Thursday, November 30, 2006

KL International Buskers Fest 2006

i wished very hard that i could to go the Fest, happening in various locations in KL from December 3-10, from 5pm-10pm daily, in Bukit Bintang, One Utama, KL Tower, Times Square and Central Market.

i think there's something romantic about a busker, the reliance on God's given talents, the impromptu performances, the interaction between the spectators and performers, the way it enlivens street life, the way it adds colour to the world at large.

i love having conversations with buskers. i remember my first real life encounter with one - it was in sydney in 2001, and there was an african band playing jamaican reggae with their african tribal drums and instruments. i had a quick conversation with them. apparently they travel the world and earn a living busking, in order to see the world. how cool is that?

i wish i had the courage and time and opportunity to do that - picking grapes in australia, tending sheep in new zealand, farming in chile, harvesting cocaine in colombia, working on a movie set in hollywood, selling hot dogs in a baseball stadium anywhere in the states, working on a whaling ship (and sabotaging all the equipment) in norway, restoring old castles in britain, being a tour guide in egypt, working on the docks in dubai, being a railwayman in india, sweeping the temples of nepal, teaching english in china, teaching english in japan, counselling those internet addicts in south korea.

what a life!!

now will someone please go to the buskers fest and lemme know how it turned out?

what i did for my holidays

i want to tell the world what i did for my holidays -

1. watch Casino Royale, and i wasn't disappointed. Parkour is an interesting sport, and too bad Taiping doesn't have many construction sites for me to run around in.

2. have a hot bath in a bath-tub for one gorgeous blissful heavenly uninterrupted hour. i had peau d'orange skin after that, but who cares.

3. bought and read Paulo Coelho's The Zahir, and bought and read half of Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood. bought Murakami's Underground and Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

4. had breakfast at McDonald's with the newspapers.

5. had breakfast in Taiping with the newspapers.

6. played football, exhaustively. sprained my right ankle, and played disastrously.

7. had dinner with keantee, xenginn, waiseng, alex in midvalley, and spent the night with them in Hotel Istana. no one could stop talking. had breakfast the next day, a leisurely lingering affair.

8. stayed single. haha, what an achievement, huh?? :-)

so what did you do for your holidays?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

holes in my life

i've had the pleasure of wynnee's company for the last 4-5 months this year, while she was on holiday after getting her 1st Class from LSE. while i was doing obgyn and adjusting to life as a working adult, she was at home warming the bed.

not that i was jealous you see, i was perfectly happy to see her every day when i came home, all bleary-eyed and sleepy, after either an afternoon nap or an entire day's sleep. any which way, she's a welcome sight when i get home.

and now she's flown off, back to the UK. she got a job with KPMG London, and she starts in early december. she flew off this morning from penang, a few days earlier, just to settle down in her new pad near Canada Waters, which is in turn near Canary Wharf, which is where she works.

in the City, in one of the biggest accounting firms in the world, managing some of the biggest accounts in the world. she's become someone i only dared to dream about - and that too in my wildest dreams.

but today i wanna say that i will no longer have anyone to banter with, no one to buy me chocolate cakes, no one to steal my Body Shop Community Trade banana body lotion, no one to pester me to download Grey's Anatomy, no one's diaries to play hide-and-seek with.

there's a sister-shaped hole in my life now, and i just want to announce to the world that i love her dearly so.

a blogger's blog

who reads blogs? i mean, really, who reads blogs? the Internet, i read recently, has hit the billion website mark recently, and that's a huge figure - given that those billion websites all have multiple webpages and are updated every so often.

we're living in an information overkill era these days, with a veritable glut of information that is threatening to drown us all in its embrace, and is subconsciously making us feel guilty that we are not making the effort in acquiring as much knowledge as possible. i mean, i used to read 5 newspapers (2 paper and 3 online editions) a day in medical school, and i still felt that i'm missing out on important issues and analyses.

certain blogs talk about only a certain issue - like dogs, cats, elephants, or God, secularism, Christianity, or politics, communism or North Korea, or the London Underground, or peddle in secrets on postcards, or discuss Star Wars exhaustively - and obviously they have their own following.

most other blogs have the "i-did-this-today-yay" theme, and i think only their friends will read those blogs. i think people are generally egoistic creatures, generally more interested in themselves than in others, so it'll take an exceptionally interesting personal blog to attract readers from far over, and not that i'm fishing with this melancholy bait - but i hardly think my personal blog is interesting. :-)

so the conundrum is, i dunno what i'm doing with this blog. i used to write a lot for newspapers, and maybe i should get back to that habit. at least it guarantees me an audience, haha!

