Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sick and dying

I haven't made an entry into my blog for quite some time (nearly a week). I have only got one reason - I have had the flu since Tuesday. I contracted it from my mother (who got the flu on Sunday) and I've been laid low for the past three days. I sleep for most of the day. I'm too tired to eat or drink. When I'm awake I'm really cranky (unlike my mum who is REALLY cranky when she's sick). I often wonder why people get more cranky and irritable when they are sick, especially with the flu. There must have been studies done on this topic.

However this episode of flu was rather more severe than the previous episodes I had in the past. Usually I am capable enough to feed myself and get water. This time around, getting out of bed was a chore. During this time, I was thinking it could be something else. Pain when urinating - could it be an urinary tract infection? Well it wasn't a sharp stabbing dysuria and I hadn't vomited (yet). Extreme headache - meningitis? No neck stiffness or Kernig's sign excluded that differential diagnosis. Well today disproved all my conclusions - I'm much better although still tired with a cough, a stuffy nose, some nausea and some headache.

But I have a craving for McDonald's Chicken McNuggets and Krispie Kreme doughnuts.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"It's Good to Talk" and "Connecting people"

Yesterday was a rather surprising day. I talked to three of my good friends. Not just friends you would go out with and have a drink but people I can depend and rely on; people who would not judge me. It is suprising in the fact that most of my friends are now working and have progressed in life, while I am still stuck in a rut .

I had lunch with Vanessa, who at times can be a bit of an airhead and blunt. Will she change that? No. Would I still consider her a friend? Absolutely. Now I accept that she's not an airhead and she is honest. That is who she is and I wouldn't change that in the world. Not everybody has to think and talk like me.

It was great talking to her, catching up and doing what we do best - bitching about the state of Hong Kong. I think our idea of Hong Kong is one of the things we have in common. We think differently compared to 90% of the population. We don't accept the status quo and at times are willing to challenge it. It was just nice to talk to somebody who thinks on the same wavelength and doesn't accept "the Matrix phenomenon".

Later in the day, whilst waiting for my group peers to obtain the necessary equipment for practising our surgical skills (or lack of them), I got a call that I would never expect to get. I got a call from Herbert. For those who don't know Herbert, he's a great guy. Stylish, versatile and a bit eccentric. I lived with Herbert for two years but we share more than that. We both went to boarding school in England. We both had to repeat our first year of medical school. We both suffer from psychiatric disease - depression for me, bipolar disorder for him. We both had to put up with the eccentricities of our third flatmate - Poemen (more of him later).

Lately he had become slightly sociophobic. I tried contacting him over the past year with every means necessary - mobile, email, ICQ, text messaging. I was about to go on his new website and try contacting him that way. The last resort was using a carrier pigeon. Finally I got a call from him from out of the blue. It's just a relief to know that he is OK. He's doing OK. The only bad news was that he had to drop out of university, on the recommendation of his psychiatrist (who happens to be my psychiatrist). Nonetheless he is happier about it and that is what matters.

To complete our holy trinity, I got a call from Poemen. He's a bit eccentric, to put it mildly, but he's a great friend and he's mellowed out recently. To prove the point, he has a girlfriend which I thought would never happen. The real reason he called was to invite me out to have a drink and watch the Champions' League final. I decided not to for a lot of reasons:
  1. Kickoff was 2:45 in the morning and even though the next day was a public holiday I was too tired.
  2. It involves two teams that I don't care about. Just because Liverpool is a British team doesn't mean I have to support them. I don't support Spurs when they're in Europe.
  3. I knew that Liverpool was going to lose. Milan had more drive and wanted revenge for two years earlier. I actually should have placed a bet, since I knew it would be 2-1 and Inzaghi would score.
We did catch up on the phone, just talking about how our lives were. He's about to take a good training position, away from real pressure and capable of having a normal life.

Days like yesterday just prove that you don't need a lot of friends. You just need good friends. Remember - quality not quantity.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Fashion and style are not the same

I know that fashion is not suppose to be logical and that when it comes to clothes, I am very conservative and old-fashioned. Nonetheless I find some of the current fashion a bit of an eyesore, especially concerning women.

