Monday, January 30, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

CNY, one of the best festivals in a year! You get to meet almost all your relatives and friends that you've missed so much and haven't been catching up throughout the whole year due to work/study/situated at different places. Of course, my family do make the annual pilgrimage to Sibu, grandparents' house for the celebration. It's odd though, to see all the younger cousins growing up. They were just babies the years before, and now, they are in secondary school! (Ok, that just sounds dumb, of course people grow up) But to watch them grow up, it's just amazing! Sad thing tho, is with those that are slightly younger than me, we used to play masak-masak when we were toddlers and conversations just sparked even when we haven't been talking to each other for the past 12 months. Somehow, things change. Maybe we are older, shy-er, we just stop talking. Hope to reconnect back soon! And with those cousins that are older than me, no problem at all! (By older, i mean at least 8 years and above older than me) Somehow, I'm better at mingling with adults than kids. The fact has always been like that,  I'm handicapped. :/ Or maybe I grew up with siblings much much older than me, I just can't juggle the conversations with younger ones as smoothly. One fact changed last year: I do not DISLIKE kids/anyone younger anymore. They are cute. :)

I enjoy celebrating CNY in this little town in the middle of Borneo - Sibu! :D This town is like a "ghost town" on normal days, so little souls, uncomfortably quiet, contrary to all the noise pollution in Subang or Miri. But when it comes to CNY, people just flood into this town, cramming it and all the traffic congestion...Urgh..haha. However, I must insist that everything is perfect for CNY there! You will never get fireworks as great as this any where else on the surface of this planet, I can assure you that. Not Miri, not Kuching, not any where else. Not even London on New Year's Countdown comes anywhere close to what we have here in Sibu on CNY Eve. (I remember Kim, (Baobei's son - Pagi's mom) who's from Houston told us she has never seen anything like this, it was like World War III out there!) Being dubbed the "dangerous" one of the house, ya think I'll just stand aside and snap photos? ;)

Note: This author discourages the act of fooling with illegal fireworks or firecrackers and holds no responsibility for any losses, claims, damages, awards, penalties, or injuries incurred, including reasonable attorney's fees, which arise from any claim by any third party.

Another part that I would definitely miss is - not the Ang Pows - the food! Aside from savoring the Reunion dinner,which we had in some fancy restaurant every year with family karaoke sessions, I'll definitely scream for this: Oh, the CNY cookies! Those small, delicate, bite-size cookies are just awesome, very fattening, but who cares?! You cannot find them lying on the shelves on normal days, but only through orders during festive seasons like this. I have no idea what are those cookies called, except for Kuih Momo and Kuih Sepit, but I'll definitely post their photos up on FB. (Yes, less photos on this blog as I realise they lag the loading of this site down and FB loader makes uploading photos much a pleasant experience than Blogger.)

Next is, Angela the Baby! The cutest niece on Earth! I have tonnes of photos of her but I doubt my brother allows me to post it on any where on internet because she's...a princess, cannot let people see one! Haha... But I can tell you her cheeks are SO PINCH-ABLE! Fat fat baby fat cheeks! She's too adorable that she's become the centre of attention on every single event of our family. I wonder if other kids get jealous. :P She's growing up fast and resembles her father's face a tad too much but my aunt told me she looks exactly like me when i was her age. Perhaps, that true, that explains the fat cheeks I still posses today. One very notable thing tho, she's extremely smart. Only less than 3 months old, she's learning how to point/show "1" with her finger and now progressing fast towards "2" and learning to say her own name. Hopefully she's not a extremely-late-bloomer like yours truly here. Can't wait to see her all grown up!

Oh, I drove back from on the journey from Sibu to Miri! It was a very fresh yet kinda scary experience and I hit my highest speed ever, 140 km/h! It was during night time and was raining heavily but we arrived safely of course, if not I won't be blogging here. Sarawak's roads are UNLIKE west Malaysia's highway, FYI. There's only one lane, no street lamps and potholes every where. No toilet stops, no shops. No phone reception in most places. (So much for timber tycoons eh?! I wonder where all our timber, oil and gas profits go, Mr. Minister?) If your car broke down somewhere in the journey, you are stuck in the jungle and that's what exactly happened to us on the way back to Sibu before CNY. We were stuck in the oil palm estate for 3 hours while we wait for a tow car to come (Thank God for the reception on my dad's phone!) It was blazing hot under the noon sun, my sister and I had decided to bring "Optimism" to a new level - Me, to sit under an oil palm tree with mud on the floor and read Atul Gawande's recently published "Better" and my sister, to play Plant VS Zombie. No other place provides such great peace than this for full concentration! And are we ever so grateful it was not night time or raining?! Praise God for His protection and guidance!

I'll skip the New Year Bazaar in Miri and the Lion Dance part. They are equally interesting but I just don't enjoy them as much and I think they are over-rated. :p

On Chu 4 (4th day of CNY), our whole gang of ex-Chung Hua-ians class of 2009 went for visiting! It was a great relieve to be able to meet up with so many good friends of mine at time like this and catch up before we all separate again. It has been 3 years consecutive that we went for visiting since we left high school. We have visited a total of 12 houses in a day and boy, it was definitely EXHAUSTING but even more rewarding was the opportunity to exchange experiences, stories with my dear friends. Some parents can't even recognise us anymore since we are all grown up.

