•January 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
– Neil Gaiman


Quotes From Haruki Murakami’s “Underground”

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment
  • Autonomy is only the mirror image of dependence on others. if you were left as a baby on a deserted island, you would have no notion of what “autonomy” means. Autonomy and dependency are like light and shade, caught in the pull of each other’s gravity. Until, after considerable trial and error, each individual can find his or her own place in the world.
  • I felt a kind of resistance to the whole idea of studying. For me, studying meant gaining wisdom, but schoolwork was just rote memorization. You can study all you want but there’s no way it’ll make you wise. to me, that’s what being an adult meant. To be able to have that kind of calm, that sense of intelligence…School was just a race to gain the most points.
  • Pure love for another person. and what people call romantic love are two different things. Pure love doesn’t manipulate the relationship to one’s advantage, but romantic love is different. Romantic love contains other elements – the desire to be loved by the other person, for instance. If purely loving another was enough, you wouldn’t suffer because of unrequited love. As long as the other person is happy, there wouldn’t be any need to suffer because you weren’t being loved in return. What makes people suffer is the desire to be loved by another person.
  • I’d adjust whatever I said to fit the person I was talking to. I always knew just the right thing to say at any point to smooth things over. So I had a lot of friends. I lived that way for ten years, enjoying entertainment my friends. But when I got home and was alone, i wondered what my life would be like if i continued this way. In the final analysis I didn’t have a single friend.
  • They aren’t all criminals, and some of them have truly pure hearts. I know many people like that and feel sorry for them. They don’t fit into the system because they’re not comfortable with it or because they’ve been excluded from it. That’s the kind of people who join Aum.
  • Of course spiritual levels were a factor, but how much you donated really made a difference. For men, their educational background was often the key. For women, it depended on how attractive you were. No kidding. Not much different from the secular world.
  • The world I had entered as a renunciate was a kind of hotchpotch. There were all kinds of people there I’d never met before. Everyone from your gung-ho elite types, to athletes, artists. In this jumbled-up place I discovered that all these diverse people had the same human weaknesses I had. I lost the prejudices that I had. Everyone’s the same, I realized.
  • I don’t think it was a waste. I met a lot of people, shared some tough times. It’s a good memory for me. I was able to confront human weaknesses, and I think I matured. It might sound odd to speak of it as fulfilling, but there was a sense of adventure: we didn’t know what the next day would bring.
  • I really admired them for the way they practised what they preached. Compared to them, other religions were resigned, cosy, comfortable, passive.
  • No matter how much you resist and try to put a stop to things, the fact is that in a group like Aum your sense of Self steadily deteriorates. Things are forced upon you from above and you’re continually attacked for not accepting the status quo, not being devoted enough, and inevitably your spirit is broken.
  • Reality is created out of confusion and contradiction, and if you exclude those elements, you’re no longer talking about reality. You might think that – by following language and a logic that appears consistent _ you’re able to exclude that aspect of reality, but it will always be lying in wait for you, ready to take revenge.
  • We shouldn’t criticize a sincere attempt to find answers. Still, this is precisely the point where a kind of fatal mistake can be made. The layers of reality become distorted. The place that was promised, you suddenly realized, has changed into something different from what you were looking for.
  • Maybe they think about things a little too seriously. Perhaps there’s some pain they’re carrying around inside. They’re not good at making their feelings known to others and are somewhat troubled. They can’t find a suitable means to express themselves, and bounce back and forth between feelings of pride and inadequacy. That might very well be me. It might be you.

Quotes from Haruki Murakami’s (A Wild Sheep Chase)

•December 17, 2009 • 1 Comment

“Whenever I meet people for the first time, I get them to talk for ten minutes. Then I size them up from the exact opposite of all they’ve told me. Do you think I’m crazy?”

“But what should I talk to God about? I’m not Christian or anything.
No problem there. All you have to do is speak honestly about whatever concerns you or troubles you. No matter how trivial you think it is. God never gets bored and never laughs at you”.

I filed the word “free will” away in my head and pinched my ear with my left hand. The me in the mirror did exactly the same. Apparently he had filed the word “free will” away in his head the same as I had.
I gave up and left the mirror. He also left the mirror.

As Time Goes By…

•December 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

Oh yes, the world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

I thought about this song when came up with the title for this post.


  1. Finish med school. Check!
  2. Graduation. Check!
  3. Registration. Check!
  4. Parents coming over for visit. Check!
  5. Enjoying my final holidays. Semi-check!

A lot has happen as time goes by…

Look forward to more blog posts by dear me as time goes by…

Why haven’t I updated frequently? Thats because I’ve gotten lazier as time goes by…

Why don’t I sound more excited with this new transition in life? Thats because I’ve gotten mellow-er as time goes by…

Ok…enough of “as time goes by”.