I thought it was just isolated to Hong Kong but having seen some photos from abroad, I know this is a global phenomenon. I am writing about women wearing leggings or tights underneath shorts, skirts or dresses. It seems to be the new chic thing. From a personal point of view, I think it looks disgusting. I know I shouldn't dress it with logic but when I see a women with black leggings and wearing denim shorts, it is just screaming to me, "I'm a women who is such a prude, I don't want anybody to see my legs. But I still want to wear shorts. So I'm wearing black leggings instead." Why don't you just wear trousers instead? It wouldn't cost you that much, only buying one item of clothing instead of two. The only other person in society who wear long leggings and shorts are clowns. Think about that. Even worse is when you wear different colour shorts and leggings. It immediately draws attention to yourself, in a bad way.

I like women to dress traditionally (but not necessarily conservatively). I like women with skirts/dresses. I know it makes you legs cold but if you want to attract the opposite sex there is a price to pay. The same with high heels - no pain, no gain. With all this in consideration, I don't mind if women wear trousers or shorts, just as long as you still look good.

Which brings me on to another subject - footwear. A bad habit of mine is to stare at the ground a lot. Which means I inspect footwear a lot. For some reason when women wear shorts wearing shoes and socks just doesn't match. For guys, it is OK but for ladies it just makes you look dorky for some reason. If you have to wear shorts, only sandals and feminine shoes (e.g. high heels) would only work. Please don't wear long socks and shoes - again, the clown look comes to mind. The same goes with dresses & skirts - shoes just don't match, only sandals will.

I know this, coming from a guy, may sound hippocritical. I know most guys cannot dress themselves but I tend to think I have a bit of dress sense. I know I still dress like I am in high school but at least I don't make myself stand out in a bad way. Unlike some women...

And isn't most of the time the way you dress is suppose to attract the opposite sex?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Some dog photos

And now for something completely different...

Some of you know that I (or should I say my parents) have two dogs. Simba is a four and half years old male golden retriever whilst Nala is a two year old female golden retriever. Both are from the same breeder and are distantly related.

As those who are using Facebook know, I have posted some baby photos. For those who have not seen the light and not connected to Facebook, here are some of the photos.

This is Nala. She's about ten weeks old in the photo and it was taken back in June 2005. She looks cute in the photo but, like a girl, the cuteness is just a facade as she is a homewrecker. Just ask any of my dad's garden plants and my slippers for reference.

This is Simba. He's eight weeks old in the photo. Actually this photo was taken by the breeder, just before he was shoved into a small box and took an eight hour flight just to reach us. Let's just say he wasn't smelling of roses at the end of his flight.

Some day I will post more grown up pictures of these two homewreckers and write a bit about their personalities. Yes, dogs do have personalities.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Beauty and the Beast

One of my friends wrote on his blog about feeling ashamed for going after beautiful women. I wrote to him, saying it was nothing ashamed about. Even I still go after the attractive women. It just surprises me the human race still haven't learnt that beautiful women are not what they seem.

I can understand the logic from a biological behavioural perspective. People are attracted to beautiful people because they want to mate with them, thus producing beautiful children and ensuring the survival of the species. Thus being beautiful has an advantage in the survival game. Yet with the superior intelligence that humans have over animals, I would have thought that we would have evolved from this idea. Apparently not, since most males and females are still attracted to the physical form, rather than the emotional. The human race is still swayed by the media as to what is beautiful and what is not. What defies logic is that most men are attracted to those ultra-skinny supermodels. These ladies, although attractive, would find it difficult to bear children considering most of them are infertile (those with medical knowledge will know why).

On a side note, I am inclined to think that most beautiful women don't have a nice personality and the same would go for men. They know they can use their looks and body to get what they want and have no qualms about doing so. Not that I am saying there are no good looking people who are nice - I know a few - but this minority is overshadowed by the people who look good but are evil inside. If you want an example, my ex-friend Dora would apply but for an example everybody can relate to, Cameron Diaz as everybody knows is quite stunning. However in a survey of autograph seekers, she comes last in terms of personality. She refuses to sign autographs and has been known to berate autograph seekers, saying they have no life and should find something else to do. The same would apply to Angelina Jolie. She looks amazing but would you want her as your wife? She probably be amazing in bed but she's already been divorced twice and she 'stole' Brad Pitt from Jennifer Aniston.

