Thursday, October 20, 2011

Turning into a Sportswoman

People always ask, "Are you alright?"
"Are you doing fine?"
But none really offered any help.
It's very rare to hear, "Do you need me to .......(whatever it may be).........?"
Funny isn't it?
Sometimes the asking is just a way for us to start a conversation, most of the time without knowing that person on the other end might not in his/her best of state.

But anyway, that is not my point today.

I found myself running to catch a bus again, this morning.
That reminded me of what Kiew said,
"We became athletes everyday. We sprint, we run, we walk, and we jump. Almost everyday"

Which, in a way is true.
We start our day walking fast to the bus stop, that's marathon for you. Or sometime if we're late, we walk even faster that it can almost be considered a run.
When we see a bus at the end of the road, we sprint to catch the bus, that's sprinting.
And we jump mud puddles when it's rainy, almost like a long jump.
Thank God we do not have to do any javelin or high jump!

I'm eating a lot more junk food here (they really are cheap), and I find myself being hungry every 3 hours (I blame the weather) and I managed to tell myself I've gained more than 1 kg, but I also (forced to) run everyday. My life really is turning upside down here. Duh...

And every time I see a small car, I realise (says who realisation comes only once?) that....

"I miss my CAR!!"
"I miss DRIVING!!"

I miss being able to go anywhere I want, in my car.

Anyway, I bought myself a new stethoscope!
I brought my old one from Malaysia, which is not the common brand used by my colleagues.
I found it useful, even though it is only half the price of what other people are using.
To my dismay however, the stethoscope has somehow deteriorated.
I cant hear breath sounds properly anymore and so I had to get myself a new one.
And since I do not know where and how to get a new one, I've decided to buy it online!
Wow....This really is my first time shopping online.
Mind you, the price is much more expensive than it is in Malaysia.
It cost me £55.20 which is roughly about RM290 whereas if I've bought it in Malaysia it'll cost me only RM250 the most.
I even thought of asking my mother to buy it for me and post it over here but then, the cost will be even higher.

So my new stethoscope!

To replace this one:

I do not why the picture came out yellow. I think it's due to the yellow bulb (I hate them, I prefer white ones). Besides, I'm using only my phone camera.

(Ok, now that I thought of it, giving the title "Turning into a Sportswoman" is really a bit exaggerative, heh)

'till then!

-Because life is a test-

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Technical Problem

Ok, let me make one tiny confession.
I bought myself a MacBook Pro just days before I left Malaysia.
And I (almost) literally left a hole in my pocket for this laptop I am using now.
So much for a hi-tech, latest, the "in-thing", savvy looking new laptop eh?

Another confession.
I still do not know how to use all the functions.
*should I be embarrassed now?*
This might even come as an offend to Mac users. I don't know why, but Mac users always had this "proud" feeling of using a Mac, that Windows users are considered somewhat less technology savvy by them. But, having said that, this opinion of mine might be a total one-sided generalisation. The Mac users I've seen so far are only among my friends and ALL of them DO mention that MAC is sooo much better than Windows.

Anyway, back to my tech problem, I find it so hard to adjust myself to a Mac.
I know Mac has a lot of functions to offer, compared to Windows.
And it is faster.
But it hangs too! I am not sure if this is just me being too "rough" with my Mac but occasionally, it does get jammed, trying to do all the work I asked it to do at once. It's almost like watching myself wobbling in the Chemistry lab in my early A Level years; knowing I hv to do a lot of things but do not quite know what to do, how to do it and even where to start.
The first time this Mac hang was on my second day in Manchester.
I went to sleep with my laptop not shut down, and opened (unfolded).
The next morning, when I restart it from sleep mode, it just froze.
I suspected (and is still) it was due to the cold weather, haha... The steel might not be able to take such a sudden temperature change (or so I think).
So I learnt my lesson; to at least fold my laptop if I want to leave it for a long time.

And a lot of the functions in Windows aren't there in Mac eg, I can Ctrl+X a file and Ctrl-V it in any folder I want. That's just a simple cut and paste the file to put it in the folder I want it to be in.
But in Mac, apparently to avoid "loss of file" due to users forgetting to Ctrl-Y the file, files cannot be moved by cut and paste.
It HAS to be dragged and dropped from a window to the other.

And I keep finding myself tumbling for shortcuts and functions bcos I don't quite know how it works.
Fine, I know how to do the simple stuff; word, presentation, internet etc.
But I was so much knowledge-able about Windows than Mac.
I found it a bit frustrating to not know at least 60% of this (almost) companion of mine.
Not that I can't learn about it, the shop where I bought it from gave a folder FULL of tutorial videos but honestly I find korean dramas more interesting than those videos.
And it doesn't help by complaining in this blog too, actually.

