Advance planning, temporary sanity, bottomless (deficit) of account (single intended)

Control your time wisely. Running Man joke intended.

It’s been 10 days ages since I updated. Wow. It felt longer than that, because I completely lost track of time.

This is mostly going to be a mass block of text until I find something awesome to post. If you’re bored, you can always just look through my Instagram… even though I don’t really use it all that much.

Just an outdated pic to make this post seem poetic and emotional.

Met up with friends here and there in the past few weeks, so that was good. Sociability restored! I need to do more of that soon, but sadly for me, time is just not on my side. I’m so bad at organising my time… time is precious yet it’s something I don’t control well at all.

So these few weeks I’ve been looking after work, really. Le boss and wife went away on vacation for two weeks so I had to make sure everything was functioning fine. To be honest I’d prefer not to take upon such a big responsibility, because I’m a seriously paranoid person. In that respect, probably I was a good candidate because I was so paranoid about everything – but what can I say? I did my best to keep things normal, and let’s hope that they’re fine with it now that they’re at work after 2 weeks’ vacation. I finally have today off after working 6 days straight, and all I can say is that I’m exhausted. Usually you don’t feel tired if you’re working non-stop – you only know you’re tired when you have time to suddenly stop… that’s when your body tells you it doesn’t want to wake up… and that in fact it is sore, tired or overworked. Body, Y U NO LOSE WEIGHT/ MASS.

I’ve recently discovered that I probably have been shrinking in size… but only my wrists =_= my bracelets are too loose and I have to buy smaller ones now. But whenever I step on the scale, it’s the same heaviness… damn it. It’s such a pain and headache when it comes to these things… I shall continue on my adventure working towards my ideal body type, which I will probably sadly never be able to achieve ;A;

Holiday Planning

A lot of my time these days (apart from 9gagging – go on, I dare you to ruin your life) is spent doing research on Hong Kong. I can’t believe how fast time is flying… literally next week I can begin my duty free shopping… here’s to the death of my bank account.

As I mentioned before, I’m pretty paranoid so I need to know exactly how much stuff is going to cost me, where I can get it, how I can get there, and how long it will take. I know holidays are meant to be stress-free and “take it as it comes”, but I’m just like that – I need to control everything or else I know I will get nothing done. For now, I still can’t decide what bag to take with me (I think that if I carry a big bag on board, it will look soooooo awkward if I take it with me every time I go to the toilet… paranoid much?)… eurgh. Too many decisions to make. I still don’t know if I want to go to Causeway Bay on my first night there… because Forever21 closes at 1am. 1am. I can still make it OMG.

I have over a month to still plan what to do each day… guess I’ll slowly map out a trip for each destination I choose first and then assign them to particular days I’m there. Hopefully.

I’ve also been struggling with “presents” to bring back… I’ve been torn between going back to HK in a glorified manner or a shoestring budget… especially since it’s presents for people – ahem – family who haven’t bought… well, anything for me every time I went back. I finally solved my problem by deciding to buy a gift for the *unknown family relationship* – what do you call your cousin’s kid? Or is there no real relationship? :\ Anyway. I’ve never met or seen (she’s around 14 years old already – holy crap) and getting craploads of chocolate for everyone else. I’m not sure if that’s the best way, but I guess it’ll have to do. I honestly didn’t remember much about bringing presents back to Hong Kong… but now that I recall, we did bring things like toys, chocolates, mangoes… I even remember we brought back flour, olive oil, milk and even FRESH FISH back… but to be honest, I don’t ever remember being thanked genuinely for it… the response was always like “meh, we have that here in Hong Kong.” Eurgh, someone shoot the pessimist inside me! But I decided that I can be pessimistic towards everyone except for my grandma (who did actually prepare the odd present or lucky envelope) and the young (innocent) girl. Everyone else can eat chocolate and get fat. *trollface*

My bank account is forever an abyss of bottomless expenditure. I really really saved up hard for the past few months… BAM, it’s back to square one now :\ I still have a lot of stuff I want to and need to buy, considering I will be able to claim back my GST via the TRS at the airport. (For international readers, we have a tax called GST, Goods and Services Tax – it’s an additional 10% on top of the price of whatever you buy, but usually you will find that the prices you pay already include GST, so it’s not 10%… you divide by 11, if that makes sense. If you spend over $300 in the one shop within an hour or so, you can claim back your GST at the airport for international flights. If your receipts do not total to $300 or more, you will not be able to claim GST.) I’m in a dilemma where I’m like “might as well claim back tax since it’ll be cheaper that way…”- eurgh. I have a feeling I won’t be buying much in HK at this rate… a lot of the stuff I have on mind will be fairly expensive… I guess I will claim tax that way. Oh, and duty free – hopefully they have what I want there!

