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Pregnant people needs to hustle?

If a pregnant woman asks for leave due to sickness, is she weak?

I find a certain article writing on having pregnancy symptoms and how she used to think these women are weak. I thought she might have changed her thoughts and was motivating. I was approving the article until….  

Don’t be the reason why people don’t like to employ women and don’t be the reason why people say pregnant women are weak. There are so many women in our past who did it all – hustled their way through, pregnant and all. They ain’t got no time for morning sickness. Let’s follow in their footsteps and uphold the good name of strong-willed women. – Vivy Yusof

I am all for women trying to do their best during pregnancy. But yknow what, with each pregnancy, only you know your limitations and sometimes you may not even know it!! Some women may ‘hustle’ their way only to realise it is not good for their pregnant bodies. I did full oncalls which was non stop, on the feet job and started having spotting in my first trimester. That freaked me out and the midwives I was working with even told me that I had to take it easy (which is difficult anyway but I was more militant in taking breaks and knowing that I HAVE to be slower and ask for help). 

Indeed I have ‘hustled’ my way through both my pregnancies, which Alhamdulillah was easy. I didnt have much symptoms at all except for back pain towards the end of the pregnancy. I did my night shifts until I was 32 weeks with Zayan, which I realise later on was so so exhausting… not to mention I did a one hour commute to hospital during that time (no driver ah, I dont have those luxuries). However I wouldnt expect others to be like me. I know of colleagues who are so nauseous and kept vomiting even after first trimester. Carrying a bottle of water and dried fruits and nuts during an oncall because that’s all she could take. 

Having understanding colleagues and bosses make a difference. I have had times when my colleagues took the bleep from me because they were kind enough to realise my 25 week pregnant self cant be running up and down the stairs all the time (when crash called, you run up 2-3 flights of stairs). I have also had to carry the bleep when I was 34 weeks because there was no one else to take it and told to ‘just run slowly, its not that far anyway’ (to be fair, it wasnt that far and I never had to run). 

Each of us are different – we can only try to do our best. 

What I think is needed is for society to realise that if they want to retain women workers (which have their own qualities, compared to men), they need to accept that pregnancy and motherhood can come with it. I will not continue to be a happy, striving doctor mom if I didnt have the benefits UK work force has to offer (comparatively much better compared to Asian countries). I had 6 months full paid maternity leave, did less than full time for a year after Zayan was born (worked 60% of usual hours) and can cut down on oncalls and night shifts when I was pregnant. 

Now there are debates about women and men being equal. I say that we are not equal – men can never be pregnant and will never know how pregnancy and breastfeeding is. Heck, a woman with easy pregnancy wouldnt even know how it feels if you have a hard one. What we can do is to ensure that there is equity. It’s neither easy nor straightforward but we have to start thinking of these policies that provides fairness to all workers, pregnancy, disability and all. 
Love, me

PS I am a secret fan of Vivy and love following her. I just find her paragraph at the end disappointing. Perhaps she meant well and if worded differently, it would give the meaning she wanted it to be (motivating I’m guessing). I wish her pregnancy all the best. 

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Tokyo: Places to go

I have always wanted to blog on my travels and then keep forgetting to do it. I havent even finished writing on Jordan (that was 2 years ago!). And have I even written about Marrakech (December 2017)?

Anyway, so I think I should write differently because writing in chronological order was taking way too long – even though that made the most sense to me. I’ll just write my recommendations and top tips… and ‘meh’ experiences.

Places to go in Tokyo

First up: How can anyone fit in Tokyo with TWO kids in 4 days? Actually, it was more like three days for us as we went on a day trip out to Hakone.

So choose what your preferences are and be aware that there will be lots and lots of walking. Even walking inside a station itself takes 10-15 minutes – basar nyamu stations nya ani. 

Limit to 2-3 areas per day. In fact for maximal enjoyment, make it to 2 places and then somewhere else for dinner/night time. 

