Tuesday, August 29, 2006

the end of my civil service

Tomorrow, 30th August 2006 will be my last day as a civil servant. It has been over 3 years since I started working with the Ministry of Health Malaysia because of the compulsory service regulation which was imposed just a year before I graduated.
I started work on 1st July 2003 at Klinik Pergigian Bangsar. After 6 months there, I went to the Oral Surgery Dept in HKL for 3 months. Those 3 months must have been the most horrible 3 months of my life. Standing for hours in the operation theatre looking at blood and bones is definitely not my cup of tea. Nope, I need to be able to take a gulp of water every hour, go to the loo every 2 hours (at least) and be able to scratch my nose as and when I need to. It's real torture to have to stand still draped in sterile gowns with sterile-gloved-hands for hours and do nothing except retract the patient's cheek while the surgeon rumbles on about how Mr so-and-so has 4 wives and is divorcing no.2 and blah blah blah.
I was glad to be done with Oral Surgery in March 2004. From April to June 2004, I was attached to the Paediatric Specialist Dental Clinic also in HKL. This was slightly better than Oral Surgery because OT days were only once every 2 weeks. And the cases were much shorter. Usually it was just dental clearance for some absolutely uncooperative kid with rampant caries.
There were also several touching cases that I cannot forget. The most touching must have been this mother who had 3 sons with some hereditary muscular dystrophy syndrome. I first saw the eldest boy who came into the surgery in a wheelchair. After doing scaling on him, his mother wheeled him out. A few minutes later, she wheeled another boy who looked very much like the first one, and in the same physical condition as the first. At first I didn't realize it was another son until I checked his card. Later, I went out to the waiting area and saw a third boy in the same condition. My heart went out to this stoic mother who must have strength beyond my imagination. Having one special paraplegic child must be difficult for any parent, what more with three!
After I was done with all my specialist attachments, I went back to Klinik Pergigian Bangsar in July 2004. Joseph came along in April 2005 and I took 4 months off work. I went back to work in August 2005 and shortly after, in October 2005, I volunteered to transfer to Klinik Pergigian Tanglin where I have been till the end of my civil service.
It has been 3 interesting years. Sometimes it is fulfilling when patients are grateful to me for restoring their smile. Some comment that their extractions were painless and they didn't even realize the tooth had been removed. Others say that the experience wasn't as frightening as they had anticipated. Then there is the occasional extra demanding patient who thinks the government owes it to him to treat him like a VIP. They come in here, pay a mere ONE RINGGIT and expect to be treated like royalty, demanding on-the-spot treatment even when there are a dozen others waiting outside for their turn. Such patients need to know that even if he were to go to a private clinic and had to pay for it, he would still have to wait if he did not have an appointment.
Anyway, I'm leaving, as some might say, for greener pastures. Who can blame me when I can work half the time, and earn double the money in private practice. I'm merely trying to make a living. I have served my time. I'll be a 'free woman' after tomorrow.

Friday, August 25, 2006

flat tire

Ever heard of how birds learn to fly? Or how ducks learn to swim?
When one is thrown into the deep end of the pool, either you sink or swim.

I went home for lunch yesterday. On my way back to work at 1.30pm, I was stopped at the traffic lights in front of Universiti LRT station when the driver of the van on my left kept on pointing to the back of my car. I quickly got out and to my horror, saw that the back left tire was flat. I waved a 'thank you' to the van driver and got back into my car.
What was I to do? I had to get back to work by 2pm. Edwin wouldn't be back so early. As soon as the lights turned green, I switched on my hazard lights and carefully made a u-turn to go back up the hill and home.
Out of the hot sun and back in the safety of my parking lot, I quickly got out the jack and got to work. I have seen how it is done but never had the opportunity to do it all by myself. This must be my lucky day!
Adrenaline rushed through my veins and I loosened all the nuts effortlessly. I jacked up the car, changed the tire, put back all the nuts and jacked down the car....all in just under 15 minutes.
I drove back to clinic cautiously and arrived at exactly 2pm. Then my right arm started to ache a bit. I thought it would be worse today but surprisingly, I feel just fine. Feel so proud of myself!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I was browsing through a copy of today's Harian Metro as I ate my lunch. There was much coverage of the wedding of the year - that of Malaysian pop princess Siti Nurhaliza (now Datin Siti Nurhaliza) to her prince Datuk K. Somewhere in the centrefold page were pictures of the many hantaran. Then I came across this picture...

kafling???? What on earth is a kafling?

New word ah?

Then I looked at the picture closer.....

ohh.....cuff links!!!

And Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka complains that our national language is being contaminated, diluted and treated with no respect. Just a few pages away in the same malay language newspaper are some comments that our Malay language is NOT treated with enough respect and that we should use it more to be proud of it. How ironic!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

no electricity...again?

