Saturday, August 30, 2008

Waxy Buildup

This article I read today (click the title of this entry to link to it) brought back not so pleasant memories of one of the less desirable tasks I had while working in the polyclinic/GP clinic/even A & E...that of having to remove impacted ear wax. Ugh.

Some people just have this tendency to produce lots of ear wax which eventually just clog up the whole ear canal & create discomfort, itching, & hear loss. Sometimes giving them olive oil or Waxsol helps to soften & dislodge it, but occasionally (too often for comfort - mine, that is) even that doesn't help & they would subsequently come to see me to get it syringed out. Yuck.

I tell you, the sight of pieces of ear wax floating in the waste water that gets flushed out ain't pleasant at all. And I swear to God, some of those pieces are as large as one of my distal phalanges! Eew.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Impressions from China: Fake Goods & Face Value

We know that China has the dubious honor of being the land of pirated goods, be it DVDs, software, electronics, handbags or tee-shirts. So I shouldn't have been surprised by the revelation that the little girl "singing" at the Olympics opening ceremony was only lip-synching.

However, I don't think that the lip-synching was the issue; it was the reason given (the real singer was not "cute enough???!!!) & the fact that this was not revealed in the first place.

By trying to put on a "perfect" face for the world to see, China has lost face, & shown herself to be dishonest & shallow. Yes, appearance is important, but not the most important thing in the world. When China realizes this, they will, then, truly be respected.

Having lived in China for the last 1 & a half years, I have come to the realization that much of what they do, & the attitudes of the common people is based on "saving face" & showing the appearance of perfection. But underneath that perfection, one sees that inside, things are far from perfect, & the Chinese still have a long way to go before they become something that not only looks good, but also feels good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Whole Lot of Diggin' Goin' On

Since coming back to Singapore for the summer holiday (& to get away from the Olympics), I've noticed a lot of digging happening along many streets. It seems as if every road I happen to drive on has barriers, lanes blocked off, lines being laid, pipes being buried etc. Many familiar buildings are gone, to be replaced by construction sites hidden behind wooden barricades advertising "New Developments!"

Cranes (the mechanical kind) are fast becoming the National Bird of Singapore, as they inundate the landscape.

I've also noticed an increased number of foreign workers, not just the manual labourers, but also in the service industry. Not that this is bad, but honestly, it's often quite hard to understand what they are saying especially if they are speaking "English" (quotation marks deliberate).

Hmm, there may be a market for English language schools here in the near future, catering to teaching Proper Spoken English (which would also be useful for many Singaporeans :)).

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Money Money Money

Bad form, I say...bad form, Dr Pant.

Who wants to bet that money is the underlying root of his complaint here?

When doctors go public to criticise their compatriots, who have donated their time in helping the less fortunate, it leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. He could very well have used his time & energy to work WITH the Singapore doctors/custodians of the funds to see how arrangments can be made to help Ganga.

Maybe it's just me, but this sounds like plain whinging to me. Not at all professional.

Bad form, Dr Pant.

Friday, August 01, 2008


OK, I plead guilty. I've just been plain lazy.

After a rather eventful, busy & tiring month June/July, I have just wanted to chill & do NOTHING in Singapore. What with

1) Pre-packing for our move;
2) an almost 3 week vacation in the US during which we walked what seemed like hundreds of miles doing college visits;
3) returning to Beijing & moving house;
4) unpacking & sorting through our stuff at the new house;
I guess my lethargy is understandable. And the humidity & heat (both in Beijing & here in Singapore) don't help either.

Many are surprised that we are here in Singapore away from all the Olympic excitement in Beijing. But it really has been rather inconvenient for Beijing residents. Especially if you don't live in an area that is easily accessible via public transport. And despite all the measures, it looks like air pollution remains a problem - too little, too late some say.

So here we are, catching up with family & friends (& food!), enjoying movies (in theatres, not on pirated DVDs!), enjoying unfettered Internet access, & being just plain lazy.