1. Samurai museum at Shinjuku

This was a good museum actually, interesting history of the Samurais. It’s not that big and takes about an hour ish. We took the guided tour and the collections made more sense with the guide’s explanation. The kids’ attention span did deteriorate by the end of it and we ended up taking photos with the nearby maekshift studio.

Fun fact: Boys who came from the samurai family were trained from the age of 3-4 years old. Hmm, need to get started on the kids. Also, girls were trained to be samurais too. Especially if they didnt have any boys in the samurai family, so the girls have to be the ‘assistant’ to the fighter… but also means they are involved in the fighting. 

Takashimaya Square, Shinjuku

We went here on our last day. There are a lot of shopping malls here, a lot of it is American/Western top end brands. We went here to go to the prayer room actually before going to nearby park. We ended up spending almost 2 hours at Tokyu Hands! It has six floors and is a bit like a department store but mostly specialises on cute/pretty/quirky items. I can spend a long long time there but had to keep an eye on the clock. Wished I bought some more things there now. 

Bought this cute lunchbox. 

2. Went shopping at Shibuya

So if you’re really into shopping, you can spend a few hours here. We went to Shibuya 109 which had some ridiculous number of floors (8 floors I think) of women’s clothing. However we had a lump to carry around (sleeping Ayman) and boys hate going shopping. So I quickly zoomed around but really I can spend ages there. We went to Uniqlo and I got my trousers fix (I have 5 trousers that I usually wear and 4 of them are from Uniqlo). By then we all got tired and cranky and we just couldnt wait for the evening’s sight of Shibuya crossing. 

3. Harajuku

I expected teenagers in wild outfits and though I did see some ‘less conservative’ outfits, I was didappointed that the Harajuku crowd didnt appear in full force when we went. We actually went to Harajuku twice. The first was to check out the place – as soon as you come out of the station and cross the street, there is a street that is so full of people. We exited after a few minutes and the second time round (to kill time), we browsed around with less of a crowd in the evening. There were some interesting fashion  shops but not my style really. Although tempted to buy the sweatshirt with the bunny hoodie and a lil bob tail to go with it, I held back and decided I couldnt get away with it. 

Hedeghog cafe, Harajuku

The first time, we went to the Hedgehog cafe. There was a bit of a queue (as are a lot of places in Japan it seems!) but didnt have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. It did cost a lot to my stingy disbelief but we were there already, so off we went for some hedgehog experience. Now let me tell you, I hate touching any four legged animals. Actually I hate touching any animals but even more so four legged ones. Gali rasanya and also I have a bit of phobia (I say a bit but its a lot actually). That was the reason why we didnt go to cat cafe. I’ll probably cry in a corner and hyperventilate at the same time. 

So hedgehog seems to be a safer bet… they’re not gonna run around me at least. However, Zayan was also scared of touching so I had to be brave and fight all my senses to throw the hedgehog away. After awhile, I realise it wasnt so bad. #achievementunlocked

PS There is cat cafe in Harajuku and Owl cafe as well in Asakusa. If you know, you’re into those things.

PPS You get a free drink from vending machine but its not really a cafe! The place do have a nice ambience to it.

Yoyogi Park, Shibuya-ku

Actually the maps said this was in Shibuya-ku but we went out of station to find ourselves at Harajuku close to Hedgehog cafe. Hmm. Anyway. HUGE HUGE park. We didnt get to see any greenery area, came across another shrine/temple (sorry ah cant tell which is which at this point) and then the park was closing. So erm, no place for our picnic! There probably is but we couldnt find it despite half an hour of walking. It is pretty cool to have this forest-like park in the middle of city and be completely surrounded by nature, only minutes after escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. However, there are nicer parks to go to IMHO – says the sakura obsessed.
4. Asakusa

I enjoyed this place the most. It was more authentic and even though still jam-packed with tourists, it had a nice feel to it. We went to the Meiji Shrine, checked out the little alleyway shops and found this shop selling really pretty Japanese cloths. Pictures later perhaps on IG because I cant be bothered to find them now. Kids got restless at the shrine and was finally happy when we got them icecream.

