Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ten years on

To those who don't know, Hong Kong will be celebrating its tenth anniversary of its handover from United Kingdom to China. Naturally there has been a big fuss over this anniversary. Many events and shows have been organized over the past few months, with Hong Kong Disneyland offering free entry to children born in 1997 and Hu Jintao, China's president, in town for the festivities. At this very moment, a celebratory concert has just finished. In attendance was various big wigs watching many of the leading singers and stars performing. It is set to continue tomorrow in rather appalling weather.

After ten years, it is right we have a large celebration. Hong Kong has managed to thrive despite various obstacles - the Asian financial collapse soon after the handover; the SARS epidemic in 2003 plus the massive political rally soon after that. Hong Kong has changed quite considerably over the past decade. The region has become more wealth despite the initial setback and people have become more aware of their rights.

Yet there are drawbacks of living in Hong Kong. Everybody who knows me I hate Hong Kong with a passion more than Hitler hated the Jews. But I can see why Hong Kong appeals to some people. Some of these reasons were highlighted in a recent BBC News article. It has a nice tropical climate, most material goods are reasonably cheap and the transportation is efficient. Yet most of this is coming from Caucasians who interact little with the local community. Once you live the locals you start to know that not all is well in the state of Denmark... I mean Hong Kong. I'm going to try to highlight some of the things I hate about Hong Kong. I know some of these may happen somewhere else in the world but it seems exponentially heighten in Hong Kong.
  1. Hong Kong people are naive and stupid: A few years ago Jiang Zemin, then President of China, responded to very stupid questioning from Hong Kong journalists by saying they were "simple and naive." I totally agree with him - although Hong Kong people are famed for their memorization and dictation, they lack any logical thought or creative thinking. The environment they are brought up in just suppresses that.
  2. Hong Kong people care only for themselves: Although there are many people who perform voluntary service and donate to charity, a vast majority of people will not offer their seat to the needy in a public transport setting. It is the same with doctors - we are told to cover our own asses more than to think of the patients' needs.
  3. Hong Kong people care only for money: In a city where the majority of its wealth is generated through the finance sector, unfortunately this is the end result. My father, a university chemistry professor, is rather disgusted by the attitude of his students. Most of them view their degree as just a means to get a good job, so they don't attend most of his classes and expect him to provide all the notes they need for their exams. The same attitude is politics as well - they will tend to fund areas in education which have tangible results, such as business, law and engineering rather than history, science and arts.
  4. Hong Kong people lack any creativity: I don't think we have any creative people at all in Hong Kong or they are just not well known or well paid enough. We have very few stand-up comedians in Hong Kong, with the general public tending to laugh at what I call low-grade toilet humour. The Hong Kong film industry is a mess thanks to film piracy and the lack of creativity. You look at our culture and it is just an amalgamation of American and Japanese influence... which leads me on to my next point.
  5. Hong Kong people have not national identity: You ask Hong Kong people and they will say they are proud to be Chinese but necessarily proud to be from Hong Kong. This comes from the fact that a lot of people living in Hong Kong have immigrated here from various parts of China and are just here for the money.
  6. Hong Kong people lack guts: This comes from the Chinese concept of not wanting to "lose face." Hong Kong people rather play it safe and not risk anything. I look at my peers and see that none of them don't want to answer a question in case they get it wrong, even if they are not being assessed on the result.
I'll stop here because I know people are getting bored but at some point, probably tomorrow, I'll go on with my list.


My brother got Live Earth London tickets and decided not to go just because my Dad was going to be in town on his way to a conference. The whole family thought he was crazy and told him so. Finally we have talked some sense into him and he is going to Wembley.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


This is Simba, my dog. When I mean my dog, he really belongs to my parents since they chose to have the dog and paid quite a lot of money for him. But I do have some responsibility in bringing him up, having to pick up his sh*t and training him what to do.

Simba was born in September 2002 in Australia and came to Hong Kong. He's nearly five years old now and weighs about 80 pounds. I know what you must be thinking - that is big. Basically it is due to too many snacks.

Simba loves his sleep time at home. That what he usually does, tending to ignore Nala our other dog. Funnily enough, when he's awake he's not totally awake, almost in a sleepy state but whilst he's asleep he can be woken up very easily. He's almost in a semi-sleep state most of the time!

