Sunday, May 17, 2015

My Wedding Story #2 :: Dulang Hantaran 1

Disclaimer: The English language in this post is tailored to suit the Malaysian writer, and readers!

Ok, so yesterday I announced my engagement date; 8 Nov 2014!

I've just got to know that dulang-dulang hantaran are to be sent during bertunang (engagement). I thought they are to be sent during bernikah (solemnisation).
So what is a dulang hantaran?
Dulang literally mean "tray" and hantaran is "gifts".
So the couple will buy gifts for each other and the gifts are presented in trays.
The gifts are usually personal accessories eg watch, ring, belt, wallet, handbag, purse, Quran etc.

The girl should send 2 dulang more than the man. So in my case, since Akmal will be sending 9 dulangs, I need to give him 11!
But worry not, not all 11 dulangs have to be personal gifts. It can be fruit baskets, cakes, chocolates and any other food I deem interesting.

My main problem is......decorating the dulang!
I am very very bad in arts, like really really bad.
I can't even draw a straight line.
How can I decorate my own dulang?

But hey, we can always buy ready made dulang!!
So mama and I went to the nearby kedai barang aksesori pengantin.
And these are our catch ♥

RM 338 for five dulangs!
That means I need to buy 2 sets of this, plus one more.
So it will cost me at least RM700 *gasping for air*

This is even simpler, but is the same price with the previous one.

This is in one of the shops in Nilai 3.
I will still need to spend at least RM700 for the 11 dulangs *cry cry*

So after seeing the prices, I felt so sad and depressed.
Money is almost always the problem, isn't it?

I have decided.....

To decorate my own dulang!
I am going to take this challenge and decorate them myself!
But of course, I need to drag my sister into this project haha.

Akmal and I bought most of the items for the hantaran in UK last year.
We grabbed the boxing day opportunity and managed to buy quite a lot of items for a cheaper price.
So what I need to do now is to have a proper look at the items I bought and look for ideas to decorate the trays.
I have decided to copy the design I find most interesting.
Since my theme colour is blue, my trays must be in blue as well.

Hmm...light blue and white is a good combination right?
Or light blue and pink.

I googled around, and these images below are the results when I searched for "design hantaran jam tangan":

This is beautiful. But the bicycle is quite pricey

Simple and elegant eh? I may do something like this

The flower is heavy, but I like the concept.

More examples

I have been to a few kedai barang-barang pengantin to survey the prices and the decorations they have.
These shops usually have some ready made dulang for customers so that gave me the chance to have a proper look at the dulang, how did they stick the flowers together, how did they arrange the flowers etc.

One tip, if you want to go and survey a few shops, a camera is very handy.
I used my phone camera to snap the picture of the items, and a closer shot at the price tag.
This way, I will be able to compare prices from different shops.

I have also bought the October 2014 Pesona Pengantin magazine.
Did you know that is cost RM14.90?! My God...

Well, there were many hantaran and wedding dress designs in the magazine. But the dress design bit is not so practical for me.
How could they suggest sleeveless wedding dress to Malay readers?!
Well, we can say majority of the magazine readers will be Malay.
Anyway, that is a completely different topic.

You know, the Akmar that I know two months ago will not know where to find barang-barang perkahwinan.
I can only think of Nilai 3, since their advertisement as "Kedai Pengantin Terbesar di Malaysia" is so big along PLUS highway.
I can never imagine trusting myself to decorate my own dulang hantaran.

But now, since I have actually started to open my eyes to these things; it all became clearer.
I have just realised that there are 2 very big kedai barang pengantin within 10km of my house.
I have never paid attention to them before. I didn't have to.
That means, if you open your eyes enough, you will see it.
That's one life lesson for us.

I actually wrote this post on October 8th 2014.
But I have scheduled it in such a way that it will only become public on 17th May 2015.
So that is my little brother, Kean Chye's birthday!
Happy Birthday KC!

Tomorrow you will read more about my engagement dress *weewiitt* and how I surveyed for the dulang hantaran.