5. Ueno Park

Another HUGE park. Lovely area for cherry blossom sightings. Lots of people picnicking – seriously jam packed with rows of people having a picnic under the Sakura tree. 

We went to Ueno Zoo, which the kids love. When you have kids, you will end up going to multipe zoos and aquariums. So this zoo is not the most amazing zoo in the world but it did it make up to the kids, for all those walking and boring shrine-picture taking they have to endure. Plenty of space to run around in and  also the animals didnt look sad (I feel sad for the animals who looks trapped or sad or live in small areas). The tiger did look like it needs some fattening up though. 

Ended the area with street food stalking (grilled squid for M – which he didnt share!, banana dipped in chocolate for Zayan and crepes for me and Ayman). 

And oh some more walking pathways lined with cherry blossom trees. #sopretty

6. Tsukiji Fish Market

Tempura Tenfusa

We didnt go early to see the tuna auction. Or THAT early to get breakfast. We arrived at 10 am and bee-lined to this tempura place. Read through the tripadvisor forums who advised to ditch the sushi places and instead go for the less busy places. Actually this popular sushi place (Sushi Dai – I did my research) didnt have a queue when we arrived but within 10 minutes, the queue did pile up. Anyway, we went to Tempura Tenfusa, which only have 12 seats! So we had to wait probably for 15-20 minutes. It only has 3 items in the menu and one (tuna sashimi) was sold out by 10 am. They only have seafood in it. Nevertheless the tempura was SO good. Crispy batter, not greasy at all, that was a real yums breakfast/brunch. 

The actual fish market

Because we got there a bit late, there was less of a crowd but still plenty to see. Zayan eyed the fresh sushi and sashimi and pestered to eat it. And now that he can read, he saw the sign saying ‘You can buy here and eat at the third floor’ and kept going on about it! Eseh aku ah, actually nya mau jua. The sashimi was SO fresh. It was so fresh and tender I just want to cry (eh labih jua). 

There were also food stalls at the outer fish market but we got so full it was time to ciao.

7. Odaiba

Now this is probably one of the nicer, posher places to go to. Quite a few shopping areas and science museum, so actually worth going if you’re into those things. 

We went only for this thing only…

The kids went CRAZY. I would go crazy too if I was six and into Gundam and the likes. 

It also had a nice picnic area, so it was pretty nice to just chillax and not have crowds and crowds of people invading your space (can you tell I like my space?). 

Look my pink uniqlo seluar!

8. Chiyoda 

My sakura obsession continues as we went sakura sighting at night. It was so so so pretty. The kids though… kept hitting each other, went hyper (hmm it was either the fanta or the sweet bread we fed them). Sikit lagi hilang mood, baik jua teluan lawa nada mood kan marah banar. 

Can you spot the moon in the last picture below? (Hey its a full moon, maybe thats why they went all cray).

Ok that’s all from me. Next post: foor for the tummy, prayers for the soul.


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Update on Projek Bahasa Melayu

Ok I’ve been meaning to update on Zayan’s (and Ayman’s) progress on learning bahasa melayu. Apparently, by reflecting and writing on it, it will make me conscious of how the learning is going and motivate me to continue.

I have been pushing the learning from a lot of corners:

(1) Talking more in malay

Sometimes it’s just reflex to speak in English with the kids esp Zayan. Sometimes I have to speak in English esp with complex ‘you need to understand this’ instructions.

If it’s simple instructions, I can speak in malay and the kids will understand. If it’s more complex, I either will say it in malay and then say it in English.

A lot of times I do the combo of the two languages, which is how I naturally talk with family (excluding parents and older generatiom) and friends anyway.

With Ayman, I talk much much more in Malay. He understands a lot more and doesntt even bat an eyelid if he doesnt get it. He just goes ‘hmm?’ whereas Zayan will get frustrated if he doesnt get it.

