Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Doctor, doctor are you there??

For the past few weeks I have been busy, work or if in the private sector,busines has been quite brisk. Horrendous motor-vehicle accidents with mangled occupants have been knocking on our doors.

Anyway, today is my 2nd last day of my 8 day call stretch. Can't wait for the weekend.

But that is not the point of this posting. I have previously written on the difficulties of being the physician in a family.

And now, I would like to vent out my frustrations on almost similar issues - Friendititis. Occasionally friends would ask me for medical advice which I would gladly part with. Who would not want to help a friend.

But sometimes, some people are too smart for their own good. With the easy access of any information on the world wide web a lot of people ask questions that they have answered for themselves. The role of the 'physician' or in this case, me, is just to validate or confirm whatever they do are right.

Lets say I disagree or the advice given is not the answer one wants to hear, then it's not taken seriously or even regarded as a joke. I may be sarcastic but I never joke when I give my professional opinion. And if people ever question my integrity and want to justify my 'wrong' or unsympathetic advice being given due to so-called abnormalities in my state of mind then tough luck. They should just pray to god to cure them of any physical, internal or mental illness, they may get more sympathy there.

I have a very short fuse when it comes to people my undermining professional 'opinions'. A few things irritate me ; people who abuses their body when they know what they need to do to keep it healthy: for example, smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, eating fatty food when they have a history of cardiac problems, gorging on uric acid laden food when they have been hospitalised for renal stones and gout etcetera etcetera...

And the worse of the lot are people who do all those things and call up or sms their physician friend and say...."Ah... I have been eating lamb chops all weekend and my current pressure is so and so... and I feel lightheaded.. do you think I am OK? Is the medicine not working?" These type of sms'es makes me cringe and I feel like screaming my lungs out.... "Bloody hell, if you don't care, should I?"

Thus I am tired. Very tired.

Nice... what an awful word

The word 'nice' has a few meanings. As taken from the Free Online Dictionary the following are a few of them,
Nice - adj. nic·er, nic·est

1. Pleasing and agreeable in nature: had a nice time.
2. Having a pleasant or attractive appearance: a nice dress; a nice face.
3. Exhibiting courtesy and politeness: a nice gesture.
4. Of good character and reputation; respectable

Well, on the surface the word sounds 'nice' but then, I never ever want anyone to label or call me nice. Nice is the word one uses when trying to breakup with someone (and trying to spare their feelings)

"My dear darling.... I just have to tell you... it is me, not you... you are a nice person. It is all my fault, I am not right for you. I am sure there is someone nice out there for you"

Damn...How I hate to hear those lines. It is so degrading and irritating... What does one means that a person is nice? A person is nice but not good enough for him or her. It is quite perplexing when I know its 'official' definition but then understand too well its common usage. To me, being nice is when people are implying that you are too ordinary, too common, not special etcetera, etcetera... and I can go on and on...

Well, how do one break up with another. My awful suggestion is just tell the truth. "I am so sorry, you are not THE ONE.... Goodbye". At least if someone say that to me I will not be as crushed as if some one starts the sentence with "Lynn, you're a nice girl...blah..blah..blah"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Here by me

Been listening to this song past few days

"And everything I have in this world
And all that I’ll ever be
It could all fall down around me.
Just as long as I have you,
Right here by me."

taken from 'Here by me - by 3 Doors Down'

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Siam Reap, gateway to an ancient city (Part Two)

3rd November 2007

Woke up pretty early and had breakfast at the hotel.Then off we went with Mr Sunpreap to Angkor Wat.Entrance fees were USD20 per person. We followed the plan Mr Thean had discussed with us last night, therefore driving past Angkor Wat (will keep that for the last- when the light is good)

We then entered Angkor Thom through the Southern Gate. For those who fancy an Elephant Ride you can get one ere. We were mobbed by kids selling travel books at a fraction of the market price. A sucker I was I bought the “Book Guides: Ancient Angkor by Micheal Freeman”. It was only USD 7 for two (that was equvlent to RM 3.3 x 3.5 = RM11.55 per book); it explains about the sites and it’s atractions. The Lonely Planet Guide to Cambodia was only USD4….wow… and the quality was quite good.

I was so happy as the place gives me the opportunity to practice photogaphy. So many wonderful opportunities. 1st we went to the Bayon Temple. Ah… such elaborate architecture. The king that built it made the temple in three layers, he thought that he was dying soon and thus started with the outer layer 1st and construction on the inner layer only commenced when the outer one is completed. Nevertheless, the King lived long enough to see the whole temple completed.

The whole World Heritage Site is under conservation and repairs thus ongoing works everywhere. We went to several temples and had tremendous fun exploring. I was as usual slow and took photos of almost everything whereas Shanta was spinting here and there. Our driver, who spoke limited English had a hard time keeping track of where we were. He’ll go “Shanta where are you” or “Lynn whre are you?” but was a great company. He was laughing so much at our craziness especially when it comes to quircky photoshots (see more at my flickr). He appointed himself as our bodyguard and vetted through all the stuff the locals were trying to sell us.

Special mention and a must visit is the Ta Phrom where the ancient ruins are engulfed by the forests. Huge trees grow within the walls of the temple and becomes part of the architecture.

Angkor Wat itself is a huge majestic temple surrounded by a huge moat. Repairs were everywhere but one thing that strikes me is that almost all the statues were decapitated. It was as seem that someone had an axe and went on a rampage through the temple.

That night again we went to the Pub Street to have dinner. Found a halal Indian shop, Maharaja, and I ate to my heart’s content. Shanta wanted to have the local beer and we went to watch the Manchaster United match against Arsenal. Shanta being a die hard fan insisted that we watch the first half. However, now I know that the wuss cannot watch live matches, she may die of heart attack.