So now, whenever I came across any problem with any of the functions in Mac, I'll just Google for an answer.
Thank God there are quite a lot of support forums for Mac users out there.
Now, since I've written this out, I think I ought to spend some time to at least watch one tutorial video a day.
Or I wont stop complaining about Mac, and other Mac users will think I've done a big sin (well, that's the impression I always get whenever a Mac user is "shooting down" Windows).

Anyway, fancy this new font?
It's called Neucha.

And yes, I've changed my blog layout again!
When was the last time I changed it?
Man, I really have to keep track of all the blog designs I've used so far.
Let's start now eh?

On the 16th of October, I switched from this:

to this:

'till then!

-Because life is a test-

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Still Can't Believe I am Here

Assalammualaikum wrt.
Yes, I changed my font (again).
There are LOTS of fonts out here on the web, I ought to try them all =]

I went to Manchester yesterday morning with Syahidah to get our compulsory Hepatitis B vaccination. Fortunately the Occupational Health and Safety Dept of the university provides students with free vaccination. However, since I am not in my best of health (I've nvr mentioned this on my blog but I understood the primary health system in UK as a patient before I undergo it as a medical student. And I can definitely say that the system in Malaysia is unbeatable, and a whole lot simpler!) and I am also on antibiotics, the nurse decided not to give me a vaccination. There goes my £12 spent on train ticket. I might need to visit Manchester again next week after I've finished my course of antibiotics. Haish... And worst of all, she wrote on my "health passport"; "To avoid medical contacts with body fluids"
In other words, I am not allowed to take blood, put on drips or anything that might expose me to body fluid, since the level of anti-Hep B antibody in me is low.
Duh.... And the restriction is valid till January next year!
Honestly, I dont think I'll really refrain myself. It increases the risk of me getting infected with Hep B (IF I got myself in direct contact with blood) but it doesn't diminish the risk does it?
My nurse aunts gonna kill me if she knows this.

Syahidah and I went for a walk around Manchester, and we're proud that we did not take bus at all! (So much on savinng money). We walked from Rusholme to the city, spent hours in Arndale and Affleck and walked back to Rusholme. We walked a total of 12hrs (I challenge any guys out there to walk around malls and city shopping for more than 8hrs.. Haha....)!
Halfway back to Rusholme (Fatin's hse), my knees felt like they're gonna explode anytime (yes, explode...that's the accurate description, not break or become loose)

Here are some pictures =]

Our first stop was Chinatown for lunch. We ate at Wasabi; a Japanese restaurant.

I miss eating this in Ichiban Ramen!

The belt with a lot of sushi plates. One plate is £1. Something like Sushi King in Malaysia. We had to really read the menu though, so that we do not accidentally take chicken, beef or pork. We ate purely seafood sushi or veggie

A painter in front of Arndale; a shopping mall in Manchester.

I was very amazed with the painting and the effort shown by the artist. I wonder if that is what he do for living, or he has some other work.

I can't believe my eyes! A man was sitting on air, and he looked perfectly fine. I am not sure if he is actually sitting on a chair that has somehow camouflaged with the surroundings. A "Do Not Touch" sign was put on the floor, stopping people from checking if there is a chair

See? If he really is not sitting on anything, I can't imagine the weight put on his gluteus, hamstring muscles. I pity him, weirdly.

The square in front of Arndale. I am not sure what is the square called. Or if there is a name for it. Is it Arndale Square? =.="

A "toy" sold in NEXT; a boutique. Haha...

=p While waiting for my rice in Al Safa, Rusholme.

I might write on my experience being a patient in England in my next post. It really is not a good experience. Malaysians, stop complaining about our health system. You wont like the system here. =.="

I saw this ridiculous advertisement on the net. I wonder what do people expect when they click on this advert. If the face of the baby came out ugly, will they not love their partner and break up? If it comes out beautiful and cute, then? Or.....if no face comes out?

-Because life is a test-


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Better Learning Opportunities in Malaysia?

It was a very cold day. Temperature was between 9˚ to 11˚C. It rains occasionally throughout the day and on top of that, the wind was terrible. I was trembling the whole journey walking from the hosp to the bustop. When the bus finally came, I hoped I wont have to get down of it, it was so warm inside.
On the way, I saw some cows outside and thought, "How can the cows stay outside on the grass, eating comfortably when it is freezing cold?! Their fur is so short and thin, not anything like the polar bears' "
And I started imagining cows trembling while eating grass, just like how I was trembling and trying to jump around, producing heat while waiting for the bus. I chuckled at my own imagination.
Oh how I wish I can run and walk around wrapped in my duvet.
And it even rained ice that night! Weather forecast agency reported it as rain with some snow. Snow? I didn't see any snow.

