Review: Knorr Baby Voletto Combi Set

A stroller is definitely a MUST if you already have a baby. It makes your life easier especially when it comes to walking, going out, or traveling.

There are different stroller brands out there that are economical, but I suggest that you always go for quality. Yes, you read it right. QUALITY.

This is very important when you are choosing a stroller to use for your beloved baby. You need a quality stroller that will give your baby safety and comfort. The style or fashion is only secondary.

Before we had our first bundle of joy, my husband started to search for a quality stroller on Amazon. It was in the first quarter of 2017 when he found the Knorr Baby Voletto Combi set on Amazon.de.

Knorr Baby Voletto Combi set. Photo credits to Amazon.de

He asked me which color I wanted for our baby and I picked the black and white Voletto combi set. Then he immediately ordered it and after two days, the stroller set arrived in my parents-in-law’s house and they shipped it to Hong Kong afterwards.

Actually, I did not know Knorr Baby until my husband ordered it through Amazon. At first, I was a little bit skeptic about it, but hey, when I saw the stroller set in person, OMG, it’s beautiful. When I used it the first time, gosh, it was sturdy and stable.

The current price of Knorr Baby stroller. Photo credits to Amazon.de.

Knorr Baby Voletto Limited Edition is really worth our money.

PROs:

Good quality. Because it’s a quality stroller, it lasts longer. In fact, our 2nd baby is already using it and by the looks of it, our bunny is enjoying the quality of her stroller.

Stable. Like what I’ve observed from day 1 of having the Voletto set, it is undeniably a stable one. The wheels are bigger and stable. Its lightweight aluminum frame makes it more stable and sturdy.

Safe. Because of its stability, the parents are assured that their babies or kids are safe inside the stroller. One key safety measure of the Voletto stroller is its lock, so as to avoid unforeseen accident on the road or uphill. It also has cover for sunny days and rain cover for rainy days.

Comfortable. The stroller is comfy especially inside. There are foams to protect your child and make him/her comfortable while lying down or sitting.

Stylish. Knorr Baby Voletto Limited Edition stroller is not just a quality, sturdy, stable, and comfy stroller, but also very stylish. It comes with different styles that cater the needs and ages of your children. Another thing is its height-adjustable push handle that I find cool. Lastly, a fashionable diaper bag is included in your purchase.

CONs:

Big and Heavy. The stroller is indeed of good quality, but the problem is its size and weight. It takes a lot of space in the house or apartmen. If you have less than 50 sqm house or apartment, you’ll have a hard time finding a big space for it.

Aside from being big, Knorr Baby stroller is heavy to carry in terms of traveling. Moreover, you have to dissemble it once you ride a car or taxi. In terms of riding a train (like in Hong Kong), Voletto stroller undeniably takes a huge space inside and in case of a crowded train, it is difficult to get in.

Expensive. As of this writing, it costs 507,32 € on Amazon. I know that it’s expensive but honestly, it’s better to buy a little bit expensive stroller than to buy twice. You get what I mean? Like what I’ve said, Knorr Baby Voletto Limited Edition stroller is worth the money.

P.S. The car seat is optional to order through Amazon.

Overall, I rate the Knorr Baby Voletto Combi Set (limited edition) four stars. Despite its cons, I still strongly recommend this baby stroller to all parents out there.

If you have extra budget and you don’t mind the space for the stroller, try it now. Just be ready for the attention of other people. For sure, there will be some curious audience who will ask you about your baby’s stroller (or should I say car hahaha). Mind you, there will also be a few who will take a photo of it (like what other people did in Hong Kong when they saw this Voletto combi set).

Thanks for reading. Until my next post. Ciao.

With best regards,

JL

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Filipino Roots

The ever meaningful Philippine Flag. Photo credits to my husband.

As you all know, I am an expat living in Central Europe but I am very proud of my Filipino roots.

I love Philippines. I really do. In fact, I consider it as the best home ever despite all the not-so-good issues that its citizens complain about.

The camaraderie. The hospitality. The love and warmth. The happiness. The Pinoy resiliency. And yes, the Filipino spirit. These make Philippines the best home ever for me.

