A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: The Doctor

Ahhhhhhhhhh

rghhhhh!!

storm 27 °C

Really I love medicine, I do. But I am amazed how a university manages to turn such an interesting subject into a pile of meaningless assignments and compulsory classes with teachers that can't teach. And who needs to research ethics? Maybe they should offer a course in common sense too.

Anyway, I have some blog catching up to do. Everthing was going great last time I wrote. New rotation, babies, pregnant women and it was all fun. But something happened. It seems to be an annual brick wall that I hit and wow did I hit it this time.

I have just recently had a week off which I spent in Vietnam, but before that was Hari Raya. Now if you are one of my muslim friends reading this, please don't get offended, I am just an observer.
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Basically Hari Raya is the holy month when muslims fast for each day, from sunrise to sunset. Between these times they can eat as much as they like. The purpose of this fasting period is still unclear to me as I asked about 20 people and got 20 different answers. Could be an exercise is self-control, brings them closer to Allah or to teach them what is like to be disadvantaged. Maybe a combination of all, but either way this holy month had an impact on me whether I liked it or not....

1 - my tutors suddenly wanted to teach us at lunchtime. They can't eat, or even drink water, so they don't need a lunch break. Apparently nor do I and I even felt bad carrying around my water.

2 - all the local restaurants are closed during the day. Ok, so nobody wants to cook when they are not allowed to eat and actually not that many people are even eating. But still, my ayam penyit was forcefully taken from my food pyramid and no matter which way you justify it, that still stinks.

3 - the 6:30 rush to buy food. A lot of muslims will wake in the morning before the call to prayer and eat a meal to start their day, then after the evening call to prayer they can break their fast. Instantly. So any evening at about 6:30 - 7:30 the restaurants will open their doors and everyone will order their food making absolutely certain that they have a big spread in front of them before the call finally booms over the loud speaker. Actually, just to make sure nobody misses it, the call is precluded by an ear-piercing siren. But I just can't get over how funny it was the first time I saw 100 people all staring at their food before simultaneously devouring it like the starving people they are.

4 - this would be no skin off my nose except that I went to a Hari Raya market. It looked pretty and it was kind of cool. I just happened to be there at around 6:30pm so I waited for the massive queues of people buying food to disappear before I ordered. Afterall, I wasn't fasting and waiting until after the siren seemed a good idea. Only it wasn't. Every stall, every shop and every stand turned their burners off, stopped cooking and sat down to eat. Of 20 different food stalls, I could not get a single thing to eat. There was a stack of people sitting around devouring their meals and watching me walk from shop to shop probably wondering what on earth I was doing there. Sadly I had to resort to Maccas.

5 - the loudspeakers at the nearby mosque do a pretty good job of waking me in the morning as it is. Besides that they are so awfully out of tune each time they "sing" the call to prayer it makes my ears hurt. Might explain the complete lack of homegrown Malaysian music. But during the holy month, the guy on the biggest loudspeaker in JB managed to find enough important stuff to talk about until midnight each night. That is like 5 hours of non-stop praying delivered to my balcony. I presume it is praying, can't understand it anyway.

I am sure these are just things that everyone here in Malaysia gets used to and it is no big deal really. But regardless of that, I have been here for almost 9 months now and I still don't feel welcome. I could go on for pages about all the reasons why, but that would be no fun. I think it is more to do with JB than Malaysia but as much as I don't like the sterile and strict rules of Singapore, at least they know how to welcome strangers.

That brings me to Vietnam. After booking flights to Ho Chi Min City and arranging a visa to be ready at the airport, I discovered that the friend I planned to visit actually lived in Hanoi. This was a fairly major piece of information that had been left out of my plans and it cost me a pretty penny to fix it. And I picked on Anna for booking a bus 12 hours later than she planned. At least it was going to the right place.