Ayman also picks up more malay words and it sticks on him more. So from a vocabulary point of view, Ayman has more malay vocab than Zayan. This is probably because I’ve stuck to talking more in malay with him since he was a wee little one.

Just realising I need to talk more with them made me do more things with them. I know it sounds horrible but often I just want to sit and do nothing/watch TV and let kid get on with their play. Now I do things more WITH them so I can speak more with them.

(2)  Writing 

I wanted to keep up a more consistent daily routine of some form of malay work. Unfortunately, mornings are not good for us, so Zayan does ‘malay work’ in the evening after I come home from work. This depends on me being there, so perhaps this is done 2/3 of the time in a month. 

It started really, really basic because thats how low the standards/reality were! Name, age, shapes, colours, labelling rooms and items in the house, simple adjectives. I have an A4 book solely for this. 

For example, he would be matching colours and shapes to the malay words. He likes to draw so I made him draw different rooms in a house and then label them. 

I divided the work into: (1) writing sentences, (2) reading and comprehension and (3) learning new vocabulary. We might concentrate on one area or do all three! Btw the time span for this work is usually half an hr. Any more and he gets distracted. 

Below are examples of what he’s done:

I also have a little ‘journal’ writing for him. Essentially a little booklet where he writes 1-2 sentences on it. Sometimes I wouldnt even know the malay words for it (like ‘snake scales’ and ‘slide’) but he made me check it on the dictionary. 

Then I had to ‘up’ it because he was getting bored. I was finding it difficult to find ‘malay worksheets’ online. Most of the work is a bit boring, so in the end I made it up myself. 

Exercise: Translating english to malay

Exercise: Matching new words to pictures to then translate the recipe

‘Telur’ missing pasal Ayman took it out. For the vocabulary lessons, I do it with both kids. Ayman remembered it much quicker – I think he’s like his Ayah, quicker acquisition of language. Zayan is like me – he just needs to work harder and he’ll get it. The ‘working hard’ bit is what is hard. I mean, I can make it fun by drawing and colouring and making things relevant/funny/interesting for him. Essentially though, he has to learn some areas (writing and reading) by sitting down and focusing and that is the struggle. 

(3) Reading 

This is a struggle because I have little hold of fun and interesting malay books. I bought some dari Brunei from the last trip but sad to say, it wasnt that interesting. 

Zimah, my soul sister from another mother, kindly bought books for the kids. It has nice graphics and malay is not too difficult (good combo of short enough sentences but some difficult words). Thank you Zimah!!

I also got my parents to get me old Mekar magazines. I used to read this when I was a kid!! The contents are not that bad actually and have word puzzles/crossword there that I use as part of ‘Daily Malay work’. 

Aside from the above, I have downloaded this app which I cannot recommend enough. Seems like it has been set up by ‘Pusat Bahasa Melayu Singapura’. There is six stories with different options – you can just read it like an e-book, have it as audiobook or you can voice record yourself (or your kid can) reading it. It also has games at the end – one is a comprehension game (qs to ask on whether you understand the story) and another is some vocabulary game. 

I thought Zayan would get bored of it but he continues to ask to play it from time to time.

So on reflection, things going well and the issues:

(1) Malay work is done more regularly than ever before. I wish I can do it daily but depends on whether I’m oncall or not. My oncalls are on average 10 days a month and maybe 2-3 days post oncall (therefore still zombie), that makes it roughly about 2/3 of the month only. 

I’m still searching on things Zayan can do by himself when I am oncall and need little supervision. Anyway, will have a think. 

(2) Reading more

Currently we love this Sea world books from Zimah! And still sifting through Mekar magazines. 

But have to foresee them getting bored after awhile, so need to buy new ones. Hint, hint to my friends from Brunei &Malaysia! (I will gladly pay for books and postage!!)