-Because life is a test-

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My Wedding Story #1:: Merisik


Ok, harini nk cerita about merisik.
Well, as far as I know, merisik ni tradisi zaman dahulu kala.
When a man (or his family) is interested in a girl, he doesn't approach the girl. Instead, he will send his family to approach the girl's family (sweet kan?).
His family will ask, Is this girl available? Will she be interested in our son? Can we have a better look at her? etc etc.
The family doesn't come empty handed though! They will usually bring a gift; most of the time, a ring.
So they will give the ring to the girl via the family and if the girl accepts the "risikan" (which literally means the peep), the ring will be hers.
If she is not interested in the man, then the family will return the ring (not necessarily on the same day, I think). time passes, and men started travelling out of their hometown, they don't approach the girls via the family anymore.
They approach the girl on their own.
Hence, he will know whether the girl is available or not, is the girl interested in him etc etc.
But because the tradition is already there, the man's family will still come to the girl's family to "merisik" - that makes it official between families.
Sometimes it's funny, the couple has known each other for years yet the man's family has to come and "merisik", to ask the availability of the girl. Obviously lah perempuan tu available kannn...

Akmal's rombongan merisik came to my house on September 21st :D *grin grin*
I was very very nervous. Mama and I went to scout for a new dress for me.
The dress cost RM221 in total! RM190 for the dress and RM31 for alteration, since it was quite big for me.
I wore the same scarf I wore during my convocation, a satin scarf which I bought for £7 in Rusholme.

One thing about merisik, the man does not come.
Remember the motive of a risikan? To ask if the girl is available.
It will be embarrassing for the man if the girl's family replied downright that the girl is not available, or is not interested in him.
So to avoid any embarrassment directly, the man does not follow.
Such a thoughtful custom.

So on that day, Akmal waited in the surau in my taman.
My father sent my youngest brother to accompany him there.
His rombongan consists his parents, elder brother and his wife and daughter.

He bought me a gold ring *wee mata kelip2*
He went to shop for the ring with his parents about a week before the risikan, and apparently it was their choice.
I was so nervous as he refused to give me even a picture of the ring; I do not know how will the ring look like.
Weyh, mak mentua yg pilih weyh. Tak seram?
Besar ke? Kcik ke? Emas ke? Kosong ke? Ringan ke?
The more I think, the more nervous I get.
But I needed to advise myself, tu org bagi tau. Bersyukur laaa...
Be thankful!

According to Akmal, merisik is only between the nuclear families.
But my mum invited my first uncle over to be the spokesman.

Akmal's family arrived at 1pm.
I was not supposed to be there (according to my mum), so I waited in her room (because her room has aircond and I put on some light make-up and didn't want it to melt. Also, her room faces the front gate so I can see them arriving).

Akmal gave me a heads-up, saying his family arrived and he is already in the surau so I ran to the window and peeked out.
His mother was holding a nice tray with something on it! That must be the gift! Wow...
I thought she will just bring the ring in her handbag. I didn't know there will be a proper gift.
*ahaaaa excited*

And then I saw my dad walking out of the house to open the gate for them.
I was so nervous I can't sit still in the room.
My heart pumped so fast and strong it felt as if my chest is going to burst open.
I tried to eavesdrop and when I heard "datang ni nak merisik anak perempuan.....", I felt so *undescribable* and can't continue listening. I went back into my mum's room and waited for my sister to come up and fetch me.
When the time is right i.e. my family accepted the risikan, my sister will call me down for the mother to put the ring on my finger.

Just some happy pictures during the discussion. Credit: my beautiful sis, Aisyah

Future in laws

Future in laws, insyaAllah~

Before long, my sister came up.
I came down with her, all eyes on me (or so I thought), and sat on the sofa.
When my uncle gave the cue, my sister took a large cushion and put in front of my future mother-in-law, for me to sit on (bersimpuh weyh...), and the mother put on the ring on me :)

Here are some more pictures!

Sarung cincin, la cincin...

Close up :)

And the hugging that comes after.
Moga dipermudahkan.
Jgn la jadi mcm cite cite Melayu tragedi ibu mertua and menantu. Amiiin..

After sarung cincin, I sat down for a while and then was asked to go up again because my family wanted to discuss "further".
I went up, and admired the ring on my own.

Then Aisyah gave me the cue to call Akmal and bro to come from surau and have lunch.
I went down too but did not have lunch with them.
I'm afraid I will stain my pretty dress.