Anyway, Vietnam turned out to be just the break I needed. I didn't exactly come back refreshed, in fact I came back having had almost no sleep at all and some nasty sunburn. But it was an amazing week. It made me feel a bit more love for Asia.
Where beer is an acceptable part of culture, actually an irresistable part at 20 cents a glass!!!!
Where people dress according to the climate and not to their religion.
Where I am not one of the only white giants in the city.
Where Ha Long Bay actually give Wilson's Prom a run for its money. Almost.
Where music is everywhere and they are pretty good at it too.
Where people smoke tabacco in bongs and laugh histerically at a white man's coughing attempt.
Where they still wear cones on their heads and look good doing it.
Where they have a really cool national flag (that isn't an attempted copy of the American flag).
Where I really didn't want to leave and come back to JB.
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I know it sounds like I am Malaysia bashing, and I am sorry to all those people that call this place home. In fact I think most of you that read this blog are my friends here. But I just can't put my finger on it. It is not that I am homesick, I actually don't want to go home, I just don't want to be here anymore. Maybe even just living in an apartment for the first time in my life is finally taking its toll. Either way, it is making the looming exams in 6 weeks seem a monumental task. I am sure I will get through, I always seem to in the end and I sure don't want to trip at the last hurdle. But my love for medicine has left me for the moment, and the timing could not be worse. As much as Vietnam provided me with a much needed break, it also made me realise that I am in a place I will never belong.

There is plenty more to write as there always is, but this is just not the blog it should be. I always have trouble writing when I am this way so I have turned to my music instead, which I have finally started to record. If you care for a listen please check out -
http://www.myspace.com/samdortmans - I am interested in any feedback, good or bad. They are very rough and I am still learning how to use the recording gear, but you can get the idea.

So, hopefully after a few productive days of study I will feel a bit better and can write a shorter but more interesting read. Until then, selamat malam.

Posted by The Doctor 03:50 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Babies in Malaysia

In a state of Nirvana

sunny 30 °C

So now I am well into my 3rd week of obstetrics and gynaecology here at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital. This is no ordinary department here, they are the busiest O&G department in Malaysia delivering an average of 50 babies per day.

I have seen babies delivered before, it happens in the movies all the time. A mother having painful contractions then out comes a beautiful crying baby all smooth and clean handed to the mother. I always knew this wasn't the real situation but just how far it is from the reality was some suprise. Here is what I witnessed the first time I saw a baby enter the world...

The first thing you notice when you enter the ward are the fathers anxiously sitting around the waiting room. After a threat directed at a doctor some time ago, all fathers are now banned from the labour rooms. A not-so-rare example of how one idoit can ruin it for everyone. The first case I saw was a young chinese woman who had clearly given up any attempt to push her baby out. She was exhausted and in agony and the baby just didn't want to come. The Malaysian staff (which in this labour room consisted of a specialist, an intern, 7 nurses, that's right 7 nurses and 2 students) have a way of dealing with this.

Method 1 - Yell at the patient. All 7 nurses at once. I would consider this a form of abuse but the nurses were really getting stuck in. "TWAY, TWAY, TWAAAAYYYYY" at the top of their lungs. Many of them standing right next to her and relentlessly screaming it in her ear. Like whipping a dead horse, she just had nothing left.

Method 2 - Put a sucker on the baby's head. Well this is technically a vacuum assisted birth which is not really all that uncommon. But just how much force they used was incrediblle. I thought the top of the baby's head was going to pop off. The doctor was putting his whole body into it. He was leaning back tugging in the vacuum cup just stopping short of using his foot against the edge of the bed for leverage.

Method 3 - cut her vagina open with scissors. There is a technical term for this called episiotomy. And it does serve a purpose in many births to avoid a much more severe tear occurring. But there is no judicious use of episiotomies here, they just cut them all. I am not a queasy boy, but I wasn't comfortable with the way this was done.

So here I am watching all this comotion going on. The screaming agony, the tway, tway, twaaayyyy, the strains of the doctor pulling and blood and amniotic fluid squirting across the room. But the icing on the cake was the doctor's phone. I have heard it before in meetings where doctors here are exempt form having their phones on silent. But this one is a stand out because everytime it rings the opening riff of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" cuts through the room. No silent in the labour room either and his phone rang no less than 3 times!!! So the head finally pops out and the doctor almost falls over he was pulling so hard. The baby's ears hear their first sounds "tway, tway, twaaayyy" to the tune of Nirvana and I was in the background humming the words "I feel stupid and contagious, here we are now entertain us....." No glamour in this labour room. And as much as the overstretched vaginas and bloody mucous (thanks for that status update Vinita) were a shock, nothing prepared me for the "just another day at the office" attitude of the staff. The ward and its 15 labour rooms are a baby delivering machine.

I can understand why fathers are banned from the labour room. If it was my wife, I would have punched every useless bystanding nurse and not felt bad about it. Much.

That is just the labour room and some of the cases that come through the anti-natal ward and operating theatre are just remarkable. Here are just a few of the more suprising cases:

--> A woman who is 36 weeks pregnant that was involved in a motorbike accident. Claims her husband was riding too fast when he took a corner with her on the back. The baby and mother were fine in the end, but I had to laugh.

