Friday, February 09, 2018

Long arm of the law

I am a pretty law-abiding citizen (ahem). The last fine imposed on me was a summon compounded for speeding. That was 8 years ago when I drove a turbo-charged 2-lit continental. With age rapidly catching up, I have since downsized to a 1.8-lit Japanese. I figure my reaction time would have dampened and parking is easier with a smaller car.

But I had casually more often than not, not placed parking coupons for short-term stay at certain less crowded places. Well, the law finally caught up with me.

The parking outside Jusco requires coupon up to 6pm. At 5.25pm, I thought I could just sneak in for a couple of grocery items. When I came out at 5.30, the misdemeanor had been promptly witnessed & duly slapped with a RM30 fine. The irony was that I could have parked for free within Jusco itself, but was just too lazy to go in & out of the gantry.

Commit the crime, do the time, we have been warned. I think it's only human nature to take risks & hope we can get away with it. Anyway, blaming only myself, I turned up at the payment counter the next morning & was pleasantly surprised when the clerk asked for only RM10. He duly stamped the payment.

Even though the fine is only the price of a set lunch, the impact is considerable. I thought I am a law-abiding citizen but obviously I am suffering from delusions of grandeur.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

The Circle Game

This song didn't mean much when I first heard it in my teen years. The cover version sang by Hong Kong star Agnes Chan was popular with my classmates because we all fell in love with her. But now that I've heard Joni Mitchell's original version, I am also thinking of a child......

Yesterday a child came out to wonder....

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

 Next year, in November, with the blessing of God, the circle will be complete and she will walk in the shoes I have walked in for 35 years.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


The general perception of giving is that, by doing so, you actually lose something, with the exception of unsolicited advice, which people often give freely & generously.  :)  And conversely, that by receiving, you have gained something. 

Giving is integral in the fabric of the Hippocratic oath. What the unwritten understanding is that when a fellow physician seeks your professional service, you are duty-bound not to charge professional fees. Giving, remember?

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours in OT with a patient who is also a fellow doctor but whom I do not know personally or professionally. The surgery was labour intensive, and sometimes energy sapping. At the end of it, to conform with the spirit of professional courtesy, I do not expect any remuneration for this effort. It did feel unsettling initially, given the nature & duration of the surgery, but what did I actually lose? Nah....just exchanged 6 hours of my time for professional social responsibility, a notion I gradually warmed up to.

The good doctor (the patient, I meant :P) survived the surgery, so let's not sweat the small stuff.

Saturday, February 03, 2018


There's no doubt New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and the South Island is where many tourists will spend most of their vacation.

My friends and colleagues are just puzzled why, having been to NZ 5 times, I still have not been to the South. And I keep repeating there's so many sights to behold in the North. Last year, my daughter and I trekked the Mt Taranaki trail at Egmont National Park in the North. It is one of the most symmetrical mountains in the world & because it resembles Mt Fuji, it was used as location shooting for the movie The Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise.

And no, I am not ready for the South just yet.