Worst rotation

I wonder if the few weeks change my mind about that comment.

A signature for everything? There's a fine balance between having enough items in the logbook to encourage attendance, and having too many items, or needing too many criterias that pushes the focus away from self directed learning. Perhaps, instead of thinking about how we can use our weeks here to best meet our learning needs, we can spend the rest of the term thinking of creative ways to minimise attendance, master the art of forging signatures, or befriending and dating doctors and midwives to obtain legitimate signatures.

Queen Bee. I have never seen a lady (or a man) walk with their head so high, with such an arrogant strut, as if she was the queen of the birth suites.

Paediatricians were all so nice. Beyond expectations. Here, there's an unpleasant catty vibe. Too many women for teams to work together well? On the other hand, are male gynaecologists perverted? Sure there are appropriate, alturistic men in the profession. But if I was a man (sorry guys, not saying you're all like this), and sex was a bigger part of my mind, and I had perverted inclinations, and got a kick out of such examinations, this would be great. Or as my classmate pointed out, you could just be a GP specialising in pap smears.

At least the converastions are interesting.

Dr A: do you have a partner?
B: no I don't, well, not really...
Dr A: that's not really a no then, is it?
B: do you mean sexual partners?
Dr A: sexual, or emotional relationships
B: ...yes then
Dr A: do you use condoms?
B: well, I'm seeing two guys, both are married, one is faithful to his wife so we don't
Dr A: *raises eyebrows* I wouldn't take his word for it
B: and the other one sleeps around but uses condoms, so that's good

Note to self

Looks like I'll need to stop and ask myself this question many many times in the coming months.

Which is related to the reason why I switched my blog to private recently. It's unlikely that anyone would have the time or energy to do so; however, I'm not keen to have some snooping HR person link my identity to the blog, and read my emo entries, or my opinions about this whole process.

When I am employed, I'll write publically again. In the meantime, hopefully this helps me write more freely, yay! :)

East and West

Comments - I've been told again over the holidays that comments didn't work properly, changed the settings, hopefully it's fixed.

I've been spending much of my days in the Western suburbs recently. We've gotten used to the many skin colours, the gangstas, the drop outs with numerous piercings, the psychiatric-looking, the IV drug user type of people on our trains. Then the suburbs with hardly any landscaping, plain gardens, surrounded by old rundown factories and train stations where people are stabbed and robbed (which fortunately, hasn't happened to one of us yet). The cheap markets, and dingy untidy food stores, narrow streets and foreign signs everyone making the suburbs look like you've just been transported to Asia. Well, the food is fantastic. Yes the only thing I miss about frequenting that hospital, is the banh mi and pho (oh indeed, in these posts food is always the ray of sunlight shining through the clouds).

I've never properly been aquainted with the Eastern neighbourhoods. Although I've been at this hospital before, I was amazed at how hilly, how green, leafy, scenic, lovely the houses and neighbourhoods were. Walking to my friend's car, we saw young Caucasian mothers pushing their babies, and fit retired men going for a jog, instead of some smelly, shaggy looking dude, snarling at his equally unkept wife and slurring his speech as if he was drunk. We walked past massive frontyards which had a steep rise like a small hill, or the house was tucked so far back in that we could not see the front door from the driveway. The houses themselves were huge, and old, but with character. Instead of old and boring, or old and rundown. The streets were wide instead of narrow with cars parked on each side (pretty sure it's because people have enough space in their own houses to have garages for their fancy cars). The greenery on both sides were tall, majestic, and I wondered whether they skim on spending money to plant nice trees in the Western suburbs. Even infrastructure including highways and streets are better, less congested. I think the roads in the West need major restructuring considering the huge population expansion, and new suburbs that have opened up.

Even the most beautifully renovated house in a dodgy suburb would not have quite the same feel as a very average house here. So, that's what what you pay for when you buy properties based on location.

It's funny really, in Singapore, I've hard some pretty strong opinions of the "Eastern" residents about how dirty, industrial, unpleasant, the West side was. Come hang at the Westside yo. You know the novel North and South? Such a rigid division of the idyllic farmlands, cultured citizens, and the polluted, rough, factory regions. Maybe it's time to write the book "East and West", any takers?

Essentially, it's the inevitable divide between the rich and respected, and the poor, the less educated, the outcasts of society. I mean, why would you not rather lovely neighbours who fit in your social circle, and can be trusted in helping you keep an eye out when you're away, rather than the neighbourhood always attracting police attention because of teenage drug users and domestic violence issues.