(3) The ‘One page a day’ exercise

As I didnt have any fun books for awhile, I figured I’ll make some stories up. This story is about Zayan and Ayman waking up one morning to an empty house and found their neighbourhood has turned into a forest. I introduce a page a day (not consecutively because Zayan gets bored, but not too far apart either for Zayan to forget about it) and have Zayan read it.

Zayan can actually read these passages and understand half of what’s written. Or maybe he gets the gist of it by picking up on words he knows. 

I give extra exercises to go with it too sometimes, because I’m Tiger Mama like that. Once I made him draw pictures to accompany the story line. Today I made him translate and write some of the words in English. 

Anyway, five minutes later, he forgot what is ‘pokok’, ‘bunga’ and ‘hutan’. Btw I always point out pokok and bunga for him when bejalan. Breathe Fizah Breathe. It reminded me of his ‘learning to read’ saga, where I am constantly stressed out getting him to get it. Now I’m not so stressed and figure he will just get it one day! I just need to keep saying it. 

Now…  I just realise that he is reading, writing and learning more new words. He’s still not talking malay as much! (He talks in malay only when he wants something) It makes sense because he doesnt need to. There is no one else he talks malay to and I’ll reply him anyway even if he talks in English. Hmm, ok something to work on! 

Ayman on the other hand is talking more malay words. He will say (when I’m heating up his milk) “I dont want panas, I want suam”. Or “I am yaki yaki, mama bini bini”. 

I should do more malay work with Ayman (flash cards at least) and work on him talking in sentences in malay. 

How do I have time to do these worksheets and stories, you may ask? I do new ‘work’ every 2 weeks or so. I spend maybe an hour compiling it all and then take it out one at a time. 

This is one of those ‘I just have to make time for it’. I now realise I have to. I have to start being serious in teaching him because seriously, his malay was akin to a 2 year old. If I leave it any longer (like when balik brunei), he will have so much to catch up on. Kids his age in Brunei will not only acquire it via their surroundings (family, at the shops, TV, radio etc) but also at school. He has only me as a source, so half an hour a day of ‘proper work’ and on a weekday, perhaps 2-3 hours of language exposure with me is really not enough (if I’m not oncall). 

Has it made any progress? I can certainly see in Ayman. With Zayan, it’s hard to say.

There are moments when I realise he does understand more than I think but I have to talk slower and get him in the right mood. If tired/distracted, he just wouldnt focus on what I’m talking about.

Ok that’s it for today. Any ideas or suggestions are gladly welcomed!


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By Norasiah Gapar

Written in the 80s and storyline based just before Brunei’s Independence day in 1984.

The initial read was slow but once I got to the third chapter or so, I was hooked (line and sink within 48 hours). At first I thought it was going to be all about the main character, a female Bruneian doctor who just got back from UK after her medical training. I thought it was going to be the typical female character of the ‘ideal’ Bruneian woman – gentle, soft spoken, good manners, helpful to everyone, not to mention having beauty and intelligence. *eye rolls* I am so glad that the main character was given more depth and feelings – I actually liked her in the end! (Daym, even more annoying when you like the pretty/clever/talented girl) 

The ending has more twists to the plot and I couldnt help but be drawn and wish for more in the end (I also wanted a different ending but I promise, no spoilers….).

I love that there are different issues dealt with: interracial marriage, the Brunei rebellion, perception of what Islam entails, Brunei’s independence, medical ethics. Certainly for that time, this book must be a revolution! Not sure if revolution is the appropriate word but certainly a lot of sensitive topics dealt with in the book.

I do have to note that some of the medical information/cases reflected the theories and thoughts of medical society back then – things are much more progressive now! Main character was reflecting on how ‘little’ medical management was done for patient with Down Syndrome – which is how t was decades ago but this has changed a LOT now. 

I love that there is some romance in it and was actually rooting for the ‘hero’! Actual heart flutterings awaiting for the ‘happy ending’. 