--> A Malay girl who gave birth to a shrivelled still born in the back of her parents car on the way to dinner. Apparently she had never had sexual intercourse and didn't know she was pregnant. I believe she had 3 visitors bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh when she was rushed to hospital to deliver the placenta.

--> A case of gastoschisis where the baby's bowel is outside its abdomen. Not something you would see everyday which was evident by the 30 people swarmed into the operating theatre. We have been told there are absolutely no photos under any circumstances in any of the O&G wards. It seems someone forgot to tell the iphone paparazzi that night.

--> A case of twin-twin transfusion syndrome where one greedy twin takes all the nutrients. Like that movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dannie Devito only these two little fellas are battling for their life rather than running for governor.

--> An open infected c-section wound being cleaned of dead tissue with NO PAIN RELIEF for the patient. The poor girl was crying in pain. The doctor muttered some excuse about local anaesthesia causing more infection and I didn't hear his excuse for not giving pethidine. I was too busy whincing in sympathetic pain.

And I am not even half way through yet, so we will see what is in store for the rest of my time. It really is a remarkable place the O&G department and I can understand now why so many female students have plans to work there. Still, it seems to me that they are the most stressed and moodiest doctors in the hospital. Even the male doctors seem to get PMS, probably just through osmosis. So as much as I love it, I don't think it is enjoyable enough to sacrifice my sanity.

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This is pretty long already so I may put up another entry this weekend to tell all my stories about the year 5s that have just been visiting and the holy month of ramadan. I have no photos of the ward for obvious reasons, so here is a obligatory food photo. I'll write again soon.

Posted by The Doctor 22:36 Archived in Malaysia Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Kids and their bikes

actually my bikes

semi-overcast 29 °C

Well, I was only just writing about reaching the halfway mark and now it seems I am almost already two thirds through.

In a way it is a blessing, but I also feel like I haven't done enough. I need to write a bucket list of all the things I want to do before my time in JB kicks the bucket. First on the list is completing my paediatric rotation. I have to say the teaching here has been remarkable, and so have the patients. I have completed 10 weeks here in the ward and there have been a few stand out moments. One in particular was a 27 year old mother whose 1 year old child presented with all the trademark symptoms of leukemia. Her child was eventually diagnosed with a mild form of thalassaemia (a treatable genetic blood disorder) and she was smiling from ear to ear when she realised her little boy was going to be fine. This is not so remarkable on its own, but only a few weeks later another child presents with much the same symptoms albeit a whole lot worse. We examined the child with a crying mother who was begging for the diagnosis to be confirmed. The contrast between the two mothers was incredible and I don't think any amount of books or lectures can teach the lesson in that mother's eyes. Cure for cancer is going on my bucket list too.

At the other extreme there are parents that just don't seem to care, or maybe more to the point, have no idea how to care for their kids. There has been more than one child that has come into the hospital after failed treatment by their local traditional Chinese healer. Sure the healing has been in business for 100s of years, but when the young patient with liver cancer goes there with legs resembling an elephant's, he still directs the mother to a hospital. Only it is too late for the poor boy who will be lucky to see his 12th birthday, and the traditional healer is free from any reprimand or litigation. Meanwhile the mother still seems oblivious to the dire situation her son is in. This story wouldn't look out of place on an episode of 60 minutes back home.

Even though I feel like my learning has been hampered by a persistent language barrier that I have failed to deal with, the overall learning experience is overwhelming. Wards that have no air-conditioners in stifling 30+ degree heat, over 100 beds per ward and 12 beds per room and still often patients are lining the corridors. The solid steel beige-painted cot beds and cheap plastic outdoor furniture provided for the parent's comfort. There are probably 100 other startling things that are no longer startling and I don't notice anymore. But you couldn't buy this experience in Australia and if a patient ever fronts up with dengue fever or thalassaemia back home, I might just look smart for a change.

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I am sorry if this blog seems a little morbid, but my week has been less than fantastic to say the least. That brings me to my bikes. After I went to visit cousin Anna one last time in Singapore (where I bought a flute from the guy with the amazing shirt-tie combo) I rode my motorbike home at a sensible 100 km/hr. Then *SNAP* chain broken and bits of steel mangled all over the place. Luckily nothing hit my leg, and nothing got caught in the back wheel. But my poor baby was bleeding black blood all over the road and there isn't much help around at 1am. Luckily I was close to home and some friendly local offered to push my heavy rolling piece of scrap metal with his mini scooter... I laughed at him, "you're a crazy man, you can't push this". He just stuck one leg out, wedged it behind my foot peg and took off up the road. I was doing 60km/hr up hill! I think he wanted to keep pushing me to the next suburb, I had to actually shoo him away to get in my driveway.

