Monday, December 20, 2010

Busy at Christmas time

I'm currently on leave from work until after Christmas. I still have plenty to do over the next week. I've got two presentations I have to prepare which will be presented next week. Also I have to sort out my Annual Practising Certificate so that I can continue practising medicine and I have to sort out what I'm doing in the next three months at the next hospital - especially my car parking space.
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My brother is back for the Christmas holidays. My mother asked me to take my leave from work at this time of year to be with my brother but to be perfectly honest, I don't know why she asked me. I don't talk to my brother much and I don't need to go out with him. Also he's pissing off to see his girlfriend in Malaysia after Christmas is over and his girlfriend is visiting us afterwards as well. Sometimes I do feel like an appendix - an useless appendage which nobody notices
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I still hate weddings. At first I do get annoyed when friends don't invite me to weddings but in the end, I'm grateful I don't have to go. I just find it miserable and depressing all the time. Perhaps it just reminds me of my own martial status, the fact the weddings I have been to have been filled with doctors talking about boring doctor stuff or the whole sycophant affair is not benefiting the bride or groom but everybody else's benefit which I hate about weddings.

I just like to say a big 'Thank You' to all those who don't invite me and a big sorry to those who do for being such a miserable git.
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Well done to AP McCoy for winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He's getting some due recognition for such a marvellous career and year, after winning the Grand National. I would have voted for Phil 'The Power' Taylor or Graeme McDowell. Amy Williams should also get a special mention as well.

I loved AP McCoy's last words to Cesc Fabregas in his thank you speech. I think he echoes every Arsenal fans' thoughts when he said it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dumbed down news

Two recent events have made me thing the news media has dumbed down in recent years.

I was on holiday in Koh Samui when Prince William announced he was going to marry Kate Middleton in 2011. Let me state I am happy for William and Catherine. Naturally this piece of news is a delight to hear and I wish them all the happiness in the world.

Yet can I move on after this announcement was finished? No, I couldn't since the media was relentlessly following this gold nugget for the next few days. The only news channel I could receive whilst I was in Koh Samui in my resort was BBC World News. I know the Beeb would report this piece of fact as the priority news bulletin, since it concerned the BRITISH Royal Family. Yet I'm disappointed how they treated this piece of news like a piece of tabloid gossip. Just read out the fact that Prince William and Kate Middleton are going to be married next year and move on.

But the BBC couldn't move on. I think they used every single reporter that was available to cover this story. From the University of St. Andrews, to RAF Anglesey to Kate Middleton's home to Kenya, there was constant speculation and gossip of what essentially what I class as a non-story - it doesn't really have an effect on the normal person and doesn't concern the long-term stability of the world. I'm very disappointed with the BBC News. You would think the BBC News, with its reputation of impartiality and credibility would now stoop so low to cover this story as a major news item. I know it is a piece of good news but really, after the first 24 hours, the Beeb should move on.

(Before you point it out, I know there is an irony of me writing about a non-news story which should be covered as news.)

The other story is Barack Obama getting a split lip in a Thanksgiving basketball game. The same rules apply with this story. It is a non-news story that has no major effect on the world or me.

I honestly think we as a human race have dumbed down enough to consider these two events as news. We should take a bit more interest in politics and economics but instead we are more concerned about celebrity weddings and world leaders getting injured. Doesn't this reflect the times?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I believe Stephen Fry is right...

Stephen Fry, acclaimed emperor of Twitter and aficionado of all things great and beautiful, recently got into trouble with the opposite sex by claiming that women do not enjoy sex. That statement seems ironic coming from a gay man, which has been pointed out by critics. "What would a gay man know about women and their sexual desires?" cried out feminists.

Yet I believe Stephen Fry is right, in some sought of way. There will be women in the world who would have a sexual drive which would put rabbits to shame. On the whole though, women are less sexually driven than men. I don't blame women for that attitude, since it is just the way they are wired. In all species, it is the male who tries to sow as much as seed into as many females as possible, so they have to be as sexually aggressive as they can. That is what their genes tell them to do. For the females, their chromosomes tell them to pick the best suitors with the most desirable characteristics - strength, intelligence, etc. So females have to be selective in choosing their partners and tend to hold out until they are absolute certain their partner is the best.

Nonetheless, shouldn't humans have progressed to the stage where they shouldn't be listening to their DNA and control their own lives? Yes we have but still women still have a "conservative" view on sex. As I stated before and I will state again, women then to attach sex with love, which I don't believe is true. You can have sex without love and love without sex...

Sex with love = the perfect relationship
Sex without love = one night stands, prostitution, fuck buddies, etc.
Love without sex = Most marriages after a few years
No love or sex = single

For most men, I am frustrated there are fewer women who have the same attitudes towards sex as I do. In UK and US, the situation is better. There are ways to link up with people who like straight cruising or fuck buddies or one night stands through reliable means. In Hong Kong and I reckon most other Asian countries, the attitudes towards sex is still in the Dark Ages. Trying to link up with a lady who likes sex as much as I do is nigh impossible.

Of all the ladies I know in Hong Kong, I can only think of two women who I reckon will like sex as much as men do. One is a doctor and one is a nurse who does wear very sexy clothes outside of work.

Yet dressing up sexy and being interested in sex are two different things. For some women, dressing up sexy is not an indication they want to have sex. Sometimes they want to feel powerful, that they captivate men and put them underneath their thumb just because they are showing a bit of skin. Other times, they just want to spite other women by attracting more attention from men.

Before you say it, I'm not frustrated about women having these attitudes towards sex. I'm just frustrated I can't find the women who have the same attitudes towards sex like I do.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dating

I went out for a date on Thursday night. It is only the second person I went out with a date with. The girl I went out with, we had three dates before deciding that our relationship wasn't going to work out for various reasons and we ended the relationship amicably.

This time, the date was arranged by an English radio programme, which would be highly unusual in any person's life. All we did was have a nice dinner together. I think the date went well from my perspective. Yet I have no idea if she thought the same as well. I'm just a bad reader of women in general. I think the major sticking point is the age difference. She is older than me. I don't find that a problem (which may mean I'm desperate) but I think this issue stuck in the back of her mind.

Generally I find it difficult to find dates. I have very selective criteria. I do want to date somebody with a Western background, which limits my options in Hong Kong. I find Hong Kong dating websites not generally helpful. They usually have to pay a fee to use their full services, which is annoying and their scope is limited. I may even have to resort to asking my friends for suggestions.

There must be a way for somebody like me to find a date, isn't there?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Professional hatred (part 4)

Accounting / bankers / stockbrokers
If you have anything to do with finance, I hate you. I just think you are the parasite sucking on the life blood of the earth and draining the world of any vitality it once had. Your primary aim in life is to make more money. You just don't want to make money to buy a house or a car, or to fund your parents' retirement or your children's future. Basically you are driven by greed and no other motive, which I think is dangerous. In my mind, you will do anything and screw over anybody just to squeeze out that net profit, even if it means selling your own grandmother.

Not only that, you make finance incredibly difficult to understand. Once a upon a time, what you did with money is either spend it or save it. Now you have to invest the money you earned into a whole variety of schemes - shares, bonds, options, real estate, etc. Where did the habit go of just paying for material goods, like bananas, shoes and screwdrivers?

As it turned out, those bankers didn't really know what they were doing. Lending money who couldn't possibly pay it back? Please, I don't have an economics degree and I could have told you that was a bad idea. Worst of all, once the governments bailed out the banks, those in the banking system did sod all. Bankers didn't apologize for what they did and did nothing to help out the economy either. They still got paid the absurdly humongous wages they have and even had the cheek to have bonuses as well.

Society should revert back to a system where people should be rewarded for their usefulness. People like farmers who provide food, nurses who provide health care and police officers who provide protection. These jobs are vital and we would miss them. Kill a million bankers and you would bat an eyelid.

At this point I should point out I'm a socialist. Even though I am paid quite well as a doctor, I accept that I will be taxed quite heavily to contribute to society. Actually when I saw my tax bill for the upcoming year, I frightened my dogs when I shouted out the amount. I accept that taxes are necessary to pay for many things, and actually it pays for my salary. However I don't like people who avoid paying tax. That is where my hatred for accountants come in. Most of them I believe (which I know is not true but please satisfy my ego by continuing this line of thought) try to help their clients avoid paying tax. If you don't contribute to society, you should get anything out of society.

This is where I don't like my uncle. According to my father, he doesn't pay tax in Hong Kong since his business is in China. I don't know if he pays tax in China but I'm suspecting he really doesn't. And he still lives in Hong Kong, sending his son to school here and using the health care system. Even though he's a resident here, I still believe that is wrong.

I know he is my uncle but that doesn't make him immune to my vitriol. The same applies to my brother and a number of friends who work in the finance sector. I love my brother very much but I hate his job as an employee of UBS, another bank who had a bailout. I am jealous of his wages and his benefits. I have the capabilities to become a banker. Yet I don't have the soul for the job or rather I do have a soul which I am unwilling to sell to the devil.