The gift from them. There was kain in the box - for me to make baju kurung

Our gift for them - a fruit basket and two pieces of mooncake

My outfit for the day. And the ring.

-Because life is a test-

We have decided that our engagement date will be on the 8th of Nov 2014!
I am now planning for my engagement pula.

I completed this post on Oct 7th, that means I have a month before the engagement!
I am going to Masjid India with mama in a little while. She is still in her raya haji school holiday.
This post is scheduled to be published on May 16th 2015. Tomorrow another post will be published: my plan and thoughts of the engagement :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

My Wedding Story :: Intro

Assalammualaikum :)

My Wedding Story.
Mcm pelik sikit, segan pulak.

I am writing this on Oct 2, 2014 but I will schedule it in such a way that it will only be published on 15 May 2015.
I will write my journey and experiences in planning my merisik day, engagement and wedding day.
That will include where do I look for my dresses, how do I decorate my dulang hantaran (which I decided to do myself) and many others.

It's a bit embarrassing to let everyone know about my wedding, because I consider it very personal.
But I also find blogs that write about their experiences helpful, because I do not have anyone to really guide me through the steps.

I am the first child of the first child; I am the first grandchild.
My mum is a Chinese while my father was born in Indonesia.
Malay culture is not in my blood, but since I am going to marry a Malay man, I will need to do it the Malay way (but of course, with some Chinese touches).

InsyaAllah, I will marry Dr Mohd Noor Akmal, a man I met while doing my phase 2 MBBS in Royal Preston Hospital.
Things have not been a bed of roses for us, but I doubt they are for other people too :)

So yea, from now on I will write my journey in planning my wedding under this headline: My Wedding Story.
And it will be scheduled to be published on 15th, 16th, 17th and the rest of May 2015.

Wish me all the best! :)

-Because life is a test-

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Life as A House Officer: Being The Most Junior in The Rank

OK so I've passed my two months in the service.
In about 4 days time, it will be exactly two months since I started working in this hospital (the first week of service was spent in a hotel, learning about government secrets)

What have happened so far?
Many things la, of course.
Tapi today I want to talk about something a little bit more specific.
Something yang lg senang cite in Manglish.
Something yang, nak kata best boleh, x best pun ada.

You know what people say about HOs kn?
It should be House Officer, tapi ada yang cakap Hamba Orang.
Well, in some ways la. Tp kita mana boleh mengaku hamba selain kepada Yang Maha Esa, betul tak?
But I need to admit la yg in some ways, we are the lowest in the rank.
Yg mana kadang2 nurses pun perangai macam boss ktorg. Demm. Rasa nk gigit dorg wktu tu.

Dh la tu, first posting pulak tu.
Means, even within HOs, ktorg la yang paling kcik dan paling adik.
Lagi la tak tau mende.
Masuk system mmg blurrr sgt.
Amik darah pun awal2 tu ketar2.
Smpai skg, nk masuk branula pun teragak2 (darah slalu la dpt, sbb boleh amik brachial terus. Haha)

To make matters worse, kadang2 ada seniors yg mcm lahir2 terus dh jadi 4th or 5th posters.
Punya la selalu cari kesalahan kitorg.
Whenever we make mistakes, since we are "new", mesti terus tegur dalam group.
"To newcomers......bla bla bla"
"We've told you guys to.....bla bla bla"
"Please do....bla bla bla"

Xtau la whether ktorg slalu dpt the bulk of the work so ktorg slalu terbuat salah or...memang org lain x buat salah OR, bila seniors screw up, the mistakes xkn di blast dlm grp.

Sometimes I feel mcm "Ya Allah...apahal la senior depan aku ni underestimate aku sgt nihh.."
Bnda mcm ni pun nk kna bgtau, stressed kan smpai mcm tu skali ke?

