Saturday, February 28, 2009

When we have no sunrise, we make do....

Before I go on describing the wonderful relics of the ancient world in Java, I wanna say : I’M TIRED!! I’ve forgotten how bloody exhausting it is for us doctors working in a big state hospital as I left general hospitals for 2 years, safely ensconced in the comfort of DC. I was so sleep deprived post-call today that I dropped into a semi-comatose state almost immediately after I hit the sack. This sleepyhead woke up 5hours later in mid-evening feeling a bit groggy but definitely more functional. I need to get used to sleeping only half or 1 hour again. Serious…

Oh, back to my fun vacation. Day 2 and 3 was mostly spent at Borobudur which is around 50km away from Jogjakarta. We can either take a public bus or hire cars to take us this entire village…as usual, we choose the least hassle method of all, which is renting a big Innova with a nice driver called Made (we called him Uncle Muddy!)

Uncle Muddy is pretty cool and helped us a lot. He picked wonderful restaurants for us, including one at a pretty little art gallery near perambanan. I think you guys shud check it out if u r there…they served a very, very mean dish of chumi-chumi (a.k.a teriyaki cuttlefish) It was awesome…I know LCS is in love with that dish.

Anyhow, went to Boro almost at late evening amidst the ongoing drizzle. Everything is extra-verdant and green after a downpour, thus we checked into Manohara Hotel in a very good mood.

In fact, I highly recommend Manohara if you have a bit of moolah and you intend to watch sunrise from Boro. Manohara is only 5 minutes away from the foot of the temple complex and the lay-out and d├ęcor was superb. I love open-concept design with a lot of natural ventilation, tropical plants & flowers and wooden architecture.

We spent the night planning the rest of the trip. In case you don’t know, the fun in backpacking is the detailed planning during the trip itself, thus adding an element of surprise and last-minute excitement. We intend to go explore Borobudur, Mendut before climbing up to the highest village in Java (villages of Dieng Plateau).

However, sunrise at Boro was…disappointing. I guess we were there during the rainy weather and so we couldn’t see the exact sun rising. The moment the warmth from the sun hit the cold air from the ground, we had a thick mist enveloping the whole complex. In a way, it was very mystical and peaceful, not to mention cooling and refreshing.

We bumped into a group of Buddhist climbing up with a monk on our way to breakfast. After a big buffet breakfast dined al-fresco, we continued our jaunt around the temple, busy snapping pictures away.

I guess it’s worth visiting Borobudur if you haven’t done Angkor Wat as I’ve no plans to visit Cambodia for the moment. I just hope that you all will have better luck in catching the supposedly brilliant sunrise at Boro. We didn’t…..

Despite not catching sunrise, I guess the brilliant blue sky really contrasted very well with the volcanic stones and it offered a completely different mood from the misty morning. The biggest advantage to staying next to Boro is that we avoided the big crowds almost all the time. Awesome!

Next stop, an actual sunrise atop the mountains of Java and the ultra-mysterious, prehistorical temples of Dieng Plateau.

P.S. : See....this is the best that we could get from the sunrise. After this photo, it was all mist!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I've been quiet because of this....

For those of you who have been wondering about the sudden disappearance of the CPD..wait no more. I'm back for my therapy session a.k.a blogging about my life. It has been a wonderful week and it started a few months ago when SH and I started the ball rolling about another backpacking trip to somewhere in Southeast Asia.

Of all the places, we decided to go to Java..specifically Jogjakarta and Bandung. I don't know the mechanics behind this random decision but we are really keen to go SHOPPING at Bandung while at the same time, we want to visit some cultural legacy in one of the oldest civilization in this part of Asia. So we planned to land in Jogja and leave via Bandung..bagging in Borobudur, Perambanan, Dieng Plateau and some volcanoes along the way.

Somehow, the group inflated to 6 fun people and the excited gang flew via Air Asia to Jogja, the town of 2Bs : Batik and Borobudur. Stayed at a backpacker's hostel (Delta Homestay) which has a brilliant little pool and garden but very forgettable room and freezing shower! Anyway, the Prawirotaman road area has very quiet mini-hotels which is a good base for exploring Jogja if we are not in a rush. Anyway, we managed to get an overly priced dinner at via-via cafe (which served very small portions for an angmoh place) after booking a big Innova for our exertion from day 2 onwards.