Which brings me on to another matter. We automatically assume that beautiful people would be great at sexual intercourse. But there is no reasoning behind that. Of course you can assume that most beautiful people would attract the opposite sex more often than less beautiful people and the frequency of sexual intercourse is much increased. But the human being has evolved from being polygamous. There are beautiful people who remain virgins or stay with the same partner. There is no correlation between somebody's looks and the bedroom technique. Probably the best people in bed are the people who are easy, i.e. sluts and the male equivalent (is there such a word for it?).

All this knowledge probably won't make me stop looking at beautiful women. But I would think twice before thinking about them as a partner.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Brain drain

At times (actually most of the time) I feel incredibly stupid. Since I'm repeating most of my final year, I should know most of the information required to pass. However whenever I am asked a question or there is a problem in front of me, there is an air of silence since I don't know the answer.

People say that depression will do this to you, that your memory and concentration will go. But I don't want to blame my depression for this. I know I went six months without studying and out of the game of medicine but that is not an excuse either.

All this comes after I had been quite good at secondary school. In retrospect might school performance may also be due to my diligence and hard work. Nowadays it requires great motivation to start a simple chore.

I wish I can grow out of this phase once and for all.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Diagnosis: Chronic caffeine intoxication

Believe it or not the local teaching hospital has just built a Starbucks in the main foyer. To me it is quite unbelievable and odd. I don't know why, it is just odd.

When I analyze the situation there is nothing wrong happening. Lots of hospitals have coffee shops or snack bars in their settings. There is nothing wrong with having a brand company setting up in the hospital. 7-Eleven has stores in all the Hospital Authority hospitals whilst most of the canteens in the hospital are run by outside catering contractors.

What about the health side of the equation? Granted, coffee is not always good for you but at least it is better than McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken setting up next to the Coronary Care unit. And if you think doctors eat health, just look at what the doctors are willing to eat in our hospital canteen (and that includes myself as well).

The thing that unnerves me is that most of our young staff will be sitting in there most of the time. How much work will be done now, with half the ICU nurses drinking lattes and sitting on the couches? That's my only main concern.

Of course all this doesn't preclude me from ordering a grande caramel cream frappuccino...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Once every six days

So far I have had three cries in the past twelve days, having gone the previous year without crying at all. Thankfully this crying episode today was relatively minor and hopefully nobody spotted it.

It just has been emotionally trying recently. I see previous class peers attening the surgical congress as delegates and subjectively have noticed more of my previous class peers as doctors around the hospital. For me it just is a reflection of where I am and how far (or really how NOT far) I have travelled in the past few years. I cannot help thinking while the rest of the world has progressed, I am stuck in the same hole trying to dig my way out but seemingly digging a big hole. Everybody around me has seemed to achieve their dreams and aspirations; being doctors, helping patients, publishing papers. My dreams are a distant memory and that brings the tears to my eyes, even now while I am typing this entry of my blog in the hospital library (I really got bored of reading about neurosurgery).

So what do I do? I've got about another six months to go in the hospital and I know I will see former class peers as doctors. Heck, three of them have already directly treated me for my depression! THe only thing I can do is to get on with it. But block out the thoughts is just near impossible...

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Today was one of those days when I think, "Yep, God must really despise my existence."

So why do I think that? You probably guessed that I had a bad day. You're wrong... I had a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bad day.

You're probably think that the day cannot be so bad. Maybe. You can decide for yourself as I'm going to bore you with the details and you won't probably read them.

The group I have been allocated to has been "volunteered" to act as helpers for a surgical congress jointly held by the Hong Kong College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Basically we are slave labour and seat fillers. Now I don't really have a problem with this kind of thing. It has been occuring since my school days, acting as guides around schools or being 'encouraged' to listen to talks. At least at school we volunteered to do this whilst our Faculty "volunteered" us. That's a big difference.

So up I got on 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Yes, there is such a thing as a 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday. It doesn't exist in your dreams, although that what it feels like in bed. So off I went to the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine building, set in the most extreme of places. The obviously built this setting for doctors with their cars, since they didn't think about the minions who work there having to change buses twice to get to work. My task for today was nothing really special - just to check if the presenter's PowerPoints were OK and check for any potential problems, such as videos and hyperlinks not working. I didn't have to attend any lectures that have no relevance to me. At least there were some perks of the job. I could have time to catch up on my studying, I could browse the Internet and there were plenty (and I do mean plenty) of sandwiches, which were at least edible and decent.

