. I had to change at Tai Wai and get the East Rail Line… I had to ask for directions again when I got to Tai Wai. Gosh, this Geek is getting lost for one day. This is what happens when you travel solo and haven’t been around HK for 5 years (not including my last 1 day trip in HK 3 years ago).

Once I got to Shatin, I felt relaxed. I bought some snacks that DaddyChef wanted, but realised that UK and HK prices were almost the same. There was no point buying so much, although it was buy 1 get 1 free for some of the items. There were no dried fish items … oh well, have to eat the ones in the UK then. Aji Ichiban is losing its touch. 😦

Time to head back… I forgot which buses headed back to the hotel, but asked a bus guy who I think was taking timetable minutes of buses. Thank you sir! I had bought a drink and sandwich in Circle K in Ma On Shan, I actually wanted to sit around at the shopping centre to eat and drink, but didn’t find any seating area, so I had to eat this at the hotel.

Was hungry still, so I had the mini mooncakes my cousins gave to me. Decent stuff!

Once I headed back into the hotel – after an hour, it started raining heavily! More thunderstorms!

As it subsided, I was able to escape and get some dinner… Finally some really steaming hot food!! ^_^ Fried noodles with shredded pork, some sweet choi sum and house soup. The flavours are pretty much similar to the ones in the UK, just less oil in the noodles.

I did snack that night – after a long shower. I felt cleansed and super charged!

It felt like a long night, but I chatted away with MummyGeek for over an hour just saying what I did the whole day. LOL.

End of Day 3 P-Q.

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 2 Post Quarantine

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021

I woke up around 10.30am… So tired… I called my aunt and grandmother, and said to me to go and visit them now. What? I just woke up. 😦

In the end I finished my coffee, and some bread, bought some biscuits and fruits for them… then waited for my bus. OMG. I think I just missed my bus, it must have come early!! Grrrr, so I waited for around an hour (it’s an hourly bus) … didn’t want to sit back in the hotel … It was hot outside – 33 to 34 degrees Celsius.

Finally the bus came, and I enjoyed the aircon. I even saw a monkey along the way!

When I reached my grandmother’s, all we did was chat, chat, chat. I think they’ve had not many visitors for quite a while! My aunt cooked some simple food! Wow! I wished MummyGeek cooked as good as her sister. ¬_¬””

We all chatted for a while, I think my aunt is more open and understanding of why I came back to HK.

Then we did a long video call to MummyGeek. My grandmother misses her. But she misses my brother Mr Stingy the most. She grabbed my phone just to talk to him. HAHAHAHAHA.

It was time to go back. I took the rest of the noodles, spam and omelette back to eat at the hotel for dinner… I couldn’t be bothered to go and buy food.

The bus took forever, but I bought ice cream and snacks for later in the evening…

Whilst resting, I heard a lot of noise from one of the rooms … a couple were just arguing, so I switched on the TV and put the volume up. The argument lasted for a while. Hmmmm. I hope they don’t make too much noise when I go to sleep…

End of Day 2 P-Q.

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 1 Post Quarantine

Tuesday 21st September 2021

This is the first time I’ve been in HK for more than two weeks (that’s the longest time I usually take), but quarantine and post quarantine has broken my personal record. LOL.

I woke up early enough to get my last hotel quarantine breakfast. Good riddance to cherry tomatoes! Woohoo!

Afterwards I sat around thinking what I needed to clean before I went out to check out… Cleaned the bathroom, cleaned the toilet, cleaned the floor, took out the pillow cases, bed linen and duvet cover. I learnt to do this when I travelled with Miss Pinky… Always take everything apart on the bed, just in case! I also took out the rubbish and left it aside with the recyclables… I’m basically house trained but lazy at home in general.

It finally reached 11am. I saw someone outside who was cleaning, and he asked if I was checking out… I said yes. I completely forgot the way out and where the lift was, the person outside my door guided me out… The lift took forever, but finally got to the ground floor. Checked out – it took me a while to find my hotel deposit receipt, but found it in the end, and gave it to the counter.

Next I waited for a taxi in which they kindly requested for me. It was a short wait, but I got to see how deliveries were made and delivered. I think the hotel staff are still afraid of the people in quarantine… Not all of us are ill!

My taxi came… Farewell to Quarantine Hotel! And onto another hotel…. Wow, my taxi driver asked a LOT of questions. How long did I stay for? Do I have to quarantine when I go back to America? (I from the UK mate, I said – skipped the mate part), why on Earth would I want to come back to HK because of an ID card? Did I apply for the HK$5,000 (erm, no, not eligible because I didn’t enter HK for the past 2 years… I’m not that greedy either). It went on for a bit… But anyways, I asked a few questions as well, like: Is life more difficult in HK? (Yes, he answered)… Look, everywhere in the world is difficult. Not just in HK.