A few things that bugs me:

The language spoken by the characters – it is too formal and little Brunei dialect used. I do understand perhaps she needed to formalise it so other South East Asian malay readers want to read it. However, I do wish to read books with Bruneian dialects in it. (Perhaps there are plenty! This is only the second bruneian book I’ve read.)

For those who doesnt understand the difference, the different ‘malay’ language is like this:

Formal Bahasa Melayu: ‘Apa khabar? Sila makan makanan yang disediakan. Ambil pinggan…’

Brunei Malay: ‘Apa khabar? Bah makan tah makanan yang kana sediakan ani. Ambil tu piring…’

(Translation: How are you? Come and eat the food prepared here. Take the plate…’)

There are lots of similarities but also lots of differencea and certainly different nuances and pronounciations for the different dialects!

She also used some words I’ve never heard before and sounded more Indonesian. Like ‘kaget’! Who used the word ‘kaget’?? Actually I’ve just googled it and it means ‘surprised, startled’. 
Also just one last thing – can we update the front cover please? It certainly looks 80s kind of book cover but wish it can be updated to make it more appealing. I guess you really should never judge a book by its cover. (You will increase sales with how a book cover looks like)

Kudos to the author Norsiah Gapar, who won the SEA Write Award (2009) and National novel writing competition (1987). 

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Blogger of 13 years

So I’ve come down with the flu. I actually tried testing at work to confirm if I indeed have Flu virus as its doing its rounds within the paeds team and also kids in Leicester. You can test it by having your snot sucked out (or blow it out) and there’s a machine in the ward that can check it in minutes. So I blew my nose a few nights ago but apparently it was so gunky, it wouldnt run through the machine. Gross I know – I just wanted to give some visuals on how my nose felt that time.

Since I’ve been bed/sofa-ridden, I have decided to browse through my old blog entries. As in my OLD OLD blog. I started blogging in 2004 – so I think I must have been in my second year of medical school, aged 20. My heaviest entries amounted to 260 entries one year – where did I have the time??? And what could I possibly write about? That’s basically writing almost every other day. 

There are plenty – and I mean plenty – of cringe worthy moments. Mostly on how young (read immature) I was. I was also much more exuberant, I’ve documented a lot of funny and silly going-ons. Now I’m just a boring aunty. 

I wrote 2 posts – and it was so cryptic – on meeting M and I kinda wished I did write more, yknow relive the moment and all that. That said, I mostly feel thankful I havent explicitly written about any guys or crushes … that will be mortifying to read. Take note kids, be careful of what you write online. Once put in the world wide web, it’s a free for all public gallery. It will certainly bite you back one day! 

I lost my first hard drive and didnt save pictures from way back when I came to the UK, about 17 years ago. But I’ve put on a lot of pics in the blog so I’m glad at least I’ve got some #tbt pictures. This reminds me… I used to have a flicker page too, maybe I can retrieve my pics from there.

Iman and Bazlaa – my two oldest anak buah. I talked about them A LOT. Things I dont even remember happening even now.

The many many fun things we did in uni. This one – camping near Kinder Scout. My first camping experience in UK. This picture is bittersweet as Fidod – guy behind Zimah – passed away unexpectedly for us due to cancer. He was a friendly, chums with everyone kinda guy. He was also witty and can be padas with his wit and humor. He was also thoughtful and kind. 

Al Fatihah – semoga rohnya di cucuri rahmat.

Life is indeed short; we never know when its our time and how easy we deny ourselves of this.

Graduation! The 4 amigoes – my study group. The ones I definitely owed my exams success to… all those studying sessions before finals. Inda karing gusi with them. Sung & Joanne – its been awhile!!

I wrote a lot about my travelogues – except for NY. Which is sad. NY was paling happening. Trip to Egypt was most eventful though – reading brought great memories.

Who knew this online writing has saved me memories of my travels and daily life stories? 

It’s interesting to see the evolution of my writing. Immature and conversation-like, full of dialogues to begin with. Then as years go by, more deep insightful musings – I think I was way wiser back then. I seem to know all these quotes. 