Gordon Gekko once said, "Greed is good." If that is the case, why is greed one of the seven deadly sins.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Professional hatred (part 3)

PR / Marketing / Advertising
The sophisticated science fiction author H.G. Wells once said that, "Advertising is legalized lying" and I'm inclined to agree. I can't stand anybody who works in the field trying to portray something that isn't there or more likely trying to hide the truth from being known.Ever since the growth of media and the need to sell material items, the role of public relations has essentially made people not what they are.

Let's take a recent case study. The News of the World, one of the most trashiest tabloids (I'm not even going to call them 'a newspaper') in Britain, has recently published a story that Wayne Rooney, the England and Manchester United football star, had sex with a prostitute whilst his wife Coleen McCoughlin was pregnant.

Firstly to continue my hatred of tabloid journalism, this is a story that nobody needs to know. Not the general public, not the football fans, this is a private matter between a husband and a wife. The News of the World are just wasting everybody's time in order to sell newspapers by publishing a non-essential story.

However it has come to this stage where footballers and any other stars are required to be portrayed as wholesome members of society in order to sell products and remain in the spotlight. This is where the PR / marketing parasites come in. They have been whispering in Wayne Rooney's ear that essentially he has to be something that he really is not. I'm not saying I approve of Rooney's behaviour but if PR / marketing didn't exist, there wouldn't be such an outcry of this story. We would just leave Wayne and Coleen to sort out their own problems.

The same idea applies to any other major celebrity. I don't care if Tom Cruise is a crackpot who believes in Scientology and is married to somebody more than 15 years younger than him. If he makes good movies, that is all I care about. I don't really care if Amy Winehouse is a drug addict either. It's her choice and if she dies - so be it - but if she kicks the habit, good for her. I don't care if my local politician is gay/lesbian/black/white/rich/poor, as long as he/she can do the job honestly (which would rule out Tony Blair).

And to be honest, I wouldn't buy Twinings tea just because Stephen Fry advertised it. Nor would I buy an iPad just because Stephen Colbert whipped the device out of his suit pocket at the Grammys. I buy products because of their use, not because of their association.

Which leads me to advertising. I don't mind inventive TV adverts, which are mini films in their own right. The advertising I most hate is the inaccurate use or misuse of science in their campaign.

I have long hated any adverts selling formula milk. Any TV advert seems to claim that the formula milk has added substances to help children be smarter, forgetting to add the fact that most of these substances do occur naturally in your diet and there is no need for supplementation. Also advertising seems to portray drinking these brands of formula milk will instantly make your kids brainier, without mentioning the need of a stimulating environment, good schooling, an appropriate social group and parental involvement.

I often thought that parents should be drinking formula milk more than their children, since obviously they blindly follow anything advertised on TV.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Professional hatred (part 2)

Recent events have brought up some another profession I despise...

Tabloid reporters
I respect most reporters who uncover stories of corruption by government officials or tales of deception by big companies. I have great admiration for the journalists who go to dangerous spots in the world like war zones or areas of high crime to highlight the plight of the oppressed and the underrepresented.

There is one branch of journalism that I don't like: the tabloid news. Basically they publish news which will make them the most money, rather than news which should be relevant to the people reading or watching it. They drum up ridiculous stories, such as celebrity gossip. I can't stand celebrity gossip. There is a primetime half hour show on TVB Jade, the local Chinese channel here in Hong Kong, devoted to stories about popstars and soap opera actors. Thankfully the evening news is on the other channel at the same time, sparing me from having to watch that trash.

There is also news that is totally irrelevant and doesn't have an impact on me even in the slightest. Such stories include, "I found a picture of Jesus on my toast!" and "Tortoise found with two heads!" These stories have a definite interest but they should displace the economy or the war in Afghanistan or the plight of flood-stricken Pakistanis from the front pages. These are stories that swarmy git Piers Morgan would put on the front pages of the newspapers during his time as editor of "The Sun" and "The Mirror". If there had been a face of tabloid journalism, his face would be it... and I would never get tired punching it.

There is one aspect of journalism that I don't like. In the recent tragedy of the Hong Kong tourists dying in Manila, I was really pissed off when journalists, with their microphones and cameras surrounding the survivors like a pack of vultures. All they wanted was to get the story but would they consider their feelings? These people have gone through the most horrific trauma of their lives, being shot at and seeing their loved ones die right in front of their eyes. At least give them a day or two before asking them how they feel (which is a bit obvious).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Professional hatred (part 1)

There are some professions I despise. Mostly it is a generalized stereotypical hate, born out of their reputation than actually meeting anybody in that career path. Yet I have met some people working in these areas and they just confirm my prejudices. They are blood sucking parasites and their cull would benefit society. I apologize for any of my friends who are in these jobs. Once you are outside work, you're generally a good human being. Once you start talking about spreadsheets and euros, you start to become a prick.

Lawyers
Generally I haven't encountered a real lawyer. I met some law students whilst I was studying medicine and they seem OK. It's just the one's who seem to represent the scum of the earth and bill their clients into bankruptcy I have a problem with. One of those law students (who was pretty fit) justified to me that everybody has a right to representation. I tend to agree with that (and not because she was fit). But the lawyer also has a right to refuse to represent the client. I generally couldn't represent the client knowing he or she was guilty.

Also lawyers are the ones who make the law so monumentally difficult to understand that you need to employ a lawyer just to get past the contents page in the law books. If the law was much easier to understand, most people would respect it more rather look at it as some secret code ruled over by an occult society.

Right-wing politicians
I think most of the general population hates politicians. Actually I tend to think most politcians are decent folk. Yet it is the ones who come from the right wing who irk me. Most of the ones from the left wing tend to enter the field so they can do some general good. If you think of all the prominent politicians who have done good in the world, they tend to have left wing politics. Naturally there are socialist leaders who haven't done that well, such as Josef Stalin.

Most of the right wing politicians come into the field to protect their own - the businesses - and nothing else. These are the ones who tend to abuse their power by employing their friends and family into prominent positions. These are the ones who are the most likely to put everything they use on expenses and get the taxpayer to pay for their holiday in the Caribbean.

Before you ask, I am a socialist / left-wing favourist. I do acknowledge there are left-wing politicians who perform these heinous crimes as well. Yet in the grand scheme of things, it tends to be the right wing politicians who seem to come out of these scandals smelling of shit.

Anyway, I do have more professions I hate but I think that is enough bile for one blog entry...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cause and effect

I don't listen to much music anymore. Most of the time I download radio programs and podcasts, nearly all of them coming from the UK. One of the radio programs I like is "The Infinite Monkey Cage", a BBC Radio 4 program mixing science and comedy. One of their episodes was science and religion - always murky waters to dive into. The priest who was representing religion believed that science comes across as having all the answers. The scientist representing, eh, science (a bit obvious - he wasn't exactly going to be representing religion, was he?) replied that science doesn't always have the solution and that is why there is science - to look for the answers. That same concept applies to medicine. Doctors and medical experts don't always have the answers but we continue to pursue for the answer.

I don't think the main population realize this concept. They believe medicine is this magical science, that one pill will cure all illnesses and doctors are wizards who can miraculously make people better. Yet it is not like that. The miracle should be the human body, which can repair itself despite some horrendous injuries and damage. Most of the prolongation of life expectancy is not due to the invention of antibiotics & medication or the advancement of medical technology but due to the improvement in hygiene and sanitation.

The main parents' question, "Why did my son/daughter get infected or get this disease?", doesn't have a real concrete answer. Yet there are a lot of questions they ask which is borne out of not stupidity but ignorance or the lack of proper education at school. Why don't you use antibiotics in this viral infection? My child has had a fever for two days but it isn't down yet - why? Is there any particular brand of formula milk which will make him cleverer, prevent him from getting infections or make him able to fly? Why can't parents remember the time when they were children and constantly having colds and runny noses all the time?

Clearly what is needed a change in the education system. More of this basic information should be taught in children at an early age, along with social issues such as what is a government and why do we need to pay taxes, etc. If we had education like this, I would see less cases of kids coming in with a gum infection because his mother did not bother to brush his gums every day but every week.

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Still looking out for potential girlfriends. Just hoping one of the beautiful women from TVB Pearl News to notice me. Keeping my fingers cross. There are a few cute ladies who I am working with. There is a fellow Family Medicine trainee who is cute but she is one year senior than me (not, should I emphasize, one year older than me) - don't know how that will work. There is also a cute student nurse working in the paediatrics ward. The paediatric doctor I'm working with is also very cute. I love her look with the those secretary/librarian glasses.

I shouldn't mention anymore - she could be reading this :P

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Insurance and financial plans

There are a number of jobs I hate, which will be a topic of a later blog entry. One of the people I hate are those trying to sell you insurance or financial plans. I have been ambushed three times and have been asked out to talk about buying a financial firm's scheme to make money for me and more importantly for them. When they approach me, I'm just too nice to turn them down. I smile politely and answer their questions. Now I just resort to not taking their calls. Thank goodness for caller ID.