That's about it for my last CNY here before leaving for the UK and missing CNY for at least the next 7 years. I wonder when will I meet all my friends again since most of us would be leaving for good this coming months, to Australia, to KL, to UK, to US and all over the world. I wonder how CNY would be without the reunion dinner, the pilgrimage, the fireworks, the cookies, the soft drinks, the ang pows, the lion dance, the new, red outfits, the visiting and every one else. I wonder how CNY would be without my family beside. I wonder how CNY would be without all these little yet ever-so-great moments that makes everything so special here.

And again, it is when one is able to lose something, one starts to appreciate things to greater details.

Responsibility

Taking it is the hardest thing to do, worst when it involves another life, another death.

You would want to blame any one or anything around, but when you turn back, there's nothing to be pointed at but a mirror of you, pointing at yourself. You've tried your best and yet it turned out not as what you have expected.

What there's left to do: To get oneself together again and think what has gone wrong. (what's wrong? You never follow the instructions on the bottle precisely!) 

Note: I think I killed my pet goldfishes by overdosing them with their medications. They were very sick last few days due to infection of unknown sources. A few died. :( I even set up an ICU for the most ill fishy, that fishy died this morning however (It died a terrible death, bleached). My siblings have always told me I should choose Veterinarian Medicine instead of Medicine since I'm such a cold person towards human but when it comes to animals, I'm totally mad about them. I agree with them too actually, considering the fact that there's not even a chill running through my spine when I think of human corpse but whenever I see a carcass, I feel the urge to kneel down beside it and mourn for days. Too bad then, I'm allergic towards dogs, born not to be a vet. Or maybe I have not really encounter real life and death cases of human, as in to be involved in the saving process, unlike numerous effort on those of animals that I've painstakingly tried to save since young. Owls, chicks, ducklings, dogs, kittens...the list goes on.

But I really do wonder, what if I am the cause of one's death one day?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dream: Inception

I always have this issue with dreams. Have no idea where all these weird dreams come from. They may be reasonable before exam periods because I was under huge stress, a little bit of "wrong twitch" in the neurone signals are expected somehow. (And how i acted weirdly before the finals.) However, I'm...like...doing nothing now! Unless, I'm under stress again and this stress is due to absence of stress. Nonsense, I know. :/

I used to have these "psychic dreams", I liked to call them that way, but actually they were some kind of premonitory thingy but not every dream is that sort, just some and I do not know which kind. Lately, I've discovered that those dreams are those that I did not reveal/tell others about before they happened. And for those that I talked about, they did not become reality, or...not just yet.

I was having a nap just now, and this dream is extremely scary. It was like Inception. Dream within a dream. I am not a lucid dreamer but I remember my dreams. Being thrown into this state is scary. You couldn't control yourself, what you say and what you do. You just...do those things and be in those places, yet you are well aware that you are dreaming. I was sleeping on the couch and in my dream, I was on another couch, watching telly and slowly dozed off. Then, I was thrown into this unfamiliar place, I have no idea where it is...maybe it's my future university, or somewhere. In this whole new environment, outside Malaysia, I was in a really nice bedroom but I did not have internet or mobile connection to anyone  because I just arrived. I wanted to call people I know and ask for instructions but I could not, so i just walked out of the room. The place was...old. Lots of antiques and painted portraits of some deceased famous people in the past. It was brightly lit, with chandelier above and mild aroma in the air, so I was not exactly scared but more of curious. I trailed along the  corridor and finally reached a really grand lobby, with huge vase of lavenders here, there and there were 5 girls of different races and a guy sitting on the sofa sets in the corner. They spoke fluent English but I could not understand them most of the time, so I just sat there and smile. The guy said he's from Penghat (it's a dream, no such place), one of the girl was a sophomore and others were new to this place, just like me. They were discussing about something highly intellectual while I looked through the glass door and tried to seek for familiar details. All were old, grey buildings. Then, it was dinner time, the group dismissed and everyone went back to their room. I lost my direction immediately and panicked....Woke up to the noise of telly, I struggled to get my eyes to open and my body to sit up. I walked to the toilet and back onto the couch, trying to get back to my afternoon nap. It was at that point I realised, I was still dreaming. I tried to get back to the nap, closed my eyes, and I woke up, into reality.