Exchange your money when the exchange rate is high.

I know this sounds really stupid, but it’s really just common sense.

I admit, I used to not think about exchanging money because if you exchange money at HK, it’s a higher rate… but considering the dollar these days has been unusually high, it’s only a matter of time it will slip. I know it will climb back up slightly, but it’s uncertain – you know what it is today, but you don’t know about tomorrow.

I was kinda lazy a few weeks ago… I had 2 days off and I decided not to go out on my first day and decided to bum around at home… I then checked the exchange rate the second day and it fell 😦 I quickly got myself out of the house and went to search for a place I found via the Internet which claimed to have good rates (or at least other people claimed it was good) – and to my dismay, the place closed down. Trololol – I went up the 18th floor of a building to find an empty suite.

The place next door, however, was still open and is a popular destination to exchange money… most people will know this place. This place is called KVB Kunlun.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Kunlun, but in the short 10 minutes I was there, I honestly wasn’t really impressed. There was a line of about 4 people in front of me, and there were only 2 people at the desk… and they were taking their sweet time doing whatever it was they were doing. I overheard a lady’s query (in Chinese), and it didn’t sound good to me… Kunlun charges a fee of around $10 – $30 (I couldn’t hear the exact sum because I was really far away) if you exchange less than the equivalent of $2000AUD.

Now to be fair, who really exchanges $2000AUD in one go? I mean, if I knew that the Australian dollar was going so strongly, I wouldn’t exchange everything in one go. The lady was exchanging for USD though, probably to make a slight profit or whatever it was she wanted to do, since USD is handy wherever you go. She was only exchanging for about $700 USD, and she had to pay a fee. She argued that the last time she did it, there was no charge – there I was sitting thinking “hurry up, she’s not going to waive you the fee just from you arguing!”.

Here’s another thing – Kunlun makes a profit from the exchange rate, AND they charge you commission/ transaction fee now. *shrugs*. I think that was certainly enough reason for me to stand up and leave the damn place… their customer service isn’t great considering how slow they were working… and well, the exchange rate was crap. The Chinese lady exchanged her AUD to USD for 1.022 when the official rate was about 1.05, so that’s around a 3% profit on exchanging money – PLUS a $10ish transaction fee. I walked past UAExchange in Market City which charged no commission and the rate was 1.026 – even higher than Kunlun, but NO commission. Even so, UAExchange to me isn’t that great – especially when you know it’s possible to find a place which will charge no commission, and only have a 1% difference in the official exchange rate.

Well, I managed to find a place, but that place had limited Hong Kong dollars… only managed to exchange for half of what I intended to that day… but at least I exchanged some money and guaranteed myself that a good portion of my money is exchanged at a highish rate. Yesterday I exchanged some more money seeing that the rate wasn’t bad (even better than the first time I exchanged!)… and I called in advance to make sure they had money in stock. Today, the exchange rate is shockingly low. I kinda regret not exchanging more… but I’m sure that next week the exchange rate will improve a bit more. Or at least return to what it was before – but only time will tell. Maybe it’s even better when I’m about to leave…?

Anyway, my message to all travellers out there is that you should exchange money whenever you feel is appropriate… don’t wait last minute. DO get a credit card with a low rate… I can’t be assed so I’ll be taking my usual MasterCard debit with me which charges a whopping 3% – but that’s because I don’t like credit cards, I like to pay things off immediately without any nasty surprises. It’s just my way of controlling my money… I don’t believe in spending money you don’t have yet… that’s kinda stupid because it’s a trap into debt. That’s what I think, anyway.