I just want to say this to all people who have to sell stuff like this. If I wanted a financial plan, I would have bought one already. If I needed insurance, I would have already acquired it. I don't need to buy something I don't need or have no intention at buying at this moment. I'm not reliant on my parents or anybody else for money and vice versa. I'm quite happy to stay with the Hospital Authority for my health needs at the moment. If I die, it would be a travesty (in a financial sense) to my family.

So please, stop pestering me.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

A sinking ship

You know you have an unhappy work environment when many of the employees leave in quick succession. Naturally people change jobs, going from one company to another. Yet if a significant number of people quit the department, you know there is something wrong.

One department that I used to work in, which shall remain nameless, had one associate consultant, two resident specialists and one resident leave in quick succession. This left the department short-staffed for some time before it could recruit people to join their team. Many of those left behind may have complained of the situation there were dealt with but if you know the circumstances and reasons why so many people left, you would probably understand.

Many doctors in the Hospital Authority want to go into the private sector, sooner rather than later as they want to control their own working hours and conditions. Others don't like the working conditions they are dealt with, mostly the rules and regulations they are imposed with. Some are dissatisfied with the boss they are working with. Others just want to change their specialty having found out they don't like the current specialty they are working. Some doctors, mainly women, start to work part time so they can take care of their kids. There are a whole variety of reasons why people leave.

What people don't want to be is part of a sinking ship.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Being hounded

One of the reasons why I don't like going out is when I go into a shop, I am immediately accosted by a shopping assistant, asking me whether or not I need any help. This is even before I decided what I want to buy.

I just don't like shopping assistants in general. When they come over to me and ask me what I want, I always answer, "I'm just browsing". I always feel pressured to buy something when that shopping assistant starts to talk to me. I know they want to sell their products but have they ever thought it might turn some people off.

What I would like is to shop in piece without being hassled. When I do decide to buy something, I will bring it to the counter and pay for it. I don't need assistance in doing that. I might need assistance if I can't find what I'm looking for or I need help - that is when I will find a shopping assistant.

So please stop hounding me. Not every person in your shop is looking to buy something. Sometimes browsing is a good thing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How a guy thinks

School friend: Hot, curves in all the right places. Has boyfriend though.
University friend 1: Beautiful, kind, generous. Boyfriend status unknown. Probably scared of my liberal ways.
University friend 2: Nice, very artistic minded. Don't know her that well.
University friend 3: Nice friend. A bit more liberal minded than most people.
Doctor 1: Beautiful, nice. Has boyfriend though.
Nurse 1: Totally hot. Should wear make-up more.
Doctor 2: Cute.
Doctor 3: Cute.
TVB Pearl newsreaders/reporters: All very beautiful. Thinks TVB Pearl is using them as window dressing. Not complaining though.

Friday, July 09, 2010

In the middle of nowhere

A few months ago, I was listening to a radio program called "Mark Steel's in Town", where the stand-up comedian Mark Steel visits lesser known towns and villages in UK to perform a half hour show using material regarding the town's history, famous people and historical landmarks. In the latest series in April/May, he went to the two most furthest points in the whole of the British Isles. The comedian went to Penzance, in the far south west of England, and to Kirkwall, which is the capital of Orkney - the island north of Scotland.

In the show Steel remarks how isolated and far away these two villages are. Most people would think these places are a nightmare to live, in the middle of nowhere and remote. But these are exactly the places I want to work in and stay in.

I hate crowds to begin with. I rarely venture out into the metropolis of Hong Kong, with the highest population density of any country in the world. The hustle and bustle just doesn't fit me. This is probably the reason why I continue to live my parents in the countryside, because I dread living in the middle of the city. I know it is very convenient, next to shops and restaurants, yet there is the constant noise and air pollution. It is not for me.

Which is probably why I yearn to be in places in Kirkwall and Penzance. I probably be happy being a doctor in Cheung Chau or Lamma Island here in Hong Kong as well. I also pondered whether or not I can be a doctor in the Australian outback as well. And I have actively said before I wouldn't mind being posted to the Antarctic.

The only thing I would probably need is fast broadband connection and my MacBook Pro. I self sufficient enough to cook and clean for myself. Family? I would miss them but they would miss me more. Friends? I hardly see them that often as it is.

No, I would be perfectly happy in the middle of nowhere.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

From gynaecology to paediatrics

I just finished my first year of residency in family medicine and I feel I am as stupid as ever. This is nothing to do with the departments I've been with. They have been very helpful and very nice, especially the gynaecology department I have been attached with for the past three months. I learnt quite a deal of gynaecology in my past three months. Hopefully I will retain all that wisdom and knowledge when I return to the general outpatient clinics and during my exams.

A part of me is relieved to be leaving gynaecology. The only aspect I don't like about the specialty is the patients. Women can be very troublesome, which is probably why I have been single for past 29 years of my life. I honestly believe women have far more somatic complaints than men, so they have to see the doctor more often. On some occasions this is a good thing as if they have a severe condition, they can be treated earlier. However nine times out of ten they complaint is usually very minor. For men, they want to appear strong and their ego prevents them from presenting to the doctors very early. This can be troublesome later if they have a severe condition which should have been treated earlier if they presented earlier.

Also I will be thankful never to perform another gynaecology examination again. I don't mind staring at vaginas all day long but, as Hong Kong women never shave that region ever, it can get wearisome if you have to look at something that looks like a Venus flytrap or when the Predator from the Predator movies takes off his/her helmet. Hundreds of patients and only two shaved pussies. As you probably guess, those two women were foreigners.

So now I'm in paediatrics and hope not to cock up too much. Also I want more fulfilment in my life so I've started exercising to reduce weight and studying for my examinations next year. Hopefully the next few months will be OK.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekend driver!

For nearly six months, I have driven constantly to and from work on a regular basis. Added with my previous experience of one year weekly commuting between the medical hall of residence and home, I think I am in a position to comment on the state of the roads today.

I'm not stating I am a perfect driver but I have improved over the past half year. Regularly driving, even if it is the same route at the same time of day, does help improve your driving skills. I also drive quite economically, trying to get the best fuel economy out of my VW Golf. That means driving a bit slower than I previously did and knowing when to switch to the left hand lane to allow other road users to overtake me.

Also by being more efficient, I have to be more aware of other drivers and the road conditions, leading to be a much safer and more self-aware driver. That cannot be said for all drivers. You would expect the more you drive, the more courteous and safer driver you are. It does not necessarily work out that way. I think the drivers with the worst manners on the roads are the professional drivers. These are the drivers who are on the roads most of the day as their job dictates it. These include people who transport goods, minibus drivers and taxi drivers. However they are the least likeliest to give way when other cars need to merge and break every known traffic law.

There are a few acts on the roads that I really hate which I will go into much detail about:

1. Using indicators

Whether it is to turn right or left or to change lanes, everybody should indicate with their lights where they are going. It doesn't take much effort and it doesn't wear down the batteries. So why don't more people do it? It is probably down to sheer laziness.

It is a matter of courtesy for other drivers to let them know where you are going. Also it is a matter of safety. You don't want a car suddenly pulling in front of you from the next lane. For pedestrians, you would want to know which way the car is turning or going so you can safely cross the road.

2. Giving way

I hate people who don't give way. Whether it is two lanes that are merging into one or to allow somebody out when they have been waiting for quite some time, you should be courteous enough to allow other cars out when it is necessary. I do believe in karma and I do believe it will bite back or reward you later.

3. Tailgaiting

Maybe not quite a great offence but it is bloody frightening if somebody is following your car pretty closely. Especially if the vehicle is a heavy goods lorry. You dare not brake, you're more likely to increase your speed and you spend more time looking in your rearview mirror than looking at the road ahead.

4. Queue jumpers

My dad those this a lot. When there is a queue on the highway/motorway, he uses the other lanes to queue jump. I hate these discourteous drivers. You should get in lane like everyone else.

5. People who use mobile phones

A lot of Mercedez Benz / BMW drivers in Hong Lok Yuen do this. Just because they think they are driving at a slow speed with little traffic in the vicinity, they think they can talk on their mobile phones. But there are still other road users, there are still pedestrians around and the traffic laws of Hong Kong still apply. Just wait until you get home to take the call.

Remember, not only you are using the roads - there are other drivers on the motorways.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Stuck inside

I cannot believe my luck. Not only am I on-call on a Saturday - the worst day of the week to be stuck inside a hospital - but it happens to fall on the day England play USA in their first group game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Thankfully I'm only working in gynaecology, which means we don't have to admit patients after 17:00 and the wards are relatively quiet during the evenings. I can sneak out to watch the match but it is a late evening kick-off. Currently mood leads me not to watch the match. I just cannot be bothered to wake up at 02:00 to go and watch the match.

