Quote of the day

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A: They treat us worse than a dog. Work everyday, no need "cuti" wan.

B: What is worse than a dog?

A: Houseman lah!
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Dear "Ah Poh",

How are you doing up there? I have finally graduated, you know. "Ah Mah" came to my convocation. She looks happy. I couldn't be more happy to have her there with daddy and mommy to witness me receiving my MD in my "square-hat". I wished you were here too.

I have started my housemanship just recently in a place far away from home. It has been difficult, especially to be far from home. I felt alone. And I am scared.

Honestly, I don't see the glory of the title I am carrying. I am sure this come with a prize to pay but a lot of times I do wonder if I have enough to earn it through.

The ward can be frustrating or even depressing sometimes. I am sure you know it. I hated the beeping sounds of the monitors. But I hate it even more when the sound goes flat. It makes me think of you, "Ah Poh". I felt I could have done more. And it hurts whenever I think of that.

It doesn't take long to hate my job. "Ah Poh", I am sorry if I have let you down. I am not sure why I felt this way on "the passion" I am supposed to love. I do not know why and I am sorry, "Ah Poh".

You know, a colleague told me the other day that, we may not do what we like but we have to like what we are doing.

I am trying and I am learning to. Perhaps all I need is time?

I know no matter what, all you want is for me to be happy. Are you happy up there, "Ah Poh"?

I hope to be happy too. I promise you, I'll try.

"Ah Poh", I may not be as great as others, and I may not be as smart as others,... but please help me to know that if I am in this, let me at least be a good one too.

Miss you lots,...

To sing or to reason?

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Is it easier to sing your worries away then to reason them away?

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The forgotten

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I want a rain shower.


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The word "die" or "death" or "mati" in Malay, has always been a well established taboo for the livings. We try to avoid using it. And we too, naturally avoid (facing) it.

I've always thought that patients have the greatest fear over this word. It is the-word-that-shall-not-be-said in front of patients or their family member unless it has became the adjective for the subject. So, we avoid using the word at all cost. When we really had to use it, we try to substitute the word with "past away", "expired", or "meninggal dunia" (in Malay).

But, I noticed patients do use it. Sometimes, more bluntly than I thought they would.

Scenario 1: @ the Nephrology clinic

Me: Hi, pakcik. I'm a medical student. If it is alright, I would like to ask you a few questions regarding your health before you go in to see the doctor. Is it ok?

Patient: Boleh. Tanyalah. Apa yang nak ditanya? Saya pun sudah nak mati.
(Can. Ask lah. What do you want to ask? I am going to die anyway.)

*froze*stun* ?!!!

Patient: Sudah mati dah.
(I've died)

Me: Pakcik, jangan cakap begitu. Kena bersabar dan berubat lah ya.
(No, uncle. Don't say so. You'll have to be patient and take treatments)

Patient: Memang pakcik sudah nak mati. Tak mati buat apa.
(I'm already dying. What else can I do if not dead?)

Me: Tak, pakcik... pakcik kena gagah.
(No, uncle. You have to be strong)

Patient sneered.

Me: Pakcik, kencing manis berapa lama dah ya?
(Uncle, how long have you been having diabetes?)

Patient: Lama dah.
(Long time already)

Me: Agak-agak berapa lama? Lebih 5 tahun, ke? 10 tahun ke? 20 tahun ke?
(About how long would that be? 5 years? or maybe 10 or 20 years maybe?)

Patient: Tak ingat dah. Dah nak mati ingat buat apa?
(I do not remember. I am already going to die. Why do I still need to remember all these?)

Me: Pakcik, tak boleh kata gitu ya. Sekarang ni kan duduk sini nak tunggu tengok doktor.
(Please do not say that, uncle. Now you are sitting here to wait to see doctor, aren't you?)

Patient: Kencing manis ada. Sakit semua ada belaka. Mata buta dah. Kena cuci pinggang. Isteri lari dah. Anak hisap dadah.... Tak mati buat apa
( I have diabetes. I'm blind. I have all sort of illness. I need dialysis. My wife ran away. My son do drugs...What is the purpose then if not to die?)

By that time, I really felt I want to "mati" already. Not only I am unable to proceed with my clerking and stuck to his deadly words. But also the way he is affecting the crowd. This uncle kept announcing to the whole nephro clinic whose patients are mostly diabetics, to die! And not to forget, shoving down these words to his son, who stood right beside him.

Hearing these words, "Pakcik, i think you can let me "mati" (die) first."
(Bang head).

