Saturday, July 29, 2006

(plain) water, (plain) water everywhere...

I'm undergoing a detox programme at the moment. Two tablets of Inte Cleanse each night for ten nights before bed and lots and lots and lots of water. It has now been 5 days and I've lost a total of 2 kgs! and bukan berat air ok? :) and my skin...even hubby has commented on how smooth it is looking lately. and Abang never notices anything, ok? :)

So, this programme definitely gets a big thumbs up from the both of us.

Two more days and I'm off on an 8-day break! Whoo Hoo!!! We're driving down to Kuantan, to spend a night. The next morning, we're off to Kluang to see and taste for ourselves the famous Roti Bakar Stesen Keretapi Kluang. Apparently, a waiting of half an hour is the norm. Then it's off to Air Hitam, Batu Pahat and Tangkak. and just before getting us to KL for my sis's wedding, we'll be spending a night in Melaka for ikan bakar galore in Umbai.

Now, if only my moss green baju kurung is ready, we'll be all set to go....

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Exercising my rights as a customer

My pet peeve is crap customer services. Do you feel the same way?

There were many instances when I was seriously thinking about shoving my phone up someone's butt when I called up their so called Help Line.

ASTRO is one of those people. Imagine charging the customer money to get your technical shortcomings fixed. Siapa yg ajar nie huh? You get millions a year from subscriptions and collaborations with telcoms, use that money to employ technicians la pandai...!

Today I went to Pizza Hut in KB Mall. Was buying birthday gifts for my two anak sedara. Who would think that buying clothing apparels for two kids can be so exhausting? So, off we went to get some light snacks. Nasib tak baik la the trainee waitress had to get us as customers.

First, on addition to eating in, we also wanted to get a pizza to take away. She actually said that she couldn't take our order because since we're sitting in, orders can only be made for eating in. What..? So you expect me after sitting comfortably, to walk all the way to the take away counter to order? So I told her, jadi even after saya dah duduk sini, saya kena jalan ke kaunter luar sana untuk order take away? Tak boleh ke saya beritau awak then awak pergi beritau kawan awak kat luar sana? Trainee waitress dah start berpeluh2. Then she said she would inform the take away staff to come and get our order.

Next, I wanted to order the Kid's Meal for my nieces. Since we're going home shortly after eating, thought we'd just order one and then order an extra Milo. First trainee waitress said there's no Milo. Fine. I asked her, if you have no Milo, what do you substitute it with? Pause, then 'apa2 air yang akak nak'. After 10 mins of clarifying my order, and actually asking her if she understood what I said, this other waiter passes by and said, Kakak, air milo tak boleh substitute dengan air lain.

Apa lagi, marah lah I....your waitress here just said there's no Milo!

Hello...I understand that you're just a trainee and to make matters worse, they probably asked you to start work today. A saturday. But tell me, how can you not know if you have Milo or not?

After waiting 10 minutes, still no one came to get our take away order. So, off I went to the counter to order my large Island Supreme with chicken sausage stuffed crust.

Imagine my amusement (well, I wouldn't call it amusing, really) when the staff at the counter told me to place my order at the table! Apa lagi, meletup kali kedua la makcik. "Saya sudah bagitahu waitress tadi. Dia kata dia akan hantar org lain ambil order take away saya, tapi tak ada org datang pun. Saya nak ambil la order take away saya semasa saya bayar bill..ok?" Coincidentally the shift manager was there and promptly came to my table to get my order.

and to top it all of.....trainee waitress DID get my order messed up. So, makcik pun meletuplah untuk kali ketiga.

Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me instead. Was my grumpiness unjustified? I didn't think so. When I clarified my order with trainee waitress, I tak marah lagi. I was actually very patient with her.

and this isn't the first time I got so pissed off with the waitresses at Pizza Hut. Once, my waitress got my orders wrong and brought me a cheese stuffed crust pizza. So, the next time, I stressed TWICE that I wanted the chicken sausage stuffed crust. DUA KALI I cakap kat dia. Angguk2 waitress tu. But of course, what did I eventually get? Yup, a cheese stuffed crust. So tell me, was my anger unjustified? I don't think so.....

