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Archive for May, 2007

Ah Ma

It’s been 3 years. I remember rushing back just in time to see her open her eyes and flash me a feeble smile and a slight nod. Acknowledging that I came back to see her. That was the last time she opened her eyes.

Sometimes when I look at her photo back home, I realized that I don’t really know her that well. As in, I never really talked much with her especially after I left for university. Only during the last few months of her life did I call her from KL to ask her how she was doing. She would just say, “You study about this stuff. You know la.” It was during her funeral when I realized what a wonderful and capable woman she was, from the various eulogies.

She used to complain that my siblings were “ang mor sai” and not serious in learning the Chinese language well. Well, unfortunately it’s a little too late to show her that I can finally speak a decent amount of Mandarin. She must have noticed that since entering med school I was very much stressed out by the course, as I was surprised when one day she told me that now that I’m in uni, I don’t have to overdo it and study too hard. Just focus in doing the best I can.

Anyway, there are 2 things I wanna say to her today…

Firstly, I would like to say “Kam sia” (Thank you) and secondly…

“Ah ma, wa pi giap liao.” (Ah ma, I’ve finally graduated.)

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I first saw this phrase “Courtesy begins with me” on a notepad by Singapore Airlines which my grand uncle gave to me many moons ago when I was still a kid. Back then, I barely knew what the word courtesy meant.

After being in Adelaide for 4 days, I noticed one really glaring difference in the culture here compared to back home. The people here are so polite, friendly and helpful. Perhaps it’s just a tourism facade. However, here are a few examples:

1. When walking in a park, almost everyone who passes you along the way would say hello, wave or smile. Imagine doing that back at our local parks. People would think you’re crazy. Mum said, “Never talk to strangers.”

2. The salesperson would greet you the moment you step in their shop and flash a sweet smile. They would then ask if you need any help and to call them if you need anything. Back in Malaysia, some salesgirls would greet you, but then they would hover over you every step of the way and end up invading one’s privacy.

3. The waiters and waitresses are so polite and patient. Even if you take forever to decide what to eat, they would still have a smile on their face and say the most polite things (though perhaps they are actually boiling inside from my fickle-mindedness).

4. Animals are important. If a koala or kangaroo wanders onto the highway, people wouldn’t mind waiting for them to cross, or letting the police divert the traffic in view of the safety of these cute creatures. Imagine what happens when a cow blocks the road back home. I’m sure people will be honking and getting utterly fed up. As for cats or dogs, well they would just get run-over.

All in all, Adelaide is a peaceful town. Really blessed to have the opportunity to experience the life here for awhile. Nevertheless, I’ll always miss home as that’s where I belong. Malaysia boleh!

Haha…since when-lah I turn so patriotic…

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I’ve always been terrified of going to the dentist’s. I think it’s because these visits are almost always associated with tooth extractions or drillings which scare the hell out of me. I have been suffering from a sore tooth for many years but have been conveniently ignoring it.

Initially it was diagnosed to be a sensitive tooth but no matter what was done, the problem still persisted. After my parents and aunt (Dobbs) were diagnosed with a fractured tooth which needed to be taken out, I decided that I must check if my problem may be due to the same etiology.

Sad to say, the dentist I went to was equally confused, as the previous dentist has already “doctored” my tooth too much, it was hard to diagnose what the underlying problem was. Anyway, I had the filling changed to a better one, so that if there was an oblique crack/fracture/or whatever, it would at least hold it in place for some time…

Hopefully that will solve the problem…

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State of Fear

I bought this book (State of Fear) by Michael Crichton at least a year ago, or perhaps longer. Always wanted to read the book, but never really got down to reading it. He is one of my favourite authors and his books have always been a page turner. I used to be able to finish his book in about 2 nights. However, this time round, things were slightly different. I’m not sure if it was the story that was not as gripping, or the fact that my concentration sucked after 5 years of med school.

I remember reading the first few chapters many moons ago and never finishing the book. So this time around, I had to restart from chapter 1 and it took be about 6 weeks to reach page 100. Only after that did the story pick up and my reading momentum returned. Anyway, I finally finished reading the book, and I must say, it is a good book. This time Crichton attacks the issue of environmental catastrophes i.e global warming, hurricanes and tsunamis.

One thing about his books are that the story tend to seems so real, or rather, the things he talks about sound like they may happen in the near future such as the breakout of a virus from a fallen satellite in the Andromeda Strain, or as in this book, human beings trying to be God by manipulating the weather for their own gain. The interesting thing is, he always includes references to the facts he brings up in the story.

Anyway, I’m glad that I’ve finished at least 1 book during this holidays. It is an accomplishment as I can’t really recall when was the last time I last finished reading a novel…

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I first laid eyes on this colourful 3x3x3 cube when I was in primary school. Initially, I was not too sure what I was supposed to do with it, except that it could be turned at perpendicular angles to change the colours on all 6 surfaces. I was later told that the main objective was to return all 6 sides to it’s original 1-colour per side.

I started off with only managing to get one colour on 1 side, and slowly worked from there. Once, due to frustration, I actually peeled off the colour stickers and stuck them back according. Later on, a friend of mine taught me some basics and then I was on my way. The first time I managed to complete the puzzle (without cheating), I was estatic. However, after some time, the cube was just thrown into the deep recesses of my messy drawer and no longer seen for quite some time.

After watching the “Pursuit of Happyness”, I was determined to dig the cube up again. Actually, I planned to buy a new one as the old one had stickers falling out and was kinda hard to turn. However, Toy R Us simply did not have stock. I went a couple of times since the movie premiered and did not managed to get one so I had no choice but to look for the old one.

Anyway, since my mum kept bugging me to do something useful during this holidays, I managed to master the Rubik’s Cube and can hereby solve any messed up combination in a couple of minutes. Haha. Sorry to boast, but this is a kembang moment for myself. Haha.

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In denial

I woke up this morning with a start when I received an SMS from NC which read, “Was just wondering if u received anything regarding our postings?”

My first thought was, “Oh, shit! Don’t tell me it’s here already”. I quickly replied, “No. Why?”

Turned out that NC was just worried that the posting stuff would get sent to his old address as he just recently moved. I heaved a sigh of relief.

I am so in denial about starting work.

Sigh…

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The Story

I first heard this song on Grey’s Anatomy Season 3 Special, where it was the ending video clip. Love the song as well as the lyrics.

This song is dedicated to someone special…

=
All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don’t mean anything
When you’ve got no one to tell them to
It’s true…I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
Yeah you do and I was made for you

You see the smile that’s on my mouth
Is hiding the words that don’t come out
And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed
They don’t know my head is a mess
No, they don’t know who I really am
And they don’t know what I’ve been through but you do
And I was made for you…

~ Brandi Carlile – The Story

=
Chord progression:
B F# G#m E
or
A E F#m D (with Capo@2nd fret)

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