It’s not that I don’t love Hong Kong and my husband’s country. I love both with all my heart, but as a Filipino, my heart always go with my first home and first lovePHILIPPINES.

I may be away from home, but I think of it every day. No joke. I might be speaking Deutsch most of the time now, but that does not surpass the great value of Tagalog in me.

And if you are to ask me whether I am happy or not in my husband’s country, of course I will say I am HAPPY, but you know, I can’t help but to think of my parents and siblings back of home.

I am definitely happy here with my own family, but this will never change the fact that I also miss Mama, Papa, my sister and my brother and their own families.

Moreover, questions like these occupy my mind…

What is my family doing at the moment”

“Are they ok?”

“How are my friends in there?”

“How’s the education in the Philippines?”

“What happened to my former students?”

“What’s new in my hometown?”

“What are the current events there?”

“When will be my next vacation to my beloved country?”

Oh, how I miss Philippines. Really!

Five months of being away from my home country isn’t easy. More difficult than being away from Hong Kong.

It might take three to four years from now before I get to visit Philippines again. Seems like an eternity huh. But yes, I have to wait. Good thing, I have lots of patience. Anyway, time is just fleeting.

After a few years, I’m back again. How excited I am to see my family and close friends on my next vacation. To spend quality time with them and to see them happy are what I dream of once in a while.

It might not be too soon, but at least, it will happen in the near future. I hope and pray that my family and friends in the Philippines will be (and are) always healthy and safe.

Trusting God is what I do now. In time, my family, friends and I will meet again. That’s for sure.

For now, I just have to be contented to having our daily communication via Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Whatasapp. I am really grateful to these social media platforms. They make it easier for me to connect with my home country and of course, to my dearest family back home.

My Filipino roots will stay with me as long as I live. Wherever I go, whichever language I speak, whatever foreign food I eat or whatever lifestyle I adapt to, these will never change the fact that I am a Filipino, by blood and by heart.

Mahal kita, Pilipinas. Pangako, babalik ako. Kitakits ha.

We hired a helper in Hong Kong

I was not born with a silver spoon. Neither had I a nanny when I was a kid.

For me, hiring a helper was never an option while living as an expat in Hong Kong, but…

Bunny #2 became a surprise!

Having a hard time with my second pregnancy while taking care of our little bunny gave my husband an idea of hiring a domestic helper.

I was against the thought beforehand, but my body said otherwise. I was weak and nauseated most of the time, so my husband still encouraged me to look for someone who could be with me and our bunny.

Five times of puking every day and having loss of appetite, plus the tiring household chores prompted me to agree to my husband’s idea.

I joined a group of foreign domestic helpers on Facebook and advertised our hiring. I posted there the requirements and asked those who were interested to contact me afterwards for a possible interview. By the way, I was looking for a hardworking and dedicated Filipino domestic helper back then.

A lot of applicants messaged me, but I shortlisted them to make it easier for me to choose the right helper/nanny. I had four candidates then, and told my husband that I already set an interview with them. He said ok, so that’s it.

The interviews with those Filipino workers went well. It was really hard to choose and break someone’s heart, but we had to decide asap. In the end of our search, we chose a Filipina from Ilocos region, two years younger than I am and have her own family in the Philippines.

Actually, hiring her was not easy, because she was terminated by her previous employer. Based on Hong Kong immigration law, she should go back to Philippines first while waiting for her working visa with us. And that her papers should be processed by a recognized agency in Hong Kong. Fair Employment Agency came to our rescue.

The agent assigned to us was very helpful and attentive to our needs. She sent me updates regarding the hiring of the Filipina worker. We really had a great choice of agency, despite the fact that they were not a cheap agency to begin with.

Everything was processed by the agency. I just had to give them some pertinent papers to send to the Immigration. Of course, my husband and Charm (her nickname) needed to sign some papers in the office of Fair Agency. Two days after, Charm flew back to Philippines to process her papers in the local agency there and waited for her visa to arrive.

We waited two months and 2 weeks for her to be with us. Actually, we were having vacation here while she was in the Philippines.

