Handmade Dalgona 수제 달고나

Recently went to Longdan Supermarket and bought a few groceries during the Platinum weekend. It was fairly quiet in the morning, I guess a lot of people are still trying to have a getaway weekend away from London, or possibly coming into London to see the Royals, politicians and the wotnots of the UK.

At the counter, I saw this cute South Korean package of delight. Something that I’ve wanted to try since watching a lot of Korean variety shows (and don’t forget Squid Game where they were making shapes with dalgona) where they showed how to make this confectionery from the past.

Dalgona 달고나 is basically known as honeycomb toffee in the Western world If you’ve had Nestle’s Toffee Crisp Honeycomb or Nestle’s Crunchie, you might find that the crispy part tastes similar to Dalgona.

Ingredients are: sugar, water, corn syrup and sodium bicarbonate. Just 4 ingredients!

Once I opened the packet, you could see some squared shape biscuit like objects. It would probably remind you of soft set caramel, or possibly some sort of pet treat. It is definitely a treat, but for human consumption rather than the likes of a pet.

Well, what does it taste like? It tastes very, very sweet! Have you tasted any sort of East Asian black sugar snacks, or black sugar bubble tea? If you have, you will taste that very same sort of black sugar taste after tasting the punch of the sweetness followed by a familar caramel-like taste, then sort of ending it with a darker note of the black sugar aftertaste.

Later on in the day, I wanted to see what it would taste like in some hot coffee… Hmmm… Doesn’t taste very sweet at all!

The price of this small bag is £1.75. Expensive but it was worth a try, and I would definitely buy this again as a once in a blue moon human treat.

Superstar Korean BBQ – London, St Gile’s High Street

It was my birthday just over 2 and a bit months ago. YAY! And it was the first time in two frigging years since I’ve been able to celebrate my birthday.

2 years older, 2 years of being drained working between the office and home (and only catching covid at the end of last year), 2 YEARS of not being able to blog as much as I had wanted to.

So it was decided with the Gang of Four that we would go and eat in a Korean BBQ restaurant. Reason one – Miss Money is on her keto diet. Reason two – I wanted to eat Korean food outside. And Reason three, (which I didn’t know until we almost finished eating), was that Mr Games and Mr Sensible never had Korean BBQ before).

I had already checked the menu online and was ready to order. As there were four of us, we decided to have two lots of Set Menu 1, which costs £66 and serves 2 people (that’s £33 per person). There’s a choice of 2 starters – Korean fried chicken or Mandoo (Korean dumplings). We chose the chicken. And then you have a choice of 4 different bbq dishes – meat or veg from the main menu.

The fried chicken came out first. Miss Money and I chose the kimchi mayo, and I think the other one was soy teriyaki. These were ok, but I prefer the bigger pieces of fried chicken from Cheemc.

Japchae was also one of the starters. This tasted ok. I didn’t want to eat too much as there was a lot coming our way!

As you can see, the side dishes of kimchi, spring onions, meat for the grill and rice coming out… Our table was practically full of amazing dishes.

😅😅😅 So. Much. Food!! And such a tiny grill…

We grilled and ate, grilled and ate. There were times when we thought the food we were cooking were undercooked. The meat was flavourful and marinated well. I think we just burnt the first grill though as obviously there wasn’t enough fat from the meat or no cooking oil at hand.

Our grill was only changed twice the whole time we sat there. What they should have done is provided some cooking oil so that we wouldn’t burn the grills the whole time we were there… Oh well. Nevermind!

We had a small amount of everything left, so we just poured everything in. I don’t think the staff were that impressed, but we needed to finish the remaining food items. 🙃

We were finally stuffed… Finished with all the amazing food… And then came out the fruits. Mr Sensible and I finished our plate, but for some reason Mr Games and Miss Money wouldn’t touch their plate of fruit… They are so weird! I’m sure on a keto diet that you’re allowed to eat some fruits right? Mr Games has a funny palate so I understand that sometimes he doesn’t want to eat certain things.

At the end of the food show, it was time for the cinnamon shot. It’s non-alcoholic, but it’s so sweet! Koreans like sweet stuff. I like cinnamon, but wasn’t sure of this drink… methinks it could have been diuted a bit more for the likes of four people.