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Childhood revisited

Conference, schmonference - tapi, ronda-ronda buat jugak...hehehe.
Ipoh will always be special to me. I was born there. I spent a part of my growing up years there. I learnt of comradeship, of laughter and sorrow, of childhood innocence and when my only worry was when I forgot my homework or if Yanie tattled on me. We lived in no. 15, Tkt Pasir Putih 4 from ever since I could remember until we left for Kuching, Sarawak. I remember Tan Ee Lyn lived a few streets from me and that Stephanie Choo lived at Sinfar Garden; her house facing the small 'padang' across the main road.

Map in hand, I guided Abang to my childhood home. So much has changed in Ipoh, but I could still remember the pagoda that we used to pass by on our way to school. The Yamaha music school has now become a Sen Heng outlet. I remember having to go through the smelly 'pasar' on the way to Super Kinta. Yik Foong still stands. The railway station looks as majestic as ever. I forgot to ask Ma where MGS stood, kalau tak, I would have gone there too.

I think the slanted building near Jusco used to be a market. It's now been converted to a shopping arcade of sorts. As I passed the Jalan Gopeng roundabout on my way to the Royal Casuarina, the yellow crown shaped fountain made more and more childhood memories flood back. In the car, I kept repeating "I remember that!" - I think Abang pun boring dah...:)

In front of HillCity Homes, near the temples, is this row of pomelo stalls. As I stepped out of the car, eager faces of pomelo sellers greeted me. Intimidating tau! I avoided all eye contact and rushed to the nearest stall. Two minutes and two slices of pomelos later, I was already back in the car. Aunty pomelo seller must be thanking her lucky stars to get such fuss-free customers. Note to self-must learn the art of haggling from Ma. Abang is just as bad at shopping. He just goes straight for the things he wants and pays.

I managed to stop by at Bonda's Cafe and Restaurant, whose owner is a family acquaintance. Best giler her cafe, ok? Anyone in the Ipoh town vicinity, do stop by. Her lunch time deal of nasi campur is very the sedap and very the murah. I ordered Shrek, a concoction of banana, green apple and ice cream. Nice. Tapi, so difficult to get parking one lahhhh.....First time I passed by, pusing tiga kali but no parking but I was determined to see Kira that I got Abang to drive me there again the next day.

Ingat nak masuk diam2, makan diam2 and pay diam2 AND THEN baru cari the owner, tapi the moment I stepped into the kedai, she already recognised me....Apa laaaa. Thanks Kira for the fantastic lunch! Next time I bawak my whole family ahh...?

Our last (unintended) stop was Cameron Highlands. I was surprised at how near it is to Ipoh! Tapi the jalanraya very squiggly lah. It took only about 45 mins to reach Blue Valley (junction Gua Musang - Kampung Raja) where we found this shop where we could 'Pluck your own strawberries!'. It turned out every other shop was doing the same thing....:) One shop even had giant replicas of strawberries along the perimetres of the store. Tak plan nak naik Cameron pun, but we made the silly mistake of not fuelling up before leaving Ipoh so we had to go to Brinchang to get petrol.

Then it was another hour and a half to Gua Musang and a most welcome late lunch at my SIL's house in Tanah Merah where the strawberries were greeted with much excitement.

Sampai je rumah, I was so exhausted that I didn't catch the moment Lotter was voted out of AF. Sis Yaya must be jumping with joy at home.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

These things that I miss most..

..unlimited movies.
Cinemas in the UK had this deal where you pay a certain amount of money for a period of a month or a year, you get a pass with your pic on it (initially there were no pics involved, imagine the 'salah guna' that went on especially among us 'kayap' students! :)) and voila! Unrestricted movies at any branch of the cinemas. The Biggart House people seriously used this to the max. I'm quite choosy about the films I watch, so this didn't really work for me, but sometimes I got away with free films too! You know la kan, 'You asian people all look alike!' thing. I wonder if this would work here...