I had to rebook my flight from Switzerland to Hong Kong because my baby then was sick, and also had to rebook Charm’s flight due to strong typhoon in Northern Philippines. Anyway, all was well afterwards. My bunny and I went back to Hong Kong and waited for our helper to arrive. Three days after our arrival, she came to Hong Kong.

In her first day, I gave her a sort of orientation. Giving her some house rules was very important for me so as to avoid some misunderstanding in the future. She was hardworking, dedicated, obedient and nice. My husband and I were lucky for having her hired.

Despite the expenses we spent for her papers and flight, we had no regrets because she was really a great help in our household. Thank God!

Charm’s duties were as follow: making breakfast, doing the laundry, cleaning the bathroom and the living room. My difficult pregnancy did not hinder me from making our dinner. Why did I have to make or cook our dinner? Well, my husband used to work from Mondays to Fridays and the only time we could be together was during the dinner on weekdays and yes, weekends as well. I told our helper that I still wanted to perform my duties as wife to my husband and cooking dinner was one of them.

Would you believe that I was able to make our dinner until the 8th month of my pregnancy? During Charm’s day off, even breakfast and lunch! I also took care of our bunny’s needs like giving her shower or bath, feeding her, and playing with her. Wew.. tiring but all worth it. Good thing, my nausea stopped after our European vacation. From fifth toward the last month of my pregnancy, I regained my strength and went back to being healthy. Gott sei Dank!

Going back to Charm’s tasks, she also accompanied me sometimes to my checkup or if not, she took care of our bunny. During my ninth month of pregnancy until the second month of my postpartum, she took care of baby S. I was touched because she treated her like her own, and for us, it was a sweet gesture.

Whenever we went out for lunch or dinner, she was with us. Charm was given freedom to choose her food and drinks when we were in a restaurant. I was the one feeding baby S., and not she. All she had to do was to carry the baby bag or sometimes took care of our bunny while I was in the restroom.

When my parents-in-law visited us in Hong Kong, she had not much tasks to do because we were out most of the time. She was even with us when we went to Macau, not as a nanny, but as a friend joining our group. She was indeed thankful for our nice treatment toward her.

She was not treated like a nanny, but a family member. My husband and I were not rich and neither of us have had a nanny before, so we were really against the idea of treating her like a slave or so. For us, she was (and still) a friend in our household.

Moreover, her dayoff was on Sunday and on Saturday but very seldom. Her busiest day was Monday; there she had a lot to do, but most of the days, she had free time. After our lunch, she had two hour-break and at three pm, she would make our snacks or accompanied me to the harbour while walking, or played with baby S in the park. Then, around 5:30, we were back to the apartment and there she was taking care of our bunny while I was preparing for dinner.

By the way, with regards to her stay with us, we told her on her interview that she would not be with us longer; not that we wanted her out, but due to the fact that we had to relocate soon (hubby’s work contract was about to end then). She had a year to work for us and that’s it.

But after our vacation in the Philippines in February this year, we told her that we had to relocate sooner than expected. We were both sad because she had become a family. Charm even cried after hearing my husband’s decision. Instead of being with us for a year, she only stayed with us for nine months.

I helped her to find a new employer. My friend (who’s also a Filipino domestic helper) recommended Charm to her employer’s BFF. The British couple wanted to hire her after interviewing her and calling me in March.

She was happy that she was able to find a new employer shortly before we parted ways. We gave her recommendation letter plus the other mandatory payment.

Her last day with us was also my and the kids’ last day in Hong Kong. We cried a river before parting ways. It was really an emotional day for all of us.

We may have relocated here but we maintain our communication until now. She misses us and the feeling is mutual. During her day off (Sunday), we also talk, so she can see the kids.

It’s very nice to know that we have not just had a helper/nanny in our household in Hong Kong, but also a friend.

We hope to see her again someday. In Hong Kong or maybe in the Philippines.

Missing Charmie.

End of my uber long post haha. Till next time!

-JL

How is it like to be an Expat?

Expatriates. Abroad. Different Culture. New Language. Away from home. Far from family and/or friends.

These are just some of the issues that expats around the globe are currently experiencing.