We were back in Seremban for the weekend. On what was supposed to be a lazy relaxing Saturday, Tenaga was at it again. Power supply went out in the late morning just as I was about to sit to read the newspapers.
It was so hot. Just way too hot for clothes.

Unfortunately for me, I couldn't just go topless like the boys.

Even in the heat, Joseph and Brandon could enjoy themselves.

At 1.30pm, Joseph decided to do his big business. Then I showered him. Poor kid had a cold shower since the water heater runs on electricity.

Just as I was starting to rock him for his afternoon nap, power came back. Thank God for air-conditioners! Joseph slept 2.5 hours peacefully. I had my lazy afternoon nap.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fish 'n Chips for ONE ringgit

After Rebecca's shopping spree, I had 3 coupons that entitled me to purchase Fish n Chips at Hooked (The Curve) for a mere ONE ringgit. RM1.00. I mean...this is the 21st century. What can you get for one ringgit? Sure one ringgit can pay for per-entry parking at several shopping complexes (on weekdays only) but to get a satisfying meal for RM1 is almost impossible.
So off we went to Hooked. I promptly presented the voucher and this is the meal I got.
I must say it tasted as good as it looked. Absolutely no complains for this one ringgit meal. Rebecca had this for lunch.
I ordered the set lunch for RM9.90. Again it was quite a bargain. I got a nice hot bowl of tasty mushroom soup, a decent serving of spaghetti carbonara with fish, and a big glass of iced-lemon tea.
this photo was taken when I was half way thru the soup.
The soup was definitely not the tinned kind. The spaghetti was tasty enough and the iced-lemon tea had a nice kind of zing to it.
Very filling on the stomach and easy on the wallet.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Another long week..Rebecca goes home...and Penang.

After working for merely 2 days on 26th and 27th July, I was off for another 10-day stretch. In all, I worked a grand total of 9 days in July. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to and end. Plus the fact that I can't live on fresh air and sunshine.
Monday 31st July 2006
I drove Rebecca, Reuben, Mummy and Joe to Bukit Tinggi Resort for a day trip. Citibank is currently having a promotion whereby it's 50% off the entrance fee. So off we went to see some rabbits, donkeys and deers.
The drive there was pleasant once we got out of the KL traffic jam. On arrival, we went to Colmar Tropicale first and found a nice picnic table with stools where we had our lunch of packed sandwiches.
After lunch, we walked around a bit, took in the lovely scenery and surroundings and snapped photographs

Then we took the tram to the Rabbit Farm. But it was certainly no farm. The rabbit kandang was no bigger than my bathroom and contained at most, 15 rabbits. Joseph looked around unimpressed.

We then walked to the back of the rabbit kandang and found another 2 kandangs. One contained a few donkeys and the other, several deers.

The vast greens of the adjacent golf course soon had us making use of it as a backdrop for lovely pictures.

Back at Colmar Tropicale, we sat down at the pizza cafe for a snack. Joseph decided to dig into the pizza.

This tarte flambe pizza for RM25 actually tasted quite good. The cheese was nice and gooey and the toppings were sufficient for a good bite.

We left the place at about 4pm and Joseph slept the whole way home. This is my favourite picture for the day :

Other photos at Colmar Tropicale can be viewed here.

Tuesday 1st August 2006

This is the day before Rebecca flies back half way around the globe to Dallas. Tuesdays are Earthquake Days! That's 50% off the Earthquake at Swensen's.

Wednesday 2nd August 2006

We went to KLIA to send Rebecca off. She didn't cry. Neither did Joseph. I'm not sure he's gonna miss Ah Yee as much as Ah Yee is already missing him, and planning her next trip home.

After returning from the airport, Joseph and I travelled back to Penang with my parents. This is my first trip home to Penang this year. I'll be spending the next few days catching up with a few friends.

Sunday 6th August 2006

Joe, mummy and I fly back to KL on AirAsia. I'm glad to say that the crowd was much more orderly this time. There were 2 separate aisles with clear signages. The AirAsia staff was also more pro-active. Nevertheless, what I cannot understand is why everyone was made to climb down a flight of stairs, walk out onto the tarmac and up the movable stairs to get into the plane when it was parked right next to the aerobridge. All the had to do was extend the aerobridge to meet the airplane door. Joseph was in his stroller when we had to board the plane. A young Arab boy who spoke no English came and eagerly helped me carry the stroller, with Joseph in it, down the flight of stairs. He didn't wait to be thanked. I said "Thank you" a few times but he didn't seem to understand English. Too bad I can't say it in arabic.

The flight was also almost on time. We touched down at KLIA at 3.45pm as scheduled even though take off was about 10 minutes late. And the lovely thing about the LCC-T is that the bags come out much faster than at the main terminal. I usually try not to check-in luggage but this time, it was unavoidable because it was impossible to carry the car seat into the cabin.

Here's Joseph on arrival at the LCC-T....blur and tired because he had only slept 45 minutes the entire day.