This was the false sense of security that God led me into, just like the calm before the storm. He provided the sense that all was good in the world before hitting you on both knees. I was there in the room, just helping, checking the slides were alright before the next doctor walked in. Someone I knew. Someone who had been class peers with (I still cannot stand the word classmates). Someone who was going to present. Not just some free paper session where nobody really listens. He was going in the session where he was going to be awarded a prize, sort of like the Cannes Film Festival. That started to set off the wheels in my head, particularly the waterwheels...

What makes it doubly worse is that I don't really like this guy. He's the sort of guy who is a bit of a lad or jock. Snobby, uncaring, condescending. Thinks his English is great when actually he wouldn't pass border control in England. I think you get the general gist of who he is. For those in the know, this is the medical student who went to the Macau casinos a few years ago, gambled and lost most of his money, borrowed money from a loan shark and lost that money as well. Before the loan shark could gain back this collateral by chopping this guy's hands off, the police arrested the loan shark and the guy was pictured in the newspaper crying. The guy got away from being arrested and not paying the loan shark back. That's the guy who becomes a top surgeon.

At this point I'm thinking, "Here I am, being roped in to help with this congress and having fritted away four years of my life thanks this depression. And this guy, this unsavoury man who I wouldn't let him perform surgery on anybody, not even the enemies I hate, is now so important enough to be presenting a paper. What did I do wrong? Is this God punishing me?" And the only conclusion I give rise to these questions is that I don't know what I did wrong but God is indeed punishing me. I don't think God is testing me, as some of my religiously fanatical (and delusional) friends have been saying. I failed that test years ago. If this was a test, it's a bit like somebody testing a bulletproof vest by asking your to don the vest and shooting at you with a machine gun. Or asking you to swallow an unknown specimen which may contain the Ebola virus just to see if the sample really did contain a tropical disease. Severe but with alternatives.
Is this fate? I know there are elements out of control but I don't feel in fate or destiny. If God gave us free will (and I do believe he did), then there is no fate or destiny. If this is really my fate, then I rather be dead. I actually considered this for a nanosecond but it disappeared.

I could have just handled that incident. But God decided that hitting me on both knees wasn't enough and decided on all the other joints in my body. I saw four other doctors who I happened to be class peers with at some point, spread over three years. That's when the waterworks started to happen. I was pre-first stage of crying (see my entry nine days ago about the stages of crying). I should have left the congress at that point, saying I was not well and need to return back to my flat. But I thought I could handle it. I thought it was best to face this predicament. How wrong I was. God was going to smash my nether regions to smithereens and serve them with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

When I thought I was feeling better, I saw another person who used to be a classmate of mine; friend called Yuh-Meei who I happened to like a lot. That really tipped the balance. I had gone from pre-first stage of crying to full blown second stage of crying. I was desperately trying to hold it in but it took so much willpower to do so and was incredibly difficult to do so. If you want to imagine what it feels like for a depressive not to cry when he/she is on the verge of crying, think of this - imagine you have acute infectious diarrhoea and all of a sudden you abdominal cramps plus the urge to defecate. Now imagine you trying to hold it in. Multiple that feeling by about hundred and you start to get the idea what I'm feeling.

At this stage, I had to rush off somewhere secluded to release the tears. I had to rush pass by several prominent surgeons and my current class peers to the toilet. Then, after making sure nobody was there and nobody was going to interrupt me, I let it out a little. Not full blown third stage crying but enough just to get me through the rest of the day.

The cherry on top from God was being asked to wear a suit the next day by one of the staff, since I was helping with the opening ceremony on Monday. That would be fine, with only two exceptions:

1. I only got the notice as I was leaving the congress.
2. I didn't have suit in at my flat and nobody could bring one from home.

Thankfully I sorted the situation out and hopefully that's the end of that. Hopefully I can say this episode is over. But in the back of my mind those thoughts are still there. God IS punishing me, what for I cannot say. This is the second time I had started to cry in front of people in nine days. And the worst thing is...

I got to do it again tomorrow.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Third Culture Kids

I recently came across the phrase "Third Culture Kids" (AKA Trans-Cultural Kids or abbreviated to TCK) while surfing the net at Facebook and Wikipedia. For those not in the know, here is a definition from TCK World:

"A TCK is an individual who, having spent a significant part of the developmental years in a culture other than that of their parents, develops a sense of relationship to both. These children of business executives, soldiers and sailors, diplomats, and missionaries who live abroad, become "culture-blended" persons who often contribute in unique and creative ways to society as a whole."
It is something I totally identify with, having grown up on three different countries in three different continents before I was even eighteen years old. My brother is an even more TCK than me (if there were levels). He can claim passports in three different countries and has lived in FOUR different countries in FOUR different continents before he is twenty five years old. Beat that!