Managed to check in early, and just started to relax, but realised I was quite hungry, so I went out and got myself a BBQ pork and roast duck n’ rice lunch… And it rained, with lots of thunderstorms. LOL! The Heavens were crying on my release from quarantine!!

Then it was off to see DaddyChef’s side of the family. Boy, it’s been 5 years since I came to see them last, but I remembered the way… Once I got there, I was practically questioned throughout the evening. THE SAME QUESTIONS all night. Look, I’m back because of this 3 year HKID card rule thing. Can I not come back? (I need to change my HKID card soon, but I won’t be in HK at the time… so I’ll be back in the next 1 to 3 years to change it – when quarantine is practically over). I spoke to all my cousins and aunt most of the time. My second cousins are all practically young and shy to talk to me…LOL… Here’s Mou Mou’s son – apparently the main dog gave birth to many puppies, but my family kept one of the sons.

I had some Chinese soup and my aunt took me around her little garden.

Finally dinner time. I was hungry, but I couldn’t eat as much… My stomach had no appetite after a small amount of dinner. Ah, too bad. There was even some fresh abalone, my aunt made me eat two pieces… Think my family members were a bit like “stay away from her just in case she has covid”. T_T”

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, it’s a tradition in Chinese / Hong Kong culture to make their blessings to the Gods and ancestors. I hope they had plenty to eat!!

After more small talk, it was time to go. One cousin left me at a nearby bus stop, but came to check on me and asked why I didn’t get one of those mini-buses… Erm, I hate mini-buses… He should have just drove me back to the city centre, so I can get another bus back to the hotel. ¬_¬. In the end I took a mini-bus…. Grrr. At least they don’t go pass 80mph anymore (I think).

At the hotel, I saw the full moon! Lucky me!

Well… It was hot, so I got some ice cream… The Kokimaya Lipton Yellow Label Tea ice cream is awesome! A strong tea taste, not too sweet, and just nice to eat. The Movenpick Panna Cotta Raspberry wasn’t great, it tasted like a mousse rather than an ice cream. Was very tired afterwards, I showered and tried to sleep… but I just couldn’t.

I managed to sleep after 3am!!

End of Day 1 P-Q.

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 21 (Last Day of Quarantine!)

Day 21 – Monday, 20th September 2021

I made it. I MADE IT. It’s the FINAL day of quarantine. I can’t see why quarantine couldn’t be 19 or 20 days. Has anyone really had covid-19 after 21 days of quarantine. Statistics are probably pretty low.

Hoorah for the people who landed on the same day as me and have made it to Day 21. I assume no-one from my flight had the virus… Woohoo!

I woke up pretty early. Ordered some takeout but ate the hotel breakfast and skipped the peas. Noticed my rubbish from the night before was still sitting on the floor outside. Hm, I’m sure I left it out at the right time.

My takeout took forever, and I only had one of them as I was full and wanted to go back to sleep again… The ham and scrambled egg burger was still warm and enjoyed it! 😀 I left the other two for later.

I woke up to the sound of some heavy knocking for next door. I think the Mister next door forgets or just wakes up late to get his breakfast. Have no idea… In the end I woke up and called Housekeeping for more toilet paper… I only needed one, but they gave me two! I also called Reception to arrange my checkout time the next day. I have to remember to take my luggage, bring my Quarantine Order form and my hotel room key. Easy!

In the meantime, I downloaded the LeaveHomeSafe App (which is basically the NHS Covid-19 App). It doesn’t support foreign QR codes, so I couldn’t add my vaccination record in. What a bummer, but at least I have the UK version and all my paper copies still exist in my bag.

I also booked my Day 26 compulsory PCR test – didn’t want to forget and get fined for not doing what I’m supposed to do. (I got a text message from “Quarantine” to remind me to do this and download the app). I deleted the StayHomeSafe App – pointless app if no wristband was given.

I ate my lunch slowly whilst watching Kotaro Lives Alone on Netflix HK. The first few episodes gave me a few sniffles… Getting emotional about living alone.

I started work and I think I just got bored, so I ate one of the burgers… tasted a tiny bit spicy… Chicken and egg burger ate cold.

When dinner came, I wasn’t too hungry. I avoided most of the rice and onions. :p

So many emails for a Monday. My staff were also crying for help… Oh dear. They definitely need some time out!! I had my last meeting of the day… it tired me out. I was also quickly asked to check for some information… Hmmmm… Why didn’t the person ask me earlier in the day?? I could have just relaxed…

Anyway, whilst checking I had my last burger… Cold but ok!

