Language Exchange

For this past week or two, I’ve been meeting some people for language exchange; I help people with their English and they help me with Cantonese. Some conversations are held solely in English and some in Cantonese. There are definitely many words that I am learning and trying to remember and learn how to write the characters. Two summers ago, I learned a bit of Mandarin and simplified characters and I have already forgotten how to write quite a bit due to a lack of practicing. Also, I am trying to learn traditional characters since that is what they use in Hong Kong. I wish I would have brought my workbooks and character books!

With one of my language partners, we have been working on the meaning of some radicals and its combination to make words. We talked about 切 which means to cut. In the dictionary, they give a lot of different meanings that relates to this word like 割 which also means to cut but she said that it’s more on a larger scale like a farmer cutting the grass (so maybe to reap?). She sent me a video on rice reaping which then lead me to this video on how rice is made:

It is pretty interesting to see how a Chinese dictionary works since it’s so different than an English dictionary. Since Chinese doesn’t have an alphabet, it is split into different radicals or characters. Then with those radicals or characters, they will have other words with those radicals or characters. 


For example, the radical 刀, meaning knife, starts on page 45. We started with the word 分 which has several meanings. The first meaning is to separate, which is 分䦎.




Watching how rice is made lead me a video on how flour is made. I never knew that there were different amounts of protein in all purpose flour, bread flour and cake flour and that is one of the distinctions between different types of flour. 


Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden

This past weekend, we met Lina’s sister Sharon and and her family for this first time. We met up in Diamond Hill and had Pizza Hut for lunch. It was good and didn’t taste like Pizza Hut in America. We ordered a veggie pizza, a seafood pizza, some chicken wings, more chicken w/fries and some pasta.  Afterwards, we checked out Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden. I couldn’t take many pictures at Chi Lin Nunnery as they were praying inside. FYI, you can take pictures prior to 3pm. Both locations were free to visit and it was really beautiful and peaceful there.

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Sharon and Lina look so much a like! There’s her husband Sam, and two sons Rayson and Alex.








I found a job!

It’s funny how job searching can be a long process and then once you get a job offer, you get other job offers at the same time. This past week, I had three job offers and I decided to take the position at a public primary school! I was hoping to find a NET Scheme position this year but it is a bit too late for that. This is a good school and I met some really nice teachers there! I’m looking forward to teaching elementary students again =) There are definitely more advantages at working at a public primary school than a language school like working hours, salary, vacation days and working environment.

My job won’t start until October because I need to get a work visa. Right now, I am collecting all my documents that I need to send in and then it usually takes around 4-6 weeks to process everything. That means that I have some time to apartment search and possibly take a small trip to Seoul. 

So now we are in the process of finding an apartment that is between Tin Shui Wai (where I’m working) and Hung Hom (where Seth works). We decided that we like the Tsuen Wan area a lot and Mei Foo. There isn’t a lot of availability in Mei Foo and the prices are higher than what we are willing to pay, so we might be in the Tsuen Wan area. Tsuen Wan is a good middle point since it’s just about equal distance to our jobs. Plus, there are tons of shopping, good wet market for groceries, they have a nice big park with a dog area, lots of pets stores and vet clinics so it seems like a good area.

We stopped by quite a few realtor offices yesterday and told them what we are looking for. I went to see some apartments today and they were nice, but a bit pricey. They were all on the top end of our asking price. I think it’s odd that HK people typically search for apartments 1-2 weeks prior to moving in but I guess there are too many people in the city and not enough housing so the apartments typically go fast once it’s listed in the market. We are looking to move into a new apartment early October so we still have plenty of time I guess. It’s a bit more limited as we have Zoe and many apartment complexes don’t allow pets.

Once we get a place, we’ll let you know and you guys are more than welcome to stay with us =) Kayu suggests that I have a sign-up list….lol.