Or is this, reality?
Or maybe, it's just the anxiety messing up my biochemistry. =.="

p/s: the University sent an email last night asking for financial affidavit. Freaking 40,000++ pounds per year, who earns that kind of money!? At the end of my 6 years course (If i manage to survive through alive and in one piece), simple maths sum up to be more than 1.2 millions ringgit (!!!!!) Excluding the accommodation and other miscellaneous fees some more. OMG. Thank God, seriously, for blessing me with a sponsor. My thoughts will never even dare to stray to the West if it wasn't for the sponsor. Thank you, JPA, I will, from now on, stop all the complaints about how "efficient" you guys are. How will those kids who have their parents paying for their tuition fees ever going to return every single cent to their parents?! goodness, education does cost a bomb, a nuclear bomb. :O

pp/s: Eat Snow!!! :D Link

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Being nocturnal

Since the beginning of the holiday year I'm currently, sinfully (for wasting time=life) indulging now, it was expected that I'll turn nocturnal immediately. It's like some sort of biological clock disorder, I'll automatically sleep at 4am and wake up at 12pm once exams are over. Ok well, partly it's because I like to read books at night when the surrounding's absolutely quiet and peaceful, which i am only to sit down and read properly. Or else, it will be like "Once upon a time" *click on FB* "there was a girl" *go toilet* "who has" *do chores* "disability in" *ooh, what's that on tv?" "reading continuously" And when i finally sit down and try to read properly, I was like what did i just read? Let's start from the beginning again and again. Thus, the European Clock I have adopted despite living in this humid, hot country in the east. (My mom thought I'm training myself to get used to the time on the other side of the world so the jet lag will not be so bad by then, but since January? :O )

Sun rise, it's time to sleep! 
Mom showed me an article in the Star this morning, Sleeping beauties in school. It made me laughed *guiltily* inside (My mom taught me in school), for it reminded me of my secondary school days, as well as a little tiny part of college days (Fine, 90% of Maths class. Don't ask me why, I have no idea how that happened too). They were the days when I couldn't help but dozed off in class, especially in those afternoons after a filling lunch. And this sleeping sickness was really contagious! First it spreads to those around, and slowly to those sitting at the back rows...soon, the whole class was in sleep mode. The teacher gave up and did something else instead. A mystery tho was that once the teacher said "Class dismissed!" everyone woke up instantaneously and fly like a superman to the canteen. Talk about rejuvenation!

Hopefully, this stinking habit of mine will not appear in my university life later, or "Doomed" will be the first word in my dictionary.

So, I've thought about it, I've tried correcting this bad habit. Caffeine seemed to work at first, but my body sort of developed tolerance towards high level of caffeine after abusing that drug for a few months. 

Coffee - key ingredient in a doctor's blood. Our veins would collapse without it. 
Quoted from Lynnxuan's FB status who quoted from some random novel. 

Ah, we, Pre-Meds, tho are far from being called a Medical Student, what more to say a doctor, are very prominent group in this caffeine abuse study. Classes start at 8.00am, you'll see humans walking like half zombies into the class, slam their books onto the desk. 9.00am, try walk into the class again, I'd be surprised if you didn't scream "Did these zombies ate all the students?!" Considering the multi-layer eyebags and bloodshot eyes, pale faces of organisms inhabiting that space, it's hard to recognize these were once homo sapiens. Rapid evolution must have taken place in just 60 minutes. Again, walk in at 10am, suddenly, you see HUMANS again! They are alive! But, please take a look at the poor dustbin in the corner, filled with all brands of caffeine/energy-boosting supplies: Nescafe, 7-eleven coffee, Redbull... No, no Starbucks, for goodness sake, at least RM10 for that mild caffeine?! The effect of caffeine will kick in in just 30 minutes and last for about 3 hours on average. And as good students we all are, of course we do take heed of the advice on "Consequences of Excessive Caffeine Intake" from the columns of free newspapers, complementary to the tuitions fees we paid to the college. (Told you that extra paid for miscellaneous fee does worth something!) Hence, by 1pm, you'll see zombies again. Only this time, their faces won't put you in terror anymore since their head no longer have the ability to defy gravity, or they just like to kiss the desk more than facing the lecturers. 

I've tried to sleep early, (def sleep early: sleeping at 12am, it's early what?!) but the efforts seem to be in vain until yesterday night, I've made a shocking discovery - A cheap and effective remedy! Instead of the normal novels I cling on before sleep, I took a huge anatomy book and start reading, with Bach on headphones. Before the second song ends, I was sleeping peacefully like a baby.....snores... 

And that ends my nocturnal life. I'm once again, living under the sun! :) 


oh wait, I still need to find a way to stay awake during study time... :( 


p/s: Got an offer from Cambridge University for Medicine at Gonville and Caius college a week ago. Finally, a university is willing to accept me, Thank God and may all glory be unto Him! It was long, tedious process which I will blog about soon. Any soon-to-be course mates/seniors? :) 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oh, the Places You'll Go!


by Dr. Seuss

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets.  Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry.  Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?  Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.  there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame!  You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

After 1.5 years, another miracle.

God is indeed powerful. This is the second time this week, i have been flapping my hands like a chicken, screaming like nobody's business in the middle of the night. After the nightmare-ish, hellish interview, I nearly cried in the cab on the way back, pulling myself together to face the 2 final papers the next day.

I see my peers and their conditions.
It was impossible.

I do realise every single detail in our daily life is a miracle. To be able to breathe, to walk are miracles but I've  forsaken all these many times. And yet, God showed me again, He is THAT powerful. He can do whatever He wants no matter how lousy we are. 

I will tell more, when everything's settled down.