As gynaecology is relatively quiet at my hospital, it gives me too much time to ponder about my life. I should be getting on with a presentation that I have to give on Thursday but yet I'm thinking about my existence. Currently I'm not depressed but not totally happy either. I'm just stuck in a rut and cannot get out. The best way to describe my state is dissatisfaction and ambivalency. I'm currently in a good job which is not that demanding. I'm dreading the next year as I will be in Medicine and Paediatrics plus I should start revising for my HKCFP exams. Apart from that my job is OK yet I have an itching feeling I'm not totally comfortable the position I'm in. I cannot complain about the pay or benefits. I have enough cash in the bank not to worry about my financial status, since my parents are not dependent on me. I also don't spend huge amounts of money like dining out or buying DVDs since I can control myself to buy what I only need.

I know I still live at home with my parents at the age of 29 years old but that's normal in Hong Kong and I don't really want to spend money buy or rent somewhere to live when I can save up the money later and economizing by staying with my parents. I currently have an aim to make try to lose weight by eating less and cycling about half hour per day. Maybe that's driving me crazy - the hunger cravings for desserts which I cannot make since I stopped all after dinner snacking. My mum is not helping matters by constantly buying food despite my pleas not to since I won't eat all of it.

I'm not looking for a relationship at the moment, not after the last "relationship" I was in. I am meeting my friends this month, which means I'm not totally isolating myself at home. Maybe all of this is just in my head and is the depression talking to me. Maybe I should say to myself that all is fine, there is nothing to worry or be dissatisfied about. I need to tell myself that once I've lost weight, maybe I can go out and meet women.

Right have to go back and start some exercise...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It's not complicated anymore

One of the features Facebook should put on the website is a notification of when people defriend you. That's what happened to me recently. No sooner had I written my last blog entry and posted it up, the lady in question immediately defriended me.

Am I hurt? A little bit but in the long run I will be OK. Did I do anything wrong? Maybe, by posting up my thoughts on the aforementioned girl so the public could read it. Yet I was careful not to mention her name and none of my other friends know of her. Also everything I mentioned I had discussed with her before, so it is not like she didn't know about it. Also if I did anything wrong, I don't know what I did wrong. All that I mentioned was that I don't want her to be my girlfriend but I was perfectly happy for her to be my friend. If she is reading this, I apologize for what I did.

So now I don't even have to write why I don't want her to be my girlfriend.

Now I'm going through an "episode" right now. I self analyze my life too much. I'm approaching thirty years old. I still haven't had a girlfriend or had sex. When women go about their biological clock, men go about losing their virginity. It's a male ego thing which I would gladly want to shed but cannot. It would be perfectly fine if I was isolated from the outside world. Yet the evil that is Facebook is a constant reminder of my misery.

People younger than me are having relationships, getting married, having sex and having kids!!!! I would be perfectly happy with this state of the world, if it were not the fact that these people are the last you would expect to perform nookie. These are the people who save themselves for sex after marriage because it is the right thing to do and then only roll around in the hay to have babies like it was a national requirement so you can have tax benefits. Don't get me wrong - I'm happy for them. It' just makes me more miserable about my relationship status and it's all my fault.

Once upon a time back in secondary school I accepted that it was perfectly fine to stay not married. I knew the chances of finding a partner were slim, with my complicated upbringing, high standards and my depressive background. I still think that but it is constantly on the back of my mind, gnawing like what my dogs do to their bones - generally eating away until there is no resistance.

So now I'm gone to desperate measures to make myself presentable to the opposite sex. I've started dieting, but only a little amount. It is difficult to diet when other people cook for you and you have to go out to eat with other people during work. I've also started cycling nearly every day to lose weight. However I'm not losing weight quickly enough, so I think I have to start running again.

Oh the things we do to get somebody to love us. Sooner or later I'll probably be crazy enough to start diet pills or prescribe myself thyroxine* to lose weight...

(* I'm joking of course - none of my friends should take it seriously and especially any doctors reading this.)

Monday, June 07, 2010

It's complicated

For all the criticism Facebook has received in redesigning its layout or having its privacy policy attacked, one thing I have got out of Facebook is the best way to describe most relationships - "It's complicated." I never heard of an easy relationship between a man and a woman, or even between a man and another man or between a woman and another woman. You catch my drift - romance is difficult at the best of times and outright insane during the worst of times. That is what I'm in at the moment.

Over a month ago, a lady whom I didn't know asked me to add her as a friend on Facebook. Naturally I had to ask why she wanted me as a friend. She reads my blog and found me an interesting person with quite some unique and thought-provoking ideas. So we struck up a relationship, chatting on Facebook and getting to know each other a bit more. Facebook chats turned to long conversation on the phone and before long, we finally met face to face. So far we have gone out three times, what most people call "dates".

"So what's complicated about this relationship?" you might ask. A lot of things in this relationship are a potential mine waiting to detonate.

First of all, she is really interested in me. I don't know if she is in love with me but her enthusiasm for me is more than my interest in her. I like as a friend but I don't love her as a girlfriend or potential partner for life. I get to the reasons why later. I never thought I would be in this situation where a girl/lady loves me but I don't love her. I thought I would be grateful to have somebody who loves me but I'm not. I just don't love her in the way she loves me.

Somehow her enthusiasm for me is a bit suffocating. Perhaps I'm not used to a person liking me so much. Not even my closest friends pay this much attention to me. She constantly phones me nearly every day to talk about trivial matters of what she has done today and to bitch about work. I don't mind hearing once every so often. Yet to hear the same matter nearly every single day is a bit tiresome. She also constantly wants to me to come out with her and sometimes (actually most of the time) I just want to stay at home. Perhaps that's why I don't have a girlfriend - I just don't want to go out usually. I just stayed cooped up in my bedroom, watching episodes of "Mock the Week" and surfing on the Internet. I do admit I have to get out more.

I also have the feeling she is bossing me around a lot. During our dates, she is the one dictating where we go and what to do. I feel I don't have a say in the matter. Don't get me wrong, she's not asking me to spend lots of money or perform any illegal acts. It just feels this relationship is a bit one-sided and I'm not getting much input or output. The conversations are a bit one sided as well, with mostly her doing the talking.

So am I an evil guy for talking about her faults so publicly on my blog? No, not really. Most of what I've written she already knows. On our third "date" we already established that this was not a serious love relationship and that we were free to see other people. Yet I am still getting signals she wants to pursue this relationship to another level.

Anyway, I've still more things to talk about this "relationship" and I've already used up my quota of quotation marks. I'll write further on why her and I are not compatible.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ignorant faith - sports fanaticism

I have written about faith before in this blog but I feel I should readdress this issue.

I do believe faith is important in society. There are things you need to believe in despite there being no evidence or logic to the argument. We, as a collective species, cannot always rationalize everything into a simple statement. Yet you cannot always have 100% blind faith. Most of the time you need a heavy big dose of reality or logic. In my opinion there are three situations were faith can be misguided: faith in God (religion), faith in your country (patriotism) and faith in your sports team (sports fanaticism).

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For those who know me well, I’m an Arsenal supporter first, an England football fan second and a football fan third. I will watch top quality football anywhere and take a general interest in “The Beautiful Game”. Yet if it does not involve the Gunners or the Three Lions, I am not that emotionally detached to the match or the news story.

Yet my fanaticism is pale and weak compared to the full-blooded devotion of some football supporters. I’m generally well grounded in my support for Arsenal football club. I know we haven’t won a trophy in five years. This give some supporters fuel to their claims Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, should leave the club. They believe Wenger’s policy of not spending on big money experienced players and not focusing on the team’s defensive capabilities is holding the club back.

Yet I generally believe Arsene Wenger is performing a good job. He is our most successful manager in terms of longevity and trophy-wise. He’s been in the job for more than thirteen years, longer than any other Arsenal manager and the second longest streak in the Premier League, behind Sir Alex Ferguson. He has won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups plus taken the team to the UEFA Cup final and UEFA Champions’ League final. He has broken many records, including going through a whole league campaign unbeaten. He’s always constantly linked to other managerial jobs of other teams, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and the French national team.

He has built a good base of young players displaying magnificent footballing skill and prowess. Apart from Barcelona, we generally the best team to watch play football. We have the likes of Fabregas, Van Persie, Song and Vermalaen, who are leaders for the team and for their country. We recently won the Premier League U18 championship and have produced young players for other teams, including Kolo Toure and David Bentley.

The club is on a good financial foundation compared to other Premier League clubs, despite having a £300 million debt having built The Emirates Stadium. We are not totally in debt to foreign owners such as Liverpool and Manchester United. We don’t really on a sugar daddy like Chelsea and Manchester City.

Yet this blog entry is about the ignorance in faith by sport fanatics. I know we haven’t won anything in the past five years but every team goes through a purple patch. Liverpool haven’t won a title in twenty years. Tottenham haven’t won a title in fifty years. I hate comparing Arsenal to other teams but this is the only way to bring perspective to yourself and other fans.

