Category: Personal

Excerpt #24

“Do you want to deactivate data roaming?”

“No.”

“Ok, so you don’t want data roaming.”

“No. I meant, no I do not want to deactivate.”

“Ok. Do you realise that if you are not careful, your bill may be very high? You should know that we would not be responsible and we will not waive the charges.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Ok.”

Approximately ten minutes later, I received a text saying they have carried out my instruction to deactivate data roaming.

Night at the A&E

The A&E department is rather unlike hotels and airlines. You do not get special treatment even if you are a regular customer.

It is odd how everyone gets paranoid about their information. Big brother is watching, they say. When you are wheeled into the A&E, you only wish the brother is there to fill in the blanks so that you don’t have to whimper and yell at the same time. And while trying to hold back the vomit. It is not a pretty sight – something I am sure they are used to but not something a commoner enjoys.

As you try your hardest not to pass out from the pain1, you grind your tongue each time (7 to be exact) you have to repeat your name, identity number, the time the vomiting started, the time the pain started, the number of times this had happened, and the preceding events to 4 different persons. Yes, 7 times to 4 persons. Someone must not be too keen. When your temperature is taken 3 times within 2 minutes because it is not recorded and you are man-handled to change into the gown despite having no ability to move beyond the fetal position, you wish you will just pass out.

Alas, the needles show themselves. You have grown to love the needles and the clear liquid as you adapt to the patterns of the attacks and treatment. Then the strangest thing happened – It will take about 30 minutes to take effect. You want to roll your eyes to show your disbelief but they are already rolled from all the ‘excitement’. 30 minutes! Of course, it may be an exaggeration. It must be. There is no way they will do this to someone who is on the brink of begging for mercy. No idea for what and from whom but nonetheless. 30 minutes later, you realise it is not a joke.

The Recovery section must have drugs in the air2. They expect everyone to take in the stillness sensation and be cosmically at peace. As you wave your arms to grab attention, the stolen glances turn from nonchalant to displeasure. You wonder why. You are giddy because you won’t lie down! I have already called for the doctor! Ah. You are a nuisance. You begin to wonder if the pain and the less than performing drug are causing hallucinations. More minutes passed and the refusal to approach or even offer eye contact drive your pain from the gastro region to the head.

Doctor’s arrival presents first and final relief. The fine veins have always been a problem. 3 bruisers and 2 hours after admission, the intravenous drugs and saline send you into a shallow but much needed sleep. It is one of the days you don’t care that you are sleeping with sweat-soaked hair.

Worst attack ever. Unfortunately, the worst hospital experience too. And mind you, I went through a gastroscopy without sedation. This is the worst.

I miss AH A&E.

  1. I still cannot differentiate between “pulling” and “stabbing” so don’t start with me []
  2. Think Hound of Baskervilles of BBC Sherlock []

Weekends with family

If not for the travel freeze, I would not have been able to enjoy two consecutive weekends with the family. It is rather odd that every year, at this time, I will be away. Anyway, it is getting addictive.

It was mighty sunny last weekend but we were thoroughly child-ified at Universal Studios Singapore. Colours and music and smiles. There were alot of smiles! The park is extremely disabled- and senior-friendly. We were very impressed and encouraged (except for one guy whose ankle is made of precious gold).

Captivated @ Universal Studios Singapore


Instead of a regular party, the celebration took place in a bowling alley. I am very amazed by the ‘bumpers’ for children. For uninitiated, the bumpers will prevent gutter rolls. It was a special day, especially for the birthday boy who is obsessed with the sport.

Celebration with Bowling


This is what weekends are for. Truly.

Befitting the grey in Shanghai

Yesterday, it was a dark dark day. My X1 lost consciousness right in my palm. After a painful resuscitation (over a delicious sashimi dinner), I crazily installed an update and it flat-lined again. I cannot understand my lack of sense or explain the sudden loss of simple intellect. Then spent the next two hours reloading and customising the plugins and settings. Achievement. Just when I’d switched off the lights to go to bed, I heard the dreadful beep for the third time. It had hard-resetted itself. Pain.

I woke up this morning to an actual dark foggy day. As soon as I began blaming the drizzle for the low visibility of the World Expo site from the Lupu bridge, we were stopped by guards along the quiet road. The grand locale is not available for commoners yet. I had been fooled by the hotel information booklet. Quite silly, now that I think about it. So the cab headed back to the hotel. He was kind to crawl on the bridge for me to peek and check out the pavillions. Through the damp window pane, they look lonely.

In the departure lounge surrounded by folks in warm lined coats with a horizonless view of the runway, one will never guess this is April in Shanghai.

Vast and grey @ Pudong International Airport

Ground handlers @ Pudong Int'l Airport

Ready to board.

Tune to thyself

I cannot get this song out of my head. Most typical of me.

I believe that everyone has a homecity (aka the homescreen where you always return to). It is not necessary the place you grew up in or the town where you’ve worked for most of your adult life. It is the place that you know it is right to reset in.

Many people want to move out of this city. Many people talk down the policies (and politics). Many people question the intentions and doubt the future. I cannot explain why but, in all honesty, I know I want to be here in my final days. This is my New York.

(20) days of refresh

I am Dull Doris. The fruit of socialized dismantlement and commercialized broadcasting. I am the descend of falling lint in the blue vacuum chamber.

Ok. So I cannot write like the guys of Fight Club.

[Ahem]

Since the less than eventful trip to the Coronary Care Unit, I have a new sense of moving forth. No more the obsession, no less the curiosity. No more the status-ing, no less the updating. No more the dramatics, no less the polishing. No more the reel, no less real.

Inspired by Julie&Julia, I plan to do 52 things, things which I have not done for at least 5 years. All in 52 weeks. Each week I will try to recapture the light of the yester brilliance. Makes me smile just thinking about it. 1st week’s assignment was simple, relaxing and quite frankly, came as a surprise. I need to catch up on Week 2 and Week 3 soon before I get derailed again. Flight schedule is not playing well with this hobby. Plus, website is not near ready. Why, lazy me.

Before this entry begins to feel more suited for closure, I shall end with my exhilaration for Michael C. Hall’s win at the Globes. I cannot wait for season 4 to return to FX.

Smiling back at you, Bangkok

I admit that I might have been too biased with memories smeared by past experiences. Bangkok cab service has definitely improved. Though still consistently trapped in the good old heavy traffic, I did not once fear for my life. Previously. zigzagging cabs in tight one-way streets flipped my heart arteries all the time. Because of that, I have always rejected vacation ideas that will land me in this city.

Beijing cleaned up for the Olympics. Singapore put up prettier Christmas lights for APEC. If Bangkok has changed because of some event, I am very happy that whatever-that-is has taken place here.

I commented one night that this city is full of Manhattan-like lights. Then I was reminded that this is really the city of smiles. Yes indeed. It has even rubbed off on the usually stoic customs officers. Not just in the official airport where they are probably contractually binded to smile at tourists, even the tireless ones in the free trade zones are surprisingly nice.

I may actually be ready to return for a touristy visit soon. But right now, I just want a confirmed flight home.