Saturday, June 28, 2008

Private Hospital vs. Government Hospital

I had a fall last week. I’ll spare you the details. As the result of the fall, when I went to the clinic for the second time, I was referred to a private hospital near (which is not exactly near, with the traffic jams) my office. I was supposed to have some part of my body x-rayed and checked. Since I was already in pain for a week, I wasted no time and headed to the said-hospital.

Braving Friday evening traffic jams made worst by the rain, I finally reached the hospital. It was well after five. I headed to the porche reception counter. Handed the letter from the clinic to the good people at the counter. They told me to go to the emergency section as the office hour had ended. And off I went along the squeaky clean corridors and eventually found the emergency section. I waited for my turn at the registration counter.

The good man at the counter read my letter and politely told me that it was ‘after office hour’. He would have to check if the x-ray technician was still around. He made a few phone calls and gladly told me that the technician was still around and was willing to help. So off I went to the x-ray department. Two young men greeted me. One of the men ushered me to a small room. (To friends and love ones: nothing happened). He left me to change into the x-ray robe.

Wearing the x-ray robe, I walked into the x-ray room. The man who ushered me earlier, came. To make the story short and not dwell about the little disagreement I had with him, he told me that he could do the x-ray, but I have to pay for extra charges that covers their overtime (which I didn’t really mind). What ignite the flame in me was that I had to come to the hospital the next day to collect the report. Get this, he said there was no doctor around (because it was after office hour) to look at the x-ray. I was aghast to hear that there was NO doctor in a HOSPITAL!

Driving to KL on a Saturday-off just to get my x-ray report was not an option. Needless to say I cancelled the whole procedure and changed into my clothes. With splitting headache caused by my flaming anger, I drove through the traffic jams to the government hospital nearest to my house. By the time I got to the registration counter, it was already 9pm. Good thing the man behind the counter was pleasing to look at and funny. I only had to pay RM1 for registration (if you are not Malaysian, you’ll have to pay RM50). There were probably 20 people already waiting for treatment.

After what seemed to be endless wait, my name was called. I thought I finally got to see the doctor. But I was very much mistaken. The room was called “Bilik Saringan” (Screening Room). In it, was a medical officer (I’m not quite sure how one become a medical officer). He asked what was wrong and patiently wrote some notes in the ‘report card’. He took my blood pressure and asked me to wait at the waiting area.

And so I waited. I fidgeted on my chair as the pain ran through me. The screening procedure might be cumbersome for some, but while waiting, I realized how important it was. There were 20 people, from what I saw, those who are more critical got into the treatment room first. That included a bloodied man who came out from one of the treatment room with his head bandaged. Anyway, after meeting yet another medical officer, some more waiting, I finally got x-rayed and checked by the doctor.

You know some thing is not right when a junior doctor called her senior doctor for an opinion. Good news: no bones were broken nor fracture. Not so good news: amazingly they saw something else might be swelling. But since I feel no pain in the part that was suppose to be swelling, the doctors let me home (there were more critically ill people that they need to attend). Besides, it was already 11pm. I was tired, so I gladly went home.

I had to spend considerably more amount of time waiting at the government hospital, but eventually, I got x-rayed and checked. So in Euro2008 style: government hospital 1, private hospital 0.

Monday, June 23, 2008


This entry is not about the cake but about the Indonesian film. I bought the vcd during my previous trip to Melaka. I didn't expect to find it in Melaka because I had already went to a lot of shops in KL and none sell the vcd anymore. The (original) copy I bought, was the last copy.

Why on earth did I go through all the hassle just for a vcd? After watching Marcella Zalianty in "Penjaga Hati" (an Indonesian drama series aired throughout Ramadhan last year), I was curious about this actress. "Brownies" has this actress as the leading character.

One look at the cover will give you the impression that this is a shallow film about a lady who have to choose between an uptight yuppie (in case you don't already know, yuppie is short for 'young people with money'), and a laid-back bohemian. Yes it is about a love-triangle. But interweaved with the seemingly shallow love story, is a deep philosophic look towards life.

The film evolves around the leading lady, Amelia (Marcella). The story begins with Amelia returning to Jakarta in what possibly be a first class flight. She is successful and talented enough to be featured in a magazine. She is an art director who showed her business savvy by speaking to potential client she met on the plane in his mother tongue.

