Monday, June 29, 2009

Aftermath of a tiring call...

On-calls in Malaysian general hospital are generally very taxing on health and hazardous to social life. In a gung-ho attempt to salvage my sanity and physical state, I arranged a full weekend in KL after my call and guess what? I was exhausted.

I took almost 2 days to recover from the mayhem in the theatre on Friday. The non-stop activity was excellent for my learning/training but I found out the hard way about some gospel truth in (surgical) life. Firstly, there are probably some mites in the OT doctor’s room because I accidentally fell asleep for 1.5hours there and I had bites (it’s not what you are thinking, ok?) all over my neck. Although I heal quickly (by Mon it was almost gone), its darn itchy and definitely insects in origin. Could be from the woodmites or cats' fleas..though i hate to think that pets are roaming around in the OT. Banish that thought!

Secondly, McD can change lives. Literally. Without it, those of us stuck in the OT would probably perish in hunger and hypoglycaemia. Thirdly, the aircond in the OT can be so darn cold. So cold that at 4 am, I wore 3 layers of scrubs and still feel like I am in the freezer.

I mean, the day started well. Breakfast was lavish and really good by our already top-notched Fri-morning surgical-breakfast standards. Home-cooked green bean soup, garlic bread, cakes from deli garden, kuih-muih, fried mihun…it was mouth-watering and wonderful. However, things just go into fast motion the moment the morning rounds finished. A few operations & several light-years later, I was saying hi to the Saturday oncall team and zooming back to KL. Thankfully, I didn't have to drive down!

The modus operandi was trying to cram everything within my agenda into a precious weekend back at the home. Looking in retrospect, I think I was quite successful except for ditching PS carbo-loading plans before the SCIKLM. Sorry, gal…too sleepy and tired d

Lunch at Vietnamese Kitchen with the Foo family was a good prelude to my much-needed afternoon nap. Thereafter, Saturday was all about sleeping. Sunday was the really productive week as I zoomed to church, had a good lunch with family and went to the grandest wedding dinner (for me ler) this year….

Today went pretty well as well…as I watched the cool, 'life-changing' and fun Transformers 2 and had a superb lunch at PHOP (the pancakes blows my mind). Guess now I have fodder for my next blog…I can’t wait to talk about T2!

Monday, June 22, 2009

One sleepy,grumpy cilipadi

In a 'grumpy' mood today..short on food, low on sleep and lack of water past few days. Its a wonder that pimples have yet to break out all over my might start anytime soon! I foresee my hair becoming like Hermione Granger's and my vision as bad as Harry Potter soon. All those staring into tiny structures in the middle of the night, trying to stop bleeding vessels, etc,etc in the OT is tiring.

Somehow, I love the OT though. Weird right? Put me in there, and all the tiredness dissipates (of course it comes back the moment I change out of scrubs). Its like a love-hate the job, hate the sleeplessness...especially at 4 am when I am about to open up another abdomen for some ill patient. Time waits for no one u know..particularly for patients with one foot in the grave. We will try our best to 'yank' them out! No matter what time of the day!

In the meantime, let me yank myself away from the computer so that I could get some sleep.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A typical week in land of beansprouts and chicken

My housemates and I believe in doing unusual stuff in our daily lives. You know, like we specialize in eating non-local food, be it in Ipoh or KL. I've lost count of our erratic K-food and J-food obsession which seems carried on to S'pore too. However, this is an account of a typical week in Ipoh.

First thing in the morning, the girl who dates 'running' will go out for at least 1 hour with 'running' while I doze on. I wake up before she reappears so that the toilet time is equally distributed.

Then, we all rush off to work. Of course there is always lunchtime as we are not anorexic! Then afternoon means more ward work before zooming back home for some physical exercise...running alternating with swimming depending on the weather. Finally, the reward is a good dinner. As you can see from above, PS current fixation is on bibimbap and I seriously don't mind as it's quite a delicious, healthy dish actually. So, we have sampled quite a number of food from K-restaurants in Ipoh Garden East area as you can see from my previous posts...

Ipoh at night is like this. Sedated, almost deserted. Nothing like the DUN :-P So peaceful right? So dun cha worry about visiting or investing in this place. It's really not Kabul or Karachi....

Possibly, the only thing that resembles partying in Ipoh are the mealtimes in my department.
Notice that the guys in surgical love their grey attire. It's like everyone is colour-coordinating with each other! I'm glad I'm not in the XY category because I have only 2 grey items in my wardrobe unlike the machas in surgical dept.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Leftovers of the Imperialistic Heydays 1

Intend to do a photo essays on buildings in Asia and what better place to start than with Singapore since I was spotted there not long ago. Of course initially I wanted to start with my dearest birthplace KL but I realize that it's so hazy recently that I cannot even see my own toes! So no gallivanting around the city centre until the weather improves....

First, we start with the front facade of the Victoria Concert Hall, housing the Singapore Symphonic Orchestra. No, we didn't go in and we didn't stop long. All I did was to snap a photo of it and cabut lari!

One of my random shots while I'm about to cross the road. This is Stamford House, which historically was one of the major shopping centres in Singapore. Of course, we now have Vivocity, Ngee Ann City, Tangs, Heeren Mall, Far East Mall, Novena Square, etc, etc....

Fullerton Hotel. This former General Post Office has morphed into a very posh, exclusive 5-star hotel smack in the middle of prime land in Singapore. I think the bronze statues of kids outside this hotel, jumping into the Singapore River, is kinda cute.

This is not Salisbury or Notre Dame. It is CHIJMES (yeah, you are supposed to pronounce it!) It used to be a Catholic convent and quarters but now converted to a chic, outdoorsy eatery and lifestyle hang-out. As usual, we snap and left...didn't stop to sample the delicacies, but I am sure that someone out there have blogged about the food in CHIJMES right? So I just wanna add that I love the beautiful symmetry and wonderful restoration of this 'little' convent.

