Hi! It’s been a while since my last update. I hope everybody is doing well and enjoying the new year. I realize I haven’t posted in nearly 3 months. To be honest, I haven’t been up to much. Most of my November was spent being sick with a horrible cough that wouldn’t go away. Instead of flying home to Toronto at the beginning of November as planned, I ended up back in Toronto at the end of the month. During my time in Toronto, I managed to meet up with some friends, see some old co-workers and, most importantly, spend time with family. Unfortunately, with the holidays being a busy time for everybody, I didn’t get to see everyone I had hoped to see. Next time, I guess.
One of the highlights of my Toronto visit was a retirement dinner for one of my former coworkers. We worked together for about a decade, so I was really glad that I was able to make it to the dinner right before I left the city. I was also able to catch up with a bunch of my former coworkers that night. That worked out really well. Another one of my highlights was visiting my aunt and cousin in Cobourg. It brought back so many memories of my childhood, and it was really nice that my aunt and cousin finally got to meet Eric. We spent the afternoon catching up and ended up staying for dinner. The Corfu Grill is a must-try for anyone who visits Cobourg. Just a small, not-very-fancy restaurant, but man was the food good. We were definitely most surprised by their Greek salad. After all, salads don’t normally WOW you. There was something about the dressing that made their salad the best Greek salad we’ve ever had. And to think we almost ordered take-out from the local Chinese place that served Kung Pao Chicken and Moo Goo Gai Pan…hahaI also had a great time catching up with another one of my former coworkers when she took me to Jamie’s Italian at Yorkdale, which is Jamie Oliver’s first restaurant in North America. It had only been open for about 3 weeks, so the service wasn’t at its best yet. The food, however, made up for it. We shared the Ravioli Fritti, which is fried ravioli. I loved the fact that, despite it being fried, it wasn’t greasy, and the sauce was just spicy enough to give it a bit of a kick. We each also had a side of the Super Food Salad, which was a combination of quinoa, lentils, mixed seeds, beets, topped with grilled avocado, cottage cheese and pomegranate. I had never had a salad quite like this one, with its combination of flavours and various textures. It was probably my favourite part of the meal. For my entrée, I didn’t want a pasta so I opted for the Italian Farm Sausage. The grilled pork & fennel sausage came on a skewer that also had pancetta and focaccia in-between each twist. It rested on a bed of sweet & sour peppers, capers & watercress. The presentation of the sausage was different. It was, however, more salty than I prefer (which is probably already too salty for most people). I would want to go back and try what my coworker had: the Burger Italiano. It was a big burger and difficult to eat without making a mess, but she said it was well worth the mess it made. Overall, I was impressed by the restaurant and would definitely go back to try other items on the menu. I wonder if the Jamie’s Italian in HK is just as good.
Speaking of Hong Kong, I’ve been back here for over 2 weeks now, and I’ve mainly spent it either cleaning the apartment or getting organized. Since moving to HK in June last year, everything has been a blur. We were consumed by renovations up until October. Then we got sick in November and pretty much spent every day in bed for 3 weeks. Next thing I knew, I was back in Toronto. Truthfully, I didn’t really have the chance to settle in mentally. The past week or so was probably the first time, since moving to HK, where I’ve felt at home. I finally feel like I’m ready to start living again.
The most common question I’ve been getting is: How has it been moving to Hong Kong? Well, the short answer is it’s been good. The long answer, however, would need to be separated into two parts. In terms of adapting to a new environment and lifestyle, it’s actually been pretty easy. Inevitably, it took some time for me to get used to using a different currency and to learn prices of groceries, but learning by doing makes it much easier and I think I’ve gotten the hang of it. Even the climate differences wasn’t hard to deal with. (I’ll talk more about it in a later post.) The most challenging part about moving here was actually dealing with everything that didn’t involve physically living here, such as constantly having to manage the number of days I can legally stay in HK and still maintain my OHIP, while considering my travel insurance coverage. This was very stressful for me. Not only was I constantly counting days on the calendar, I felt like I was neither here nor there; I felt a bit like an aimless soul. Other than our renovations, this was the most stressful and it made my move to HK more frustrating than I wanted it to be. We’ve been working on a solution, so hopefully this won’t be a long term challenge.
On a lighter note, the past few months have given me the spare time to catch up on TV shows I’ve been missing out on over the past few years. Fringe was highly recommended to me, so that was the first show I watched and absolutely loved. Then I watched Orphan Black, which was also highly recommended to me. It was particularly enjoyable because the show was filmed in Toronto and the scenes brought back feelings of home. I started to watch Elementary but haven’t finished season 1 yet. Instead, I changed it up for something a little lighter and watched Scream Queens. I didn’t really love it, but it was entertaining enough for me to finish the season.
While in Toronto, I started watching Suits. I breezed through 5 seasons and managed to get all caught up just in time for its return. I can’t believe I didn’t start watching this earlier! I love all the characters in Suits, but if I had to pick a favourite it would probably be Donna. I hate that I have to keep hating Louis just as I start to like him again; I definitely have a love-hate relationship with his character. There was a scene in the first episode of season 2 that was filmed at Chapters John & Richmond. As soon as I saw it, it triggered my memory. I had completely forgotten about that time they filmed at the store. It was interesting seeing a business display in the background, which I actually remember building, and then realizing the store I used to work at doesn’t even exist anymore.
One last show…Jane The Virgin. I don’t know how I came across this one but I’m glad I did. It’s a light and funny show that totally reminds me of Ugly Betty. I guess you can say it’s a trendier version of Ugly Betty. It’s been a while since I last came across a show that’s just pure fun to watch. I’m really looking forward to the new episode next week.
Anyway, as I mentioned before, I’ve been trying to get organized now that I’m back in Hong Kong. I’m hoping to get into a better routine with my blogging, writing, crafting, exercising and cleaning. I also have a lot of photos that need organizing on my hard drive, so I’ll slowly start to upload them as they get sorted. See you next week!