By day 2, we were all ready by early morning to see one of the oldest Hindu temples in Indonesia which was destroyed by an earthquake not long ago. We were anticipating a lot of fallen stones, broken nose (on statues, I mean) etc but it turned out to be very nicely restored indeed...

Despite the rainy weather, the sun was shining very brightly and we happily explored the restored temples by feet. Apparently, there are 3 major temples representing the three gods in Hinduism with their 3 chariots. Pretty fascinating stuff considering the limited technology back in those days.

Coming up at Borobudur!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A few shades darker

Logging in from a few thousand metres above sea level at the little town of wonosobo....

It feels wonderful to visit another Unesco World Heritage site. This time, I had the chance to gawk at the wonders of Perambanan and Borobudur. Of course, the highlight and major drawcard of Central Java is the colossal Borobudur and this majestic wonder is amazing and serene.

Anyway, wanna go off and enjoy some local Javanese cuisine again...till I upload my fotos, i'll leave this blog in peace.

To be continue....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

POP QUIZ 1 : For those of you interested in X-rays, guess what's abnormal in here? Just sth to show that I am interested in my work since I hardly blog about the nitty-gritty stuff that I do daily. Have fun!

Boring medical jargons and images aside, lets see what happened on my extremely busy week. Somehow, the exact moment I am posted here, the tiny city of Ipoh is thrust into national and international headlines. A few of my friends asked me whether I have seen spectacular things happening around and inside the hospital. My answer is a resounding…NO

I mean, this is Ipoh at night. 9 pm on a Friday night. Have you seen any town more peaceful? With the blue lights, it felt like driving in Twilight Zone isn't it? Btw, please pardon silly shaky left hand..i was trying to drive and shoot at the same time!

Other than the nuisance of roads closure, there are hardly much exciting and dramatic turns of events. I guess the drama was mostly in the state assembly, palace and etc while the demonstrations were mostly at night. Therefore, don’t believe everything you see on tv, kids! Anyway, chicken little me was safely ensconced at home or busy working my ass off in the hospital (now that’s what I called dramatic, judging at my thoroughly eventful calls so far) to really go out and witness the aforesaid events.

Anyway, Friday the 13th, I mean, today was a normal, seriously ordinary day for most of us. Other than my heel detaching from my shoes while walking during grand rounds, nothing untoward happened. In fact, my colleagues cheekily commented that I must be starting a new fashion trend judging at how my heel clacked each time I heel-strike. The heel has detached from the sole of the shoe halfway (kind of odd but at least I could still walk) and I was unaware for it until they made the comment.

As I was too stubborn to abandon the grand rounds halfway (my boss was reviewing all the cases in the surgical wards), I noisily walked from 2nd to 7th floor, then across the wards, followed by down to 3rd floor, across the ward again and finally down to ground floor before making my way to the car to rescue my poor feet with another pair of sensible, perfectly-whole shoes. I know my orthopedic friends must be cringing at how we girls (especially yours truly) abuse our feet. I vowed not to wear high-heels to work in Ipoh anymore..the lifts are hardly working as fast as I want!!

On the other hand…two good news! For the first-time ever, I assembled my own furniture. TA-DAAAAA….. This is what I bought from good-old IKEA and with the help of ever-handy PS, we managed to set this up in my room. Actually, I think PS did a lot of the harder work…cheers mate! I’M still a bit pathetic but I am getting there on my furniture-making skills..there might be a long-lost, dormant talent in me yet to be discovered. :-P Oh yeah, we set up the table, not the chair!

Furthermore, I found my CAMERA. Oh yes, oh yes….I was jumping up and down in fits of ecstasy as I held my little, old camera in my hands. I mean, it’s not exactly the most expensive or high-tech camera, it’s just a digital handheld camera that has been with me for ages, but I am one hell of a sentimental girl. I don’t let go of things I love easily. I thought I misplaced or dropped the little thing and was frowning each time I tried searching for it. Ah, I can finally take pics from my own little Ixus again.

Anyway, alls well that ends well. Have a lovely weekend ahead and Happy V-day!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Glimmer of Hope

I have a dream that one day my four children would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the continent of their character” - Martin Luther King

For most of living in Malaysia, we are reminded of our race, our skin colour and our faith each day of our lives. Most forms from inane ones such as a credit card application form to highly-important ones like a passport application require us to fill in our race, religion, etc. The racial divide has been blurred slightly during the recent elections but not long after that, it resurfaced. Even living heroes like a former prime minister, stands up for his race very vocally every now and then. I don’t blame him. He came from a different generation, an era removed from ours.

