Monday, May 30, 2011

The Radical Notion that Doctors are People, Too

This article was written by one of my favorite doctor bloggers.

She says what I've always felt about people's (as in non-doctor people) perceptions of what doctors are/should be.

Friday, May 27, 2011


A & Z keep telling me to upgrade my mobile phone to a Smart phone.

I don't need a smart phone, I tell them. I am happy with the one-handed action of my trusty old Motorola Slider. None of that hold-it-in-one-hand-while-you-slide-your-finger-of-the other-hand-on-the-touch-screen that one needs to do in order to answer a phone call. If I want to browse the internet or check my email, I have my iPod touch.

I've had my cell phone for the last 4 years - a record in my family, I think, as far as cell phone possession is concerned. I'm a simple girl, I am. I'll just use my phone for phone calls & text messaging for now, thank you very much.

Monday, May 16, 2011


It's that time again. Lots of change happening.

Z has just returned from the US having finished his first year of college. Wasn't it just yesterday that I saw him parade down the aisle during the high school graduation ceremony with his classmates?

W is preparing to apply to colleges this fall. Here we go again...

A's job brings him to Singapore, which leaves me single parenting for the moment. Because of W, I am remaining in Beijing till he graduates from high school next year. It would not be fair to uproot him from high school in his senior year. Besides, we don't think Singapore will welcome him with open arms (a whole different story which will be left to be told another day).

Me? Well. I just finished my 2nd year heading the parent organization in my son's school. It's been a fun & occasionally rocky ride. What a difference it has been from clinical practice as a physician. It has exposed me to so many people from so many cultures & backgrounds. It has enriched my life, and I have made friends whom I will call friends for the rest of my life. When we eventually leave Beijing next year, it will be with a heavy heart as we say goodbye & farewell to so many good friends. Some have already left. Some will be leaving at the end of this school year. But with technology, we will remain connected somehow.

Change is inevitable, I know. But it doesn't make it any easier.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


I admit, shamefully, that I have never been much into the political scene in Singapore. I think it's partially because of the fact that growing up in the 70's & 80's, the PAP, under the leadership of the revered Lee Kuan Yew, was held in high esteem by most of the citizenry. And rightly so, as it was under its governance that Singapore was able to progress the way it did, from pretty much a Third World country, to the modern city with the super-efficient infrastructure of today.

Now, with the General Elections coming up, it has been wondrous to see the enthusiasm & interest shown by the citizens of Singapore. Living behind the firewall that China has built, it has been difficult to follow who is running for what, and in which constituency, Even with a VPN, it is difficult to view videos of speeches posted on Facebook and Youtube. What I can see are numerous postings of links to videos & articles about various candidates, but it gives me a disjointed picture of what is happening.

I will not be voting this election, only because when I tried to register myself as an overseas voter, the information required of me was quite impossible to get (detailed dates of when I arrived & left Singapore for the last three years???!!! Puh-lease.).

I do hope that it is a wake-up call to the PAP that they have to listen. Their arrogance in thinking that they will remain in power, no matter what they do has to stop. From personal experience, this arrogance permeates different departments in various Ministries; and their refusal to listen may come with a price.

We will see in about a week.

Impressions from China - Blockage

Here's the usual sequence of things whenever I try to watch a video on Youtube or Facebook these days, behind the Great Firewall of China:

Connect to VPN

Go on to website.

Wait for website to download (may or may not happen. If it happens, may take a few minutes to do so)

Select video

Wait for video site to download (ditto - see above)

Click "Play", then pause to allow download to happen

Open new tab & browse other website while waiting for video to download (if at all).

or Go do an errand (eg wash some dishes, put laundry in the washing machine, or get my drift...)

Go back & check if video has finished downloading.

If partial - watch whatever you can first till the video stops, then press Pause again, to allow remaining video to download.

This way, a 10 minute video may take about an hour to finish watching, if I am lucky.
Or it may not load at all.

That is the state of internet blockage in China.

Frustration +++