Sunday, 2 February 2014

Year of the Horse

The 2014 Chinese New Year date happens to fall on the weekend. This moon cycle behaviour has a lot of local residents upset that their regular five day public holiday has been reduced to 'only' four days. Despite this, Chinese New Year remains one of the most profitable periods for airlines and hotels with customers force to pay inflated rates just to make the most of the public holiday schedule.

The average cost of flight from HK to KL booked 6 weeks in advance of the departure date is priced at approximately 2,000 HKD. I paid, nearly double that with a budget airline. In actual fact, the cost to fly from Sydney to KL during that same period with the same carrier is cheaper than flying from HK to KL. Despite the inflated price, I was looking forward to catching up with family and getting away for Hong Kong. It was also my first trip since being off crutches and very excited to test out the ankle abroad.

The best part was that I got to see my parents and close relatives in Kuala Lumpur, it had been a while since I had seen them all together! I constantly harp on about the magnitude of our family festive gatherings. The two major calendar events for our family are Christmas and Chinese New Year and it has been a while since I've attended either. The sheer volume of food and consumption is quite shameful and both events can be best described as 'excessive' and 'gluttonous'.

If I could describe a typical day it would read as follows. Wake up. Breakfast. Read, chat. Sleep. Lunch. Read, chat. Sleep. Dinner. Read, chat. Supper (optional). Sleep. Trip highlights include: Eating, garish tattoos, food poisoning, mee rebus, resuscitated creme caramel and Nasi Lemak.

Currently reading: "Switch" by Dan and Chip Heath.

Friday, 24 January 2014

National Peanut Butter Day

My tribute to National Peanut Butter day: Excess peanut butter consumption and a nice Peanut Butter Slice recipe. Not sure how legit this day is, feels like national Peanut Butter day everyday...

Friday, 3 January 2014

Ankle 2.0

After a long, agonising month, the day has finally come. The removal of the cast. The return of my foot.

Initial observations:
  1. My left leg has lost a lot of muscle mass, noticeably smaller than my right leg.
  2. I can't walk. It's literally like having a brand new foot that needs to be retaught how to walk.
  3. After a month in a cast without showering, my left foot does not smell like roses and rainbows. The offensive smell is permanent and after two showers it still lingers.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

What can I blend?

I still find it a little absurd that I spent close to 3500 HKD (500 AUD) on a blender. However I've had good utility with it so far. Heated up some water, made some quinoa pancakes and have incorporated juicing into my diet.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Online Shopping

I'll admit, the downtime has been nice. It has also allowed me to save money due to forfeited evenings out and the social meetings I just can't be bothered attending. I don't need to give any excuse as the inconvenience of crutches seems to be widely accepted as a reason for my absence. My fear is that this level of reluctance to socialise will eventually carry on even after I am able to walk.

The cash flow hasn't been all one way. One problem that I have developed is that Ive been doing a lot of online shopping. I mean, a lot. This started off with online delivery of groceries and has since spread to supplements, clothes, books, anything really. My two recent purchases have been a new laptop as well as the the Optimum 9400.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas on crutches

First time I've been out on crutches. Merry Christmas!

Friday, 20 December 2013

My left foot

The fractured ankle has been both an interesting and frustrating experience. I've learnt a great deal of patience and have finally accepted the slower pace of life attributed to only having one leg and being denied the use of hands whilst on the move. The first two weeks were incredibly frustrating, having to factor in extra time for showering, changing, preparing, planning any logistics. During this time I had developed a reliance on Hong Kong cab drivers which have allowed me to commute anywhere further than 500 meters. Learning to use the crutches, agonising over staircases, dealing with a fatigued right leg and having to battle the tribulations of trying to keep the cast dry and clean whilst showering are all challenges that frustrated me to no end.

The concierge staff at my apartment, Grandview Gardens were particular helpful. Holding doors open, often with reassuring words of "Slow down" and "be careful" as well as helping me take my dirty laundry out to the local laundromat. My disciplined house cleaning had disappeared with my lack of mobility and after almost two and half years living in Hong Kong I finally succumbed and enlisted the help of a cleaner to come in and clean and tidy my apartment on a weekly basis. Another service that was employed was online home delivery of groceries and supplies, this meant that everything I needed was delivered to my door (My first order was a calcium rich invoice full of milk, yogurt and cheese).

A lot of time was spent horizontal, with the injured leg raised above the head to reduce swelling. Given the bulkiness of the short cast there are a limited number of activities available to an injured person in that supine position. For me, that meant a lot of time watching TV series (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Scrubs all featuring heavily on my TV). Reading, managed to finally finish up on Confederacy of Dunces and Gladwell's Tipping Point. The unfortunate thing was that my internet had been canceled and I was rather disconnected from the outside world. It was a recluse lifestyle and despite the lack of physical stimulation (update: I have started going to the gym) I managed to keep myself relatively sane and boredom free. Still I enjoyed the forced downtime and afforded my body the much needed rest that i've been longing for.

The biggest disappointed was the cancelation of the end of year trip to Europe. I had planned a Paris and London trip between Christmas and New Years and due to the severe swelling and my incompetence on crutches the thought of being in Europe during the winter made the cancelation an easy decision. Despite protests from my friends, as well as the forever battle with 'fomo' I decided to cancel the trip and spend Christmas in Hong Kong. To date I have only taken a 3 days of annual leave, with work continuing unaffected aside from the odd physiotherapy and specialist morning appointments.

From my point of view, there are things that I am thankful for. There are certain advantages to being in Hong Kong - despite the frustrations of uneven footpaths and the high crowd concentration, the short distances and relatively affordable taxi system has allowed me to remain quite mobile. So far, there's no itch or irritation with the cast and I believe that has to do with wintertime. 5 minutes on crutches and the perspiration starts even in 10 degree weather, I can't imagine the inconveniences in summer. Finally, the constant support from family and friends. Yes, there have been raised eyebrows when people discover that yoga was the cause of my fracture but the messages, emails, calls and Oolaa lunches have made it a lot less painful.