As much as Simba loves his sleep, he loves his weekend walks a lot. Usually it is my parents who take him but sometimes I do tag along. Sometimes he goes with his dog friends and their owners from the Golden Retriever Club of Hong Kong.

He loves swimming although he was reluctant to at first. My parents really had to push him quite literally. There's a place nearby our home which has a waterfall where he can swim.

I'm gonna shut up now and let you enjoy some nice photos of Simba. Most of them were taken by my dad.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bolton Wanderers

I'm going to stop torturing myself about love, romance and girls for a bit to write about the team I hate the most in the Premier League - Bolton Wanderers. I just despise for the way they seem to get victories against Arsenal out of nothing and the way they play is not very attractive to the eye.

Last season was a turning point. Even though they ended the season on a whimper, Bolton managed to gain an UEFA Cup spot. After three consecutive seasons in the top seven, Sam Allardyce realized he had taken the Wanderers as far as he could with their limited fan base and financial support. He knew if he wanted to win trophies and be truly respected as a manager, he needed to go to another club which could match his ambitions.

This left Bolton with Sammy Lee. Although he may be a good coach, having been at Liverpool and the English national team, this is his first time as manager. He has started his campaign well, getting rid of the excess weight in the squad and bringing in players he wants. The only thing that concerns me about Bolton is the lack of wingers. It seems that Lee will go for a 4-3-3 formation which Allardyce favoured and will also use the long ball technique, packing the midfield when they lose the ball.

Bolton fans have to reasonably expect that they won't finish seventh this season. A top half finish will be the best they can hope for. Maybe they can make up for it in the cup competitions this time around.

Monday, June 25, 2007

"It's a self preservation thing... you see"

I like to torture myself mentally & emotionally. I like to think that most of my friends have abandoned me, that they don't contact me, not because they are busy, but they genuinely don't care. I can prove this by saying that only one person from my original year (MBBS04) ever contacts me. None of the others do. Nobody contact me from MBBS05 but at least a few contact me from MBBS06 - about four actually. I don't receive any contact from people I went to secondary school with, apart from one or two. They contact other people but they never get in touch with me. I like to think they have lives to live but in my mind they are just frightened of having a friend with depression or that we were never close, that our friendship was a farce.

I don't just torture myself with friendship. I inflict pain with other aspects of my life but mostly with love. Whenever I meet a girl I like, I automatically think that she will not like me. I give myself excuses - she already has a boyfriend, she hates me for no apparent reason, she's a lesbian, etc. I do that with the current girl I'm infatuated with. Throughout this morning's lecture when I sat next to her, this was going through my mind - she won't like me because I'm overweight, stupid, acne-ridden, ugly and geeky.

So why do I do this to myself? Why do I self-mutilate my ego? Perhaps misery loves company, that I love being miserable. My depression has a tendency to perpetuate itself at times, especially when the rock has gathered momentum down the hill. Or perhaps I'm preparing for the worst, that if something like this actually happens it won't damage as much as it should have?

Yet I genuinely want to stop torturing myself but don't know how. The only way I can see it happening is for someone to tell me that I am wrong and to prove it in front of me, that my friends actually care or that a girl will like me for who I am.


Genuinely been miserable for the past few days. Infatuated with a girl who probably hates my guts, doing Paediatrics which I hate the most and now Thierry Henry has left Arsenal to join Barcelona.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


To get myself from thinking about the girl in my group, I am going to write about Blackburn's prospects for this upcoming season.

I place Blackburn Rovers into a group of teams that are overachieving. Along with Bolton Wanderers, Portsmouth and Reading, they have attained league placings beyond their financial status and fan support. Last season was a good season despite what the table tells the football fan. Coping with an European campaign where they got past the group stages, they managed to change their domestic season around to qualify for Intertoto Cup. Even though that means an early start to the upcoming season, it will mean another turn in the UEFA Cup.

Their inability to cope with the big boys in the transfer market will mean that a whole lot of new players won't be coming in but that won't necessarily be a problem. They will get some money for selling fringe players such as Andy Todd, Michael Gray and Francis Jeffers but ultimately all they need is another three players. A right back is a priority as I cannot see Emerton playing a whole season in an unaccustomed role. Some support in midfield is good but not essential. A young striker would be vital for their long term health.