And it makes me wonder, where would I live? Or rather, how would we respond if God asked us to leave the life that we imagine ourselves to have (the typical income, house, status that usually come with being a doctor) in the future?

(Rich young man story) "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. - Mark 10:21

Going private

For the months to come I'm switching the blog settings to private.
Contact me with your email address for an invite.

Love gone stale

It's been awhile since I've had the time to walk these familiar streets, without needing to be anywhere soon, having the time to reflect, and remember. Walking in the cool, watching the golden setting sun reflect off the roofs of cars and glass panelled buildings.

It struck me how M is like an old lover. Love that has gone stale.

That year, for the first time I had to learn how to layer appropriately, how to dress in something besides a T-shirt, shorts, and flip flops. Well, the excitement of having long coats, boots, stockings, scarves hasn't completely worn off.  I saw trees turn from a lovely crisp green, to yellow orange red, falling in heaps with the strong wind, and becoming bare skeletal branches - oh yes, I was seeing seasons for the first time in a decade.

I was delighted with being able to walk the streets at night (yes it's dark where I come, yes there are street lights, as well as crocodiles in our gardens, and we do ride kangaroos to school.) I've never spent so much time just gazing into the reflections in the river at night. I hopped on my first tram and arbitrarily chose a tram or train line, and only headed back when I felt tired of exploring. I saw terrace houses for the first time - with intricate designs, squished next to each other, looking very small, and I never knew how deep the houses were. I was also fascinated with just living with other students, and all the possibilities of apartments, hostels, colleges that I could live in, in the years to come.

That year, I had so many different mugs of hot chocolates, and spent more time studying in cafes than I ever have, or ever will. At that time I had never been to a typical Melbourne cafe. That year I tried my first bah kuh teh, nasi lemak, and met more Singaporeans and Malaysians than students from any other backgrounds. I happily discovered that it was possible to buy dinners for $6.50 or less, and eagerly tried all the affordable eating places nearby. Well, at least the appreciation for the sheer variety, and quality of food, and the sense of excitement when it comes to trying new food hasn't waned at all. M, you are still my favourite and beloved, for food.

That year, I said goodbye to my closest friend at the time and the prospect of a year apart felt like eternity. That year we argued often until late and somehow, our paths changed courses forever. I appreciated for the first time that the sunlight in the garden can't be caught and caged. And like many of my high school classmates, learnt to be skeptical about LDRs.

23/02/7 Long distance relationships, friendships even, pretty much the same thing. You once shared each other’s world, were a part of each other’s daily lives. And now, living in two different worlds, meeting new people, you slowly begin to drift, begin to have less to say to each other, less common experiences, interests, you begin to live a good life with or without the other person.

That year I was seventeen, never cooked a real meal, started university not ever hearing about a cell. I spent more time sleeping than being awake in lectures, because I simply did not understand the content. At all. That year, I visited a church alone for the first time and literally no one, not the adults, not the young people, talked to me. I've never felt so ignored (and have definitely not been back since) and instantly learnt my lesson about cliques. One evening after dinner, I walked along the campus, wondering if I will ever settle here.

Where I lived, I met a creep who was a guy but had hair like a girl's, who had a room directly opposite the female toilets, and the creep tried to hang out in my room by pretending that his laptop was broken. Ha, very funny. That year, I shared food with 303, little knowing that it would result shape my entire university life. That year we cooked and shared so many meals, had picnics, visited places, had so many birthday celebrations with a group of friends who, with the exception of one or two, turned out to have nothing to do with me from thereafter.

In some ways this semester is more like that year than any other semester. I'm here, I've walked past the old haunts, eaten out often, taken public transport instead of driving, gone back to our green, leafy campus every week after hardly being there at all for more than two years. But M and I have passed our infatuation stage. What I see in M is a place with too many cars, too many traffic jams, long commutes shared with untreated psychiatric patients who shout and carry on. The serene night walks are replaced by frowns at numerous clubs, brothels, "gentlemen" clubs, weekend party goers in long noisy lines, drunk people slurring uncalled for comments along the sidewalk. M has too many people, who are too cold and distant, to be a place of community.

M, I will never find you quite as amazing again. Just like a relationship. The unfortunate stage when little remains of beauty and all that you once loved, and much is replaced by difficulties, disappointment and cynicism.

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