I'm actually thankful that I grew up as a TCK. Without it my perspective would be narrowed and I would be very naive. That said, it has been studied that depression and suicide are more common in TCKs.

There are also lists about attributes of TCKs, which I have reproduced and modified slightly (to be slightly more universal):

Regarding your home country

  • You can't answer the question, "Where are you from?" without having to tell your life story.
  • You honestly don't have a hometown - you have several.
  • Your life story uses the phrase, "Then we moved to..." several times.
  • If talking to somebody else about your childhood, you are frequently asked, "What did you parents do for a living?" (and if it is an American, "Where you parents in the military?")
  • You are tired of people asking, "Where is that?" when you say where you have lived or where your home country is.
  • You know that your home country is not the only country in the world.
  • You go into culture shock when you return to your "home" country or had to re-learn your own culture after spending years overseas.
  • You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don't know the geography of your own country.
  • You and your siblings were born in different countries.
Regarding language
  • You speak two (or more) languages in addition to English but can’t write well in any of them.
  • You can swear in more than one language.
  • You have to explain to everyone why you speak English fluently, even though you grew up elsewhere.
  • Your yearbook had more than one language in it.
  • The best word for something is the word you learned first, regardless of the language.
  • Conversations with close friends often descend into using two (or more) languages.
  • You wince when people mispronounce foreign words.
  • Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you.
  • Your accent slides all over the English scale.
  • You can mimic other foreign accents quite easily.
  • You cruise the Internet looking for fonts that can support foreign alphabets.
  • You know what expat (expatriate) and IB (International Baccalaureate) mean.

Regarding culture

  • You feel odd being in the ethnic majority in at least one country.
  • You think in the metric system and Celsius, but also have learned to think in feet and miles as well.
  • You will never ever learn to think in Fahrenheit, because it sucks
  • You don't know whether to write the date as day/month/year or month/day/year
  • You know to use the term “soccer” when speaking with Americans and “football” when speaking to everybody else.
  • You have played both American and world sports and follow at least one team from America and one team elsewhere in the world.
  • Rain on a tile patio - or a corrugated metal roof - is one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.
  • American culture is either foreign and fascinating to you or it bores you to death.

Regarding daily life

  • When something unusual happens,it doesn't seem to phase you as being something out of the ordinary
  • You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
  • Your blood is not eligible for donation.
  • You bring tissue paper when ever you had to use a public lavatory.
  • You read the international news before the local news and the comics.
  • You automatically take off your shoes as soon as you get home.
  • Your dorm room/apartment/living room looks like a museum with all the "exotic" things you have around.
  • You never really use a seatbelt.
  • You start to keep your experiences overseas to yourself because people look at you as though you are spoiled for having the opportunity to indulge in a new culture.
  • People love your "accent" or make fun of it.

Regarding growing up

  • You got to go home three times a year.
  • You don't feel at home at home anymore
  • You start introducing yourself followed by your country of origin.
  • You have little or no contact with he locals but are best friends with people across the globe You had a domestic helper (and probably a driver) in your childhood.
  • You live at school, work in the tropics, and go home for vacation.
  • Your wardrobe can only handle two seasons - wet and dry.
  • It wasn't unusual to find a lizard or cockroach in your house.
  • You regularly made long distance calls as much as local calls.
  • You never had a job until you reached college

Regarding technology

  • You use MSN/ICQ because you know it's cooler than AIM (and the rest of the world uses it).
  • You own personal appliances with 3 types of plugs, know the difference between 110 and 220 volts, 50 and 60 cycle current, and realize that a transformer isn't always enough to make your appliances work.
  • You fried a number of appliances during the learning process.
  • You’re address & phone book is actually an email & mobile phone book.
  • Everybody had a mobile phone when they entered school (and I don’t just mean high school).