Total cost came to around £148 including drinks, so that’s £37 per person. I think it was a very well-deserved meal and having not spent anything for my last two birthdays.

Korean food is becoming so popular these days that it might topple over Japanese and Chinese food in the UK… I doubt that! 😅

My geeky rating: 4.5/5

Address: Central Piazza St Giles, 4 St Giles High St, London WC2H 8AB

Website: https://www.superstarbbq.co.uk/

Nissin Cup Noodles – some different flavours…

Been bit on the quiet front recently. It’s been non-stop at work as the offices and staff are almost back to normal. Almost normal. Still working from home people? Most of us have become hybrid workers. I for one am now a hybrid worker. ^_^

Cup noodles! Ummmm. The last time I had a cup noodle was last year at some point and the last time I blogged about a cup noodle was when I was in HK. LOL.

When I went into New Long Fung Supermarket a few months ago, I explored the noodle section as I ran out of instant noodles at the time… and then in the corner of my eye, I spotted these cup noodle treasures! Woohoo! Katsu Curry, Pork Tonkotsu and Beef Sukiyaki. (I also have chicken teriyaki, which I forgot about).

Here I’m eating from non-preference to preference, I tried out the Beef Sukiyaki first. Tastes artificial and sweet to the very end.

Tasted sweet at first, then it felt watered down sweetness with a touch of beef as the aftertaste

The Tonkotsu flavour became a my dinner before bed. Tastes very watered down of the packaged version. Can taste the pork flavour, but it really tastes bland. 😦

Last of all was the Curry flavour. I bought two pots in case I liked it… Artificial taste again. It doesn’t taste like the one I had in HK. It tasted like watery curried flavoured noodles.

Costs £1.35 or more (depending on where you get them) – Unfortunately, I wouldn’t buy these again but instead buy those original Nissin cup noodles or Korean cup noodle. (Dreading to eat the second curry cup noodle and the chicken teriyaki flavour). 😭

The nice part is the design of the cups – likely taken from the famous 18th-19th Centuru artist, Hokusai-san…

My New E-readers: Kindle vs Kobo

I have a smile on my face. Why? Because I have not blogged about books in a very long time. In this post, I will explain why I have two fairly new e-readers and the purpose of each. To be honest I explored a whole lot before picking these two. I’ve been sluggish with reading, and have been listening to audiobooks for a year or so during this boring pandemic… but made the switch to reading more via e-readers since using a phone made my eyes swirl.

Kindle Paperwhite 11th Generation is the newest Kindle e-reader at a semi-affordable price of £139. It has a screen size of 6.8 inches, no buttons on the sides, 8GB storage and is slightly heavy. I bought this back in October 2021, and so far I have enjoyed reading from it. The first book I read on it was Swing Time by Zadie Smith. I actually have the paperback, which I bought it in July when I was waiting for Mrs Hen at London Bridge Station, but somehow I felt I couldn’t finish the book… Once I had the Kindle, I felt I could read a lot more faster, and finished the book in a few weeks.

After my first book after a long time of not actually reading fiction, I quit my Audible subscription, and went for Kindle Unlimited which was on a promo last year… Well I’m glad I did, because there’s a lot of books I can borrow! And even manga too!!

Manga quality is not too bad, some words are hard to ready because of the lightness of the font. However, you can zoom into the panel to get a better look of the writing.

You can change the way the page looks… have just recently added the time on top of the pages… I always lose track of time when reading.

If you don’t like people knowing which book you’re reading, you can switch to the Kindle screen covers when it goes on sleep mode… I chose this option, as I didn’t want people to know what I was reading.

However, there is only so much that I can borrow via Kindle Unlimited (and also find free e-books elsewhere)… certain books I wanted to read on the Kindle aren’t available on Kindle Unlimited but are available on Overdrive, which is an app that’s usable on the Kobo e-readers!

So, after a few months of contemplation, I bought my second e-reader (my third or was it my fourth really – I have a really old e-reader somewhere). This is the Kobo Libra 2, which costs £159.99.