Scenario 2: @ the GP clinic

Doctor: Hello, pakcik. (shake hand) How have you been lately?

Patient: Tak baik lah doktor.
(Not good, doctor)

Doctor: Apa masalahnya? (with the utmost gentleness and concerning stare)
(What is the problem, uncle?)

Patient: Saya rasa pening, doktor.
(I feel giddy, doctor)

Doktor: Memusing gitu?
(As if the room is turning round like that?)

Patient: Ya. Rasa macam nak rebah.
(Yes. I also feel like fainting)

Doctor: Iya?...Mata gelap gitu ke?
(Is that so? Does your vision turn black?)

Patient: Tak, tapi bila memusing gitu rasa tak boleh nak bangun langsung.
Doktor, rasanya saya dah nak mati lah ya? Inilah tanda-tandanya?
(No, but when I feel really giddy I can not even wake up. I have to just lie on the bed.
Doctor, I feel that I am going to die, am I? These are signs, right?)



Scenario 3: @ Medical ward

MO: Makcik, tekanan darah anak tadi turun rendah sangat. Jadi kami sudah cuba untuk menaikkan semula tekanan darah anak. Tapi nampaknya tekanan darah masih rendah dan tak molek lagi.
(Madam, your daughter's blood pressure has crashed just now and we are trying our best to increase the pressure again. But her blood pressure is still not picking up and it is not looking too good)

Patient's mother: Jadi sudah mati lah?
(That means she is dead right?)

MO did not admit or agree to her statement. Instead, he tried explaining to the patient's mother again that they are still trying to resuscitate her child.

Patient's mother: Nak mati dah lah? (with her voices trailing off...)
(She is going to die then, right?)

MO struggled hard to look into her eyes. He just returned the 'makcik' a plain stare and a gulp.

Soon after, the team stopped the chest compressions. The curtain was opened. Nobody said a word.

It was momentarily very silent with the exception of the noise of a paper tear to get the flat ECG reading off from the defrib machine.

The makcik walked away from the MO and went hugging her daughter in tears.

Her daughter was dead.

Sometimes, I wonder...who exactly are the ones who are more fearful of "mati"?
Patients? or us?

I wish to move forward already

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It has been nice


my love for it is still there


I wish to move forward already.

Scene of car accident

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My nephew seems to have inborn talent for film direction. Apparently he set up and staged every thing, from placing over-turned car to lying at the side.

Will someone call 911 please? haha...

Drawings make me happy!

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Manado - Day 3

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So, after dipping into the sea, we went all the way up hill. Most of our times were spent on travelling in Day 3 of our Manado trip actually because we went from Bunaken to Manado. From Manado to Tomohon. Then from Tomohon to Tondano. And finally from Tondano back to Tomohon again.

Rewind back again and let me explain...

We left Bunaken Island in the late morning after breakfast. Upon reaching Manado, we took a ' 'mickrolet' (the blue van) to "Karombasan" bus station. From there, we board on a public bus with a Rp 6,000 each to Tomohon. So, all in all it cost only about Rp 8,000 for about an hour of bus ride to the city of flower, Tomohon.

The air along the journey gets cooler and cooler as we go higher and higher. I don't see much flowers but air was definitely fresher and refreshing in Tomohon. The first thing we did when we arrive Tomohon was LUNCH!!! Lunch was at "Sineleyan", which is just a junction away from the turning into the bus stop. It is along the mainroad, on your left if you are travelling from Manado. This restaurant is surrounded by some sort of a pond or lake. And just adjacent to them is another pond for public fishing.

At that time, they only have Ikan Mas and we ordered few fishy in different types of cooking. Ikan Mas Goreng is definitely a must order! The rest are so so. The greens as usual they have kangkong only (as in the green leafy type of vege). Come to think of it, I think the whole Manado only serve kangkong, nothing but kangkong.

Anyway, lunch was a satisfaction. And yeah, something to beware of:

This dish may look timid and simple BUT it is very, VERY SPICY!!! All the small, little green chilli padi will guarantee you an emergency need for iced water.

Restaurant's environment and food was really not bad. The most uncomfortable thing is that, the water and waste goes directly back into the pond. All the hand wash detergent, the remains of food (including fish bones) + tissues were all thrown conveniently back into the pond. The moment those wastes were flung off from above, all the fishes below will swarm towards the shower.

And I do not even want to know where did our fishes in the lunch come from.