4th November 2007

Decided to walk to the market place. Both of us wanted to shop….and shop…and that is what we did. They have wonderful silk stuff, bags, bags and bags. I am a sucker for bags. Love bag especially quircky and unique ones. They have lovely silk stuff, silver and wood/stone carvings. Ahhhhh… thank god I brought limited cash. But I did splurge, on a oil painting, it was love at first sight!

After that we went for Khmer massage…. USD 6 for an hour…. I wanted to have photos taken of us being massaged but Shan thought I was a bit cookoo and refused to let me take a photo of her ‘half naked’. After that we took the what seemed like a ‘tut tut’ back to the hotel. As usual traffic was chaotic and scary.

We wanted to visit the war museum but then decided we were too lazy. Ah….next time

For more photos :

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The dreamer in me

I started reading story books when I was very young. Mom used to take us to the Anthonian book store in Brickfields every 3-4 months and I would then get my supply of Enid Blyton. I then progressed to Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Three Investigators and whatever fiction I can lay my hands on. I would read and dream, each word would lit up and form a vision in my mind. Reading is what ignite my imagination to faraway lands, to realms of fantasies and mysteries. It was a world of my own. I was part of the Secret Seven, uttering under my breath the password to get into the clubhouse... I was the genderless member of the Three Investigators, tinkering away in the junkyard, I was...I was...I was......everything, everywhere

I used to read and read without bothering with anything else. Food, homework, household chores were secondary. Mom used to get angry as I will not put a book down until I finished reading it. I remembered once, to get away from the everyone, I climbed into an empty TV box and sat there the whole morning reading. My mother panicked as she thought I had disappeared and I got a nice walloping after that.

And when I discovered the National Library, back then it was at Jalan Raja Laut, I used to spend hours after school reading and searching for new books and authors. That was my heaven on earth.

That was my love. Was.

About 4 years back I stopped reading any fiction. The trigger was when I joined the master's programme. I had to spend most of my hours reading textbook and writing notes that in the end I despise reading. That was so sad.

And now, my imagination, my thoughts feels like a well dried up. Reading is a catalyst of the mind, the soul. Without feeding the mind it cannot thrive. I have to start reading fiction again. Slowly I have to start. The years of abstinence have made my ability to read, to imagine, weak and shallow.

So now, I have to start.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Siam Reap, gateway to an ancient city (Part One)

Everyone can fly, that is the Air Asia motto. With its ongoing promotions I guess I too can fly, anywhere, almost anywhere in Southeast Asia, that is. I was utterly stressed out when Air Asia had its free tickets promotion earlier this year when I 'instructed' Shanta to purchase the tickets online for November. Stress at that point was because, apart from preparing for exams my broadband connection had konked out for a few days.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago, finally the trip. It was a trip we were supposed to plan and go on 8 years back. Shan and I sort of wanted to go on a holiday together when we finished medical school in 1999... So finally......

2nd November 2007
Met up at Sentral at 4 am and boarded the shuttle bus. Bus and flight were uneventful.
Arrived in Siam Reap International airport at 8.05 am. The flight took 2 hours and the time difference was 1 hour. We were picked up by Mr Pallind from the Siam Reap Town Hotel and took us to the hotel. What was confusing was the roads and vehicles.

Some cars were left hand drive, some were right hand (ours were right hand drive), the cars are on the left side of the road. There were so many motorcycles buzzing here and there, if you want to overtake just put on your signal go to the opposite lane and the oncoming traffic would just honk and move slightly out of your way... totally chaotic.

We freshened up and immediately set on the task of discovering the area. The hotel arranged a car to take us around (costed us USD20 for the whole day, anywhere) and off we went to Tonle Sap Lake. It was a huge lake, of which even from the airplane we couldn't see the edges and assumed it was the sea... yeah..yeah...yeah.... my geography sucked.

Anyway, we went on a tour of the lake ( I guess it was just at the edge) costed us USD 10 per person for a boat ride, and our driver Mr Sunpreap and our self appointed guide Mr Pallind followed us. The boat had a very crude navigation system, a rudimetary rudder which sticks out about 3 feet from the back of the boat. We were taken through the Vietnamese water village out to the open 'sea'. Suddenly, the engine spluttered and it stopped middle of nowhere. The boatman was very calm and tinkered with the engine. Meanwhile, small boats congregate around ours, the boat people came to sell us bananas and drinks. All costs "One Dollar, lady". Mr Pallind took pity on a lady with a baby selling bananas.Children of viet descent resting in the boat while mom tries to sell to tourists bananas

Playing and frolicking in the water

Mom and child

Then we realised, there was nothing wrong with the boat, he purposely stop to give the opportunity for the boat people to sell us stuff. We turned back and then stopped at a floating gift shop...

After that, we went to see the West Baray, a water reservoir built in the 11th Century. It was massive and is a testament of the engineering wonders of the ancient civilisation. Many of the locals tourists were frolicking in the waters with huge tyre tubes but I had to refrain. I brought only ONE pair of pants (which I was wearing) and a pair of shorts.
Having coconut drink while resting in the hammockGrilled crows...heheheh

We had lunch by the Baray, a local lunch. Grilled fish (of all kinds), pheasants (perhaps it was a crow), some frogs... I just ate the fish but Shan had a fun time trying all the others, and it did looked yummy. These stalls had resting areas for us to eat and also hammocks for anyone to rest after having food. I guess we were the first few non locals eating there as we invited a few stares from the regulars.

After that we headed back to the hotel. The plan was initially to rest for a while and then head to the ancient ruins for a sunset view but alas, after not sleeping the whole night before and traveling the whole day I knocked out and only woke up at 8pm. We met up with Mr Thean, the local driver who helped to arranged out rooms and went off the sample the nightlife at the pub street.