If Blackburn manages to maintain their current league stature and do well in the cups, I think it would be a good season for them. Now is the time for Mark Hughes' men to start asserting themselves on the league.

Friday, June 22, 2007

It is better to have loved and lost then to never loved at all.

In my previous entry, I touched upon the circumstances of my love life, or lack thereof. Why of a sudden have I written about this aspect of my life?

I don't need reminding about my single status. There are constant clues in my daily routine. One of my best friends is married and when I searched on Facebook I noticed that two of my friends from secondary school are married. Tons of friends are in relationships - it seems to be "in fashion". Being single seems to be vilified nowadays. Surely there must be something wrong with you that makes you unattractive to the opposite sex and is the reason why you have no significant partner. Maybe you are too obsessed about your career or you difficult to deal with - who knows?

As I started a new rotation in Paediatrics, I had to join a new group. This group contained a few people with a similar background - Hong Kong people growing up in a more Westernized culture. I have noticed one girl (who shall not be named). She's sweet and nice from first impressions... and this spells disaster for me.

I know in my desperate state that I would latch on to any girl who I would think could be my girlfriend. That fact is that I hardly know this girl. OK she's nice looking and good to talk to but that is from one single conversation lasting half hour. What if she has a boyfriend already? What if she turns out to be a bitch like Dora? What if she cannot cope with a boyfriend with depression? That's a lot of "what ifs".

I know I don't need a relationship right now - there's too much on my plate at the moment. I don't want to burden a girl knowing she will have to cope with my depression and the possibility that I will leave Hong Kong. Yet it is difficult to stop thinking about romance and love when you never had any. Constant reminders such as couples holding hands or girlfriends following their boyfriends around like little Scottish Terriers keep telling you that you are lonely and desperate.

It is not easy being single. You may have your freedom but you sacrifice companionship.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Plenty of fish in the sea

My laptop's hard drive was totally fried, which meant I had to get a new hard drive and lost my files. Luckily I have back-ups somewhere else.


In terms of love and romance, I know I am a desperate guy. Is it my fault? Partially, since I'm a very shy person and the opposite sex does frighten me a lot. I have tried and have been met with failure all the time. I handle rejection very poorly - one time, I tried to kill myself. So I tend to not go after the opposite sex unless I am absolutely sure. Yet my choices are limited. I'm not that picky about who I am willing to date but I do have criteria. I like somebody from a similar background, which means for a Hong Kong person the ability to speak English and have a more Western mentality. A lady like that in Hong Kong is very hard to find. Most females in Hong Kong have a mentality of a five year old girl, who dress in sneakers, black leggings, shorts and a dress, like "Twins" (a female pop duo for those who don't know) and use a strange mix of English and Cantonese. Most of the time I roll my eyes up in front of these girls.

This predicament has left me without a girlfriend for my entire life and a virgin - something I will admit but not proudly. I have heard friends say that is something not to be ashamed of. Lots of people date late in life and have sex for the first time in their thirties. I know my friends are trying to encourage me but right now it seems that my love life is due to circumstances and not by choice. People tend to neglect romance for various reasons - work, study, family problems, religion. It is within their control to decide whether to date or not. It is not within my control, unless I change my standards.

I'm not picky but I settle for one... just one.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids."

Bear with me if you don't see a new entry in my blog (not that anybody reads it) but since my laptop is in for another fix, I'm without internet access for this week.


I have just started my Paediatric rotation this week. I haven't been looking forward to this rotation for a long time, mainly because I hate kids. Some people love kids but I tend to focus on the negative aspects - how they cannot behave, how they scream at such a high-pitch that your ears start to bleed and how they can ruin your life.

I hate their parents even more. I know they are right most of the time regarding the health of the child but in terms of upbringing, I really wish the government start implementing licenses on people who can or cannot bring up children. There are parents who spoil their children rotten, believing it is a good thing whilst there are parents who just totally leave the care of their kids with domestic helpers. I can appreciate that bringing up children is a difficult task but there are parents who fail miserably and cannot grasp the basic concepts.