The end is almost near….. 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳

End of Day 21 – Goodnight people!

I wanted to put some Questions and Answers to myself, so I made some up and have given some answers to my future self:

Q. Did I enjoy quarantine?

A. Yes and No. Was disappointed that I didn’t get a wristband… I’m guessing it’s become costly for the government to run, plus people tend to cut off the bluetooth signal with the extra part of the strap… How exactly are we being tracked then? By our mobile numbers that we hand out on our health declaration form?

Q. What did I like about quarantine?

A. Free time, being able to sleep whenever (even though I could hardly sleep during the first two weeks properly), having alone time, and not having to wear a bra for three weeks! ^_^

Q. What didn’t I like during quarantine?

A. Not being able to walk outside or open the window. Not being able to choose what I can eat and what time the food was to come.

Q. Is 21 days too long for quarantine?

A. Absolutely yes! 14 days is more than sufficient to incubate a virus, appear and cause a slight havoc for vaccinated people. I don’t see the requirement of having a 21 day quarantine. In most countries, it’s only 10 to 14 days. Hong Kong is trying to be too efficient. The cost of travelling is quite a lot, and you need to have the money and patience to be able to quarantine. I don’t recommend those who are not fit or don’t have the stamina to be alone to make the sacrifice of travelling.

Q. Did you get any calls of support from any HK government hotline?

A. None at all… I’m absolutely fine. The ones mainly concerned were my friends and colleagues. Thankfully I was able to work remotely.

Q. If you were asked to work in another country, would you work during local hours or UK hours?

A. Depends on which country it is, but I would choose local hours instead of UK hours, unless there was no major time difference. It was quite hard trying to stay focus in the evenings.

Q. And finally, what do you recommend for those who are going to quarantine in Hong Kong in the future?

A. My learning curve from quarantine (as a solo traveller):

  • Learn how to relax
  • become an introvert like a non-extreme hikikomori
  • work if you can (remote access from your work place is vitally needed)
  • get an eSIM (depending on the type of device you have) and/or a local SIM card
  • bring your own cleaning supplies – especially wipes, scourers, cloths and a sponge (you can buy cleaning products like bleach and CIF on FoodPanda)
  • have enough entertaining activities – learn to knit and crochet
  • bring anything you’re studying on and rewrite notes
  • bring a small second screen if you’re working (like a tablet or an ipad) … in case you can’t use the TV with your HDMI cable
  • get your own masks as airports and hotels don’t provide them for you…
  • make sure to stick to the rules, and clean your room during the whole process
  • be a model quarantine person! LOL.
  • Get the FoodPanda and HKTV Mall app
  • Get VPN as some sites don’t work in HK i.e. Viki.com
  • Bring your own mug or flask

Hong Kong 2021 – Day 19 and 20 (Third and Final Weekend of Quarantine)

Day 19 – Saturday, 19th September 2021

It was a pretty boring Saturday… My PCR test was done quite early this time. I’m guessing the medical staff were quite keen to finish up early so that they can finish early too.

All I did was watch Korean dramas, variety shows and read webtoons… I tidied up in between, and didn’t bother to do any knitting. I sat and stared into space just thinking about what will happen next after quarantine.

Towards the end of the day, I was again feeling peckish around 10pm… Couldn’t order anything, so I had one of those trusty cup noodles, a pear I kept just in case, and my last can of chu-hi…

Very, very boring day!

Day 20 – Sunday, 20th September 2021

I slept, woke up, slept again… I think I was slightly hungover (after 1 drink?).

I didn’t bother picking up the breakfast. If I didn’t like the glutinous rice parcels and rubby siu mai like last time, then I don’t think I was going to bother. Sorry quarantine hotel! Instead I slept up until 11am, and made a coffee… I sat staring into space for about an hour…

When lunch came around, I was surprised to see my breakfast was still sitting on the stool. Hm? I thought the hotel took away the food if it was left outside for more than an hour or so? Maybe the hotel staff noticed that I took mine in everyday, and I hadn’t ordered anything online that morning, so they left it for me – probably thinking I might starve myself… Oh well. I ate the glutinous rice parcels in the end. Skipped the cold, rubbery siu mai, and left out most of the sweetcorn.

I kept the lunch and left it to one corner for the moment. Didn’t want to make my stomach feel any worse. I did try to eat everything, but skipped out the onions again…

Was kind of bored, so I went on to do some more Korean revision… Until dinner came. Ate everything…

Tried to stave off my hunger, but gave in to one of the remaining Curry Cheese noodle pots I had.

Almost finished packing, got rid of more rubbish and watched loads of Downton Abbey. Just finished watching Season 4. ^_^

End of Day 19 and 20!