Why did I buy it? It has 32GB of storage, there’s button on the sides, it has a 7 inch screen, I can borrow library books (that’s why I joined Lewisham Libraries, as Southwark Libraries don’t use Overdrive), and I can read a lot of manga! A lot of reviewers out there have said to get the Kobo Forma for reading manga, but to be honest, Kobo Libra 2 is also good. I don’t need an oversized 8 inch e-reader, I needed one that was weight-friendly for my small hands.

The quality of the manga is pretty good, and the pages look very paper-like compared to the screen on the Kindle Paperwhite.

With the Kobo, I like the fact that I can choose what goes on the header and footer. I chose how much time to read (supposed to be per chapter… but depending on the book, it will give me the half-way time for the entire book). And the footer, I chose how many pages I read / left in the book to read. Handy!!

Like the Kindle Paperwhite, you can choose to remove the book cover, but Kobo doesn’t show any default images.

Well, if you’re in two minds like me – get both (only if you can afford it … I’m still paying for the Kobo using Amazon Prime’s 5 x 1 monthly installments). If you can’t buy both, then the best thing to do is ask yourself, which one is more appropriate…

Overall: I would say go for the Kobo Libra 2 – you can borrow library books, and if you can find free epub books on the Internet, then you don’t need to change the file extension for Kindle.

Books I’ve read on the Kindle so far:

  • Swing Time by Zadie Smith (puzzled with this book, but enjoyed reading a complex book after many years)
  • The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan (fairly sweet book)
  • The Expatriates by Janice YK Lee (I was really disappointed with the ending for this book… I wish there was an alternative ending for one of the mothers)
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – currently in my reading section… the Agatha Raisin series took over!
  • Sweetness and Lightening Manga – Volume 1 (watched the animé, thought I might as well read the manga! And the first 8 volumes are free on Kindle Unlimited)

Books I’ve read on the Kobo so far:

  • Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by MC Beaton (read in 5 days!)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Viscious Vet
  • Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardner
  • Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley (currently on chapter 2 … the Agatha Raisin series is quite addictive!)
  • Absolute Boyfriend Manga – Volume 1 … Reading this because it’s a short series of 6 volumes

If you’ve been stuck in a rut with reading or haven’t read in a long time, give an e-reader a go… I have a long list of books I want to read at the moment, and have downloaded a lot of manga for this manga-deprived geek! It’s paper-free friendly, and takes up less space in your home and in your bag!

I’m a geek who needs to be a geek.

Cha Dong 茶檔 HK Style Milk Tea

Back to blogging! Phew, it’s really been hectic in the past few months. Staff down, means you have to pick up everyone else’s work. Really, really hoping this wave will die down sooner than later! But I’m back into blogging a bit more this month (hopefully!).

Happy Belated Birthday to my blog of 10 years! Wow… time has gone fast. Thinking back, I really used to do a lot. The past few years I’ve slowed down, but I really hope I can do more.

Well onto this post. I know, I know, it’s another HK milk tea… I’ve become obsessed with them since coming back from HK trip last year. This one I found in Chinatown Bakery (in the fridge). They come in rectangular bottles, which resembles a whisky tumbler. Hm. I wonder who decided on this design.

I left it in my home fridge for one week… Was trying to find the right time to drink it before it expires.

The cap took forever to open. MummyGeek even tried… it was so hard, I think I sprained my hand! You will need to somehow release some of the air from the cap before you can unscrew it.

Anyway… this is definitely an authentic HK Style Milk Tea! Cha Dong (茶檔) meaning “tea shop/stall” seems to have some professionals in place to make this stuff… It’s not too sweet, not too milky, it has that strong tea taste that tastes better cold than hot. I can feel the people making this have made this a thousand times using the right ingredients. MummyGeek tried a bit too, she like it!

Thumbs up from this Geek!

Cost: £3.50 a 250ml bottle (expensive, but this one is worth the try)

Website: https://www.chadong.co.uk/

Christmas TV Adverts 2021 – Part 2

Final post of 2021 (but posting on New Year’s Day – coz I fell asleep last night and couldn’t be bothered to finish off this post).

Didn’t have the energy to blog much this month… Other news: my John Lewis purchase episode ended ok. I got a refund, and then bought my stuff from Curry’s – added a few more hundred pounds to the purchase (not sure if it was worth it), but so much better with next day delivery.