Rapidfire random list of stuff going on in life at the moment

  • Finished Dream High 2. Officially wasted 16 hours of my life. Dafuq did I watch?
  • Still haven’t finished Shut up! Flower Boy Band because I just couldn’t be bothered doing so. Kind of strayed a bit far away from what I initially liked the drama for… not sure if I like or not. I will finish it… later.
  • Started Kpop Survival, Rooftop Prince and Fashion King. So far I really like Rooftop Prince – it was a lot more than what I had initially expected. I also literally side-eyed Kpop Survival because it’s aired on Channel A, and its logo looks exactly the same as Dream High1/2… turns out it has a way better story in the first 4 episodes than in the entire 16 I watched for DH2… everyone’s taste is different, but at least the funny parts are actually funny… EURGH. As for Fashion King, I was going to watch it for Yoo Ah In and oogle at Shin Se Kyung being pretty… but in this Shin Se Kyung looks different D: Like, what happened to her face D: I dunno, haven’t brought myself to watch past episode 1 although the first episode was promising. I am most interested in Rooftop Prince and Kpop Survival… more Rooftop Prince though, because Han Ji Min is awesome. And it’s hilarious.
    I mean, if it’s possible to watch the drama with your mum, you know it’s good. *shrugs*
  • Le workplace is situated in a shopping centre, and they fixed the speaker thingy and they’ve been playing music 24/7… wait did I write music, sorry I meant to spell out NOISE instead. The music is so bad it makes me feel like I’m working in a fricken nightclub and it gives me headaches because it’s an idiot at a set of turntables doing “beats” and repeating them even though it sounds CRAP. Why would you repeat a melody if it doesn’t even sound good? And they pump it up so loud… can you please play something more workplace or family friendly?! At an appropriate WORKPLACE noise level? I don’t appreciate it and I’m in my mid-ish 20s… let alone seniors, who actually make up a great bulk of customer base. PLAY MUSIC RESPONSIBLY. AND IF IT’S NOT MUSIC, DO NOT PLAY IT.

I will update properly later this week, because I only get to work 4 days for the next few weeks \o/ Having a crapload of days off is awesome. I’ve been kinda lazy doing my Hong Kong research so I better pick up on that and quite 9gag… doubt it’ll happen LOLOLOL. Still haven’t planned any days yet… and to think I can do duty free shopping tomorrow… AWWWWW YEAAAAHHHH. I better get a move on. I’ve decided I won’t be taking my camera with me,  but I will however update my trip quite frequently because I was given a SIM card today which I can use as soon as I step off the plane in Hong Kong. I won’t be doing any live blog posts though, because typing on an iPhone honestly drives me up the wall. I will save that for when I return. For now, I’ll plan what my next post is… and it will be useful, trust me. It’s something I’ve been delaying for a very long time… I’ll get round to doing it… I hope 😉

(I haven’t even posted up my resolutions for 2012… I shall repeat the same resolutions from 2011… if that’s alright with everyone :x)


8 thoughts on “Advance planning, temporary sanity, bottomless (deficit) of account (single intended)

  1. I would be honor to be given such responsibility from the boss! haha I guess I’ve never experienced this before, so I would be excited to be responsible and look over things. Albeit, I probably will make a few mistakes (hopefully nothing too big), but it’s really a great learning experience.

    wait, you’re going to Hong Kong? That sounds so much fun!! I went there once for a week? I don’t remember how long lol But I enjoyed the new environment 🙂 I enjoy the rich culture and the inexpensive clothing at Mongkok (I can’t spell, I hope I spelled it right)

    When I went to Japan, I bought a lot of name brand handkerchiefs for people as souvenirs lol It’s light weight and about 1,000 yen each and a few little things that has the word Japan on it. I think chocolate is good enough considering your situation haha In fact, do they really deserve those delicious chocolates? j/k

    • It’s kinda flattering in a way, but I don’t know… I’m not really someone who is in it for the titles or anything. Responsibilities – yeah, we all have them, but I rather not have too big of a burden. What I got was kinda enough to handle… lucky there were no big hiccups because I would be the one left to deal with it ^^;;