..well planned, efficient public transport.
Sometimes I jokingly say to Abang that maybe there's a conspiracy going on. You give crap public transport, so people are forced to buy cars. There are equally crap road systems so people are forced to get stuck in jams, so high oil consumption. I seriously sympathise people in KL. I mean ORDINARY people lah, like you and me. Not some suited, nearly bald, pot bellied politician who says we should change our lifestyles yet go about with 6-motorcycle, 10-car convoys just to get to a hotel 20 minutes away. Maybe I'm being naive, but what is so hard about buying more carriages and rearranging LRT timetables so passengers can get to work with ease?

While I was studying, I got around fine with public transport. Sure, I had to get up extra early to get the first train out to Craigavon or Antrim, but hey, biasa lah tu. If I had rich parents, I'd get a car solely for the convenience of it, but that's it. Buses were on time and comfortable, time tables were frequently updated; I didn't see the need for my own car. and I sure as hell got more exercise those times. So, already 2-in-1 benefits what...?

..old friendships.
Not that I'm regretting married life, but ever since I jumped on the marital bandwagon, contacts with friends have been almost non existant. It's not that I don't think about them; I do but I guess being shut away in this place has contributed to that too. I miss my girlfriends. I mean, you can't talk about how sexy Colin Firth is with your husband, can you?

..Thornton's Chocolates.
or any chocolates for that matter!! *laugh* Thornton's chocolates are just heavenly. I can't recall their exact names but they had perfectly done crisp outer shells and sublime, melt-in-your-mouth fillings. Price wise, they were of course more expensive than your Woolworth's pix-and-mix variety, but I assure you they're worth every pence. Yang best sekali, if they happen to sell their Misshapes variety. The exact, same chocs but sold at a fraction of the price, simple because they were 'misshapen'- geddit? :) Patutla badan aku tak turun-turun even after 7 years of dieting..:)

..the little things that Abang does.
If you're wondering why so rajin writing entries one, it's because Abang is away for the weekend. I kinda like being by myself; I can watch my TV without Abang constantly switching to either Tennis or Football or whatever sport season it is. I don't have to worry about cooking as I can easily make a sandwich or something simple like that. Yet I find myself waking up in the middle of the night, missing the feeling of his warmth next to me; or the sound of his snoring..:)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Marilah mak...!

I was faced with this incident about two weeks ago I think. You know escalators? I guess most of us don't give them a second look, purring slowly up and down those departmental store floors. That day I was waiting for Abang while he was withdrawing money. Coincidentally the ATM was placed between 2 escalators.

Then came this - kakak I think. She didn't look that old. I remember vividly her yellow baju kurung and faded kain batik. Her 7, maybe 8 year-old son was trying to persuade her to go onto the moving steel steps. Her hesitation and fear was almost painful to watch. People were rushing left and right, getting past her, stepping effortlessly in sync with the mobile stairs. She started to step off but then hesitated. Again she tried but the fear of something so alien to her must have been too much.

The son got on, as if trying to convince the mother how harmless the act is but she was not persuaded and I nearly cried as I looked at the son stepping down against the direction of the escalators trying to reach his mother. Finally the mother waved at her son, telling him to go without her, she will be waiting downstairs.

We tend to take a lot of things for granted; our health, financial stability, our parents, friendships - the ability to get on escalators. As I held Abang's hands as we went on with our weekly shopping trip, I hope I will always remember the kakak in the yellow baju kurung and be thankful for what I have been given.

Why Why Why..

Do people feel that it's ok to throw rubbish out of cars??? You throw rubbish in your house meh? I guess these type of people are the same ones who simply throw rubbish out their windows at home. I felt like chasing the car and throwing back the junkfood foil packet unto their stupid faces.