This colourful building with huge banners of Emperor Kang-Xi is the Asian Civilization Museum. We, both being typical Asians, actually came to this museum on Friday but on learning that admission is free on weekends, we decided to drop by again on Saturday when its FREE admission. The only problem was was totally packed. The place was absolutely swamped by a huge would find the equivalent crowd in MidValley GSC movie theatre! We managed to squeeze ourselves into one of the smaller galleries but missed the interesting KangXi exhibition. I hope it'll be there in August after my exams. So the lesson of the day is : Don't be a cheapskate like me!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My favourite shop this year

I know that there is an inner nerd in me. When I was a little girl, as soon as I learnt how to read and write, I love all types of stories and books. Most of all, I love reading about natural science, discovery and inventions. As you see, I am not a science museum curator or a biologist-conservationist...but who knows, one day I might be running a science or medical learning centre, all willing to share life-changing facts to willing visitors.

Thus its no wonder that I went to Vivo City and literally fell in love with a shop there. It's called the National Geographic store and its a wonder trove of knicks-knacks from all over the world and packed with many types of things fit for a would-be explorer. Just my cup of tea. It's like a shop pretending to be a museum in a shopping centre. Ah, the idiosyncrasies down south.

There are impressive-looking Gore-tex suits and equipments meant for keeping our body temperature stable in harsh conditions, a extreme-cold freezing chamber that measures how fast we lose heat, many geographical tools and gadgets and a lot of furnitures from lesser known parts of the world. Not to mention, a lot of mind-boggling paintings and tools available for viewing or for sale.

Of course, we could get their world-famous posters in this place. Of course the original cost a lot lot more but reproductions are better than nothing, isn't it? There is even a huge drift-wood horse/giraffe right at the entrance which was already sold to some discerning collector!

So for those of you hanging around Singapore with a lot of time and cash to burn and a very curious mind, do drop by Vivo City for this very amusing and interesting shop.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A run, a car and plenty of food

The adidas Sundown Marathon has gained popularity among many runners, especially for those around this region. After all, how many races offer a whopping 84 km ultramarathon? Utterly crazy, super-duper extremism isn't it? However I've found out something totally out of this world recently for there are also some other legendary races in the ultramarathon category, like this race that has such a bad-ass name, it scares you just by its name : Badwater Ultramarathon.

Ah...Badwater Ultramarathon : recognized globally as "the world's toughest foot race," this legendary event pits up to 90 of the world’s toughest athletes—runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers—against one another and the elements. Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA in temperatures up to 130F (55c), it is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.

The start line is at Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in North America at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at Mt. Whitney Portal at 8360' (2533m). The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000’ (3962m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700’ (1433m) of cumulative descent. Whitney Portal is the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States.

I'm just glad that all I did was a mere 10 km 'run' ( I was more of a jogger actually, considering my timing!). No way I'm ever going to run Badwater..maybe I could 'encourage' my super-runner roomie PS to do it though. that's a very interesting thought that I could, in a sublime way, insinuate to my crazy-about-running chum.

Night running aside, there are actually a lot of interesting things we found in Singapore. For example, Fiat has a pink car just for Barbie. And in it, there are a lot of Barbie dolls. It was P. Hilton's dream come true. Literally, saccharine sweet and all that's nice ain't it? Gulp....

We also found a lot of sweet delights scattered in shopping centres throughout the island. I paraphrase that. PS found a lot of wonderful, sweet stuff all over Singapore while I busy myself with taking pictures and rolling my eyes.

Somehow, I suddenly realized that no matter what I talk about, I will end up with pictures of food in any of my posts. Maybe I should rename this blog into Dream, Changes and Munchies. I'm also strongly suspecting whether we run because we eat, or we eat because we run.

Either way, I guess Singapore do offer some gastronomic wonders up her sleeves, albeit slightly costly. Of course I wish I could run faster, longer, better but that's another story isn't it? Multitasking is not a very easy job as this person has a plenty of interests and a lot of distractions in life!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The crazy, productive weekend with CPD and

I'm still grumpily nursing a very sore throat while typing this. Of all things, I was wondering whether I actually caught the H1N1 virus while gallivanting down south. week of lounging around at home, studying for the EXAMS and going online sounds good as I go in and out of fever. Somehow, my amazing immune system kicked in and I actually came out of the acute phase of illness...aaargh. There goes my free holiday!

Talking about holiday, the short break to S'pore was about shopping, eating and running. Literally, in that order of importance! Sightseeing was secondary as it was the GSS (Great Singapore Sales) I've almost lost count of the number of shopping centres we visited. It was amazing that I escaped with only 1 new dress and a lot of freebies from the run.

Well, the run. I've decided to dedicate one special post to the adidas Sundown Marathon so I'll keep it short here. Let's just say that I should have trained well and be a proper runner, instead of a jogger. My muscles are still screaming in pain as I vow to embark on proper training for the SHAPE run in Putrajaya next month. Ouch, ouch...

The walking before and after the race was good though. We went to a lot of important landmarks, like the Esplanade, Singapore River (and the walk), Fullerton Hotel,Asian Civilization Museum, Merlion and Singapore Flyer (but we were too cheapskate to actually go onto the Flyer)

Along the way, we learnt that there are no such thing as motorcycles, rubbish or illegal hawker stalls in this place. However, cult groups do keep a visible presence by public demonstrations and I've never caught two girls wearing the same dress.'s like shopping is a national pastime and being fashionable is second nature to all Singaporean ladies. Well done, gals!

Coming up next, more stories about the race and more interesting stuff PS and I discovered on this tiny island....