I've just ended my first week of REAL study. As I've mentioned before, our first month was wasted spent on various repetitive introductory lectures.
Anyway, my hospital experience so far is not good.
That got me into thinking, would I get better learning opportunities if I were to complete my medical course in IMU Seremban, Malaysia instead of flying 9000 miles across the sea and Asia to Manchester?
My answer was almost an absolute yes. Pathetic it may sound, but I'd be braver and more confident if I am in my own country. I do not have to struggle understanding what these English ppl are saying (How I hope they speak with subtitles coming out from their mouths).

I tend to minimise my interactions with people because I often stumble for words and found it hard to understand what (some) of them were saying.
And my group members weren't helping.
Two of them tried to ruin my day in the ward, insisting that I should not be with them, when the consultant was doing the ward round, when in fact I was fully entitled to be there as much as they were.
It was a long story but suffice to say that they felt the consultant and his teachings "belonged" to them, and my presence somehow "divided" the knowledge imparted by the consultant into three instead of two. They kept giving (under their breaths) nasty comments on how big the ward round group was, just because I joined them and they hoped I'll get the message and leave. Stubborn as I usually was, I stayed put until the ward round was over, pretending to be deaf and mute, to them at least. Ouh! I cant believe just how childish they were behaving! I don't think anyone will dare to do that to me if I am in Seremban.

Surprisingly (or not), very few things are expected of third years here.
Seniors and sometimes consultants asked me medical questions, and while I was taking some time trying to search for the answer in the little sea of knowledge in my brain, knowing I've studied it before, they will think that I do not know the answer and continued with "It's okay if u do not know this". No, it was not because I came from IMU. The same response was given to all third years generally; that it was okay for us not to know some stuff. Those stuff however, was already taught in IMU. If I were in IMU Seremban, as a semester 6 student, not knowing the answers might result in a furious lecturer.

I know my semester 6 friends in Seremban has started their studies, are doing well, and enjoying it. And most of the times I found myself silently hoping I am there with them. Every time I browsed through my IMU friends' pictures in facebook, I felt a sudden sharp psychological pain. How I miss them and how I wish I was there when the pictures were taken.

This is not a regret however. A far cry from regretting my choice to study in a foreign country.
Studying here means I get to widen my non-academic knowledge, learn how to be far from family, how to manage my money, tolerate with (some unbelievably nasty) people, and to be more independent than I ever was. Sooner or later, if I want to expand my medical career, I'd have to come to this side of the world. It's better for me to come now, than later.

Looking from the bright side, I have been here for only one a half month. There are ample time for me to adjust myself, pluck my courage and re-build the confidence I had in Malaysia.
Life has its ups and downs. This might be my down moments but it will be over soon :) And by the time I know it, I will be savoring every second I have here :)
Another positive point, I am going to be quite a good cook, heh...
I invented quite a few new recipes, Asian style but Western ingredients. All the recipes are the result of my trying-to-prepare-the-quickest-cheapest-edible-meal :D

-Because life is a test-

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Car Boot Market

For a moment, I couldn't think of a title to give to this post.

Since I named it Car Boot Market, let me just start with my first time going to a car boot market :)

Last Saturday, a couple of Malaysian doctors brought us to Chorley, to visit another doctor's hse. We dropped by Chorley car boot market, and I was surprised to see how big it was. Fortunately (or not), I did not have much cash with me, I had less than £4, and I dont think they accept payment via debit card so I indirectly was able to control my spendings.
But fortunately too, the items sold were very very cheap.

The first thing that caught my attention was a Sophie Kinsella book.
I gathered my courage (it took my quite a while) to ask how much does the book cost. And to my surprise, it was only 30p! It was a fairly new-looking book. Trying to hide my excitement, I asked (with a straight face), "Can I get it for a cheaper price?" (I doubt she'll agree to it, but since the doctor told me that the prices are bargain-able, I decided to give it try).
She looked at me and sighed, smiling, "Sorry no, it can't. It's still quite new, it had only been read once".
I grinned, and paid for it.

Cut the story short, that day after the lunch and introduction to Malaysian married doctor couples in Preston, they brought us to an oriental shop called Far East. The owner is a Malaysian lady from Ipoh and Kiew was so delighted to see lots and lots of Msian Chinese food there. There was even a Bak Kut Teh packed soup with a Malaysian Halal logo on it :D

After the oriental shop, they drove us to a Pakistani shop; Asia Continental and we did our weekly shopping :)

This is my first real week as a medical student, in the hospital.
The past one month was wasted spent for introductory courses. During the feedback, many of us commented that the introduction was too long; our friends in Liverpool, who started later than us have started taking bloods while we were running around trying to chase after a nurse =.=" I hope they take our comments into consideration and reduce the length for the next cohort.
I am not, however, going to talk about my experiences in the hospital, yet.