Regarding entertainment

  • You have watched TV programmes from at least three different countries dubbed into different languages and don't find this strange at all.
  • You watch a movie set in a 'foreign country' and you know what the nationals are really saying into the camera.
  • When a film is set in a ‘foreign’ country, you automatically know when the actors, language and setting they are using are not from that country.
  • Your music is in three different languages and from three different countries.
  • You frequently buy pirated computer games, video games, movies and music.
  • When you return home, you watch all the local TV channels, no matter how crap the programs are.
  • You constantly feel like you have to catch up with TV programs, actors and other people or songs you are not familiar with
  • You hate the subtitles to movies and TV programs because you know they translate them incorrectly.
  • You miss the subtitles when you see the latest movie.
Regarding school and friends
  • You’re friends come from four different continents and at least ten different countries.
  • You spent your high school years in bars and pubs without having to show some identification.
  • Your minor or alternative major at university is a foreign language you already speak or you did A Levels/GCSEs of your own language before anybody else did their A Levels/GCSEs.
  • You've gotten out of school because of monsoons, bomb threats, and/or popular demonstrations.
  • Your class trips entailed going to a foreign country.
  • When in (boarding) school, you can only call your parents at 8am and 8pm.
  • You frequently bumped into your old school teachers.
  • When other students complain about wanting to go home and they live in the next state or next town you laugh out loud or to yourself.
  • Talking to your school office and getting signatures from your parents must be planned in advance.
  • You think that high school reunions are all but impossible
  • You don't think it’s strange that you haven't talked to your best friend in a while because you know you will always have a unique bond.
  • You've dated people from other countries
  • You are afraid to go back to visit your school because you know no one will be there that you used to know, they all moved.
  • The tuition that you pay in one quarter/term/semester is equivalent to what your fellow schoolmates pay in a WHOLE YEAR!

Regarding food

  • You go to any restaurant and have to put lots of chilli sauce on your food or wonder why there is no chilli sauce or soy sauce available.
  • You can name the ingredients in any 'foreign' dish.
  • You will or have eaten any kind of foreign dish, no matter how nasty looking or disgusting it sound.
  • Initially you did get food poisoning when eating foreign dishes but no longer get diarrhoea when you eat any kind of foreign dish.
  • You complain about the quality of rice they serve at school
  • You miss the cheap and delicious food from home.

Regarding travel

  • You actually physically owned a passport before you were 18 years old.
  • You own a foreign passport or more than one passport.
  • You had pages added to your passport.
  • You actually use two passports – one to get into your home country and one to get into your country where your school is.
  • Your passport has more stamps than a post office
  • You flew on an airplane before you could walk.
  • You can speak with authority on the quality of international airline travel.
  • You know nothing is worth buying in airports, apart from duty free.
  • You had frequent flyer miles when you were in high school.
  • You have frequent flyer accounts on multiple airlines.
  • You think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a credit card you carry in your wallet.
  • You run into someone you know at every airport.
  • You know how to pack properly.
  • You can live out of a suitcase with ease.
  • When you return home, half the stuff in your suitcase is for people at home.
  • When you return to school, half the stuff is from your home country which is expensive/unavailable at school.
  • The thought of sending your (hypothetical) kids to public school scares you, while the thought of letting them fly alone doesn't at all.
  • You know the exchange rate for several different currencies off by heart.
  • You know the time zones for some of the major cities around the world.
  • It takes you a day to reach home in a plane.
  • You consider a city 500 miles away "very close."
  • You've read National Geographic and recognized someone or feel very homesick.
  • Whenever you watch a travel show, half the places are locations you have been to and the other half is where your friends come from.
  • Once you get home you miss your adopted home and visa versa
  • You wake up in one country thinking you are in another

Last of all…

  • You're spoilt. You know it. You're VERY spoilt.
  • You realize what a small world it is, after all.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The life and times of a spoilt brat

I recently had lunch with a close friend. I was asked to elaborate why I started to hate Dora, who I now consider an ex-friend. It was actually very therapeutic tell her what I thought about Dora and to see another person's perspective.

Now I don't usually hate anybody. There are times I don't like somebody but I get along fine with them. Hate is another level. Hate is when you want bad things to happen this person, that they should be wiped off the face of the earth. Hate is such a powerful force that usually destroy people.

So why do I hate Dora so much? Probably cause I hate myself for trusting somebody like her. When I was in my darkest hour, I felt abandoned by her. I just don't trust her to be my friend anymore. Basically she is a spoilt brat who only cares about herself. This probably stems from the fact that she's an only child but that is a reason, not an excuse.