Funnily enough, I found an old resolution of mine in bid to be healthy. It read something like this:

1. Eat veges at least once a week

2. Eat fruits everyday

3. Go to sleep early

4. Exercise daily

That’s STILL not happening guys! Except for the eating veggies part. I eat veggies now and even if I dont like it, M forces me to it and he makes a big deal of having veggies in every meal.

Ok over and out,


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Book Reviews

Is it February already? I wrote this last week and realise I havent posted it. So here goes my book reviews for January:

Oh wow, I actually have surpassed my own expectations of my personal book challenge this year. Last year, I read about 25 books which is a whole lot more than I have done in the last few years. I was aiming to read 1-2 books a month and Alhamdulillah, achieved it. This year, I thought I’ll go for 50 books a year.

Now this month, I have read 5 books! Ermigash. How did I manage that? Ok so two of them are really easy reads but I loved them and brought me joy, so who cares? 

Books completely read

1. Hogfather by Terry Prachett

This is really not my kind of genre but it was the book for December in the FB book club that I’m in. I started reading it mid December and found it a bit hard to read. Completed it just after the new year. Maybe I’m just a bit slow really haha for these kind of books. It is a outwardly ‘magical’ kind of book (but not happy, ahh no it was all about the Devil here) and had a lot of philosophical meanings to the story. Sorry ah, I’m deep but not THAT deep.

Anyway I’m glad I finished it and actually enjoyed the Devil’s character and do find some humor in the book. From the book club comments, apparently the books featuring the Devil characters are more entertaining so I might dip in again to challenge my intelligence. But yes, it was a hard read.

🌟🌟🌟 and a wintery ⛄️ to match.

2. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah 

I have been wanting to read this for ages. I actually have lots of paperback books that is in my ‘to read’ pile but I cant help it! I have embraced the new year’s attitude of C’est La Vie! And so, I will get on with things that I’ve been meaning to do for ages. 
Now this book… I dont want to give spoilers but it is so heartwarming and heartwrenching at the same time. I’ve learnt so much more on the apartheid – for which I only knew the basic facts before this. It bogs the mind that it was still happening in the 80s and only ended in 1991. That is not long ago!! And yet the racial profiling and ethnic minority inequality still prevails in many many parts of the world. 

Trevor Noah speaks his mind and boy, is he a funny guy. I have smiled and LOL-ed, imagining his voice as I read through the book.

Definitely recommend this!! 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 ❤️❤️❤️ (haha labih)

3. Maximise your child’s bilingual ability by Adam Beck

This is exactly the book I’ve been looking for in my quest to improve Zayan’s malay. Amongst the many ingenious practical suggestions, it also emphasises on why its important to stick to our resolve to teach the minority language.

Zayan and Ayman is understanding more and picking up more vocabulary nowadays. Just this morning, Zayan got annoyed at me because I kept talking in malay. “Why do I have to learn it? I know enough already!” Even after explaining why (amongst all was so that he can use it to speak to his Nini boy, nini girl, Pak Wa, Ngangah, Uda and all his abang and kaka….etc), he was still stroppy and refused to talk or look at me. My only retort was that: “Zayan, one day you’ll be happy I taught you this…” 

And this is what the book emphasized. To stay strong through these challenges, because there will be plenty a time when the kids will react like this. I do think that no bilingual kid ever think ‘Man, I wished I didnt know this language…’ – you’ll always be of benefit the more languages you know I feel.

(Fast forward a few hrs later, he asked what the different words are in malay, without my prompting.) 

He also has a website called Bilingual Monkeys, lots of great advice and tips there!


4. Sofa So Good by Scarlett Moffatt

Ok so this feels like a guilty pleasure book. First up, I love autobiographies… of anyone! I’ve read Michael Crichton’s – the guy who wrote Jurassic Park. Did you know he used to be a medical student? I even used his book in my scholarship interview as my ‘what books have I read recently’. I also have read Alex Fergusons – blame my brother there, it was his. Truly any biography – I love to read. 

