Friday, June 17, 2005

attended a lecture at NUS today by Kumar from Kumar and Clark! Yes the legendary lady who wrote this textbook that is the lifeline of med students!

after the lecture, i couldn't help but feel the difference between the environment in melb and in singapore. Kumar kept asking why the audience was so quiet and inhibited as this was not the case in the UK. i just felt kind of strange cos just a couple of days ago i was in melbourne where i am getting used to people just shouting out their thoughts and opinions spontaneously, within reasonable limits of course.

back here, i sensed a lot of tension in the air. people do not like to speak up, and if they do, do not articulate themselves properly.

i guess its an asian thing. to not be willing to speak up. its something that will always remained ingrained in us if that is the culture in junior schools and high schools. that's why going overseas has been such a challenging experience these few months. so many of the beliefs that we have hung on to for almost all our schooling life have been questioned.

the funniest part was when the professor asked if anyone had questions. no one raised their hand. then after the lecture, a whole crowd of students surrounded her.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm back in SG!

It's been the moment we were so looking forward to when we first arrived in Melbourne but when we stepped out of IH today it was a time of mixed feelings. Great to go home and meet up with friends and family, but at the same time, sad to leave the friends whom we will not be seeing for a month, especially the exchange students, whom I will probably not see till God knows when.

At 1215, i moved my 3 pieces of baggage down to the foyer. Gary and Kevin came to hang out with me there. It was kind of a very surreal 15 minutes. 3 strangers from 3 far flung corners of the globe meeting in a remote corner in the southern hemisphere. Getting to know each other over 4 months, discovering the very diverse backgrounds we come from and the very different childhoods that we had. And now, these 3 strangers will be parting and going back to the 3 different corners of the globe again. and this was the last 15 minutes that they would be together probably for a long time to come. I would really like to go to the US again when I have the chance to, but considering the fact that a ticket costs $2000+, it might not be anytime soon!

Later, Joyce and Tat came down to say goodbye too. I hope to make another trip to Shanghai one day to visit her in Fudan University. My perceptions of PRC students has changed so much after getting to know these exchange students from China. Eugene and Kai were nice enough to help me move some luggage to the taxi. Erina and Rachel Ong were there too! Wishing they were going back too!

Group check in was quite a long and tedious process. But the good thing is, they are probably less strict on the excess baggage. STA kind of screwed up Jiawei's ticket and he had to pay 50 bucks to get it fixed....swearing that he would get a return when he returns.

The flight was pretty smooth. Sat beside an Aussie model on her way to an assignment in London and an investment banker who seemed to be facing a mid life crisis. She told me about how she hated the workplace environment in Credit Suisse First Boston and about how some of the things they made her do were just so wrong. In the end, she was unsurprisingly made "redundant." It made me realise that it had been a wise choice for me to choose medicine over banking as a career. My dad always feels that i'm not cut out for the cut throat world of banking, and that medicine suits my personality more.

On stepping off the plane, i felt like i was breathing water. YES! Breathing water! Thats how bad the humidity is! The air con comfort of Changi Airport provided some relief. Met the parents of Jia hui and Huiling upon coming out. It was so sad in that i was the only one who's family had not arrived!

Had a sumptuous breakfast of nasi lemak and roti prata this morning. Lunch was homecooked fried noodles, which was of course awesome! Went for an evening swim at Changi Beach Club and enjoyed the sunset and the brightness at 7pm!

Alright, will go catch some a long day tomorrow. Look fwd to meeting the guys in NUS!