Stay tuned and Cheerio.

Spot The Problem

•November 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A recent MJA journal article published on

As with a lot of cases of gripe, there isn’t a clear goal/obstacle to tackle. So what is really the problem here?

a) Low amounts of clinical contact with patients?
— This needs defining. What counts as ‘clinical contact’? Does re-inserting of a cannula into a petechial and well-worn arm count? I bloody hope so since no one else is going to do the job. Certainly not for our colleagues higher up the hierachy. I sometimes wonder (on a general basis) if our consultants can do cannulations any better than we do.

b) Too much clerical work?
— Its related to point (a), I know. But someone’s going to have to make the referrals, someone has to write the discharge summaries, someone has to rewrite the scripts and someone has to do the notes on the ward round. We want to get to know our patients, but we do have other responsibilities as well. Its not as if we went on our tea break <smirk> As much as we do deserve them <smirk>

c) Modern junior doctors are lazier?
— My cynical side says yes because the traditional role of the houseman has changed quite a bit over the decades. Bureaucratic work certainly does numb the mind and definitely numb the will.

d) Modern junior doctors don’t know enough?
— This begs the question, “how much are we supposed to know?”. There have been much written on these and I think the personalities in medical training have followed it and followed it well to a large extent. I know that my APO patient needs an ABG, and I know how to read them, and correct them (in general terms). But if you are going to blast me for being unable to say the 4th or 5th cause for a 1-2 drop in PaO2…then I don’t know what to make of that.
— I do certainly have no excuse for those who are absolutely shocking and especially those who make no attempt to correct themselves.

e) Are there actually more errors despite the generational change?
— I have yet to see evidence that the junior doctors of today are any less competent than their counterparts decades ago. All we have are hearsay which can be biased by personal pride and non-inclusive of the changes medicine (if not, life and culture) has gone through in the 20-21st century.

I certainly revitalized my dream of changing the system to one of having on-site consultants which are present in the unit throughout the day. I’ll write up an “Imagine…” post about this next time. Remind me.


소녀시대 So Nyuh Shi Dae/Girls Generation

•November 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

How did I end up fan-boying?

Simple answer is this: Yes they are beautiful. Yes they can sing. Yes they can dance. Yes they are absolutely hilarious (individually and collectively). But what really appeals to me are their group dynamics and the individuality of each personality within it. Its hitherto something I haven’t seen much in a group of talented entertainers.

By way of introduction, Girls Generation or “So Nyuh Shi Dae” (SNSD for short) is NINE member girl band from South Korea who debut in 2007. Mainly of pop influence, with some ballads tossed in, lately they are venturing into the dance genre. All of them are quite young, around the 18-20 are range. Larger than life in Korea, their popularity is expanding throught Asia and now for the rest of the world.

I found out about them whilst looking up more info about the Wonder Girls. I think the first song I heard was “Kissing You” and I thought to myself, “how weird is this lollipop dance thing?” That is the start of this love affair. Its my housemate’s fault. I’d have been oblivious to the fact otherwise.

To be honest, their songs are quite catchy with some cool dance routines and they act quite cute (sexy too!), but nothing special. I think the passion started after watching the documentary of their debut “Girls Go To School” and the individual MTV episodes on each member. It was then that I started to have a bigger affection for the girls.Each of them are special in their own way (I can talk about them some time else) and together the richness of their personalities are overwhelming.

This is the link for the “Guide to SNSD” courtesy of ssfsubs, the fan-subbing wing of the international SNSD fan forum

I am not one for fanboying mainstream bands, but these girls are special and I want to put them on that pantheon. I qualifiy to be in the “oppa (older brother)” fanbase hence my wish to cheer them on quietly with dignity, support them and protect them.

So…right now, its So Nyuh Shi Dae!

Cheerio and hwaiting!



Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning…

•November 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Next week is the last week of 6 years worth of university life. To be precise, 6 years of medical school life. Though it seems I will part with it without much fanfare, that is…if I don’t do something about it.

It’s been a long journey. Looking forward to a moment like this…its been something I have dreamt and thought a lot about. Finally, the time has come.
I guess I’ll revisit this theme again and again in the weeks to come. Cut me some slack, I deserve at least that much after all that trudging.

I like the quote above by Sir Winston Churchill. First heard it when watching some old World War 2 documentary (which I had always loved doing).

So…how am I spending the week? Probably slacking. I had run totally out of steam if not for the upcoming exams and the people I have been working with. I think throughout this semester, I have been well taken care of from both an educational and relationship perspective. Doubt I could repay their kindness as a student (excluding gratitude of course). Thus I must remind myself to work hard and work well with them next year since I will be seeing most of them again but in a different capacity.

Now…. for something SNSD in the next post. It’s about time.