Arsenal’s defensive frailties are clearly visible - our goalkeepers look flaky, we need stronger centre-backs and a back-up to Alex Song is required. Yet I know Arsene Wenger is aware of these problems since he’s the manager. He didn’t win all those trophies and spot all those talented players simply by pot-luck. He has a vast wealth of experience, knowledge and football intelligence at his fingertips and he will be thinking of how to rectify these problems. Fans, on the other hand, think they have a divine right to manage their own team just because they have seen the team play every week for the past two years, have an emotional attachment to the team like a mother to her baby and have read every single piece of gossip regarding their team. This is what separates the professional from the fan. The professional do have a personal attachment to their profession but it comes with knowledge and perspective – unlike fans who clearly lose all logical thought whenever the focus of their blind attention comes into view.

Those Arsenal fans who bay for Arsene’s blood have clearly lost perspective. They tend to forget the dour years the team had in the mid-nineties when we weren’t winning anything PLUS playing very defensive football. It wasn’t pretty to watch.

Also if we get rid of Arsene Wenger, who would take charge? Clearly none of the backroom staff don’t have the experience or clout to become a manager, including the likes of Pat Rice, Liam Brady or Steve Bould. Anybody else who is consider decent is either tied up to another job, for example Pep Guardiola. Currently nobody is available to take over, so we might as well have to make do with Arsene Wenger.

Plus it is just football. I know Bill Shankly uttered the immortal phrase, “Football is not about life and death – it’s more important than that” but really it is not. It is not as important as your health, your family and friends or your job. If football disappeared from your life, I think you could cope or find another substitute for the vacancy. That could not be said about your health, your family and friends or your job.

Clearly Arsenal fans need to keep things in perspective. After all there is always next season…

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ignorant faith - patriotism

I have written about faith before in this blog but I feel I should readdress this issue.

I do believe faith is important in society. There are things you need to believe in despite there being no evidence or logic to the argument. We, as a collective species, cannot always rationalize everything into a simple statement. Yet you cannot always have 100% blind faith. Most of the time you need a heavy big dose of reality or logic. In my opinion there are three situations were faith can be misguided: faith in God (religion), faith in your country (patriotism) and faith in your sports team (sports fanaticism).

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Every time at dinner, I constantly hear from my father how great the Chinese are and it is starting to get tedious. I always hear statements about how this year's Nobel Physics Prize winner is Chinese or that the USA is kowtowing to China on trade negotiations. I always hear the news from my dad when another English school starts to teach Chinese in there classes.

I know China will be the dominant economic and political force in this century. Yet when I state there have been fifteen US champions in the men's 110 metres hurdles before Liu Xiang came along or that the Americans and the Russians sent people into space forty years before the Chinese did, my father tends to act like a child and blocks out my arguments by cover his ears and saying, "I can't hear you." Please not that he doesn't actually do that.

Whenever you partition people into countries you get will get skirmishes. They can range from the minor such as people arguing who has the better sporting reputation or which country has the best dish. The other extreme spectrum is war and armed conflict. War is usually perpetuated by patriotism but doesn't necessarily start it off. Instigators of war are usually economics or ideology. In years gone by, that is how we compared ourselves with other nations - by how many wars we won. Nowadays we have the Olympics for that.

We also have an affinity with our "countrymen" despite never having known them. There is always news on the TV when people from your own country are hurt or killed in a foreign land. And we are supposed to care? I know it is a tragedy but are we supposed to care more if they are citizens of our country or they live in the same area as us? People die every day but why does this particular piece of news is broadcasted on our airwaves?

Nowadays there is no need for patriotism. With the current state of media, information technology and travel, people grow up in on area of the world and migrate around to another area. I'm living proof of that. Despite being Hong Kong Chinese, I don't find myself anyway connected to China. I grew up in England and I consider myself English more than anything else in the world. But before people start calling me English or raise the question of the faults of the English, I like to strike a pre-emptive attack. I know the English can be snooty, snobby, prudish and racist. I know the English doesn't have a great cuisine culture, their football team is dire and that their political system is in upheaval. Yet every single culture, every single country has their strengths and weaknesses. I could poke holes in Chinese and Hong Kong culture but I don't, because I accept them.

That is one of the best things about living in different countries. You don't suffer from the Matrix phenomenon, that the reality you live in is the best. You accept that there are better and worse things out there.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ignorant faith - religion

I have written about faith before in this blog but I feel I should readdress this issue.

I do believe faith is important in society. There are things you need to believe in despite there being no evidence or logic to the argument. We, as a collective species, cannot always rationalize everything into a simple statement. Yet you cannot always have 100% blind faith. Most of the time you need a heavy big dose of reality or logic. In my opinion there are three situations were faith can be misguided: faith in God (religion), faith in your country (patriotism) and faith in your sports team (sports fanaticism).

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I could write volumes of books about the misguided faith which comes about from religion but I will try to keep my opinions short and brief. I admit I'm not a very good Anglican. I haven't been to church for a long time and I do not study the Bible. However I live my life in regards to Christian teaching. That is what I believe. Yet I know there are flaws in the Christian teaching, especially regarding homosexuality and abortion. I don't believe homosexuality is a sin. Gay and lesbian couples should be allowed a civil partnership to have the same human rights as heterosexual couples. I personally believe in abortion as every life is sacred. Yet I champion the right for a mother to choose whether or not she should have an abortion. It is not my place to impose my belief on other people. The law and religion should be separate, despite what others say and believe.

Yet there are people who use the Bible as a rule book and not guidelines as they should. They live their lives strictly by the word of God. They still abhor the sins of homosexuality and abortion. Yet they choose to ignore other "rules" in the Bible. I know a number of Christians who still eat seafood and pork (Leviticus 11:9-12). A lot of doctors I know are Christian and yet they work on the day of the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2). These are the same people who think everybody should live by the Bible and points to the increase in family disharmony and decrease in social values as evidence for this. What they fail to see is that many families with atheist or other religious beliefs don't have family or social problems. What these Christian think is that there religion is better than others, which isn't the case or the issue. I believe in Christianity because I believe in God, not that He is better than Allah or the Buddha. I have maximum respect for Islam, Judaism and other religions. I am forever grateful to Mrs Sarchet-Waller, my religious education teacher in Shatin College who gave me a proper education of all the major faiths in the world.

Perhaps that what separates me from these people, the lack of ignorance. I know there are other religions in the world and they have their merits as well. At times I think followers of other religions are more faithful to their religion than Christians are. I also know there are many people who don't believe in religion and not all social arguments can be dealt with by religion alone, such as abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty and suicide. I also know that I cannot impose my religious belief on other people. Like I stated before I do not believe in abortion but I do think there should be a law allowing women to choose whether or not they want an abortion.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Natural law

First things first, I am not letting my dad drive my car again. He didn't do anything heinous such as scratch the new paint job or get a speeding ticket. He just ruined my fuel economy.

I had been working so hard to get my fuel economy up. I pushed up my driving range from 900 km to 1050 km. That means on a single tank, I'm getting 150 km more if I drove to in a 'normal' style. What does my dad do? In round trip from home to his office, which is about 12 km, he knocks my driving range back down to 900 km. That is an extra 150 km gone.

Just proves to show that not all scientists are environmental.

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When I hear conservatives or Roman Catholic bishops harp on about how people should obey 'natural law', I really question whether or not they have thought their statement through.

Natural law isn't what people really think it is. If we are defining it, the simplest way interpretation of natural law is the law or order of nature. That is what birds, animals and insects would do in their ecosystem. That should be all fine and dandy. In reality it is not that concrete.

In one aspect, there has been well documented cases of homosexuality in the animals world. This ranges from rabbits to giraffes. Therefore if anybody should say that homosexuality is against nature, please refer them to Roy and Silo - two male penguins that successfully hatched an egg.

Talking about sexual relationships, I'm rather glad with first hand experience we are not animals. My female dog is in heat at the moment, which is driving my male dog crazy with sexual frustration. Firstly we separate them to avoid them having sex all the time but the male dog can smell the pheromones being given off by the female dog. So he is still has the sex drive but no way to ease it. Secondly despite several attempts they cannot do the business, furthering the sexual frustration.

What if this applied to people? I dread to think the anarchy that would occur if men were able to detect when women are fertile. Chastity belts would become all too fashionable. Plus this proves that animals are usually (but not always) polygamous. It is their natural drive to spread their seed to ensure the survival of their species. Humans have gone the other way by reverting to monogamy in the concept of marriage. And since marriage is the concept most bashed on about by the church and is apparently against natural law, it seems contradictory.

Natural law states there should be "survival of the fittest". Christians may not believe in evolution but in nature only letting the strong survive seems to be paramount. Female praying mantises kill the male after copulation to provide food for the young once they are born, seeing that the males are useless after giving their seed. So if spouting natural law, wives are allowed to kill their husbands to ensure a trust fund for their children - or at least can't kill the husbands until the men have worked their socks off providing enough money. It only stands to reason. Also would we let so many poor, hungry, disease ridden people live, as we so clearly do with charities? If we were enforcing natural law, we would allow these people to die, leaving on the rich and wealthy to live. So why do we help impoverished people?