Then started isolating because I was in contact with a colleague who had covid… then afterwards I was out for 3 days last week, then somehow managed to contract the virus. So back into isolation I go! Well, luckily I’ve had practice in HK. 😅 Currently on Day 6 of isolation.

Now back to the adverts!

Disney – The Stepdad

Hmm, maybe Disney should make this into a movie. Music is nice. A rather cliched story. A stepfather enters into the lives of a woman with two children. And Disney saves the day with their books and animated stories… The stepfather also tries to be the hero of the gingerbread house… Typical Disney style!

Marks and Spencer – Percy Pig comes to life for the first time EVER!

I’m a bit biased with M&S ads. They really need to do more of food close ups!

In this ad, we see the Fairy accidentally bringing Percy Pig to life with her magical wand. They both explore one of the supermarkets and talk about food… I think they should have added more food stuff in or have Percy eat a few things to see what he liked… like some brussel sprouts. Oh well.

TK Maxx – Christmas to the maxx

Oh dear. We have an advert that’s a cross between High School Musical and the film Love Actually. Not sure if I would have stepped onto an organ just to jazz up the advert or the music. Not sure about those boots for Christmas either… unless I was a real hipster. But hey, I would still shop at TK Maxx for Christmas and non-Christmas stuff.

Morrisons – Christmas Makes Good Things Happen

An unexpected grin and laugh came out of my mouth. John Lewis should learn from this advert. An advert that is 1 minute long. It takes alien style quite seriously, and there was also “Farmer Christmas” who saved the day by making sure food was in stock, and that the trucks as his “reindeer” served him well.

Argos Christmas – Baubles to last year! Christmas is ON!

A toned down Argos advert? Maybe not! As always they have piped up the music, the gifts and the parties. At the start you would have thought, oh no, has Argos turned to the movies for help?! Not really. Lots of gifting here and there, and one girl was just determined to get her whole building to be covered with Christmas lights! Cute advert.

There’s a few more adverts out there… but I’m too lazy to review.

Well… here’s just one more from Norway… Tell me what you think of it!

This year, I will promise to write up on Christmas adverts early (pending on Covid situations and work load).

Hope everyone has a very happy new year (and fingers crossed Boris and co will get it right this year)!!

Christmas TV Adverts 2021 – Part 1

Ok… It’s been a very, very loooooooooong time since I’ve written about a TV advert. Last year was depressing, so there was absolutely way I was going to blog about boring adverts. Let’s hope this Christmas will be saved by sensible people. (I can sense a lot of moaning at the moment. Uh-hm!).

Let’s start off with the ones that people whinge about often.

John Lewis – Unexpected Guest

Well, I’m not sure about this one. Maybe it’s the song that makes it a so-so for me. Or maybe the fact that John Lewis thinks aliens will look like us humans (homosapiens! Really?). The storyline was fine with Boy meets Alien, which sounds familarly like the movie E.T., but maybe work out on the music!! The advert needed more of an uplifting than a sad one. p.s. How on Earth did this advert cost £5million to make?

Bought two Apple items recently from John Lewis as they were only the place that was stocking what I wanted. Well, what a disappointment when I opened the box at the bus stop! They weren’t even the items I ordered… Straight back to John Lewis via a Waitrose branch who told me that the box was not even a John Lewis box…! 😖 A little angry, a little shocked and a little disappointed at whoever wasted my time listening to the music on John Lewis’s Customer Service phone line. Were my items stolen or was it just a mix up? Who knows, but I bet they were stolen. 🤔 SHAMBLES!! Waiting for a refund and Customer Service to call me back…

Sainsbury’s – A Christmas to Savour

I have to agree with this one. It’s been a long time coming for the Christmas celebrations. In this ad, they’ve re-used some old concepts of slowing down and speeding up processes in the video – like the Matrix style. A Pretty simple advert with all the Christmas foodie things, water sound effects, jazzy music, and ending it with normal people just celebrating Christmas. AND all in ONE MINUTE, compared to their other long adverts! Impressive!

