Should I Delete My Blog?

I’m no longer that self depreciating blogger girl from years back with stupid photos of myself and I have grown into everything my dad warned me about. I have grown into a relatively laid back person who goes with the flow and have lost the oomph that I had before. I just have more priorities in life now other than trying to gain a bigger following of readers, such was my childish tendencies those years ago.

I cried when I had to let go of an interview in The Star back in 2005, like it was the most important thing to do in my blogging career. ( that article did propel four bloggers who went on to enjoy phenomenal success with their blogs) but I really don’t feel anything about it now.

I was envious of peers who had higher readership and tried hard to get there but would fail and feel hurt when opportunities would come for them and not for me.

I was a lot of stupid things.

I really don’t care about all that now. I don’t even get advertorials anymore and continue to turn down the odd clueless company pr people who just don’t do their research on obviously retired bloggers. How can a blogger give you any publicity if she only posts once or twice a month?

Now all I think about is if I should further my studies, charting my career path, if I should open my own clinic, if so, how many can I have, where will the money come from, how do I manage my finance, what establishments can I join in the future, expanding the sticker monster, if I should buy an oven so I can finally cook in all possible ways and maybe pick up baking…so many things!

All I am saying is that there was a period of time where I let it all out because i thought that’s who i am and i enjoyed doing it and now I’m over it. In a way I have become less in tune with my blogger self so when shit happens I get more upset easily than I used to be.

While my father’s worries for me were of people trying to defame me by digging up dirt from my blog when I run for prime minister or something, my concerns are for the asshole public’s lack of tack and humanity to take things from my blog and dissect it in forums where anonymous bastards only has physical opinions to give about anything female being posted there.

My friend and junior from uni, Tee Luun, alerted me on facebook about a post in lowyat. While slightly hurtful, it was just a replica of what happened in the past.

Last time, there was a post on lowyat about the blogger girls used in an advertorial for maxis broadband. A few of us were invited on a girls’ day out and were loan a netbook each. So naturally we had to blog about it and there were photographs of us on our respective blogs, newspapers and magazines. No prizes for guessing who stuck out like a sore thumb among our crop of petite and slender popular girl bloggers. So yeah, flamed on the forums for being big sized and ugly, I was hurt. Before I opened the link to that forum, I was already expecting that i would get such treatment.

Then it became the past.

Sometime before I graduated, my post on creating double eyelids (which I have privatized ever since) was taken and the people on that forum were horrified by the ugliness of it all, cursing while they were at it. That post has been freaked-out-about on some foreign blogs and forums, usually about how Asian girls can’t deal with the fact that they have slitty eyes..but the treatment it received from that particular local forum (can’t remember the address..kopitiam something) pretty much took the cake. The comments were so mean and humiliating. I felt embarrassed because I was about to come out into the working world and I felt like I had no dignity when put in that kind of light so I asked the moderator to remove the post, explaining my situation and he was kind enough to do it. I privatized that particular post because I didn’t like the attention it received.

That too became the past.

It’s not easy to continue feeling neutral about myself when time and time again random douchebags keep reminding me about it. I know I am not ugly to the point where people recoil in horror when they see me out in the streets but perhaps compared to the usual hot chics they prefer to see fleeting across their computer screens, they are left with a bad taste in their mouth when someone like me, not a porn star, nor a typical doe eyed sexy beauty, suddenly appearing on their LCD screens, surely it’s a stark contrast! So…this always always happens. So sien.

What happened today was mild, just a post referring to my height and if I am tall (because I claim to be, standing at 169cm) but of course you got the trolls who will always always always always relate everything to my face. The photos they used were recent too, photos from Kluang and I’m not going to be one of those who privatize my whole blog.


It’s either I keep going or I just delete it.

If I keep going, who knows what else will be misconstrued, twisted into something unflattering on the forums?

If I delete it, I lose years of memories, years of interactions and a record of every single bit of emotion I have felt in my late teens to early adulthood.

But sometimes it is easier to just press delete and not have to worry about trolls anymore. Is it worth it to be brave about it?

Can anybody explain to me why trolls do what they do?

What do they derive from it?

Is there some satisfaction from humiliating people and all? I mean yea you might cringe when you see someone making a fool of themselves on YouTube, but why comment at all with hurtful words? (no I don’t have embarrassing YouTube videos, I’m just saying.)

Can my future employers understand that I’m just someone normal who enjoys a good laugh without showing her panties to the world or popping out a boob or doing drugs (complete with photos) or even murdering animals or defaming the name of my current workplace(with photos too!) who just so happen to be unfortunate enough to be the subject of a few trolls along the way who have no qualms about making a fool of me with what I was born with (or what I ate over the years)?

I just want to keep this space on the net without worrying too much and feeling so much, please?

That School Holidays in 2002

I finally managed to get a copy of How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill on my iPad! I tried the free way but turned up with zilch and iBooks is crazy not to open their stores to malaysians while I’m here clutching my credit card, desperate to read the book that I read a little bit of in a tiny MPH bookstore back in uni about three years ago.

Thanks to an awesome app called Kobo, i managed to get my hands on a copy of the ebook. Seriously, if you have exhausted ‘all ways’ to get an eBook, give Kobo a try! (while I’m at it, an awesome android app I have on my samsung galaxy is Magic Hour!! It is prettier than Instagram and with more filters for your pictures than you can imagine! And super fast too with adorable graphics!)