I hate the Paediatric teachers at our hospital. I think they are out-of-touch with the outside world and don't know what to demand from the students. They have this Jekyll and Hyde personality - they are great with kids but suddenly turn nasty towards students. I just can't respect people who cannot treat other people equally - they have to fake their feelings to one group.

I know I just have to manage the next eight weeks with great courage and strength. God (and only God) can help me.


When reviewing Birmingham City, the football club highlights the problem facing all the promoted clubs and the reason why most of them are doomed to relegation. One can look at the forward line-up and see that other Premier League defences are not going to scared. The likes of DJ Campbell, Rowan Vine and Cameron Jerome are not going to set the top division alight with their goals. The midfield are not going to contribute much goals either, apart from McSheffrey. Birmingham City used mainly brute force in midfield to barge their way to second spot but have left out creative influences such as the two Neils, Danns & Kilkenny. They have done well to bounce back in one season but they need to do much more the second time around.

Major investment is required through out the team. Three more defenders are needed whilst a right winger is also required but most importantly they will need a striker. The top scorer last season has left so they will need someone who can net fifteen goals a season. Five players require a large amount of money but will the club provide the funds? I know that a lot of Premier League clubs are in the midst of takeovers with the promise of transfer funds but will the new owners provide them?

At the moment, Birmingham City seemed doomed to the drop. But if they get the right players they can survive... just.


This summer's transfer window has really been boring. Apart from Manchester United, none of the other clubs have really invested into players. Even Chelsea has gone on the cheap with three free transfers. What is going on?!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Keeping connections

I had a good discussion today with one of my best friends about friends. With the advent of Facebook, I've been getting in touch with people I have lost contact with for a number of years. Yet I ask myself the question, "Do I really want to?" I'm not saying they are bad people. From what I know about them in the past, I know they are quite good people. Yet over the years these people and I have drifted apart, leading separate lives and making different friends. In the end the only thing we may have in common is that we had classes together or were together in the same year in school. Is this reason enough to get in contact with them? I do care how they are doing but will my feelings be reciprocated?

What I am try to say (or write) is what is a friend. To some, friends are just people you go out with, to watch movies or have drinks. To me friends are much more than that. Friends are people you can trust and talk to about intimate matters, such as suffering from depression or having relationship problems. That is what friendship to means to me. The sad fact is I don't have contact with the two best friends are knew back in boarding school. Either it is my fault or their fault or a bit of both. One is right here in Hong Kong but so happens to be a doctor and is unreachable most of the time. The other is somewhere in USA where I cannot reach him. In fact the best person I know from boarding school is someone I gotten to know better after I left.

I'm not trying to get pity or make people feel guilt-ridden to contact me. At times I do feel jealous of people who say they have lots of friends or seem to have lots of contacts on Facebook. I just have to tell myself that not all people on Facebook are your best friends - some will be just casual acquaintances or peers that you knew/know. And that it is quality, not quantity that matters.


I am so glad that I passed my Surgery Clerkship, even though I did some idiotic things during the exam (don't ask, please).


Ladies of the world, please stop wearing black leggings with shorts/skirts/dresses. It doesn't look sexy, cute or stylish - it just looks plain ugly. I will strangulate the next women who does this with the black leggings itself. What guys want is skimpy clothing - spaghetti straps with lots of cleavage showing and very short shorts or miniskirt. Is that too much too ask?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The absence of originality

During a break from studying, I watched "The Island" starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. I had bad preconceptions for this film, since it didn't do very well at the box office. However I was pleasantly surprised, with Michael Bay making a decent thriller which engages you to wonder what would happen. Naturally the lead characters would survive but in the essence of romantic comedies, it's not the end result but how you get there that counts.

I think why the movie failed at the box office is that it had no fanbase. The concept was totally original. Nowadays most of the summer blockbusters you see are either sequels or have some fanbase. Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Shrek the Third, The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Die Hard 4.0 and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix are all sequels. Throw into the mix Transformers (I really want to see that) and the Simpsons Movie there is no big movie that has any originality. This is the state that Hollywood has degenerated to, that they are banking on reliable but unoriginal films without risk anything on new ideas. I wish that Hollywood stopped thinking less about the money and more about the creativity.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Aston Villa

I couldn't think of something topical to write. I could have written about the different between sex and love but it would take too long and I'm not in the mood. I could have gone into a long rant about how poorly women dress in Hong Kong but I've done that before and it will be some time before I go into that subject again. For now I will continue my Barclay's Premier League review/preview with Aston Villa.