Do people think it's ok to cut queues? Whether you're waiting at the traffic light or waiting for your grapes to be weighed and priced, it's all similarly irritating. This morning, I went to Pacific at KB Mall. I was first in queue, wanting to get oranges priced. There were several people behind me. Then come this nyonya and put her veges on the counter and left to get other stuff. Imagine my disgust when the weighing person 'slumberly' took the veges and weighed them! Hey, the nyonya wasn't even there, ok! And there's another counter for weighing veges lah! Kalau nyonya was waiting, I tak kisah la, warga emas la katakan. Nyaris-nyaris aku tak tengking dia kat situ jugak. You should see the face I give to drivers who try to cut queue in front of me at traffic lights and jams.

I had many other things to say but I've forgotten them. Later lah...

Thursday, July 06, 2006


My good boss ajak gi the 10th FMS Conference in Ipoh. Should be a nice break from routine clinic work. Travelling expenses, fees, hotel rooms semua kira beres, sape tak nak pergi. Tambah lagi this year's theme is Childhood and Adolescence, so should be good in case I decide (seriously) to do Paediatrics. Managed to drag Abang to come with me. At first he's a bit reluctant. Boring jugak duduk dlm bilik hotel sorang dia.

Prior to that, I've got a short course on eye care. Bagus jugak. Can finally brush up on my dire ophthalmoscopic skills. Serious, everytime I use those things, my eyes get all disorientated. and worse, can never see anything apart from the optic disc. Haiyah.

So, that means, these feet won't be stepping into the clinic for at least a week! Yeay! No more seeing b**** piang's face and hearing his annoying chipmunky voice!

Okay la ok lah - i promise no more reference to, nor entry for annoying tahap gaban si b**** piang after this.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Entry org sakit jiwa nak giler

Aku la tu yg sakit jiwa. Aku buat conclusion nie sebab mmg jiwa aku sakit, sampaikan Abang dah berdengkur lena pun aku masih mengetuk keyboard.

Aku ada seorg MA. Dia mmg b**** piang. Aku tak rasa aku biased sebab ramai-ramai staff aku, aku takde la obvious favouritism pada mana-mana staff pun. Yg mana aku nampak rajin, aku hargai. Yang mana aku nampak cuai buat kerja aku akan tegur.

Aku perfectionist. At least aku rasa kita kena ada 'pride' dalam kerja kita. Biarlah kita nie tukang buat rumah mahupun tukang buat kuih sekalipun. Kalau kita tukang buat rumah, biar lah dinding rumah yang kita buat tu nampak macam dibuat dgn tangan dan mata yang celik dan bukannya macam 'buat dgn punggung' - nie Abang yang kata. Dia kata buat ngan kaki pun mungkin nampak cantik. so kalau tak cantik tu mungkin dia buat dgn punggung kot. Kalau buat kuih, biarlah kuih tu boleh dimakan. Jangan sebab org lain buat kuih, awak yg takde bakat buat kuih pun nak buat jugak; bila org makan kuih awak, habis disumpah seranah sebab takde rasa kuih.

Aku paling benci kalau org buat kerja dgn objektif hanya untuk completekan kerja dia. Contohnya, tugas Abu adalah menjahit 100 pasang baju. Kalau Abu org yang takde rasa tanggungjawab, dia boleh jahit 100 pasang baju, tapi mungkin jahitan dia senget atau jahitan dia tak kemas dan sebagainya. Tapi kalau Abu adalah seorg pekerja yang ada 'pride' dlm kerja dia, dia akan pastikan kesemua 100 pasang baju dia dijahit kemas serta cermat. dan Abu merasa bangga kerana telah melakukan kerjanya dgn sempurna.

MA aku yang b**** piang nie mmg tak makan saman. Berkali-kali aku perhati mutu kerja dia yang ntah apa-apa. Sudahlah doktor dah start ubat untuk pesakit, nak harapkan dia sambung ubat dgn betul pun tak boleh. Pandai-pandai dia nak tukar dos ubat. Bila pesakit darah tinggi, bacaan tekanan darah setinggi Menara KL pun masih 'cont same' - apa kejadahnya tu? Bila bacaan gula dlm darah pesakit tinggi pun masih 'cont same'. Kau belajar apa kat sekolah MA kau tu?