I know it because I am an expat myself. Actually, I have been an expat since 2016. Kinda long now and to tell you the truth, my journey has not been so smooth and easy.

The beginning of my expat life was difficult, especially in terms of language barrier and socialization. When I was still in Hong Kong, I found Cantonese and Mandarin so difficult, that I gave up the thought of learning them someday. Going to local restaurants and buying some stuffs in the wet market, dispensaries or some local shops gave me a hard time because of the language barrier.

I tried to buy fresh goods from two Hong Kong wet markets, but talking to the salespersons there was not that easy for me. They seldom spoke English and for me, that’s one hard thing to deal with. I ended buying a bulk, instead of only pieces because of the language barrier. It also happened to me in some dispensaries and supermarkets in Hong Kong. There were a few times that my fellowmen would save me from talking to the locals and explained to me what the salespersons wanted to tell me.

Not only Cantonese and Mandarin were difficult, but also German language, however, unlike the first two languages, I had the guts and time to study the latter. I spent hours at home and in school just to learn it. (Why? Because my husband is a German-speaker! Hahaha)

Aside from the language problem, I also had an issue with socializaton. I longed for moments like bonding with my dearest family, going out with friends, and spending time with colleagues and former students.

Most of the time, I was only with my husband and two Pinoy friends. Very seldom that I socialized with my husbands’ colleagues. Well, drinking and going to bars were not really my cup of tea; so, I declined the invitation. Not to mention my pregnancy which made me vulnerable during those times.

I also experienced some down and difficult moments like homesickness, boredom, and culture shock. Every time I saw photos of my friends’ families on Facebook and other social media, and whenever I saw families at the park or in the mall in Hong Kong, I got sad and felt the dreaded homesickness. Truly, it’s sad and a little boring to be away from home, but the fact that me having my own family gave me hope and happiness as well.

Facing a new set of rules, a different lifestyle, and a totally divergent culture almost made me rather weary and a bit shocked. I could still remember my first two months in Hong Kong and first month in Central Europe. Encountering some people who looked down on me, or scrutinized me just because I’ve got different color and nationality. Waaah, this I hated!

But I did not give up. It’s not because I had no other choices. It’s because I began to realize that I was actually blessed to be in different countries in the span of three years. I started to be positive, embraced the fact that I was not alone, and of course, adapted to changes around me.

Yes, expat life is difficult, but if I start thinking of those people wanting to be in my shoes, I just feel blessed. I have traveled and experienced a lot since 2016–going to Europe twice a year, visiting my family three or four times a year, having some Macau trips, and living in Hong Kong for three years to name a few. Wew! Not bragging though.

Here I am now, enjoying my life as an expat and a stay-at-home wife and mom. Thanks to my very supportive and loving husband. He and our kids serve as my inspiration for defying the challenges and solving the issues in my expat life.

And of course, thank you to Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp and Twitter for connecting me to my loved ones and friends in the Philippines.

Above all, thank You, dearest Lord, for giving me this one great chance of traveling some parts of the world, and for entrusting me this expat life I have now.

.

7 Unique Gifts for your Partner on his Birthday

Birthday is definitely a special day for your partner, and giving gifts is certainly a yearly tradition that you should not miss, be it a material thing or a sweet gesture.

To help you with some ideas about the perfect Birthday present for him, I have come up with a short list of seven unique gifts you can give him on his day.

  1. A song or poem dedicated to him.

If your special someone is a hopeless romantic like you and appreciates songs and poems that much, then this unique gift is for him. Write a poem or song about this heroism as a husband, partner or father; or some verses telling him how much he means to you and your family. This will surely melt his heart, girl.

  1. Serenade

Isn’t it romantic to serenade your man to the tune of his favorite song or your theme song as he wakes up in the morning of his birthday? If you have an angelic voice, you can try this unique present for him. He will definitely like this kind of surprise. Try it, and he will set his yes on you, only you.

  1. Spa Treatment

There are days that your betterhalf is stressed-out. Don’t let him get drained especially on his special day because he deserves a break. A spa treatment, could be a couple’s romantic retreat or a solo activity, will help him unload some stress caused by work and other things. In addition to this, facial, pedicure or manicure will also lighten his day. You can check out some great spas through Spafinder.com, Idospa.com, Treatwell.co, letsbookr.com, or bloomme.com.hk. They have hundreds of nice and affordable spas for you to choose from.