Boots – #BagsofJoy

Hm. 🤭 If only I had a Bag of Joy. Here’s a Mary Poppins themed Boots ad with their classic Boots music tingle for Christmas.

Well, I kind of enjoyed this advert. Although it was a 3 minute advert, it told a story of wishes and expectations from the Bag of Joy. Lots of make-up, gift ideas and even a massive pram! Is that even possible?!

If I had one of those bags, I’ll be whizzing out a lot of baby wipes and nappies for one of my godchildren. 🤣

Aldi Christmas Advert – A Christmas Carrot

Heheheh… And we have Kevin The Carrot back with another episode of Christmas.

Aldi have used the theme from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. We have a Banana as Ebanana Scrooge, and Kevin as The Christmas Spirit. (This book is actually on my list to read at some point… otherwise, I’ll just watch the Disney version. Hah!). They whizz around town where the Spirit shows Scrooge what Christmas should be like through the Carrot’s eyes. LOL! I really love Aldi’s efforts in making the Narrator’s sentence rhyme throughout the ad. Clever advert!

Tesco – This Christmas, Nothing’s Stopping Us

This is the very first time I’ve watched the advert in full. Not sure how many complaints it’s received, but I had a grin on my face throughout the ad! 😬

I found the advert funny. It’s a funnier version of what Sainsbury’s tried to do. No one’s going to be stopped from having a fun Christmas this year (whether Omicron destroys our hopes or not). And you know what? Tesco showing Santa has been vaccinated meant he’s able to travel around the world to deliver his presents… so I don’t see anything wrong with that! Everyone who’s travelled so far has had to do the same.

Right, let’s stop here for the moment… I still think lots of companies just bounce their ideas to each other, and make similar Christmas adverts! Hm, I wonder if they go to a brainstorming session, and feed each other with what they got, then divide between themselves on what they’re going to do… Funny idea!

Part 2 to come soon.

Regal Riverside Hotel 麗豪酒店 – Revisited 2021

Last post on Hong Kong. Delayed post because of so much work, so many meetings and so many frigging audits! Plus on the downside, a lot of people catching covid (fully jabbed people)… so having to fill in last minute for certain tasks has not been fun.

Ok… After quarantine, it was straight to another hotel. I was covid-free. Still am! 😆 I always go to Regal Riverside Hotel (when I can). Thankfully, it was near the end of summer, and the prices were going down. Phew!!

On Booking.com, there was a choice for checking in at 3pm and then checking out at 3pm. I chose this option, because there was nowhere to go after I checked out… Thankfully the staff gave me my room early… I thought there would hardly be any guests, but I guessed wrong. In Hong Kong, people are taking the advantage of staying in hotels… they call it “staycation”. Hm, I wonder if the Brits will adopt this in the UK. Probably not. Hotel prices in the UK are too high… how are they surviving without the rush of travellers is beyond me!

Anyway, my discovery of this hotel was the Laundry Room on the 8th Floor! Wow. How long has that been there? You need to buy the tokens at Main Reception, and each token used can be used for either the washing machine or the dryer. Happy Days!

By the way, the lift access has also changed. You have to tap in inside the lift to actually access it to the other floors… whaaat? That’s so, so new!

Everything else was practically the same in this hotel – with the rooms I mean. Access into and out of the hotel was kind of depressing. The back door does not open, so you have to go in and out from where the vehicles drop off people. And the front door doesn’t open until some unknown time.

You do have to check your temperature you go in, and also use hand santiser…

And that’s the very end of my Hong Kong working-holiday in September! Since I’ve come back from the UK, a lot of my colleagues had decided to go on their mini trips and have flown out of the UK… AMAZING!

Address: 34-36 Tai Chung Kiu Rd, Sha Tin, Hong Kong

Website: https://www.regalhotel.com/mobile/regal-riverside-hotel/en/home/home.html

Dorsett Tseun Wan 帝盛酒店 – My Quarantine Hotel

The HK posts are not over just yet!

I haven’t posted about the quarantine hotel I was staying in until now. 😅 I stayed at the Dorsett Tseun Wan 帝盛酒店, most people have vlogged about this place on YouTube, but here’s the blogger’s view.