Because we don't followed natural law or natural instinct. We transcended just being apes who bashed rocks together. We are human beings or people. We have set our own moral standards 0r human standards, which is to help the needy and accept people for what they are. That is what being a person is all about.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gynaecology

I'm currently doing my fourth rotation in Family Medicine. I have been allocated to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for the next three months. Since it is such a small hospital I'm working at, there actually is no obstetrics in our hospital. You have to go to the next nearest hospital if you have an obstetrics problem. Also we only admit patients from 09:00 to 17:00, which I find very strange. Well at least when I'm on call, which is only four to five times per month, I can get a full night's rest.

Most of the time is spent in the out patient clinics seeing gynaecology patients. That's means seeing a lot of women. If you think for a guy this would be a dream, it is not. Neither it is a nightmare. I have to be careful what I write since I'm liable to offend half the readers of this blog. Most of the ladies I'm seeing are already in their forties when they have gynaecology problems, so I'm not going to meet the women of my dreams in this department. I also have mixed feelings about seeing so many ladies. I'm usually very disappointed at myself, seeing many ladies younger than me who have already had sex plus attending to many ladies older than me who are still a virgin. It's just like looking into my own future ten years from now.

Also I have to stare at "that thing" every time I have to do a gynaecology examination. Call it what you will - fanny, pussy, vagina, cunt - it looks more and more horrible the more times you are exposed to it. The situation definitely puts you off sex for quite a while. I have been brought up seeing women without pubic hair near their vaginas, so I have been rather spoilt and whenever I see a women's vagina not shaven, it looks like one of those sand monsters in the beginning of "Return of the Jedi".

I'm not saying seeing gynaecological patients is a bad experience. I know women have to go through a monthly cycle of anguish and pain and discomfort, which I would never want to consider. But I will be thankful when this rotation is over.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Democracy at work

Next month two places which I am linked to will be holding elections to determine different matters.

Firstly there is the General Election in the United Kingdom on May 6th. This election has been anticipated for the past two years, with the Labour party losing its popularity. The Conservatives have overtaken Gordon Brown's government in the polls, lead by David Cameron. Yet last Thursday when the major party leaders had the first live TV debate in the nation's history, it was the third political party - the Liberal Democrats - with their leader Nick Clegg stealing the headlines and the votes by winning the contest. His performance was so good that the other two leaders David Cameron and Gordon Brown have acknowledged the Liberal Democrat leader as the victor of the TV debate and will be divert resources to tackling the Liberal Democrats. Early polls have shown the Liberal Democrats are now SECOND in the polls behind the Conservatives.

I just want to state my political leanings right here. Back in the mid to late nineties, I supported Labour. However when they become more business oriented and more centre with their enigmatic leader Tony Blair and also decided to support the Iraq war, I switched to the Liberal Democrats.

I am a lefty at heart. I want more rights for minorities such as homosexuals, ethnic minorities and people of lower social class. Gays and lesbians should have rights to form civil partnerships and have the same benefits as married couples. There should be more done to prevent racial and sexual discrimination in Britain. I do believe in taxing the rich more to help fund services and helping the poor. Even though I believe business should allowed to be run free, there should be a degree of regulation as businesses, especially the large companies, should be hold some civic responsibility to their employees, their customers and their investors when things go wrong. I think more should be done for the environment, by improving public transport and curbing carbon emissions.

I know some people will not agree with my opinion, but that is why we different political parties. This is why we have democracy, so people can exercise their right to vote. I always believe if you cannot show up to the voting booth on election, you cannot complain about the government afterwards even if you would or wouldn't have voted them in.

All I want for people to do is actually listen to the leaders policies and views, then decide for themselves who they want to vote for. Even if it isn't for the Liberal Democrats.
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The next election I am looking forward to is the Hong Kong Legislative Council by-election on May 16th. One Legislative Counsellor in each of the five geographical constituencies have resigned in an attempt to hold a referendum on the issue of universal suffrage.

Currently in Hong Kong we cannot elect our Chief Executive directly and only half of the seats in the Legislative Council are held by geographical constituencies. The other half are held by businesses and vocational sectors in the "Functional Constituencies". We have counsellors representing the medical and health sector, transportation sectors, etc.

I have many points I could argue about the faults of the Hong Kong political system but I'll my arguments to two main issues.

Firstly I do believe their should be a referendum on whether or not the people in Hong Kong should be able to directly vote in their Chief Executive. However resigning on mass to trigger a by-election and costing the taxpayers money is not the way it should be done. Even their aim, to have universal suffrage by 2012, is impossible. A more reasonable target is to directly vote in the Chief Executive by 2017.

Secondly I do hate the idea of functional constituencies. That means certain people, most notably professionals, can vote in two constituencies - one geographical and one functional. As a doctor living in Tai Po, I can vote in the New Territories East geographical constituency and the Medical functional constituency. For some people who are not professional, like cleaners and construction site workers, they can only vote in the geographical constituencies. This is deplorable on any nature. It means the more professional you are, the more influential you are during the voting system, which is unfair. I hope soon their scrap the functional constituencies which should be totally illegally under The Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the UN.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Self promotion

I used to like Jamie Oliver. When he first came on the scene with "The Naked Chef", he was young and vibrant. He didn't try to make poncy dishes like other chefs I had seen on TV. He genuinely seem like a lad a young girl wanted to take home to her parents. He got people who normally didn't like cooking to have an interest in food.

He was also very influential politically. When he made the TV program "Jamie's School Dinners", it really highlighted what was wrong with British children's school meals, being full of fat and carbohydrates and very little choice of fruit and vegetables. It got the government into putting more money into school dinners, because for children the school lunch is the one meal you can influence to get them to eat healthy. This achievement earned Jamie Oliver a lot of praise.

After that it started to go slightly downhill from there. He started to make himself too commercial and too over-exposed. I seem to see a Jamie Oliver TV program nearly every day on the Discovery Travel and Living channel we have on the extra channels we have. He seems to produce a cookbook every year and now he starting to produce a magazine called - wait for it - "Jamie". Enough is enough already!

There is a point where people tend to over expose themselves and the general public start to wonder if they are doing this for good intentions or they love themselves too much. The same could be applied for Jamie Oliver. I wish he spent more time in the kitchen making good dishes instead of producing so many TV programs. I wish he actually spent more time with his kids rather than tell us what we should be feeding our children.

There are times when I see celebrities at charity gigs and wonder if they are feeding their own ego rather feeling genuinely proud to be supporting this charity. These are the stars who name charities after themselves and only turn up to gigs when required, instead of participating in the running of the charity itself. If you are a celebrity and are taking a fee to be at a charity event/gig, I think that is so wrong. I remember I once heard in the local news in Hong Kong that one televised charity event just about broke even after they subtracted the celebrity performers' fees.

Charity should be its own reward. That is why I never mention to anyone if I do any charity work or how much I have donated to charities. There is no need to. It is OK if you are trying to drum up support for you sponsored run/walk/ride to publicize the event but if you are saying, "I don't XXXX amount of dollars to XXXX charity" then it defeats the point.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Everything in one place

We are a society who likes everything in one place. We all want everybody to use systems that everybody else uses. We all go to YouTube to view videos online, despite its restrictions on copyright and there are other video online websites who are not as stringent as YouTube. We all use Facebook to contact our friends. In the past we used to have Friends Reunited and MySpace but we have moved on to Facebook. Ninety percent of computer users use Windows as their operating system, not because they find the system useful but everybody else in the world uses it. They are more worried about compatibility rather than performance. In Hong Kong nearly everybody uses the Octopus card to pay for everything and I was introduced to a Facebook page petitioning for Hong Kong taxis to accept Octopus cards.

I don't really mind this. Everybody wants to have convenience in their lives. However there are some annoyances I find whenever I use this websites.

If you are going to post a video on YouTube or any other online video website, please check to make sure that the video hasn't been put up before. And don't try to get people to come and see your video by tagging it with every single word known to man. Every time I try search for a video I'm bombarded with videos with very inaccurate descriptions.

The same could be said for Facebook pages for celebrities/concepts. Please don't set up ludicrous groups saying you like sleeping or hate text speak. Don't establish a fan page for Miley Cyrus, even though there is an official page already set up next to the other seven unofficial fan pages.

The internet is starting to clog up with too much stuff. Please don't put more non-sensible stuff on the World Wide Web.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Inside the mind of a desperate guy

You can tell when you are desperate for companionship. You start to target every possible woman you encounter as a potential target. I hate the situation I'm in, doing this to people I like and work with. Yet once you get older and your options start to dwindle, your mind starts to wander into inappropriate avenues. I'm perpetuate the situation even more by writing this blog entry but hopefully it will be more therapeutic once I get it off my mind.