Amelia wanted to surprise her yuppie fiancé, Joe, by arriving at his apartment unannounced on his birthday. She was greeted by a messy but quiet apartment. In a true neat-freak style, Mel, as her friends fondly call her, tidied up the place while making her way to his room. Her surprise backfired when she caught Joe making out with another girl in the bathtub. In the heat of the moment, Mel ended their engagement.

Mel's life spiral further downward after Joe introduced her to his new girlfriend. In her rebound, Mel went on a few unsuccessful relationships, much to the dismay of her best friend, Didi. Didi finally confronted Mel and jolted Mel back to reality. Around the same time Didi’s husband, Lilo, had a reunion with his old friend from school. His bohemian friend, Are, owns a ‘book kiosk’ (book shop + cafĂ©). His specialty is making delicious brownies. Knowing that Mel likes to make brownies too, Lilo and Didi set Mel up to meet Are.

We see Mel’s character changes as she gets to know Are. Are opens her eyes to new views and ideas. Are is against the idea of mass production and capitalism. He has somewhat a philosophical outlook towards life. We see how neat-freak Mel controlled her disgust (and said nothing) when Are absent-mindedly licked his fingers and his ice-cream cup. Besides that, the old Mel would never eat from a pushcart. The new Mel, remembering the ‘lecture’ from Are, felt pity for the pushcart vendor in front of her house, hence bought a late night snack from the pushcart. It was also Are’s words that gave Mel’s the idea for her latest advertising pitch.

As Mel and Are friendship grew, Joe suddenly came back into the picture. Didi, truly concerned about Mel, advised her to make the right decision. Once Mel sees beyond her past, she was able to pick the right man.

(p.s. Photo of the cover cd is taken from

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The trip to Married life

Again, DO NOT PANIC. Yes, I went for a trip. But it wasn’t me who got married.

The trip began after I successfully packed my bag I made a ‘quick-stop’ at the hospital for my now-routine-lung-function-test (yes, it’s lung function, and not as previously described ‘punctured’). The supposedly ‘quick-stop’ became a long wait for the doctor. While waiting, I couldn’t help but wonder, why on earth didn’t I become a doctor, hence set my own working hour.

I had to meet the rest of the entourage at our predetermined rendezvous point at 11am. But no thanks to the long wait at the hospital, by the time I left the hospital, it was already past 11am. An hour later, I reached the rendezvous point, took a 15minutes rest, picked up some passengers – 2 adults and a toddler, then continued driving.

Four stops later – one for gas, one for lunch, one for sleep (I was very tired) and the last one for “sata” (a delicious traditional seafood thingy wrapped in banana leaf and cooked over charcoal) – we finally arrived our destination. We unload our things and rested for a while before getting ready for highlight of the day: “akad nikah” (solemnization).

We droved to the bride’s house a few hundreds metres away from our rented bungalow. We were greeted by the bride’s family and ushered into the house. The groom sat opposite the “juru-nikah”. It was perhaps the quickest and simplest ceremony I have attended so far. Before we knew it, the two lovebirds are officially husband-and-wife.

Perhaps because everyone in the entourage was tired, after a short photo session, and a great dinner, we –including the husband - returned to the rented bungalow. We immediately went to bed. Unfortunately going to bed early didn’t mean sleeping early for me. Perhaps because of the unfamiliar place, or perhaps because of the poor air circulation in the room, I had a restless night.

The next day, around noon, we got ready for the “bersanding”. The groom had some trouble with his outfit. He couldn’t seem to get the “samping” (a ‘sarong’ worn around the waist) right. There’s an art to folding the “samping” to make it look good. We finally left the house around 2pm.

The bride and groom were reunited at her house. There were a short “silat” (Malay traditional martial art) demonstration. Surprisingly, I could recognize that it was “Silat Gayung”. Even though I haven’t seen any “silat” demonstration for a long time, I still remember and very much prefer the ‘fierce’ version of the “Silat Gayung”.

The “silat” demonstration was followed by “bersanding” ceremony. During “bersanding”, family members and friends did the “bertepung tawar”. By the end of the ceremony, I was already hungry. We headed to the main table for the “makan beradat”. I am ashamed to admit that I pretty much gobbled down my food shamelessly. We said our good byes and left the groom with his new family.

With the insistence from a few members of the entourage (needless to say against my will), we packed and headed home. I braced myself for another long drive! Thankfully we reached home safely around 9pm.