I was pretty lucky, as I originally booked for the Ramada Grand, but it looked there were several cancellations, and so I quickly booked this one, and cancelled the other… The reason why I did that was because I really needed a large desk to work from.

I have no idea where the entrance is because I entered through in a van from one end, and made an exit through another. So weird right? But the hotels need to find ways for people to enter in and out.

When I first arrived, the reception seemed to have rushed a little bit … obviously they would think most arrivals going through quarantine may or may not have covid… But actually, it’s because they have to give you a lot of information, paperwork, ID checks, and you even have to pay HK$1000 deposit, even though you have paid for the hotel fee with meals etc. I’ve not had to pay a deposit before, however, if you’re staying in a hotel room for 3 weeks, they probably are thinking you might cause some damage. I dunno.

I forgot to check how many floors they have, but I was on the 7th Floor. The hallways are slightly narrow, and all the occupied rooms had a little stall outside. I was lucky to be at the very end of the hallway, so I only had noise coming from one end of my room.

The room was generally clean, although I did find a pair of socks probably from the previous hotel guest. I threw it in the bin – sorry for whoever owned those socks!! Make sure to check underneath the beds for anything…

The bathroom was ok, although there was lots of dust at the back of the toilet (pipe area). I did do some cleaning, but left the dust behind the toilet…

The WiFi sucked during my first two weeks… there was signal, but it didn’t connect. I gave up and just used my mobile hotspots. I could see from when I was connecting to the WiFi that other people had the same idea, and brought their own devices to use for internet access… Great minds think alike!

Unfortunately my view wasn’t the greatest, as you can see, I had the grand view of the inside part of the hotel. I just saw another block of hotel rooms and the garden view. 😦 I was lucky to get some sort of sunlight during the day, so I did open up the curtains for a few hours just to kill any bugs lurking about in the room.

You can’t open the windows (but I did see one of these rooms had a window open… I just don’t how that person did it!). Even if you were able to open it, you would need to shut it before opening your door. So many rules!!

Before you enter the room, the reception staff do give you some freebies. I got a set of free cutlery and a bottle of washing up liquid (I left the bottle in the hotel as I was leaving… didn’t want to see it ever again!).

If you’re doing your laundry (buy your own laundry liquid or use a bar of soap), use the hangers that they provide you, and leave your clothes to dry in the bathroom. My clothes dried quite quickly after a day or two.

Leave your rubbish outside on the floor before 8.30pm, and it will be collected.

And most importantly if you hate freezing cold temperatures, you can turn up the heat using the thermostat in the room. I didn’t look at it during the first few days, but I realised that I can turn the heat up. Phew! If you switch it off during the night, you will hear a lot from the other rooms and you might get hot as well.

The hotel staff generally don’t bother you, but they will call you up after week one to see how things are, and will ask you a lot of questions in regards to the room and the quality of their quarantine food.

If you need anything extra i.e. bin bags, toilet roll, extra things, then you need to call house-keeping – they speak English if you need to. But I spoke in Cantonese. ^_^

If you have read my previous posts, they do have a set meal plan, so unfortunately you can’t really choose what items you get… just watch out for all those cherry tomatoes they give you!!! (Since coming back to the UK, I have not had a single cherry tomato). The meals go through an 11-day rota, and the food arrives around 7am, 12pm and 5pm – times will vary!! (They came too early for me)… Here’s the link to their monthly meal plan: https://www.dorsetthotels.com/media/images/properties/hong-kong/hong-kong/dorsett-tsuen-wan/offers/monthly_menu_march.pdf

Fortunately, they DO accept deliveries from FoodPanda and they DO allow people from the outside to bring food to the people in quarantine!

Generally not a bad hotel. I got my peace and quiet and sleep once in a while throughout my stay. The room is good for one person, even though it had two single beds… there just wouldn’t have been enough working space for two people.

On the HK covid website, there is a webpage where you can find out the availabilities of all the quarantine hotels… To me it looks slightly hidden, unless you’ve been on the site a million times like I’ve had. https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/designated-hotel-booking-status.html

Address: 28 Kin Chuen St, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong

Phone: +852 3996 6666

Website for hotel: https://www.dorsetthotels.com/en/dorsett-tsuen-wan/index.html


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. 🤓