After lunch, we head towards Tondano by "mikrolet". Then from there we switched to another "mikro" to "Remboken" to see the lake. The route was bumpy but was breathtaking. The air was chilly and we have to go through padi fields surrounded by volcanic mountains.

And the lake was really BIG. So big that it looks like a sea!

We were also told that there is this tourist spot which has hot spring water for bathing. And that was how it looks from the outside.

This tourist spot was full of people of course since it is a long holiday for their country. We did not manage to get any hot bath or anything. The place appeared run down.

We just walked around, saw some boats.

Saw some trees.

And saw some other boat. Plus some really old, second-hand-looking-Winnie-the-Pooh-mascot and a pool filled with people and kids, rather than water.

Initially we thought of putting a night in Tondano or Remboken but at the end we decided that we should at least go back to Tomohon. Well, you know why.

This so called tourist area is located really deep inside. You can almost lie down on the road for half an hour, without cars passing. The main transportation deep in this place called Remboken is Ojek. They are motorcylists which will transport you around like a taxi. But of course, only one passenger per motorcycle.

After much waiting and travelling. We finally made it back to Tomohon. Yeay! We were saved! :)

We stayed in this place called, El Lokon Inn. It is new, comfy, clean and feels like home. But, it is not cheap, Rp 300, 000 per night. I mean relatively speaking since my trips to Indonesia had always been the low budget type.

It is a double storey inn, run by a couple but owned by some other people living in Jakarta. The couple was really nice and helpful. We were the only guests that night and it totally feels like home.

Watching television after dinner.

And the best thing about this place is, we had a magnificient view of Mount Lokon, the highest mountain there which is still an active volcano.

This is the quiet, early morning, street of Jl. Opo Worang, where the inn is located, overlooking the gigantic volcano.

Next stop: Tomohon-Bukit Kasih

All I want to do

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I have always loved seaside.

Life is oftenly overwhelming and can sometimes be mind crippling.

When I see places like these, I realized all I want to do is just to sit by the seaside everyday.

Doing nothing but staring at the big rocks,

facing the sea,

listening to the oceanic melody,

enjoying the gentle touch of every single breeze,

staring up the coconut tree,

or just looking at kids playing in their underpants.

And that is all I want to do.

Can I?

Pictures taken: Kuala Abang, Terengganu
Date: 15/03/2010

Crossing the line

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Crossing the line is no fun, especially knowing that you can never return.

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Find me a square!

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I wonder...

...if there is really any 'fair and square' in the reality?

When 'it' turns into a burden...

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There was this 2 brothers who just got back from a far away land. They lived in an apartment, in the 80th floor.

Upon entering the building, they saw a big sign hung outside the lift saying it is under repair.

And, they decided to go up by stairs.

They started climbing up one flight of stairs after another.

At the 20th floor, they felt the bag weighed them down too much. This elder brother came out with an idea, "These bags are really too heavy. Why don't we leave our bags here first? When the lift is functioning again, we will come and take our bags".

The idea sounded good. Hence, they left their bags there and continued climbing.

After walking up 40 storeys, this younger brother stopped. He sat there, soaked in sweat, panting in hunger for air, refusing to move.

Not wanting to give up, the elder brother encouraged him. "We are almost there. Only 20 floors more. C'mon! We are reaching already. Just a bit more."

The younger brother gave in.

And they continued their journey.

Finally, they reached their unit.


...when they wanted to open their apartment's door, they were shocked!

To their horror, they realized that the house key was not with them!!!

The house key was in their bag, all the way down in the 20th floor.

- The End -

Move! Move! Move!

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With the new year spirit still fresh in all, it is a good time to change into a new skin like how all those shell-creatures or snake do. Shed off the old and stale. Leave it behind and move! Move into a brand new year.

Every new year, most of us will do the same ritual. Good ones, we prayed for it to stay. And we worked for the better. Bad ones, we swore to strip it off. Whatever it is, we all hope we are moving into a better year.

New year or not, many things have taken place all these years. There may be changes in some things but the rest remains the same. Some changed too fast. So fast that we could not even catch up. While others seem frozenly dormant, remaining the same or similar every year.

New year. Changed or same. For the better or worse. We move.

But, are we moving forward? Or are we just moving in circles?

1 Malaysia?

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With so much going about, trying to promote "1 Malaysia", I still could not appreciate the core of this campaign.

What is "1 Malaysia", if we cannot even agree on "1 perkataan" (1 word)?

Will someone enlighten me, please...