  1. Hiking Day

Is your partner a hiker? Then, a hiking day on his birthday is a great activity to do together. You can savor the sweet moments you have with him as you hike higher. When you reach the peak of the hill or mountain, you can eat snacks together, a sort of date indeed. But please, don’t forget to check the weather first so as not to ruin your date on the mountain.

  1. Grand Prix Ticket

Your significant other is a car enthusiast and he likes watching car racing. What else to gift him on his birth date? Yes, a ticket to watch the prominent Grand Prix is 100 % awesome. If you are somewhere in Europe and have enough money to indulge your husband to a very memorable and once-in-a-lifetime Grand Prix experience, you can buy two Rolex British Grand Prix 2019 tickets and have fun at the Silverstone Circuit, Towcester in Great Britain. This is a brilliant yet expensive gift for your partner. Anyway, just be ready for the huge expenses that might incur afterwards.

  1. Vintage Car Rental

He is a vintage car aficionado and he likes driving classic cars. Then, why don’t you try to rent a vintage car as a way of celebration? The thought of you and he riding inside the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro or 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia will surely make his day too special. The sites bookaclassic.com and drivevinty.com are a great help in finding the perfect car for you and your partner on his birthday. Visit their websites now for more details.

  1. Adventure Day

If your husband is an adventure seeker and his bucket list includes skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding and rafting, why don’t you set up an adventure day for him to enjoy? This is undoubtedly an experience he will remember for a lifetime. But before doing so, make sure that he is as healthy as a horse, so he can do such activities with minimal health risk, and of course, a very good medical insurance on the side.

Whatever gift you plan to give your partner, husband, or betterhalf on his very special day, what matters most is the love shown and the time spent with him. The price, kind and uniqueness of your gifts are only secondary.

All you have to do is shower him with your love and give him your most precious time on his remarkable day and he will, with no doubt, appreciate it fully.

-JL

Summer is here, so what’s next?

Been so busy this week that I was not able to post for a while.

Lo siento. Tut mir Leid. Sorry. Patawad.

I’ve got a lot of things to do, so my WordPress blog is not so updated. But hey, I am here now, trying to post some things. Gott sei dank!

Anyway, it’s summer here in Central Europe, and when I say summer, it is literally freakin’ hot. Since Monday, it has been extra hot that I long for cool shower thrice a day.

By the way, this is not my first summer in my husband’s country; in fact, this is my fourth summer here, and I like it very much, minus the idea that there’s no airconditioner and so on.

We have done some fun activities like going to the mountain for a hike, enjoying the cable car with my two cutie bunnies and hubby, eating sumptuous lunch on the mountain, swimming, and the like.

Plus the fact that we celebrated hubby’s birthday. I baked a simple version of black forest cake, cooked schnitzel for the whole family, made kartoffelsalat and halo-halo. Oh, it’s indeed summer!

Simple version of Black forest cake. This is easier to make than the classic black forest cake. Thanks to my mother-in-law for helping me bake this yummy birthday cake for hubby.

Schnitzel mit Kartoffelsalat. This is my husband’s favorite, so I decided to make it before his birthday. A little birthday present for my love indeed.

I am just glad that my husband and his family liked the halo-halo that I made for the very first time here in Europe. Maybe some of you are wondering what’s the halo-halo I have mentioned here. Well, it’s a famous summer dessert in the Philippines, and since my husband likes this very much, I promised to make it on his birthday. Two thumbs up, he said! Thanks to the ingredients that I found and bought from the Asian market in the city.

The famous halo-halo of the Philippines. This is a very refreshing and yummy dessert you should try this summer. Promise!

So, it’s summer. What’s next?

Well, we have plans this weekend, like having mountain breakfast, hiking again, and grilling. I’m already looking forward to doing such activities. But hopefully, it’s not gonna be so, so hot. That we’re gonna beat the heat of European summer. Yey!

