Monday, June 22, 2009


Recently in Hong Kong, the government wanted to convert an old secondary school in Mui Wo, a rural town in Lantau, into a rehabilitation school for drug addict children. The school has been abandoned for quite a few years since it was closed down due to a lack of number of students. It has caused quite a reaction amongst the local resident of the town. The local residents are against the conversion, saying that they are not opposed to having drug addicts in the neighbourhood but they have stated they want the local secondary school to be revived.

That is all good... if you really mean it. However the residents have reacted quite violently to the moving of the drug addict rehabilitation school to their area. They haven't been vocal for a local secondary school until the news that the moving of a drug recovery school was announced, now they say they want their old school to be revived. And why haven't we heard them being more vocal when the school was closed down in the first place?

What really swayed me that the local Mui Wo residents didn't really want drug addicts in their area was when they shouted during the consultation meetings, "We don't was drug addicts in our area" not "We want a secondary school for local children".

It is a classic case of NIMBY syndrome or Not In My Back Yard. Typically it is for building of new facilities in rural areas but it can be applied in this case. Everybody was in favour of expanding the drug rehabilitation school into other areas, due to overcrowding. Yet when they hear it is in their area, they immediately make excuses of why it shouldn't be in their area or they don't want it in their back yard. It is often apply to other members of society. We all in favour of reforming child molesters or the mentally ill, but when we get wind they live next to us or work in areas we visit frequently, we become uneasy with that idea.

Somebody has to have a drug rehabilitation school in their area. They just have to stick with the idea.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Duty and honour

I'm finishing up watch the fifth season of "House" before I started resident training. I've just watched the episode where Kal Penn departs. When I heard the actor was leaving his acting profession to join the White House, I thought it was remarkable and applaud him for this noble move.

When I first heard Kal Penn was leaving Hollywood for his post as Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, I instantly thought of Pat Tillman. I'm not a big follower of American football but when the story broke that an professional NFL player was going to enlist into the United States Army Rangers, it made me feel some pride for the human race that not all of us are in it for the money. He enrolled into the US Army after 9/11 as he thought he had a duty to perform.

We all should take good examples from Tillman and Penn. They left their profession in the height of their career, with fame and fortune at their doorstep, to take up some civic duty because they felt it was the right thing to do. I know many celebrities from film and sports donate their money and time to charitable causes but they still hold on to their day job of multimillionare stars. They would probably argue the skills are best spent in their chosen field, which is probably right. But it would be nice if these celebrities would do a lot more, rather than keep charging so many dollars to turn up at a charity event and naming charities after themselves.

There are actors and sports players who decide to enroll in another field, such as journalism or politics or charity post, after their career has finished. This is noble as well but this happens after they have milked the previous career dry with nothing left but dust. Couldn't they have done this early? I'm sure they had enough money in the bank which would set themselves for life, so they can go and dedicate themselves to their new role instead of being handed 'ambassador titles' from the UN.

Kal Penn and Pat Tillman should be applauded - it is just a shame there are not more people like that in the world.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I know I am a superficial guy. I look constantly at Hong Kong women and wish for the day where most of them will wear high heels, actually have thighs that are larger than their calves and wear revealing clothing such as short skirts and low cut tops.

I know I'm not going to see that in the wards. I have yet to see a babe, either as a patient or as a patient's relative. And if any of the female doctors wore any clothes showing skin I think most of the male patients will suffer a heart attack and that would mean too much paperwork.

Yet I know most nice looking girls don't have much up top and I'm not talking about breasts. I looked at two Playboy Playmate video profiles and once these models opened their mouths it was quite obvious there weren't even two brain cells to knock against each other. Yet all people, ladies and gentleman, continue to look for the ideal-LOOKING person rather than go for personality, brains or humour. That is why people were astonished Susan Boyle could sing. The population is bought up with Mariah Careys and Avril Lavignes of this world and we don't have an ordinary looking girl who can sing properly.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Increased admissions

Life is going reasonably well at the moment. I'm in the process of being registered as a resident / medical officer. I'm still sorting out the paper work, which is still like any other kind of bureaucracy in that it is totally unfathomable. I honestly don't understand why people in administration can make this simpler. Anyway I'll be signing the contract later this week and will be attending the orientation at the hospital next week.

Closer to home, the current work is hectic. The Accident & Emergency department at our hospital has closed down its observation ward for repairs until September. This means patients who normally go to the observation ward for a few hours are being directed to the admission wards in the hospital. I was at the history meeting for our department today and it was noted there were eighty-two admission yesterday, when normally the medical department only receives fifty admissions per day. More admission means more work to do - more investigations to order, more discharge summaries to type up.

Thankfully I only have to suffer this for fifteen more days. That's four more calls and I'm on holiday and can wave goodbye to my life as an intern.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Jumped-up dancers & frumpy singers

I'm really glad "Britain's Got Talent" is over. For those who live in Britain, you should be surprised by the amount of press coverage the show has received overseas. There has been daily bulletins on our local news leading up to the final. The word "overhype" could be used to describe the situation. I'm just relieved this overblown talent show programme has now ended, at least for another year. I really don't like any of the celebrities involved. Simon Cowell & Piers Morgan are just nasty men who you wouldn't want a conversation with. Ant & Dec should have gone to jail for that fraud telephone scheme they were involved with. Amanda Holden is OK but really should get out of that show if she wants to be deemed 'credible'.

The show has been helped by the character of Susan Boyle, even though she didn't win. Every credible act who appeared in the program shows they have talent. But why are we surprised by this? There are a lot of talented people all around us and we don't even notice. We probably have colleagues, family members or friends who can sing, dance and play musical instruments. We just don't go out and try to find them. At least "Britain's Got Talent" gives these people a chance to show their skills, probably the only redeeming factor of the show.

And why we on the subject, why should we be surprised when somebody is oridinary looking has a beautiful singing voice? I just hate the media-lead society we live in when we assume anybody who is beautiful/handsome is presumed to be clever, talented and nice when it is usually the opposite.

I just like to wish Diversity, Flawless, Susan Boyle, Hollie Steel and all the other performers who took part good luck and remind them to keep their feet on the ground.