So cleverly, I decided that I could push my bike to the mechanic the next day. I think my bike weighs 200kg (actually I just looked it up - 195kg dry) and the bike shop is about 4km UP A VERY VERY BIG HILL. VERY BIG HILL. I figured if someone stopped at 1am they would also stop at 10am. But they didn't, and it was hot. Very hot. And it was a very big hill. Even worse is that it is a freeway and one of the entry ramps was full of traffic. I was stuck on a traffic island for quite a few minutes with cars crossing lanes in front of me and behind me before two really slow trucks completely blocked the ramp and I bolted to the side of the road (bolted as fast as a 200kg dead weight would allow). The only time i have ever been happy to see trucks overtaking each other up a hill.
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This is a very small part of the very big hill as seen from my balcony. Ok, so the mechanics rush to the door with a cold glass of water (I was dripping profusely and my arms were no longer functional) and they refused to believe I was stupid enough to push the bike that far. Didn't stop them from laughing though. But the next day I had to go and find some parts for my 31 year old rocket, so I rode my pushbike to the mechanic up the very big hill. I'll make this bit quick. Got all the way there, popped my tyre on a sharp curb, hailed a cab, drove to a bicycle shop, bought a tube, jumped back in the cab, drove back to my bike, changed the tube, pumped it up at a servo with one of those stupid automatic pumps that don't work on bicycles, rode 500 metres and popped it again. Not just a bit of air coming out, more like *POW - PSSSHHHH - CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK* followed by lots of swearing. So I walked home. At least I was going down the very big hill this time and I was only pushing 20kg of scrap metal.

Just to cap off my lovely bike pushing week, I had a lovely run in with a tutor doctor today. I think he honestly believes he is the best doctor in the world, and well he is 70 odd and has a wealth of experience. However if he doesn't know something he makes it up. He never says I don't know. Personally I would rather a doctor that knew very little but was always right when he did teach. This doctor knows a lot but is often wrong so you can't have any faith in anything he says. That irks me, but not as much as the fact that he calls children with Down syndrome Mongols!!!!!! I kindly advised him that I didn't approve, and he kindly replied that he didn't care. That was a week ago and I made an appropriate complaint with the appropriate people. Today it started again and I put up with it for quite some time until he started insulting my medical ability (the fact that my medical ability deserves insulting is beside the point). I lost it. I let him have it. I had pushed too many bikes to put up with his crap. I may have enjoyed it a little bit, but the aftermath was not so nice. Funny thing is, I looked up Mongol - Wikipedia style. Turns out by definition he is actually a Mongol. So I will be calling him Dr Mongol from now on, which according to him is not an insult anyway. I will also fail his OSCE station at the end of the year, but so be it. If more people had shared their mind with him over the last 50 years, he wouldn't still be using the term. One thing is for sure, this country may not turn me in to a medical genius, but it will turn me into a more compassionate doctor.

In the end all is good. I apologised to Dr Mongol (out of necessity, not genuine sorrow) and got my motorbike back today with an RM530 bill. About one quarter of what I was expecting, and about one tenth of what I would have paid at home. So thank you for reading this epic long blog. There are more stories that just can't fit in and more photos I want to share. I will save a pile of feel good stories for next time.

I would finally like to send my regards to my mate Shaneo. He lost a good friend and band member last week who I had the pleasure of meeting while I was home. No one deserves an early exit. Take care all.

Posted by The Doctor 08:01 Archived in Malaysia Tagged living_abroad Comments (3)

The halfway mark.....

sunny 29 °C

Firstly I would like to send my condolences to all the Dutchies reading this blog, I was wearing orange last night :(

Yes it has been a while, and yes I have been to Autralia and back, but this is well overdue. So I am now halfway through my stint in the happening city known as JB and it has been up and down. I am happy to say that lately it has been more up than down thanks to some friendly locals. So here is a 15 point summary of my halfway mark:

Half a year of.....
1 -- amazing food
2 -- medicine in Malaysia
3 -- stifling heat
4 -- drinking 4 litres of boiled water a day
5 -- living in a very classy shoe box
6 -- being called "doctor" regardless of how many times I have tried to explain I am a student. I have just given up, apparently in Malaysia I am a doctor already.
7 -- sensational food and drinks in bags
8 -- stolen bikes (although I have technically had more bikes stolen in Australia the "stolen bikes per day ratio" is still well and truly in favour of Malaysia)
9 -- swimming in a 15m long pool. Even my 30 non-stop laps only equate to 450m. I am however a tumble turn pro.
10 -- cruising around on my awesome ex-cop 1970's blues brothers bike. Even though it is 37 degrees every day, I am determined to buy a black suit and ride to the government house to pay taxes for the orphanage. It will only be 5AUD anyway.
11 -- dead pets (not my fault).
12 -- Austudy being more than the average wage. That's right, good old centrelink is paying me almost twice what a full time security guard gets here in Malaysia. Just in case I was feeling really good about that situation, the Aussie government also sent me a bill for $50,000 just to remind me that my education is not actually free. And I kid you not, if the guard down stairs miraculously managed to spare half of his income to pay that debt, he would still be in the red 20 years later! Ouch.
13 -- ridiculously cheap and fantastic food
14 -- having a very handy compost bin just over the edge of my balcony. Rotten apples, stale biscuits, stinky durians and dirty fish-tank water all end up sailing 19 stories to a very amusing death. I should clarify that there is an empty grass-covered block next door, all the waste is biodegradable and bird edible and nobody has been hurt yet. It is actually a very mature and highly entertaining method of compost.
15 -- day trips to Singapore. I actually took my bike in there for the first time not so long ago. Unlike the relatively hassle free borders in Europe, Singapore and Malaysia seem to be having a competition to see who can be the biggest pain in the butt. White cards, boom gates, pot holes, bottle necks, vehicle checks, autopasses and roads that even a lab rat would find difficult to navigate. The idea is that you ride through customs in Malaysia (after an inevitable wait in a queue of smoke spewing 2 strokes) and show your passport to the less than friendly passport checking lady and she takes your white customs card and stamps your passport. Then you ride happily across the causeway where you are for a brief moment in no country at all. Then you go through the same process in Singapore, or so I thought. Surely if I just follow everyone else I will be fine right? Wrong.

I got to the front of the queue remarkably quickly, but it turns out that choosing the lane that moves the fastest usually means you are doing something wrong. I waited at the passport checking lady's boomgate for a minute (already feeling sorry for the bike that decided to queue up behind me) completely oblivious to the flashing light that said "scan passport here". When the boom gate opened I realised the passport checking lady had been made redundant so my plan of just looking stupid and hoping they would let me through was foiled. Now I just looked stupid. I felt like I was in a computer game and had to find the next clue before the man behind me starts to hurl abuse. The next clue said "scan your thumb here" which I did only to find the boomgate in front of me still closed, the boom gate behind me also closed and I still looked stupid. Next clue - intercom. "HELLO, HELLO, I'm stuck can someone help me. What? I can't hear you, there is someone shouting behind me!" Then came my favourite people in the whole world - the police. The immigration police to be exact. I know I shouldn't dislike policemen, but they tend to dislike me first. Anyway, this one was laughing when he opened the boomgate and made me follow his little bicycle into the rat warren where looking stupid was useful and the rats were friendly. Moral to the story - don't ride in the lane that says "Singaporeans only".
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I can't finish this blog without a tribute to cousin Anna and my mother. What was going to be a 3 day flying stop-over from Anna ended up as a decent 10 day adventure. Three of those days my mum was also here. And in those days was a bunch of awesome food, many trips to Singapore, the board game cafe, world cup madness, sheesha and spew on the couch (thanks Vin). But I am pretty certain that most loved of all was Baxter the motorbike (name has been changed from Porky to Baxter since the police were nice to me). From the time he picked her up at Singapore airport to the time he dropped her off at the bus station (12 hours too early), and even when he was completely and utterly lost in JB he was a happy motorbike. And I have to say, I am getting rather attached too. Now I need a new pillion...
So the question that everyone continues to ask is "how have you found it in Malaysia so far?" And I always answer the same thing. It has been good and it has been bad, but you know what, I went home for two weeks and it was good but it was also bad.

I had an amazing time for the first month and it seemed I was on a great big holiday, then I was alone and had a really bad patch before it all got better again. I have made a pathetic attempt at the language and my studies are not flourishing in an environment of poor facilities and some very bad standards. But I believe the worst is behind me and this time when I arrived it felt a lot like I was coming home. That is a stark contrast to the feeling I had when I arrived exactly 6 months ago. I am about to enter a semester of hard work and I will have to do some study which I have mostly been able to avoid so far, but that won't do me any harm.