So is there any reasoning why I hate Dora so much? Let me count the ways...

Hogging a room

To live in the Student Medical Residence near the main teaching hospital, one has to apply. Rooms are well sought after, maybe due to the close proximity to the teaching hospital, the cheap rent and mostly everybody in the class is living there. For a certain period, Dora was able to live in the Student Medical Residence. But after a while, she decided not to live at the Student Medical Residence and decided to live at home instead. Lots of people don't like to live in the Residence, so that was perfectly acceptable. What was unacceptable was that she decided to keep the room and not keep it occupying. Apart from being selfish, I think that somebody who might want to live in the Residence might benefit. I told her this and she started to cry on me, like I did something wrong and started to make me feel guilty.

Teasing a psychiatric patient

During our Psychiatry clerkship, Dora and her group came across a female patient admitted due to delusions of love. So Dora and a male member of her group decided to 'tease' the female patient but saying the secone male member of her group thought she was attractive. I thought this was totally out of line and told her this. She stared at me with the puzzled expression as she didn't know what she had done wrong.

I maybe more sensitive being a psychiatric patient myself but I think this is totally disrespectful to the patient, who has trouble with her illness. As a person in the medical profession, respect for the patient is paramount and this did not happen.

Constant flirtation

Whenever Dora talks to other male members of our group, it is always in a high-pitched flirty voice. This is so she can get her way with them. I talked to her about this and she seems to think there is nothing wrong. I can respect that view but at times it seems she cannot turn it off. She used that voice in front of a male patient once and I've heard rumours that the only reason why she has got her training post after her internship is that she flirted her way to the job. To accentuate the point, the other person who got the same training post is a lady who is even more flirtacious than her. She has already started to earn the scorn of nurses and female doctors everywhere, as well as the people who were applying for that training post.


When I missed my Surgical exam due to my depression and had to go the next day, there she was at the exam. There she started to scold me about not turning up. At this point, her attitude was poor. I need a more caring way, not being berated at.

Even further down the line was when I was admitted into hospital last April for ten days for severe depression. Not once did she visit me, despite my other friends visiting me. If a close friend you knew had been hospitalized, wouldn't you at least try to contact him/her or visit him/her? She did none of that. I felt at that time she would only help friends when it was in her best interest.

Only after that did she decide to contact me but this time by trying to start an intimate conversation through text messaging. This really was the back breaker. I know at times I am hard to find and I won't pick up the phone. Yet at some point I will pick up the phone. Never in Dora's mind did she consider just phoning me and asking how I was doing instead of texting away on her mobile.

The final straw

After all this I started to send an email to her, relating why I did not want to be her friend anymore. She soon replied, with some valid points. Yes I know I am difficult to find and don't always pick up the phone. Yes I don't tell you everything, only because everything I usually tell is depressing. But at no point did she feel any guilt, like she did something wrong. It didn't matter if she was right or wrong, a little humility goes a long way.

What really got me was the last sentence in her reply:

"In my eyes, every time I care, you just don't appreciate it. Either that, or it just rubs off in the wrong way. But I've never given up on trying."

And what has she done since then? Nothing. All she has done is run to my close friend and said "Kenneth is angry at me." Yes I am angry at her and she knows the reasons why. If she can't figure it out, then she's a little inconsiderate.

Ultimately I just don't like her character and with that the person.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Space on either side

Not a good day today. Myself, with the rest of my group who I am still very unacquainted with, have been employed as slave labour plus seat filling for the upcoming Surgical Congress this following Sunday & Monday. Going to miss out on a lot of studying time.

I noticed something recently that has been affecting me for about ten years. I noticed that nobody sits next to me, 90% of the time. I know most people think I'm crazy and it is all down to my depression, picking up these negative aspects. At times I would agree but I do think this happens. It occurs in any situations - lectures, classes, on the bus - and occurs with anybody - strangers, class peers or friends. I don't have any reason to explain it. I try sitting in different places - at the front of the class, back of the class, middle of the class, to the side - but the effect is the same. The only time that anybody sits next to me is when there is nowhere else to sit.

I do accept people would like to sit next to people who they are familiar with but this has happened to strangers, who don't know who I am, plus my friends, who should know I'm not frightening. I don't think I'm that physically repulsive or the places I sit next to are bad places to sit but it does bug me, even more so when you are depressive nearly all the time.