Great things were expected from Villa last year. The went under new ownership, finally getting rid of Deadly Doug Ellis. Martin O'Neill, who worked his magic with Leicester City and Celtic, was brought into usher a new era. The new season started out well for Aston Villa - they were the last team to be beaten in the Premiership. Yet the facade soon gave way to the reality. They started to draw too many games and the squad was stretched thing. Only after the January transfer windown, when they finally brought in some players of decent calibre, were they able to climb up the table.

This season Martin O'Neill will be expected to do better. He will finally have the players he wants and a full pre-season training to mould his side into the way he wants to play. He still needs to get rid of some deadwood. The likes of Hendrie and Samuel have already left, with others to follow. Djemba-Djemba, Sutton and Delaney should be going with Sorensen, Hughes and Davis also likely to go. What they need still is a right back, possibly Phil Bardsley or Luke Young, a right winger with Shaun Wright-Phillips' name being tossed around and a forward - infinite possibilities here.

Martin O'Neill should be expected to get into Europe this season. In the long run he should be challenging the Big Four but he will require heavy investment into his squad.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My beloved club

For those who know me well, there are two loves that I have had since childhood. One is movies. The other is Arsenal F.C.

I follow my club religiously, even reading reports of our reserve games. Now with the season over, now would be a good time to reflect on the season that has passed and the one that will come. I will be looking at the rest of the Barclay's Premier League (note the name change) teams over the course of the summer. Naturally I would start with my club.

I hate to use the word "transition" but that is what Arsenal's season was all about. Starting at a new stadium and with most of the first team out through injuries lead to the use of youngsters in most of our games. The likes of Traore, Denilson and Song shone in the League Cup whilst Hoyte, Djourou, Senderos, Clichy, Diaby & Walcott got more time than would have normally got on the pitch. Hopefully the experience will help us next season.

Next season will be vital. With Arsene Wenger's future in the balance, he may view another trophyless season as a sign he has brought the club as far as he could and may want a new challenge. This would bring about an exodus of players from the club, who view Wenger as a father figure. The likes of Henry and Fabregas might leave with Wenger.

Yet wholesale changes are not needed. The likes of Almunia, Ljungberg and Flamini would most likely leave. Other possibilities include Gilbert, Djourou, Senderos and Hleb. To be quite frank, I only see Flamini leaving whilst Arsenal would most likely bring in another defender, preferably a left-footed player who can cover for Clichy, and a high-scoring midfielder is needed, with Rosicky, Hleb and Fabregas not finding the net much last season.

I know Arsenal will not win the title every season but I like to seem them have a go. We have the youth and the talent. We might not be able to compete on the financial level with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool but on the pitch we are their equals. I like to see us improve our league position whilst winning something - I would settle for the League Cup if we used our youngsters.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kicking up a fuss

Sometimes I really do hate the flu. I don't mind being sick - it is a natural part of life - but I seem to get the worst post-viral cough. That means you can hear me coughing a mile away, with me bringing up sputum like a geyser. Not the most pleasant of sounds or sights. Hopefully it will pass soon.

In two days time, I will be having exams followed by another exam a week later. Am I scared? Of course I am. I just think it is a natural reaction to stress. It is a life threatening situation in some sense. Everybody gets scared of exams, even if it doesn't help. But am I kicking up a fuss? No. I'm not that sort of person. I'm not the person who shows it, being histrionic and saying every fifteen seconds, "I am SO scared!" I hate people who do that. It serves no purpose what so ever. And who does this? You probably guessed, Dora. Even though I tell her not to do it to me, she still comes up to me and says, "I'm so stressed about this exam." Honestly at times I wish I never met Dora.

I also don't like people who talk about the exam afterwards. I don't mind the analysis, saying what mistakes we made and where we could have done better. But I hate the people who says they won't talk about the exam and then still do. I hate the people who keep worrying about the exam, despite the fact that there is nothing you can do to change the result.

And yet I know I will see this situation occur on Saturday, with all the girls going into a histrionic fit saying, "I am SO stressed!" I'm probably more stressed about that situation than the exam.