Tuesday, November 29, 2011

i'm a millionaire!

actually it's no big deal la!

most malaysians visiting indonesia carry with them millions of rupiahs - after all a million rupiahs exchange for about rm360.

we were on our family vacation in bali over the weekend. flying by air asia, we tried to save as much as possible by paying only for the services we needed. so, we did self check-in, ordered in-flight meals online, paid for a 20kg luggage & didn't select our seats. we thought it was a challenge to pack 4 person's clothes into one bag with a 20kg limit but we amazed ourselves that we were able to, by bringing only the necessary personal effects. (sorry, boy, you can't bring your scrabble set.) we could achieve this feat because each of us could carry a hand luggage of up to 7kg apiece.

we elected to stay at sanur (about 30min's drive from the airport) instead of the more famous kuta area, made infamous by the bomb attacks some years back. it's obvious from day 1 that balinese are deeply religious. they place burning incense in front of their businesses as offerings to the gods....

....and some have little statues of the deities as well.....

because of the deep religious beliefs, it's not surprising that major crimes in bali are few & far in between, except when committed by foreigners, like the bomb blasts of 2002 & 2005.

one item of news which you probably didn't know...last week, during the summit of east asian countries, the airport at denpasar had to be closed to prepare for the arrival of barak obama. a passenger plane that was supposed to land at 6pm had to be diverted to bandung, 860km away in java, & finally landed in bali only at 2am that nite.

talk about making a grand presidential entrance!

**next : the tour proper begins....**

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


the girl is happy as a Lark!

she just called to say she passed her undang-undang test. that sort of impressed me because she only had 2 days to read the book. so, she'll be getting her Learner's Licence soon.

she can expect to be derided as a Lembu when she holds up traffic on a single carriage way. but that's nothing new because we all went thru all that ourselves.

if she passes the driving test 1st time - now, that would reaLLy impress me. lets see if a bit of my driving skill rubs off on her.

doc's family annual vacation 2011

the year-end school vacation has started.

the girl is back home.

the family are together once again.

many years ago, we agreed we'll travel together just once a year, so that it's something to really look forward to.

you could say, it's our pot at the end of the rainbow.

we're headed to bali tomorrow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

the pot at the end of the rainbow.

the pot of gold - this was how i viewed the year-end vacation.

after a whole year's work, it's time to sit back & laze around a bit. that's how it was when i was in school.

but how time's they're a-changing.

now, there're various holiday enrichment courses to prepare students get a head start for the new year. language, sciences, maths, self-improvement, music, etc etc. so much tuition, so little time for being a child!

just last week, after the year-end exams, my son asked his schoolmate who lives in the same taman if he wants to play football on thursday. the classmate said, he can only play on sunday because his weekdays are packed with tuition, from afternoon to nite. BM group tuition, BM personal tuition, Chinese personal tuition under 2 different tutors, English personal tuition, Piano tuition under 2 different teachers. his mother is currently looking for maths & science tutors.

no wonder he seemed like a dull boy! but all that extra lessons must have had some effect as he moved up one class. the irony is that his father had, some years back, launched a tirade against all the kiasu mothers who enrolled their children in multiple tuition classes. he must have relented & decided that if you can't beat 'em, then join 'em.

in the mean time, i think that pot of gold remained elusive to the students today.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

i lost it!

my temper, that is.

anticipating a long day in the OT today, i arrived on the dot & expected to start right away. i was horrified that the IV drip has not yet been set up for the patient & hence the pre-medication has also not been given. the nurse at the reception bay was nowhere to be found. i asked the other nurse at the counter where the reception nurse was & she said nurse M was in the pantry.

i marched straight to the pantry & there she was - nurse M having breakfast at 9am with a few others. i didn't hesitate to give her a mouthful & then went straight into the Sister's office to let her know my disgust - how can your staff have breakfast during working hours when the work has not been done??

naturally, Sister gave nurse M another earful. so there you are, a lousy start to a long day that got at least 3 people upset & left everyone else uneasy. i was surprised when nurse M confronted me later & accused me of humiliating her in public. although i didn't respond, it bothered me for a while & after much thought, i realised that i should have pulled nurse M to one side before reprimanding for her tidak apa attitude towards work.

in the end, i decided that although i was upset at nurse M for not doing her job, i should have handled the matter more professionally (& gentlemanly?). i managed to catch her before she completed her shift to apologise.

at least, i know that i will sleep easy tonite & tomorrow will be a new day with a new start.