Selalu kena blast dlm grp sbab:
1) Tak bagi definitive plan
2) Alert benda yg x payah alert
3) X alert benda yg kena alert
4) Ktorg xtau nk buat apa

Oh well, nk bgtau ni.
1) Kdg2 tu, bkn ktorg xnk bg definitive plan. Kitorg belum sempaaaat lagi nk type definitive plan kt sms, or x smpat nk screen capture lagi. Terus dpt message "PLEASE GIVE YOUR DEFINITIVE PLAN". Demm, tggu la kjap. Bkn nye u've waited 30mins for the plan. 5minit pun belum. Faham la, ED bkn ada line sgt. Kdg2 messages tu lambat smpai. X perlu la jumpy sgt. Terus terkam ktorg ckp x reti buat kerja

2) Kdg2 tu, ktorg dh consult seniors lain. Senior tu kata, alert kan je. Biar dorg dapat heads up. Tiba2 bila dh alert tu, either a) Dpt message blast dlm grp "Jgn alert klo belum sure, sbab nti pening ktorg" or b) Dpt private message, "Hey don't alert if pt belum optimised"...
Yaaa begitu la ceritanya. Alert susah, x alert kan pun susah.
Satu senior ckp ni, satu lagi ckp ni.

3) X alert kn benda yg kena alert.
OK, ni kna mengaku la. Mmg salah ktorg.
Kdg2 xtau pun bnda ni kena alert. Lagi2 bila involve peri team. X terfikir pun.
Or sometimes, terlepas pandang. Igt kn org sebelum ni dh alert kn (rupanya belum alertkan, sbb pt belum optimised)
Tu, memang ktorg salah.
Sorry eh. Lenkali x buat dah.

4) Xtau nak buat apa.
Ha ni, mixed reactions skit.
Ada yg akn seronok bgtau nk buat apa.
Ada yang "I thought we have told you guys.......bla bla bla"

OK, tiba2 post ni dh ter jadi sesi kutuk seniors.
Don't get me wrong eh.
Mosttt of my seniors now baek2 belaka.
Yg 6th posters tu, baekkk sgt mcm abang2 kakak2.
Fhm je kami yg first posters ni, kadang2 mmg blank and blurr level 9000.
Lenkali dh jadi senior, nk jadi macam dorg.
*mata bersinar penuh harapan memikirkan masa hadapan*

Cuma ada satu, dua, tiga seniors je yg mcm pak polisi gitu.
3 je ke? Ntah, dlm kepala skg mcm ada dua je.
Yg lagi beberapa mcm dh habis posting nih. So xpe la. Let them go.

Ada satu senior ni, baek jugak.
Dia ajar psl pt management, from whatsapp je.
Rupanya dia tgh nk tegur regarding my erm..mismanagement jgk lah waktu tu.
Nk tegur yg I terlepas pandang sesuatu perkara.
So, dia buat macam ni...

"Apa jd kt patient tu semlm?" - Dia tnya maaacam dia xtau psl pt tu

So sy ckp la apa jadi. Cewah, mcm tau sangat. "GCS dia dropped tiba2 semalam...."

Then dia tnya "Apa sebab GCS dia drop?" - tnya mcm dia nk find out more abt pt.

So I said la "Ntah la eh. Nk kata hypo, DXT dia ok." Ha yg ni memang jawapan honest, xtau sebab apa pt tu collapse tiba2.

Pastu dia tnya lagi, "Apa bnda2 yg boleh menyebabkan GCS drop?"
Ha tang tu bru sedar, ohh...dia tgh nk bring me to differentials.
So discuss la tang tung tang tung possible causes of altered GCS.

Lps tu bru la I understand " ni collapse sebab tu..."
Alamak, ye ke sbb tu?
Since I did not know the pt collapse sebab "itu", maka I did not monitor vitals dia sgt, sbb patient tu mmg dh intubated.
Seniors lain pun sebelum balik told me "Dia la patient yg awak paling x payah risau. Sebab dia dh intubated"
Makanya, hari itu I did not actually monitor vitals dia / bc report dia, and actually I should have done so.
Walaupun xde la affect sgt management, sbb kita mmg dh x boleh buat apa2 kt patient tu.
And rupanya dia tgh nk bgtau psl bnda yg I missed tu la.
Tgk, kan mcm mengajar dengan lembut tu.
Xde pun "guys....if you are the long shift and there is an intubated patient in your ward...please......bla bla bla" kt dalam group whatsapp.