Haaay, I’m a little bit sleepy at the moment, so I have to go to bed soon. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Ciao. Bye.

Gute Nacht. Bis Morgen.

-JL

Five Home Remedies found in your Kitchen

Aside from the excruciating pain or weakness that you usually experience when you are sick, you feel even worse because of the loads of medical expenses you have to pay. You fear of becoming flat broke due to these unexpected costs, don’t you, Mommies? Well, it is indeed stressful with all those additional expenditures, especially when it comes to budgeting. BUT, worry not because there are homemade remedies to save you from spending too much.

Don’t be shocked or surprised when you learn that these natural remedies are actually right there in your kitchen. Yes, you read it right—such natural remedies can be found in your very home. The spices, herbs and even condiments sitting in your pantry have healing capacities, the only thing you have to do is to TRY using them. They are very economical, easy to prepare, and don’t come with many side effects. Great, isn’t it?

Come on, Mommies, let’s resolve some health issues by simply taking a quick trip to your kitchen.

FIVE HOME REMEDIES FOUND IN YOUR KITCHEN

  1. Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, all natural and cheap, is very beneficial to your health. Its uses include everything from curing tummy problems, alleviating colds and flu, stopping hiccups, lowering blood sugar, losing weight, and fighting against cancer and heart problems. It’s not just used for cooking purposes but also taken to take care of your body naturally.

    Make sure to keep raw, organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in your pantry to stay healthy all the time. If you don’t have it yet, Mommies, then it is high time to buy one in the nearest supermarket.

  2. Olive oil. This fantastic culinary oil can really offer a myriad of health benefits you might not be aware of. This wonder oil protects the digestive tract, improves cognitive function especially among older people, helps people lower their risk of certain cancer types, decreases risk of heart diseases, and other noteworthy benefits.

    It’s good to know that this isn’t just your simple oil in the kitchen but also a superb natural remedy for some certain diseases. Remember Mommies, olives don’t make you oily, but healthy.

  3. Ginger. This superb spice is very beneficial especially in terms of gastrointestinal problems. It helps improving the absorption of significant vitamins and minerals in the body. Also, it lessens gas and solves simple tummy problems, and helps eliminate nose and throat congestion. And oh, the warming benefit of ginger is really beneficial.

    Want to add flavor to your life, Mommies? Buy more ginger and try it as a home remedy next time you have problems with your stomach.

  4. Tea. This famous drink keeps you healthy and beautiful. Based on different surveys and studies, your favorite natural tea contains antioxidants which fights off free radicals in your body. Aside from that, it also strengthens your immune system, making you stronger and healthier. Moreover, it cuts down your stress level, giving you a younger look. Another awesome fact is that it lessens your risk of having cardiovascular diseases.

    Dearest Mommies, if you have not yet tried incorporating tea in your drinking habit, please do so. It’s never late to have a healthy diet. There are plenty of tea flavors and kinds out there to try.

    Happy drinking!

  5. Honey. The benefits of this natural sweetener go beyond its great taste. This nature’s energy booster also offers superb healing that includes preventing cancer and heart diseases, reducing ulcer and other gastrointestinal disorders, reducing cough and throat irritation and others.

Imagine, Mommies, this sweet yet classic substance in your kitchen can actually do wonders in your body as medicine. Truly cheap but definitely amazing.

To all strong and wise mothers out there, the aforementioned common homemade remedies may be able to mend common ailments and cut your financial problems, but please do remember that they’re not intended to replace a doctor’s opinion or treatment.

If you still feel unwell despite the usage of such remedies, don’t hesitate to consult your health provider. But yes, if you feel relieved, good for you. You have successfully come across with an economical way to ease your stress and pain. Go and indulge yourself to this very practical and simple way to be stress-free and healthy.

What are you waiting for? Keep these amazing items in your pantry now.

Pray for Hong Kong

Praying for Hong Kong, my beloved country of residence for three years..

I hope that there will be no more uproar and violence in Asia’s World City these coming days.

To all Hongkongers who still believe in Freedom and Democracy, please be strong. Stand firm and be united especially in this time of trial. God bless!

Together Again

Hello, friends and readers!