Monday, November 14, 2011

BM paper 1

the SPM starts today with BM paper 1. the mention of that paper always sends chills down my spine. many years ago when i sat for that paper, i forgot to write my index number on a few answer sheets. which means, should they become detached from the front sheet, they could not be traced to me. i had nightmares of the examiner chucking them into the waste paper basket.

the fear of failure did play on my mind throughout the exams. i imagined repeating form 5, or forced to start work.

as it turned out, i got a P7 - a pass which allows passage to Form 6. those days, there weren't much choice for middle-income family like mine - studying at Taylor's (the only local private college those days) or overseas was beyond our means. and a credit in BM is required to enter Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, which would have fast-tracked to my dream career in engineering.

anyway, i sat for the supplementary BM paper in July the next year & got a C6. i jumped for  joy  & you'd think i score an A1!!

students nowadays are spoilt for choice for career paths after form 5. i wish them all the very best & hope they seize the day. 

but i wouldn't want to be in their shoes!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

it's only a numbers game la!


this date is over-hyped. my obstetric colleague has FIVE C-sections today to cater to some parental whims & fancies.

but one couple took it a little too far. the mother-to-be developed pregnancy-induced hypertension & had been treated for it. but as it neared 37-weeks, the blood pressure was getting out of control, hovering around 160/100, thus endangering the lives of both mother & child. my colleague recommended an early C-section on the 9th. but as you'd have guessed, both parents wanted the delivery on the 11th.

in order to satisfy the pandering & yet protect the pregnancy, the c-section was planned for 11.45pm on the 10th, so that by the time the baby is delivered, it would have been past midnite & well into the 11th.

it wasn't a moment too soon either. there was meconium staining in the amniotic fluid already, suggesting that the baby was in some degree of distress. fortunately, there wasn't any obvious damage.

however, when she (yes, it's a girl!) grows up, i wonder if she would appreciate that her parents played the numbers game & endangered her life, so she can be born on a supposed auspicious date & have a series of 1's on her myKad?

for whose benefit, i wonder?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

chalk & cheese

when we have 2 of something, we just can't help but compare them; none more so than comparing our children.

one could be a fast learner, the other not so.

one more talkative & expressive, the other introverted.

one a leader, the other a follower.

the list goes on.

we've read before in nursery rhymes what little boys & girls are made of.

boys are snips & snails  & puppy dogs tails, while girls are sugar & spice & everything nice.

take the exams, for example. my son just takes things in his stride - he studies just enough to get us off his back, still wants to play & watch TV during exam week, & even if he drops to a lower class next year, life will still go on without a care. he doesn't know what stress is & if nothing else intervenes, he will definitely live to a ripe old age.

my daughter is the direct opposite. she has to complete her revision at all costs, sacrifice sleep to study, will eat when stressed, & will cry & wail if the exams don't go well.

as it is, the boy did just enough in the year-end exam to remain in the same class, while the girl is going thru a torrid time in the ongoing O-levels.

p/s. i actually wrote a similar post after the boy's midterm exams. read here.

there you are - 2 different peas from the same pod who will walk different life's paths. like chalk & cheese.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

best coffee in the world

you're probably thinking arabica, vietnamese, starbucks, or even kopi luwak.

actually i care not for the expensive or exotic stuff.

a full sachet of nescafe 3-in-1 in a mug of boiling water with a measure of milk. it's the best coffee in my world because my son made it for me for breakfast this morning.

what a way to start off the day!

ps. he also made the best ice cream in the world.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

angels & demons

overheard in a phone conversation:

Dr A : nurse, what time is my patient's operation scheduled for?

Nurse : 1pm

Dr A :  ok, make sure i get to operate before Dr B. after all, i booked my case before him.

Nurse :  ok

Dr A :  make sure you don't call for Dr B's patient until i've finished with mine. he can operate after office hours if he wants to. **evil laugh**

this, by the way, is not a scene from a dan brown's novel. maybe it should be retitled halloween in hospital. **more evil laugh**