So as a fan of Scarlett Moffatt from Gogglebox, I thought it might be a laugh and cheer me up this winter January. And so it did. She is so unbashedly happy with what she have, so ‘uncool’ in her appreciation of celebrities (though I love Ant and Dec too) and so motivating. She ends  each chapter with a motivational quote and themed her chapter that way. May be a bit cheesy but it did make me smile.


5. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Now I really love this book. I must say, I thought the character was painted OTT formal but the writer evolved her beautifully and gave her character much more personality as the book went on. It gave me warm fuzziness at the end. Also a bit chilling on the account of the mum. Anyway not gonna spoil it but I like this one!! 


Books that I completed but tbh jumped a lot during reading:

6. Raising a Bilingual child

This wasnt what I expected. Esp since the cover says ‘step by step guide to parents’! It was more theory and research and less practical tips. It talked a lot about benefits of having bilingual kids – I know what the benefits are! I do not deny the benefits, thats why I am reading books like this. Sigh. Anyway, not worth reading unless you’re into the research or not convinced with benefits of acquiring more than one language.

Books currently read: 

7. Pengabdian – Brunei Malay novel book. Will do proper review once I finish reading it.

8. What’s up Turks – about a malaysian marrying Turkish guy and living in Turkey

Books I read in December

This is going to hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay 

Very accurate writing of the workings of NHS. Lots of LOL moments. He was working as obs & gynae registrar and was probably working up till the point where I am now (halfway through registrardom). I feel for him when he said he no longer works in NHS – he wrote of his story behind it and the reasons and many of us have been there, I’m sure. The book is both hilarious and touching. 


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What a shit day

*written not long ago but didnt have the heart to click Publish*

Please mind the language but the day pretty much feels like that. Today will be a better day they said (after overwhelmingly high number of patients yesterday). They lied because I had a cardiac arrest call at 10.10 am. And it wasnt a test call, which I love answering to because its just a test call. I try to be optimistic on the way to ED, maybe kid will be alright now and not an actual arrest. ‘PEA coming in…’ the ED consultant said. Ahhh no, that’s not good. PEA, Pulseless electrical activity means there is electrical activity in the heart but there is no pulse felt.

Bottom line is: the kid didnt survive. From a medical and resuscitation point of view, I couldn’t criticise on what we did. It was a smooth resuscitation, if you can ever call a resus that. 

Now I’ll let you in – I have had experiences of non-survivable cardiac arrests in children and whenever parents are informed of our decision to stop, it is never easy to see their reaction. I have to bite my lip so I wouldnt cry myself. I tell myself if I am the consultant, my voice will be strong and I wouldnt cry (I hope). 

The actual formalities after didnt bother me. What needs, must. Doing the formal examination after. Explaining to parents protocols of what happens after. Going to bereavement office. Its fine.

But when the sibling came to say goodbye, ok I just couldnt take that. Left the room to dab my eyes for a second. Finished my paperwork and returned to CAU. 

I carried on because I had no time to digest what happened. ‘Nothing’ happened really – as I said, it was a smooth resus. Nobody made a cock up. Nobody shouted at each other. The leadership and teamwork went fine. The outcome just wasnt favourable. So I carried on with my day as the numbers just kept coming in. 

Ah carrying on. I know these things happen and shit happens. Life goes on and tomorrow will be another day. 

But I want to just lie here and think:

I had to do CPR on a kid today.

That kid didnt survive.

The parents of that kid and his siblings will have their lives forever changed now.

Shit happens and I know that.

But for now, I’m gonna think about that kid because its my way of paying respects for someone I only just met but had to do CPR on. And also I think if I do not ever think about this and bottle it up, one day it will come out and drag me down. And you know what, I’ll say it here – a kid died and I was there. So now, for this moment, I am sad. Tomorrow the sun will come out and all will be fine again. But tonight I am sad.

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