Last week, or a couple of weeks ago, I signed up for Google AdSense.
It is a program that enables blogger to put up relevant advertisement onto their blogs, and every time a reader click onto the ad, the blog owner will earn some money.
That is how bloggers in Malaysia earn about RM1mil, they put up ads onto their blogs.

In the Google AdSense agreement, it was stated that my blog will be monitored by their team, before they agree to put up ads on it.
And so they put a blank white widget onto my blog; a space for the upcoming ads.

Few days (or a week) later, I received an email.

As mentioned in our welcome email, we continue to review your AdSense
application once AdSense code is placed on your sites. As a result of this
review, we have disapproved your account for the following violation(s).


- Unacceptable site content


Further detail:

Unacceptable site content: Your website contains content that we do not
allow at this time. Please review our policies
( for a complete list of site
content not allowed on webpages.

And I was like, what? Unacceptable site contents?
What was it that was unacceptable?
Was it that "Made in USA? No, Thanks" logo I had?
Or the "Free Palestine" pictures?

Haha.. Anyway, you might not be able to see the white space now, I may have removed it by the time u read this.
It doesnt really bother me, it only made me wonder, how did they review my blog and find it unacceptable?

I've also changed my introductory sentences, on the widget on the right.
I used to put "medical student in IMU".
It changed now.
But I still, do not want to leave IMU completely thus, its name is still there, heh...

So yea, let's mark this date on the calendar; October 4th 2011, the day I officially changed my "status" on this blog =.="

till then,

-Because life is a test-

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Manchester Raya Celebration

I went to Manchester on Saturday, to attend the Raya Celebration organised by Malaysian Stdnt Society of Manchester (MSSM), Malaysian Community of Old Trafford (MCOT) and some other Msian societies. I had to pay £6.65 for my return train fare from Preston to Manchester so, I was determined to make it a useful one!
Aims for the day: Get to know other Malaysians studying in UoM, free lunch, pack food for dinner and if possible for the day after too (and so I brought two empty food containers!), meet Fatin and visit places in Manchester. Since Kiew and Ibrizah wanted to stay at home, I went with Syahidah.

The celebration was in the Student Union, and I was so delighted to see the staircase decorated with small Malaysian flags. And the hall was full of Malaysians and raya songs! Haha... I felt the raya celebration but at the same time know that we are thousand miles away from home.

After the celebration, we went to Fatin's house for prayer before setting off to tour around Manchester. I have only been to Arndale, and Piccadilly Gardens so far. And my dream of going to Old Trafford has not materialise yet :(

Lately, the weather had been warm, and hot sometimes.
There was no rain for the past one week and I've even managed to dry my clothes outside!
And so yesterday, Piccadilly Garden was so full of people trying to savor the sunlight.
A scenery I'd never ever see in Malaysia. Come on, who would want to sit on the grass in KLCC park on a hot sunny day?
Everyone will rush to sit under the big trees (and start running away if the tree has, unfortunately, loads of ants. Heh..)

See what I meant? There were quite a lot of men who even stripped their shirts off. Not to flash their torso (I hope), but to appreciate the sun. And women, many of them were wearing only bras! (with a skirt or shorts, of course!)

Fatin brought me and Syahidah to Afflecks, a building of weird clothings. Haha.. I am not really sure how to describe it but it is some sort of Times Square and Sg Wang for us. There are a lot of weird fashions; frilly skirts and gowns, tshirt printings, beads shops, etc.

Through Arndale, we then went to the Wheel of Manchester. I am not sure how much will it cost me for a ride, I didnt even check, but I hope I'll be able to go onto it one day :)

We then went to a chinese supermarket in Chinatown. I'd say the fresh food there is a bit more expensive than a Pakistani supermarket I always go to in Preston. But there were more varieties of familiar dry foods. In Pakistani supermarkets, most of the dry foods are Indian foods while here in this shop, I recognised most of the foods, simply because they came from SE Asia. There were even Adabi, Brahim's and Cap Kipas Udang! It is good to see familiar brands :)

And guess what, a Malaysian doctor invited us to her house for lunch today. Another free lunch! I've nvr really appreciate free food when I was in Malaysia, bcause I eat at home most of the time, and need not worry of where the money for food is coming from. But over here, every free meal is an opportunity not to be missed! :D

-Because life is a test-