(check out gutenbergwannabe.blogspot.com for my published articles)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

why do i do the things that i do?

over the last 4 months, i worked really hard -

1. maybe because i really liked obgyn
2. maybe because i didn't want to let down my father (who wanted more than anything for me to end up doctoring) or mother (who worked in the hospital as well, and is very popular and well-liked) or myself (because i didn't want a legacy of being a lazy, incompetent or irresponsible doctor)
3. maybe because i was imbued with tremendous energy and enthusiasm - it was, after all, my first rotation and my first time at work
4. maybe because i was trying to prove a point to myself that my professional life can bear no resemblance to my hedonistic medical student days
5. maybe because i had already decided to devote 18 months of my life to work and the pursuit of medical knowledge - there is a fantastic incentive to acquire knowledge in order to do fairly by the people who come to you expecting that you'll at least be able to keep them safe

whatever the reason, i think i worked very hard over the last 4 months, and i have very few complaints about the entire rotation (and i hope that very few people have very few complaints about me too, haha!).

so at the end of 4 months, where do i stand? what have i learnt? have i become a better person? have i become a better doctor? how have i changed? where am i going to next?

such tough questions - i'm not sure if i'm well-placed to answer them. they involve such deep thoughts and require time to sit down and reflect. but you know, i think i'm going to like the answers i find, when i eventually arrive at them.

Monday, November 27, 2006

what does 4 months mean to you?

so i finish my obgyn rotation - 4 months in what is apparently considered to be the highest-pressure, busiest posting, not only in taiping but also in most hospitals throughout malaysia.

that's one-third of possibly the toughest 12 months of my life, the housemanship years.

it was over so quickly that i still don't know what happened. one moment i was a medical student, and the next, i was handling a labour room with 8 beds full, and 2 extension trolleys in use, 4 mothers in labour all at once, with another 6 admissions outside waiting to be attended to - all alone.

more important than all the hard work and enthusiasm at work was the maturation process that i underwent throughout the 4 months. i think starting work and accepting responsibility is an inevitable and important part of everyone's growing-up process. one can't just remain forever cocooned in a warm cosy environment of our innocent childhood and student-hood.

so the all-important question is, am i a better person now, in at least a few respects, than i was when i first started out? yeah, i'd like to think so. thank God for all that has happened to me over the last 4 months then. :-)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

beta post

google has taken over blogger i think, and i think that's why i have this new GUI that i'm adapting to. is this a part of their ploy to compile a dossier a-la Mourinho, but this time of all the citizens of the world, to know our facts and desires and inner secrets?

what i care more about today is that i'm on leave, properly for the first time in 3.5 months. i woke at 11am just now, and i'm just going out to get something to eat for grandma and i, and then will come home to study for an exam tomorrow.

cannonball adderly is playing the sax on the radio, i'm well-rested (though slightly sick with the flu) and i'm looking forward to a good day today!

**

there are so many things that happen to me daily that i want to come home and blog about, but i just can't find the time and energy to come home and do it. you know, just like Sisyphus, i can't wait to get up and start rolling my stone up the hill again the next morning.

**

there's this deceitful and annoying "community service message" playing on the radio these days. apparently colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading killer of males and females above the age of 50. uh, i think colorectal cancer will come 4th or 5th, at the very best, in the leading-killer stakes - way after cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events.

so why scare people with this whole picture-of-health nonsense? employing statistics to inform about colorectal cancer, i feel, is misplaced and inaccurate. it's not the 2nd leading killer, and many more diseases like smoking and fast food and obesity are more important and increasing.

**

i'm finishing up obgyn in 11 days time, and guess what? i've got 8 days left of annual leave that i'm compelled to take, or else it'll just get forfeited! that's only 3 more days work, haha!

so what are my impressions after finishing up the rotation that everyone says is the toughest and busiest in Taiping? i liked obgyn, i liked (the vast majority) of the Medical Officers, i liked all the specialists, all the nurses and everyone i met in the department. i liked what i did in the Labour Room, i liked being busy and applying myself to a chaotic situation and then emerging from the chaos with some control. i disliked starting at 6am daily, but that's because i hate waking up early (and i still think it's unnatural).

but i liked what i did, enough to stay back after work to finish up small details and ensure that all is well before i leave. i think i still have a lot of enthusiasm left over, and i hope i can carry this on until the next rotation!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

chocolate cake and birth records

today i was a man on a mission. i wanted to find the birth record book of 1981 and look for my mother's name in it, to see what happened and to see who conducted the delivery. i wanted to see in black and white what happened that morning of the 8th of february 1981, and re-assure myself that i was real (and that i wasn't adopted, haha!).

alas, i couldn't find records going back that far. i could only see records going back to 1991. but that's ok. i can find someone who's worked in the labour room in 1981, and ask her whether or not she knows what happened to those records.

i am going to find my mother's name there in 1981 one day, and for my sister's delivery in 1983 as well... and i'll find it real soon.

***

when i came home for dinner, my sister had heated up this chocolate cake that she had bought from KL for me. chocolate heaven, and i couldn't have wished for a better day.

i am happy. :-) life is good.