Seminggu nie aku mulakan sistem baru di klinik. Sebelum nie, ibu-ibu mengandung terpaksa beratur menunggu giliran di bahagian pesakit luar. Kebanyakan dari mereka mengeluh panjang terpaksa menunggu lama. Aku cuba nak ubah sistem itu dan aku syorkan klinik ibu mengandung aku dibuat di klinik ibu dan anak. Sementara aku nak 'iron out the glitches', aku minta kes pesakit luar dibincang dgn aku dulu. Tapi MA aku yang b**** piang nie sorang je yang rasa dia lebih bagus and pakai hantar saja pesakit.

Sedangkan aku nak rujuk kes ke boss aku pun aku bawak sendiri berjumpa boss sebab aku pun nak belajar juga 'manage' kes yang pelik2 nie. Tapi MA b**** piang aku nie rasa dia lebih hebat kot yang dia tak leh nak jumpa aku dan tanya cara nak merawat pesakit dia.

Bila aku marah, biasanya aku ada dua tahap. Tahap satu bila mulut laser aku start bekerja. Tahap nie aku biasanya akan kadang-kadang mengeluarkan perkataan-perkataan yang mungkin aku kesali kemudian. Tapi sebenarnya tahap nie aku takde la marah sangat sebenarnya. Boleh lagi buat lawak and cepat cool down. Tapi tahap kedua lagi teruk. Tahap kedua nie bila aku betul-betul marah sampai aku tak mau cakap apa-apa. Aku akan mendidih perlahan-lahan, memikirkan tentang betapa sedapnya kalau aku dapat pulangkan balik paku buah keras aku. 'Hit it where it really hurts'. Hari ini aku marah sakan sampai dah mencecah tahap kedua. Aku terima je semua referral si b**** piang nie sebab aku dah tak kisah dia nak buat apa. Sebab makin aku lawan, aku pulak yang sakit hati. So, why bother? He will always be an MA. Paling tinggi pun kau cuma akan jadi MA Kanan. I will always make more money than you and will always be your superior. And kau ingat la, sekarang kau kurang ajar dengan aku. Hujung tahun nie aku yang isi borang penilaian kau, walaupun cuma sebagai penilai kedua, markah kau adalah purata markah dua org penilai.

Now I sound like an egotistical, power crazy boss. Menyalahgunakan pangkat aku.

Tapi sorry la...aku tau aku betul. Org jenis apa yang keluar dari rumah pukul 7.45 pagi, gi punch card dulu then gi makan breakfast dulu, and pukul 8.30 baru nak hantar bini ke tempat kerja? Lepas tu, pukul 10 kau keluar makan lagi?

Memang kau tgk patient cepat. Tapi apa gunanya kalau ubat yang kau bagi tu tak ubah macam makan angin? Takde kesan apa-apa pun pada pesakit?

Abang kata sejak aku kerja di sini aku selalu balik rumah marah-marah and bad mood. Dulu aku kerja di hospital, ada on call pun aku jarang-jarang meroyan macam nie. Obviously, I really need to get back to a hospital.....

Monday, July 03, 2006

Benda remeh temeh

It seems like the whole of Malaysia has gone agog with the news of Mawi vs Ina. Did he or did she? Pengsan ke tak pengsan? Mawi salah ke Ina salah?


These people lah, don't you have anything better to do? Org Israel dok sibuk buli Palestin takde pulak korang nak kisah. Penagih dadah 1 juta (mostly Melayu) takde pulak korang nak risau.

There are more important things in the world lah people....

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Road trip!

I love making travelling plans.

In fourth year med school, when we had the choice of doing electives anywhere in the world, I knew I had to go to India. The whole year before the trip, I was researching, reading up, asking ppl who had gone the year before, so that I could be fully prepared. I bought the guide book to India, which by the time of the trip, was full of Post-Its with tips and reminders on what to do or avoid.