At work I'm restricted to nurses and doctors. I've met a few patients and patients' relatives who look quite nice. Yet I don't think it is appropriate if I contacted them, especially if I abuse my powers as a doctor by getting their contact details through the medical records or even worse after they have been grieving over the death of their father who I have been looking after. Most often my contact with patients or patients' relatives is a one-off encounter where no emotional bond is established.

Most of the nurses I have encountered are OK. There are several whom I have the pleasure to work whom I have considered very nice. These are the women who are honest, generous and charitable - the kind you want to marry. If circumstances were different, then maybe... I have met another lot of nurses who are cute, who have the 'girl-next-door' appeal to them. I have only met one nurse who I consider sexy and only after I've seen photos of her outside work. No, not those kind of pictures if you have a filthy mind. Actually photos of her in casual clothing and with make-up. Currently there is a nice student nurse where I'm working but I don't know anything about her and all my impressions of her is she has nice eyes, since the rest of her face is covered up with the obligatory face masks all medical staff have to wear. It could turn out she has a boyfriend (always the first item I think of to get me down), she is actually really ugly or she could be a real bitch.

Doctors are not that much better of an option. Most of the colleagues I have worked with are already hooked up, maybe a bit too young for me or we are just too different. Again I'm currently working with a nice female doctor who is cute but really I just want to have sex with her - that's all.

Next I'm potentially walking into a dangerous minefield by considering friends. I could ultimately destroy our friendship by going out with them but as I said before, I'm desperate. There's only one friend I would really contemplate. She's very generous, nice and clever. She could be a bit too conservative and too beautiful for me and she could already have a boyfriend. Also I'm too afraid of rejection and abject humiliation to ask them out. I've been also looking at friends of friends on Facebook but again, I'm too scared to approach.

So I'm approaching thirty, I've still a virgin which I shouldn't care about but it is damaging my fragile male ego, I don't go out much and I still live at home with my parents. Yes I'm going to be lonely for a long time.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Morality in sports - cheating and not the kind on the pitch

Last Saturday at around 12:43 p.m., everybody who was remotely interested in football was watching the events unfold at Stamford Bridge. It had been building to a climax when Wayne Bridge announced he would not be shaking John Terry's hand. Yet the moment passed and nothing really major happened.

For those not interested in football, let me wrap up the story for you. John Terry, Chelsea and England captain, was found to have sexual relationship with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-partner of Wayne Bridge, another England footballer who used to play for Chelsea and now plays for Manchester City. John Terry went to court to prevent details of this relationship from being published but failed. Since this story has been announced, Wayne Bridge has decided for the sake of team unity that he will not be playing for England as long as John Terry was also considered, in effect ruling Bridge out of the World Cup that will be played this summer in South Africa. He also said he would not be shaking John Terry's hand prior to kick off when their teams met on Saturday in the Premier League.

It has long been known footballers' conduct is not the best in the world. Every football fan has read and heard stories of football players getting into fights at nightclubs, gambling away lots of money and of course sleeping with various young women. So what makes the John Terry story any different?

Firstly John Terry and Wayne Bridge were best friends, whilst playing for Chelsea and when they met up for the England squad. Even in the football world sleeping with your best friend's girlfriend is seriously frowned upon. Yet one could argue it wasn't an affair as Vanessa Perroncel and Wayne Bridge had split up just recently and were not even married, so there were no morality issues. Let us ask this question: Would you sleep with your best mate's ex-girlfriend, just after they broken up? Of course you wouldn't. At least you would wait a while and ask you best mate beforehand. At least you wouldn't have the sexual relationship in your best mate's house, is what happened between Vanessa Perroncel and John Terry. Neither was it an one-off affair, as Vanessan Perroncel and John Terry met several times over the next few months.

Once the affair ended, John Terry was worried the whole shenanigans would become public, thus ruining his reputation with his corporate sponsors and jeopardizing his marriage with Toni Poole. He sought a super injunction in the law courts to prevent the news story from being published but ultimately lost.

Since the whole incident has become public knowledge, all the participants have been affected.

For John Terry, he has lost the England captaincy. Even though he doesn't have any prominent individual sponsorship, he will be used less publicly by the corporates at Chelsea and England, in effect reducing his income. Several other women have stepped out and said they had sex with him whilst he has been married. This from a guy who was voted Dad of the Year in England last year. At least his missus Toni Poole has given him one last chance. Yet I know he will re-offend, since he has form before and during his marriage. I also point to Exhibit A - Ashley Cole - for any further proof footballers cannot keep their cock in their pants. More worryingly to Chelsea and England football fans is that his form has suffered since the whole affair kicked off and no doubt he will still suffer a torrent of abuse from England fans during the next England game against Egypt on Wednesday and beyond.

For Wayne Bridge he decided not to shake Terry's hand on Saturday and most notably will forfeit his place at this summer's World Cup for the sake of team unity, since many of the players have been divided over the whole affair. Bridge not going to the World Cup should have longer repercussions as he would most likely to have featured in the team, especially since Ashley Cole the first choice left back is now injured and is in serious danger of missing the World Cup. Now England have to rely on two young left backs who have very little international experience between them - Stephen Warnock and Leighton Baines.

For Vanessa Perroncel she has been keeping quiet over the whole incident, probably due to the alleged fact her silence has been bought by John Terry. However she did harp in on Wayne Bridge's decision not to go to the World Cup, saying he was making a mistake. I don't think she has any moral standpoint to start off on, especially if the stories are true she slept around with half the Chelsea team and only slept with Wayne Bridge because he was a prominent footballer with money. Right now she should keep quiet for the rest of her life, since she isn't coming out of this smelling like roses.

So should we care about this story? Should we care what footballers' do in their private lives, as long they can perform on the pitch? In one sense - No, it is their private lives and they can do what they want. In another sense - Yes, we pay their wages and they are used as role models for younger kids and footballers and should set an example. There is no right answer to this.

In related news Ashley Cole, another Chelsea footballer, was found to have had another string of affairs behind the back of his wife Cheryl Tweedy, who is a singer for the girl band Girls Aloud and who is also a judge on the UK talent show X-Factor. Thankfully Cheryl has now split up with Ashley. Ever since I knew of the first affair years ago, I knew this would happen and he would re-offend. Ever since he sodded off to Chelsea since he wasn't being paid the seventy thousand pounds per week he wanted instead of the fifty-five thousand pounds per week Arsenal Football Club were offering him from his previous thirty thousand pounds per week, I just knew he was a prick.

Let's just say I don't have sympathy for John Terry and Ashley Cole. They were lying cheat cocks to their wives and they don't deserve their love. I have more sympathy for Tiger Woods, for some strange reason. Golf needs Tiger Woods to come back and dominate the sport. At least Tiger Woods have more remorse, apologizing in public (even though that was really more for the sponsors he has) and gone to sex addiction clinic in a bid to clean up his act. Action speaks louder than words in this case.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Discriminatory against singles

I was rather glad Valentine's Day was on the first day of the Chinese New Year. At least I didn't get the full effect of this commercially capitalized day thrust into my face. I already feel miserable being single. I don't need to feel guilty about being single, like I committed a war crime.

Society does discriminate against single people or at least makes being single feel guilty and bad. Even earlier in life I noticed this. When I was living in the medical students residential halls the kitchen was filled with couples during dinner time making the meals for each other. You felt bad if you even just went into the kitchen, by disturbing the ethos surrounding these couples. You had to sneak in, do your stuff and sneak out like a ninja, hoping nobody remembered you for disrupting this couple's romantic life. It goes on into your later life, when posh restaurants and fellow diners snigger at your if you want a table for one. Sometimes I do want a decent meal without having to go to a fast food restaurant or ordering a takeaway.

Even governments are getting in on the act. They give incentives to people to get married or to have kids. Now I do really feel like a war criminal.

What I shouldn't do nowadays is log on to Facebook so often. I don't mind people announcing their engagement on their profile or post photos of their wedding or their kids on Facebook. I'll be happy for them. However I don't need daily updates with a million photos of their wedding or of their kids on Facebook. Just give me twenty of your best pictures and lets be done with it. I don't need constant reminders on my marital status, thank you.

Look there is nothing wrong with being single, if you choose that status. What is miserable for me is that it is not a choice but just a lack of options.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Cases from Casualty

I just returned from a week's attachment with psychiatry to return to my normal life in the Casualty department. Most of the time I just handling patients with trivial complaints, like flu/cold symptoms, food poisoning and minor sprains.

Sometimes I do groan when I see another kid come in just because he or she has had a fever for a few hours and it is not even that high. For those with you who have kids, your body's temperature should be below 37.3 degrees Celsius (I can't be bothered to figure what that is in Fahrenheit). Anything about 38.0 degress Celsius is what I constitute as a fever. The raising of the body temperature will not fry your kid's brain or any other organs in the body. Sometimes it will take a few days for the fever to go down. In 99% of cases it will be a trivial viral infection that just needs some medication for the ailments, plenty of rest and lots of fluids. You do not have to go and see the doctor at the first instance he or she has a fever. Try some anti-pyretics like Panadol/Tylenol and if that hasn't worked for a few days, then come see a doctor.