After a few days of being silent on social media and WordPress, here I am now, making a short update about the happenings in my life.

My husband is finally back in Europe as his work contract in Hongkong has just ended. We are together again. No more long distance. No more timezone problem. No more worries. Thank God!

My parents-and-law and I fetched him from Switzerland because we’re near the Swiss airport. We did not have to wait for him longer because he’s already at the arrival area 10 minutes after we had arrived. Then, exchanges of kisses and hugs. Indeed, a happy wife. 😁

Now, we are a little busy having family bonding because next week will be the start of his work here in Europe. We are now making the most of our time because it is so fleeting, right? The day after tomorrow is already June. OMG!

Anyway, I am definitely happy and thankful that hubby is with us now. I can’t wait to make beautiful moments with him in his home country. More beautiful than what we have had in Hongkong. Hopefully.

That's it. Just a short update. Hope you'll continue supporting my blog despite my not-so-frequent posting.

Have a nice weekend ahead. God bless!

Regards,

JL

It all started with a ‘Pho’

Being an expat in Hongkong is not that easy.

New culture. Different lifestyle. Difficult language. No friends–these summed up my first two months in Hongkong.

Boredom and homesickness were my companions. My husband was most of the time at work and sadly, we only had much time at night, during weekends or holidays.

I was longing for my family and close friends back then. For an extrovert like me, this I tell you, it’s really hard to be alone. Thank goodness! There were Facebook messenger, Twitter, and Whatsapp for communication purposes.

One day, my husband asked me if I wanted to meet the Filipina wife of his colleague. Of course, I said YES. I had been waiting for that moment to happen, the moment which could possibly give me new friends.

Her name’s Ruth. She’s a wife of a Hongkong national working in the same company with my husband.

Before I met Ate Ruth personally, her husband messaged me on Facebook. He asked if it’s ok with me to meet Ate because she’s also alone and bored. Woooaahh, we were in the same boat huh. Anyway, he gave me her number and told me about his high hope of me being friends with Ate.

Our supposed meeting in the first week of November was postponed because I went to the Philippines for a short vacation.

It was in the last week of November that I met her and her then-one-month-old baby boy. Our rendezvous was at New Town Plaza in Sha Tin. She’s very nice and accommodating, something that really made me think she’s the one I’ve been waiting for in Hongkong haha.

My new friend and I strolled around some shops. You know, women and shopping sounded almost the same! hahahaha just kidding. I wanted to buy some nice clothes then, and gladly, she helped me decide on which clothes to take.

We had our merienda at Viet’s Choice, her favorite restaurant. It was my first time to eat in a Vietnamese restaurant.

Oh, how I liked the delicious taste of the Vietnamese noodle soup called pho. The rich, savory taste of its soup base, the yummy combination of ginger, fresh mint, cilantro, onions and other herbs, the flavoursome chicken meat, and the good taste of the flat, long rice noodles caught the attention of my picky tastebuds.

My favorite kind of Pho. Sliced Vietnamese ham gio lua Pho with iced milk tea

Another kind of Pho. Sliced beef brisket Pho with hot milk tea

Of course, I ordered my favorite milk tea. It’s always my choice of drink whenever I was in an Asian or local restaurant.

I was really glad Ate Ruth chose Viet’s Choice. We really had a great time eating and having conversation there. In addition to that, we also discovered that we shared some common traits. Nice to know!

Who would have thought that the start of a good and strong fellowship just happened in a restaurant called Viet’s Choice? It was indeed a special place for Ate and me.

Fast forward to the present —–

Oh, how I miss eating pho and drinking milk tea.

And…

how I miss my close friend.

Like what I’ve said, it’s not that easy to be an expat in Hongkong, but because of the presence of Ate Ruth and her family, my social life in Hongkong became colorful. 😀

I do hope to see her again in the future. Guess where? In Hongkong or maybe in the Philippines.

Time flies so fast. For sure, we will see Ate Ruth again. Maybe not so soon, but definitely after a few years.

But for now, hello Facebook and Whatsapp! hahaha

Time to pause for a while and eat some dinner.

Gute Nacht. Bis Morgen.

JL