Tp tu la, disadvantage nye adalah this slight-temporary-incompetency, is known only to me and the people yg I cite.
Tp klo dorg blast dlm grp, sume org la akn tau cite ni. And maybe, x repeat benda yg sama.

Ha ok lah.
Dah habis cite.
Tu je takat ni.
Nanti ada masa boleh cite lagi.
Klo ada senior ke/ MO mana2 terbaca post ni, and mengenali diri ini, ahaks. X blh nk buat apa lah.
Sape makan cili, dia terasa pedas.
Klo x rasa pedas, sila la rasa manis. Kerana anda termasuk orang yang sy puji kat atas nih.

To non-medical people, I think half of this post does not make sense to you.
Sorry eh.
Cant afford the time to explain.

'til then,

-Because life is a test-

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The First Month of Life

It has been a month now, since I started working in this govt hospital.

I reported duty on the 8th of Dec at Ibis Hotel (which was right in front of my housing area! Grrr..) and went through a one-week induction course. The course is called "Program Transformasi Minda". All government servants are required to go through this course before "sah lantik" - that means you've passed the probation terms.
The name was recently changed to Prog Transformasi Minda. I think previously it was just Kursus Induksi or something.

I received the hospital allocation one month before the course, to give people enough time to look for accommodation etc - I am very fortunate that the hospital I am placed at is very near my parent's house so I don't have to look for one.

On Dec 15th, I reported duty at the hospital itself and we had a further one week orientation course. Since the hospital is an IT hospital, we had the last two whole days dedicated to learn the IT system. So future Malaysian doctors, the structure was like this:
8am till 5pm is orientation course.
5pm till 10pm is TAGGING period. For the first week.
On the second week, it is 7am till 10pm tagging.

During the induction course in Ibis Hotel, they were saying that KKM is gonna change the structure. The first week will be fully for orientation, that means the new doctors go home at 5pm.
Tagging only starts on the second week - which I personally find better.

Unlike what I previously thought, tagging does not mean you are attached to an MO.
It just means you are a tagger in the department. The HO leader of the dept will assign you to a ward, and you just work in the ward.
For first posters (that means people like me, newly fresh graduated doctor), we do not hold any beds for the first few days.
Holding beds means we are fully in charge of the specific beds in the ward.
Any blood test needed, scans or other imaging, referrals etc are done by us.

Tagging also mean you are not yet in the shift system - you just work from 7am to 10pm.
Doing things you are capable of or, incapable of - but need to quickly learn.
You will have a tagging sheet, which is specially designed by the department - that you need to fill throughout tagging period. The sheet consist of skills you need to perform and perhaps master, within two weeks.

During the orientation, we will be divided into the 5 departments; Medical, Orthopaedics, Obs Gynae, Paediatrics or Surgery. There are in total 6 departments a HO must go into, but the last one; Emergency Dept or Anaesthesia is reserved only for 5th or 6th posting.
That's wise.
I can't imagine doing ED for my first, or even second posting.

OK, so I was allocated Orthopaedics.
My first thought was: OH NOOOO~ ANATOMYYYY.

But after a month, I am glad I was put into Orthopaedics first.
God always know the best for us.

Orthopaedics is by far, perhaps the most relaxed posting in this hospital.
By relaxed, I don't mean we have nothing to do, or we get to go back at 10pm sharp everyday.
Relaxed in a HO world means - sometimes you have time to eat and on some oncall nights, you get 2-3hrs of sleep.

So to start off my career with Orthopaedics posting gave me time and space to learn the system and the survival skills.
And because it is not too stressful, the seniors are quite kind to us and are willing to teach us few things.

Recently there were two sixth posters who have just completed ED posting, started in Orthopaedics.
They are of course, very skilful.
And because they find Orthopaedics relaxing, compared to ED that they have just finished in - they are very nice and very willing to help me and friends (the blurr blur first posters)
Had this posting be Medical, they might be too busy to teach me little things like which bottle for which blood test.

Hmm ok la, tu je la kot for now.
I passed my tagging assessment two weeks ago, and since then for the past two weeks I have been in the shift system - I had three on call nights already.
My learning curve for the past one week went up exponentially - and I actually am enjoying this job.
I just hope my friends in other departments feel the same.


-Because life is a test-