What’s more surprising and disturbing is the voice of this generation, albeit certain pockets of the community. The majority, i.e the moderate voices, are being drowned by the minority radicals. The radicals are yelping for the blood of whoever that is against their ideology. The bloodhounds are all out there…sniffing and eradicating any resistance thus ignoring the rule of law and common sense in eliminating differing views. They speak loudly, because they have the backing of those with money and in power currently. What a sad day indeed…

I am praying for a leader to rise above the current hoopla, to bring change in the days of mayhem and fiasco. I know that he is definitely not a messiah, for my Messiah came, conquered all physical forces and was resurrected 2000 years ago.

However, I am praying for an intelligent, rational, environmentally-friendly, fair, God-fearing person who will speak up for all Malaysians. This person is a role-model and impeccable in judgment and character, truly signifying unity and wisdom.

I am glad that somewhere on Earth, there is a glimmer of hope….

For that glimmer of hope....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Summary of my first week in HRPBI

I’m back to city life again! Yes…putting me into the city of limestone and chicken noodles after DC was like immersing myself from lukewarm water to spicy hot soup. There are just so many things to do here, especially when it comes to work. I’ve not heard of doing morning rounds until 2 p.m. or morning clinics until 3 pm for the past 2 years. It reminded me of my house officer days of yesteryears. I guess I was slowing down to a different pace and its time to push up the intensity.

My first few days were filled with upper GI bleed and severe hepatobiliary sepsis. We were inundated with many patients vomiting blood, passing out bloody or blackish stool, jaundice and fever and all the lethal combination that we see once or twice a day in DC.

In this place, it’s almost once or twice every 4 hours and as a result, the wards are perpetually in overflow state. I really pity the patients being crammed into such inhumane small spaces but we had no choice as most of them are still ill and not fit for discharge. There is a serious need for more wards in Ipoh as people are flocking to general hospitals due to the economy downturn.

Personally, I don’t mind the work as I enjoy it so much. All I need is adequate feeding and so far, my meals have been out of sync. We often advise patients to take regular, small meals but we are the biggest culprits, often being dehydrated, missing out on meals, eating at odd hours plus eating cold, oily and unhealthy food due to the poor quality of food in hospital cafeteria, etc.

Well, the best part about this place is that I’m staying with people I like, i.e PS and Mich. Both of them have been great in welcoming me to their nice condo and I think it’s going to be easier for me to readjust back to Ipoh with these two cool people around. Not only that, it’s easier for me to plan to go back KL as there are so many doctors originating from KL, thus we could carpool back on any given weekends. Hooray!
P.S : HRPBI is the name of my new hospital. Go figure...

Amazing turns of events

This is the land I am staying in now. The city dotted with pretty limestone hills, calm brooks, tree-lined boulevards, elegant colonial-era shophouses and charming little parks.

It is also a state with a major political upheaval of gigantic proportion which occurred in the past few days. The unfolding drama could rival any Greek tragedy as people of this state grapple with one huge question : Is it fair and legal to have a legally voted goverment dissolved due to the actions of 4 people who were elected because of the parties they represented? And these 4 people have openly did the Judas in front of the entire nation in this quiet little city.

Back to the feelings of the grassroots in Ipoh...I could say that most people I've met in the past few days are displeased with the current issue. The overall sentiment is high and generally, people are in distaste. Even the online blogging community couldn't help but voice their displeasure.

We wouldn't know what to expect in the next few months as there are people who are capable of doing anything to gain power. It is so disheartening and saddening. This further reinforce the need for strong, noble leadership with moral and integrity in our nation.

In the meantime, let us pray for this country as we aspire to be a matured democratic nation, not a place filled with shady deals, broken dreams and fractured community.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Sounds weird coming from the hyperactive cilipadi girl but I am tired. It's not because of the exercising (yeah, alternating running and swimming every day is cool and I love the workout) but I am tired because of sudden change in patient load. My body was attuned to the quietness and pace in DC so much so that the transitional period here is quite demanding mentally. It doesn't help that I have some dyspepsia (since 7 year old!) and as a result, I have been popping in PPIs due to the erratic meals.

Not only that, busy preparing for my upcoming trip and need to study for a lot of things here. Juggling work and study is not easy at all. I wish I could choose either one but no one says chasing the dream of being a specialist is easy.

Till I go home and sleep a lot..Ciao!

P.S: What is it happening to Perak? Politically-wise? Double sigh.....