      Yeah, Mongkok! That place has a lot of stuff… so many people @_@ I think Hong Kong’s a really beautiful city, especially at night. I get so awed seeing how tall the buildings are and how close they are… it’s kind of intriguing O_O

      Ah~ seems like a pretty neat gift! Haha I would have to think twice if they deserved chocolate as well 😉 But oh well, I didn’t go back for many many years, and I don’t mind buying stuff for people to eat… chocolate shall suffice 😛

  2. wow that pic is so pretty~~ i’m still one of the few people existing with a smart phone who don’t use instagram lol i agree, it is very poetic.

    glad you met up with friends! OMGOSH i haven’t met up with friends since February because of school and work….but i’m meeting them this week (Easter break) and i literally feel soul ripping out of my body out of excitement LOL. insane. so yeah. i completely understand what you mean when you say that you’re “Sociability restored”!!!

    LOL oh my! Your wrists got smaller ? that’s the first time i heard that happening! and working 6 days straight? well on the bright side…$$$! heheh

    ugh, i’m so jealous you’re going to HK!!! so many people i know go back because they have relatives there but i don’t….i really wanna go one day, wahhh!~~~ do you know if there are any study group program student tourist thingys for HK for the summer time? LOL (serious question!)

  3. YEEOOOOK i just wrote a long comment and IT DIDN’T GO THROUGH AND I DIDN’T SAVE IT OMGOSH T_T

    gahh anywho. i really like that instagram picture! it is really poetic and artsy. i love the colors. i am still one of those few people existing on this planet with a smart phone who have not used instagram. haha. *completely uncool*

    ah 6 days of work in a row is totally killer! but on the bright side…$$$$$$$$$$$$$!! $$$ makes everyone happy hohoho~~

    AHHH AND HK!! i’m SUPER jealous right now you have no idea. I know so much people who go back because they have relatives there…but i don’t T^T my entire family is here in the great US of A =..= Do you know if HK has like student touristy travel summer programs? ahhaha i’d totally go to one if they did!

      • Lol I’m so sorry for making you confused, my comment settings are set so that I need to moderate any comments for “first time”commenters XD

        Only reason why I wanted a smartphone was so I could email and stuff son the go, just like now (I’m replying on my phone so autocorrect might get the better of me…eek!)
        Instagram is cool and all, burnout necessary 😉

        You could go on exchange for a semester, my friend did that and he went to study at cuhk… Not sure about summer courses, but exchange is definitely possible ^^ or better still a holiday hehe~~

  4. First post here! I found your site through looking for reviews on Pony’s makeup book XD Haha. Which I am definitely going to get from Kinokuniya (so thank you for the review!). I’ve looked through your site and it seems it’s right up my alley, so you’ll be seeing more of me ^_^ Hehe.

    Have fun in HK! I haven’t been there in ages (I miss the food, shopping and night life! – although I hear that it’s not as cheap anymore, but then again, isn’t it the same everywhere? plus, the AUD is pretty good, and the HKD isn’t doing so well… so maybe it evens out? haha). I hope you do a post on what you get up to 🙂

    Exchanging currency is an annoying thing XD Especially since banks and other institutions charge insane commissions and have poor rate conversions. This 1% place you found sounds good 🙂 Where exactly was it? 😉 I’m going to be travelling soon, so it’s right up my alley XD

    • Yay! Sydneysider 😀 Thanks for commenting ^^

      Well, yes, that’s probably true LOL Everything’s gone up because of living costs and inflation, but it depends on what you buy over there – some things are still pretty cheap, whilst other items have set prives globally. My aim is to get stuff I can’t buy in Australia, so that should mean that I will be buying things for cheaper 😀 I will definitely do a post – probably a detailed one once I get back~

      Yeah, I’m pretty surprised/ shocked at how much they charge around here… the place I found is called Supay. It’s on Sussex Street opposite the Gentle Dentist on the first floor of a building called TRANSPORT HOUSE. Just take the lift up. It’s surprisingly quite popular and they’re pretty fast at exchanging money, so very little waiting time and their rates are probably the best I’ve found so far. I was recommended by a friend and it seems pretty good – I’m satisfied either way, especially if I’m guaranteed to exchange at least 1:8 HKD XD

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