I figured since it was gonna be a once in a lifetime experience, I'd want to utilise every single minute of it, taking up everything. So I planned travelling during the night so we could go sightseeing during the day and didn't have to book hotels. I alternated trips out of state with local ones during the weekends so that we wouldn't be too tired. I even had lists of restaurants that we should go to. What can I say, I'm a control freak..! Hehehe. Nasib baik my travel companions were more than happy to let me do all that.

I guess it gave me a sense of having something to look forward to.

The past 2+ years, my trips have been confined to going back to KL to see the parents. There was once when we travelled to Penang and then Langkawi for sister-in-law's graduation ceremony. That was fun. I guess Abang had noticed how easily his wife has been getting grumpy lately so he suggested that we go for a road trip before Yanti's wedding. Yeay!!!

Abang wanted to have a taste of the famous roti bakar and coffee at the Kluang Railway Station. He also said we should have dinner at Umbai, Melaka (ikan bakar galore). I wanted to see what Tangkak was all about, if their reputation is worth all the hype. Melaka has been somewhere that I've been wanting to go too.

So since about two weeks ago, I have been surfing the Net, googling Melaka and Johor for places to stay. A map of Malaysia has been bought. Calls have been made, inquiring room rates and making reservations. All this with the all familiar shiver of anticipation that I usually get when I'm in my planning mode.

The itinerary's quite relaxed and laid back. The only things fixed are the places that we've to spend the night at. Other than that, apa-apa pun boleh.

Next, should be a similar trip to the northern part of the peninsula, followed by Sabah and Sarawak.

I've made Abang promise that we should get passports by the end of this year so that we could make use of the cheap flights Air Asia are offering, and I know that I want to go back to India.

So here's to more travelling plans and the world...! :)

Odds and Ends

Genap lah setahun I kerja di Klinik Kesihatan Permaisuri. Sometimes I don't know how I managed to last this long without going crazy. Sometimes I think, hey, this place could grow on me, y'know..?

Last week, S brought me a PLKN trainee. I dread the registration of the third batch because generally, they are the 'problematic' ones. Usually, the third intake consists of students who probably didn't make it past Form three, OR did get through but not usually your run-of-the-mill, IPT applicants. The week before he had already brought me 5 of them, a malay boy who was crying (yup, crying) because he didn't want to stay, two chinese lads who could barely speak 10 words of Malay and two girls who needed treatment. The malay lad whom he brought that day looked quite normal. In his form he didn't state having any physical illness. S sat in front of me and I must've looked at him with this puzzled expression.

In response, S asked the boy "Cuba cakap apa nama sebenar awak?"

Boy: Tuan Hoshigaki pertama (at least I think that was what he said)
Me: (Whhaaa???) Apa dia?
Boy: Tuan Hoshigaki pertama.
Me: Habis tu, siapa dia Mohd ****** bin ******* nie?
Boy: Ntah la, sape tu? Tak kenal pun..?
Me: Ayah nama apa?
Boy: Adam.
Me: Mak awak?
Boy: Hawa.

S: Adik awak nama apa?
Boy: Naruto.
Me: (biar betul budak nie) Naruto adik awak?
Boy: Iyer. Semalam dia datang jumpa saya, zuuppp masuk badan saya. Nie dia ada dlm badan saya nie.

According to S, the night before he was up half the night, convinced that he saw a ghost and he has been scaring everyone by saying that from the 144 trainees who had bothered to turn up (out of usually 300+), 5 of them were already dead and it was their spirits who have turned up for PLKN.

I even called the boy's father and according to him, his son is only 'slow' in understanding instructions - BUT he has been seen to be smiling and talking to himself and on one ocassion, act agressively at home.

On discussion with my FMS, we both agreed that he should be sent home.

Which is sad, really. He could have had a lot of fun at camp. At home he'd probably be confined to the house, watching Naruto vcds all day.