In Accident and Emergency I'm now on the front lines for the first time and having to diagnosis ailments. Before, I could rely on the Accident & Emergency doctors to have made a diagnosis if I was working in the wards or to have written a good referral letter if they are coming to the specialist out-patient clinic. Nowadays I have to determine what the patient has and do the appropriate management, most of the time without any supervision. So it is nice when I get a vital diagnosis right, which I will share.

Case 1
A 52 year old gentlemen with good past health presented to Casualty with per-rectal bleeding for half month, associated with a change in bowel habit, tenesmus (that's the sensation you want to take a poo but I can't), weight loss and mild abdominal discomfort. Whilst performing a per-rectal examination, there was a mass that could be palpable in the rectum. Naturally the patient was admitted to the Surgical ward. A flexible sigmoidoscopy and biopsy were performed the next day, showing he had cancer of the rectum. He was discharged a few days later to be further investigated for his cancer.

Case 2
A 29 year old lady with good past health presented to Casualty in mid-January for food poisoning features - abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. What was noted by me was her last menstrual period was late November 2009 - five weeks ago. I asked the nurse to perform a pregnancy test on her. It turned she was pregnant and didn't even know about it. An ultrasonogram was performed just to exclude ectopic pregnancy and she was referred to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic.

Case 3
A 15 year old boy came to Casualty for six month history of cough and wanted to know why he was coughing so much. Turns out he's a chronic smoker!

What Casualty has taught me is that the general population is ignorant about their own health like I'm in finance. I know nothing about money and don't want to learn anything about economics and will ask stupid questions about it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Something idiotic about football

Since I don't want to post two thought-provoking posts in quick succession, I decided to write about which players Fabio Capello might be looking at in the next two months in deciding who should go to the 2010 World Cup for England.

The team selection is not as concrete the last time I had an opportunity to look at the squad. Injuries and loss of form, especially at the back of team, makes the friendly against Egypt in March more likely to feature new faces.

Goalkeepers
Since David James is currently injured and doesn't look like being certain of the No. 1 jersey, other candidates such as Robert Green and Joe Hart have stepped up to the mike. Hart's recent form for Birmingham City has definitely been impressive, with the Brummies climbing up to the top eight and vying for Europa League spots. Paul Robinson is in the reckoning if James doesn't recover or doesn't haggle a move to Stoke or Tottenham during this transfer window. Also look for Ben Foster angling for a loan move to get some needed first team action. At the moment it looks like Green, Hart and Robinson are going to be called up against Egypt.

Defenders
With Wes Brown and Rio Ferdinand perennially injured, Glen Johnson, Wayne Bridge and Joleon Lescott recently crocked and out of form, Capello needs to dig deep into his reserves. Micah Richards looks in line for a call up at right back and if Johnson doesn't recover soon, Capello might have to look further. Tony Hibbert for Everton is out injured, otherwise he may have been given a thought whilst Luke Young has retired and Gary Neville is passed his best form. After those players it looks like scraping the barrel, with Tyrone Mears, Andy Wilkinson, Phil Bardsley and Richard Stearman. It looks slightly rosier at the left back position with Ashley Cole and Stephen Warnock still fit. Leighton Baines could also be called upon if needed. With John Terry likely to partner Matthew Upson if Ferdinand remains on the sidelines, Capello might want to give Gary Cahill a debut as he is increasingly likely to go and hopes for Phil Jaglieka to come back from injury. Don't be surprised if Roger Johnson, Scott Dann, Ryan Shawcross or Michael Dawson gets a call up in the March friendly against Egypt if Lescott and Ferdinand don't recover. For March it looks like Johnson, Richards, Brown, Terry, Ferdinand, Upson, Lescott, Cahill, Cole, Bridge and Warnock to be called up but considering half of these defenders are injured or out of form, you could see other names as well.

Midfielders
With Aaron Lennon injured it might be the time for David Beckham, Shaun Wright-Phillips or even Theo Walcott to shine. Also it seems likely Owen Hargreaves is less likely to play football ever again so England will be forced to bring Michael Carrick (shudder). On a slightly more positive note is the form of James Milner in the centre of the park with Ashley Young and Stewart Downing doing well on the wings for Aston Villa, putting them back in the international fold. It may be the Gooner in me but I can't see Tom Huddlestone or Jermaine Jenas getting into the England squad since they don't offer anything defensively or offensively. So see the likes of Beckham, Lennon (if fit), Wright-Phillips, Walcott, Milner, Barry, Lampard, Gerrard (if fit), Carrick, Young and Downing in the squad come March.

Forwards
I still expect Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey to lead the line but the likes of Jermaine Defoe losing form and Carlton Cole being injured leaves the space open for Peter Crouch, Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor. All six of these strikers could make the selection in six weeks' time.

As the last three months has shown, the loss of form and injuries could allow anybody in. I think the player to look out for in the next few months will be Milner, who has shown adaptability in playing different positions and shown good form.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fuel economy

I've been quite busy recently, so I haven't had time to post. In the past few weeks, my time at Accident and Emergency has been hectic and occupying. Most of my free time has been thinking about how lonely I am. Even when I'm asleep, my dreams are constant reminders I want sex and love (not necessarily in that order). I wish I could do something about it but I'm too shy and cowardly to do so.

For this blog post I'm not going to whinge about the lack of companionship but fuel economy. As most of you know I bought a new car a few months ago - a Volkswagen Golf TSI. It's a basic car but I love it. However I noticed it is a constant drain on financial resources. I have to pay for the license, car insurance, toll fares and most of all petrol (or gasoline for those American savvy readers). I know I cannot alter how much I spend on the first few things but at least I can control how much petrol I use.

As most of you reading know I'm a fan of the BBC TV programme "Top Gear". Although they portray themselves as motor loving enthusiasts who care nothing about the environment, they have produce a few clips about fuel economy. There was the clip a few years ago when Jeremy Clarkson went from London to Edinburgh and back, a journey of 800 miles, on a single tank of diesel in a Audi A8. Just two years ago there was a clip showing a BMW M3 could be as fuel efficient as a Toyota Prius, depending how you drive it. And only a couple of series ago the presenters went from Basel to Blackpool on a single tank of fuel.

I know they were using diesel cars and they had the time to do these challenges but what they did offer a lot of top tips. Most of these tips can be found here as well. I experimented myself with the drive from home in Hong Lok Yuen, Tai Po to the hospital. The average time of my trip is 30 minutes. If I drive really fast, for example late at night when the roads are clear and there isn't much traffic about, I take 27 minutes. If I drive fuel efficiently, such as slower acceleration and much smoother braking, it only takes me 33 minutes. At most it takes six minutes more to get to work. Most of the time I do set off early and there hasn't been many traffic accidents on my way to work.

For once Jeremy Clarkson is right. Even though car manufacturers should be doing more to make motor vehicles more efficient, fuel economy is in the hands (or feet) of the drivers and we can do more by not just the choice of our cars but how we drive.

Monday, January 04, 2010

"I'm so ronery..."

I haven't blogged for quite a while. Quite a lot of activity has been happening in my life. My brother is back from UK for a holiday and I recently ended my surgical rotation. I'm currently in my A&E / ER / Casualty rotation, whatever you like to call it. I'll write about my experience so far at a later date. Now I have to spend my day off figuring out how to pay tax and updating my family medicine logbook.

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I recently met up with my supervising family medicine mentor. She explained to me that being in family medicine can be lonely at times, having to rotate through different specialties for short periods of time and not being around other family medicine residents. I told her that was fine with me, as being a loner was something new to me. Being in England by myself in a predominantly English environment and being in Hong Kong in a vastly Chinese culture having being brought up in a Western background has left me with enough experience to be on my own.

When I said that to my mentor, I knew it would sound awkward to some people that you don't mind being alone. I have few close friends and even then I don't engage with them that often. Or is it the other way around, that they don't engage with me that often? I can never tell the difference. I just find I'm rubbish around people. I'm really a bore when it comes to conversation because I have nothing to say - my life is pretty dull and I don't have any remarkable stories to tell. Also I can never engage in petty chit-chat or gossip. I don't really care who goes out with who and who is stabbing who's back. I don't care in the first place and I don't really give a shit when it is said.



When I want to go out, it is usually by myself. I go to the cinema by myself, I go shopping (which is very rarely) by myself and I go to the golf driving range by myself. I want to spend my time how I see fit and going out with other people means being accommodating to them as well. If it is friends, that is fine but when it is colleagues or other people it can be quite boring since they talk about matters which you don't find not a slight bit interesting. I do find doctors very boring to talk to since they talk endlessly about work.

I remember when I was in secondary school, I attended the Sixth Form scholars' dinner with the headmaster and his wife. Mrs. Seldon commentated that being a scholar can often be a lonely existence. I find that true with being different to everybody else. The more different or far from normal you are, the more likely you are going to spend time alone. It is just something you have to get use to.