I have had the odd complaint that I haven't really written about the hospital and my studies, so the next few months will give me an opportunity to correct that. Bye for now.

Posted by The Doctor 10:23 Archived in Malaysia Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

Porky, Motorbike no. 2

30 °C

So, my threat of violence won the day and allowed me to buy a new improved motorbike. Turns out the flip side of not being able to find any size 12 shoes is that I am bigger than everybody else and Crocodile Dundee gave us Aussies a formidable reputation. So my new aquisition is older, but it looks better, runs better and is much bigger. It is actually an old police bike, hence the name porky, and makes me feel very Blues Bros. Too hot to wear a suit.
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So with my new found wheels comes some new found friends. My rush to stereotype Malaysians as non-drinking, non-partying, bike thieving, study crazy rip-off merchants may have been a little ill-founded. A group of students discovered that I had been a little lonely lately (I think I started that rumour) and started inviting me to eat with them, party with them and drink with them. I even took a day off to go to a brewery in Singapore for a day. And after 3 months of barely drinking, I am now a two pot screamer. But it is a huge relief to find some students in my year level that actually aren't all that different to me. On the way back at 7pm I witnessed firsthand the massive amount of peak hour traffic trying to squeeze its way through customs and over the bridge back into Malaysia. The motorbike lane was incredible, like watching a swarm of bees all trying to squeeze through a keyhole. 1000s of bikes as far as the eye could see. I couldn't get a real good photo, but I definitely will not be riding my bike back from Singapore during peak hour, ever. I am sure David won't mind that I have put a photo of him on my blog, afterall he has been the main catalyst in my change of fortune. This one was taken at Brewerks in Singapore. Almost as good as the Grand Ridge Brewery Nick.
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There are still a lot of things that take me by suprise in this country even though I have been here for over 4 months. There are a bunch of guys that work in the shop around the corner (the one where I fell in the drain) who are really friendly and seem to be in the shop all day. One of them invited me out the back to have dinner with them one evening and seemed particularly proud to show me around his home. Their home consists of three bunk beds in a room smaller than my bedroom (which is actually quite small itself), a toilet and a stove stuck inbetween somwhere. That is it. The shop's storeroom is about 3 times bigger than what is left over for their living quarters. I am not sure who owns the shop or how much these guys get paid, but it makes the complaints about my apartment and my money seem so ridiculous. The problem is that the people ripping me off are driving Mercs and living in mansions while these guys in the shop return the extra 2 ringgit I keep giving them because I can't count in Malaysian. That part of the story is very familiar.

I also discovered a new job while attending a birthday party yesterday. At one stage there was a mad rush to close all the doors and windows along with calls of "they're fogging, they're fogging". Fogging? I just stood in the middle of the room while everyone ran around me closing things. Then I heard the noise. I thought it was a helicopter on its way to drop agent orange all over us, or maybe a crop duster with some experimental pesticide. But no, it was this man:
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No face mask, no goggles, just some superhero mosquito busting smoke. And it stank like kerosene. It is the Malaysian's fight against dengue fever and it is apparently harmless as they even use it in schools. Still, I am pretty certain Super Smokeman's life expectancy will be considerably reduced.
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So it is nice to be invited to a few more things and to know that some people may actually enjoy my company. Oscar the girl is remarkably still alive and I bought a new pushbike. I am also enjoying the new paediatric rotation at the hopital a lot more than the first 12 weeks of psychiatry. The kids are fun and the teachers are fantastic. Next week I have a four day long weekend. I know some people from KL read this blog, so if anyone has a room to offer, please let me know. I will be up for a big weekend.

Reading my blogs might give the impression that I am bipolar, but living overseas tends to have that effect. I have been told by more than one person that I look like I have lost weight and my pants continually falling down seems to support this theory. Only it can't be a result of my food intake because I have been eating huge amounts of food since I arrived here. So it must be what is leaving my body. And before you all jump to disgusting conclusions, I am talking about the copious volumes of sweat. The heat and humidity here is relentless. That is one thing I am looking forward to escaping when I return home for the holidays. Oh yeah, I will be home on the 26th of June for 2 weeks. Maybe I will see some of you then. Thanks for reading, Sam.

Posted by The Doctor 22:20 Archived in Malaysia Tagged living_abroad Comments (4)

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