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Wednesday, March 02, 2005
From What I recall
I'd better write this out before the memory of my short 'break' in Singapore becomes but a distant memory.
Spent a relaxing day at home (after going in to KK for tutorials and stuff), doing housework, driving around and fetching my sis to her driving test and back, and had supper with a couple of relatives. Then headed for a 2nd supper at Chomp Chomp, having a banana split. Yummy. =)
In the days preceding and after the actual day itself, friends have celebrated it with me (Kath and Khaiping having coffee and cheesecake in a starbucks in TTSH, and Dee to the end of the weekend at Bakerzinn with a chocolate cake. =) Mei, bless her, got me a long-awaited pressie, so I owe her big!). Got a shock of my life when Star messaged (together with my birthday wishes) that she was engaged. (Wedding is scheduled for NYE this year. I will be back.)
In a flash, I've turned 24, and I wonder... what have i accomplished in the past year?
The weekend preceding this was hectic. Actually, it's just Sunday night and Tuesday. Cam, bless her heart, was ever so helpful and focused. I tell u.. shopping with an aim is good, but it doesn't apply for clothes! Was supposed to get something smart casual for the event. Lit gave me ample warning (like 2 months before), and as the day came nearer and nearer, it just stayed at the back of my mind till that weekend. Then it's panic time. Met Cam at the last min, and it was quite a productive shopping spiff in the span of 1 hour before the shops closed. I eyeballed potentials, but got clothes for other occasions other than the one I came out for!
But never fret, I still had 2 more days, rite? Well, came out on Tuesday night with mei, and it was a disaster. The clothes I picked, she didn't like or it was totally wrong. That day was totally unproductive. Met JD for coffee to cool it off (was a bit hot-headed then and panicky by that time) with mei, and he agreed with my sis that I was crap at shopping for something. Bah. Almost punched his lights out but pseudo-strangled him instead. Haha.
The day came, went for clinics in KK, then came back, showered and rushed out. Dad was nice enough to drive me down to Raffles Town Club for the thingmajig. Lit was waiting for me on the outside, and we walked in together, bumping into Jianyun and partner. Didn't realise he was in the same wing. Heh.
At the end of the night, I had a very full tummy from the sumptuous food, knew much more about OCS than the impression I had (which was totally skewed), had full-length pics taken (Lit, where are those?) and a yellow rose (courtesy of Lit and wing), and a cab ride to me doorstep by the ever-gentlemenly Lit. Thanks for the invitation, Lit. =)
It's an event by itself. This year's was complete with reunion dinner (whole family was actually around, with delicious abalone and other food), angpows, visiting and visitations from relatives (all the babies and toddlers and primary sch kids have grown ever so tall and barely recognizable), yummy food of pineapple tarts and soft drinks (don't know why, but I've stayed away from bak kwah totally this time). This time was a mish-mesh of blurry faces, facetious acknowledgements (perpetual nodding when someone says you've slimmed down a lot or you've turned so lady-like, just because I had longer hair and was wearing a skirt and make-up. Bleah.), and fattening-up. Lovely.
It was indeed a lovely time to be back. Not just in Singapore, but to be in Singapore hospital. I expect I'll be singing a different tune when I actually start working, but that can wait. Paeds in KK was a flurry of tutorials (seen a number of cases which i've never seen before) own clerking (where this kid tried to pick me up. Hmm), slideshows (which are very useful), and clinics (which were ha;f useful, depending on how you look at it).
It was a later start in the day of about 10am. and ending before 5, depending on how hardworking you are. The hospital had a great study area in the library, but the selection of books was quite limited. Patient-wise, it was alright. I had no problems communicating, being local and able to speak the language and slang. Kids and parents were generally receptive to me, which was good. =) Work-wise, was getting into the hang of things, starting to be the competitive, studious old me, when the elective ended, so it stopped there. Heh. System-wise, it's different from UK. But both systems have its fair share of pros and cons. Singapore is pretty regimented. UK is quite inefficient. It wasn't a problem getting used to the system or the way things worked here, anothe r plus point for enjoyability and productiveness.
Hurray, I've survived this bit and enjoyed it. Not to mention, made friends with some of the M4s too, who were awfully nice and friendly (at least the first group I was with). Hurray for them!
Lucky me. I was back in time for NUS revision lectures which were conducted by NHG, one of the healthcare clusters for the current M5s, who were having their finals in a couple of weeks. Never mind the fact that I had to travel to different hospitals to get the lectures, it was indeed useful. To see how the locals medics are trained, but mainly to revise what I'm already supposed to know anyway (but apparently not). The surgery revision at TTSH and Orthopedics at NUH was useful, but it was way over my head, the amount of details they delve into is mind-boggling. One wonders how much of this do they actually retain after the finals. The medicine ones at AH were more my cup of tea, and I could actually understand and be able to answer questions fielded by the profs. =)
Catching up with friends
It was a steady tickle of meet-ups in the beginning when I was first back, then it went minimal while I was doing my elective (unlike JTI, who so tempted me when he said that he was at the top of 70 stories on a Monday night, enjoying the company of friends, the view and the atmosphere), and the rate of meeting-up went to dire panic levels in the last 2 weeks before I was about to fly off.
Met up with Dee a couple of times for dinner or to talk or over at her place to do me applications or d/l her own list of songs. It's great to just chill with one of my best friends. Be it over some dessert at Bakerzin, after that strolling along the pier and talking, at the merlion till the wee hours of the morning, or at J8 where we enjoyed a bit of coffee and aircon at the coffee bean. It was indeed a pleasure and a joy. =)
Met JD and Cam that number of times too. Both were complaining how I should come back more often, coz there's never enough time to catch up, and there's so many things to update on/exchange and email or phonecalls just isn't the same. Face-to-face is always good. I agree, not to mention, JD is a delicious hunk, and Cam is a gorgeous babe to boot! =D Oh yeah, Joe too. He (yeah, THE one who often graces the pages of 'Urban' and overseas mags) is such a laugh. Think my sis is enamoured with him, and he with her, after he got a tray of brownies from her. Haha. Everytime I come back, he'll be around to meet up. We've made a date for when I'm back at the end of the year, where we can have Sakae Sushi again (it's a running joke between the both of us, coz everytime we meet, we always end up there. Don't know why.)
The last 2 weeks were hectic. Met up with people I've never met up with for 7 years or so (Vball girls, where we had a girls' night out. Don't ever go Beijing La Mian, coz service and food is atrocious, but Harry's Bar is a nice chill-out place)... Jianyun, thanks for luc for teh contact. She's now working in DSTA. High-powered stuff. =P RC (whose dad thought I was his gf, no less. Haha), , Jess, YY, Les (I want to go back to Changi Village again!), Yuzhi and Aggie (primary school friends who I didn't meet when I came back the last time around), Kermin (my neighbour whom we used to go jogging and swimming when we were in sec sch and she was in JC). Finally met up with Rocephine too, after soooo long. We both haven't been back in 2 years.
The rest of the time? Hospital, revision lectures, housework and ironing (takes up a couple of hours at one go), meeting friends, chilling at home, been swimming quite often, so much so I have a lovely tan throughout the bod, coz of the bikini I use (Yeah, I don't have a proper swimsuit, coz my old one got 'eaten' by I-don't-know what, and I was too lazy to buy another one).
I'm also proud to say, my wardrobe has been revamped (not totally, but the majority), and my room has been cleared (most of the books anyway). Yay. =)
That's my elective period for ya, in a nutshell. Or maybe in a long entry instead. =p