So..anyway..I’m at the part where Michael is waiting in agony for a callback from the Starbucks store manager after his interview.

It reminded me of my agony filled afternoons at the end of the 2002 school year when almost the entire bunch of form four students at my school, SMK Subang Utama, went out in full force to apply for part time jobs at Sunway Pyramid.

While studying for our form four finals, most of us already had a list as to where we were interested in working at for the school holidays. I knew I would die of boredom if I worked at a clothes my list had things like shampoo girl at a cut above, pet store assistant, swensens waitress, baskin robbin ice cream girl, tgv ticket girl, Nail Artz manicurist (the job I eventually got), Starbucks or coffee bean Batista…but it had to be somewhere swanky with all my friends, like at a mall so we could all be together!

An office job was too boring but those paid the most, in the eyes of a rm30 per week pocket money collecting high school kid. But nah, still too boring.

Those days the average wage per hour was RM4 and if you were lucky, you’d get a RM5.50 per hour job! I was underpaid because I was below the legal age to work, was only 15 at that time slogging away for RM3.50…or was it RM3? I remember I couldn’t even bring myself to have McDonalds for lunch because that was a luxury in itself. (it still is a pricey snack now!)

I remember applying to all those places that I wanted and only a handful called back because places like Coffee Bean and Starbucks sent their Baristas for training and most of us could only afford to work with them for 6-7 weeks!

In the end, I was called for an interview with Kimberley (the now defunct accessories store on the highest floor) and Nail Artz, which is also long gone.

I accepted the job at Nail Artz because of my so called passion in nail arts. I was told that I had to do plenty of manual labour like scrubbing customers’ feet, pouring the water from the pedicure machine into a big tub, and wheeling that big tub of water filled with dead skin and grime to the toilet the next morning, sweep, mop, polish the glass cabinets, take out each nail polish bottle and wiping it down, bringing tea to the customers and on top of it all, greeting customers.

My dad was at first horrified about the prospect of me having to mop and sweep (he didn’t know about the scrubbing feet part) when I didn’t even have to do any of that in my own home. (mind you, come uni and working life, I have been sweeping and mopping my own floors, thank you very much!) but in the end I got my way and went on to earn a huge fortune of RM900 for my entire stint at Nail Artz. One of the first things I did with the money was to modify my phone lighting..haha. Instead of the conventional greenish yellow led lights in a Nokia 3310, I had purple and white lights installed! So cool man.

But the joy of being accepted to work was such an awesome feeling! I felt so adult!

By the middle of November most of us had secured our part time jobs.

Amanda worked at Miss Selfridge and I would be able to see her sweeping the floor at the entrance of the store from my booth at the floor above. We’d wave excitedly at each other whenever we could!

Nigel and Yijin were both working at a Nike store, having a good time buying cheaper branded sport shoes.

Chee Kiang was also working at Vikings, a hot dog stand at the entrance of Sunway Pyramid and I could almost see him if I strained my neck hard enough over my counter top. He got very good at frying sausages and layaning old uncles’ sausage jokes.

E Guy had a stable job at Sushi King with Kay Hong.

Thinking back about Kay Hong’s work experience during that time cracks me up. He would steal away from his job at Focus Point, the optical store, and then continue part of his shift at Sushi King, lol. On top of that, whenever he could, he’d work at Holiday Villa as a banquet waiter. He threw the towel down at Sushi King one day after getting into a spat with a superior. It was hilarious. And literally. towel. throw. floor. Hahaha!!

But those were good times, when we dabbled at jobs, jobs our parents slogged hard to put us through university for so we would never have to do.

Loved the thrill of getting a fun part time job, with some pocket money and being in a shopping mall everyday!  It’s very different from getting a job after graduation because with that job you are expected to progress in your career, pay taxes and ..well, take it seriously.

Okay, I’ll continue reading the ebook now. Hope my post wasn’t too nonsensical.

I Enter The Working World Tomorrow

Ever since I was in Year1, I have been hoping, praying and wishing that I would get Johor when I start my compulsory three year service with the government.

The reason is very obvious. Chee Kiang has three years with the Singaporean government as well.

With fingers and toes crossed on a couple of Fridays ago, it was written in the letter from the healthy ministry that I was indeed due to report at Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Johor! I was ecstatic!!

Long story short, I thought I could get my way again the second time around but as expected, Johor Bahru was just wishful thinking for now and here I am in Kluang, feeling nervous about my first day of work tomorrow.

The stuff going through my head seems to be even more than the feelings I had about finishing dental school and graduating. It just seems like a different ball game, this working thing.

Prior to driving to Kluang, I had a very difficult time finding a place to stay. Kluang is not quite real estate heaven, no one bothers to list any properties for rent on any of the property websites. But fortunately I had a junior from school, Vivian, and a new friend I met on twitter, Jonathan, (thanks Jason for introducing us!) who each gave some suggestions as to where I should stay.

Google maps became my best friend and I think the GPS is probably the best thing since the mobile phone. Seriously. Papago is actually better than Garmin in terms of refreshing rate.

The point is….I have to try to do this on my own. I’m scared but at the same time I am excited. I have to keep reminding myself that I am not here to be a student, I am here to work and earn money. Like ACTUAL money that gets deducted for EPX, income-tax. I’m still trying to take it all in. Walking into the KWSP office in Shah Alam was still rather surreal for me.

I still feel like a freaking student!

I was of course a little disappointed that I got Kluang (the other choice was Kota Tinggi). But at least I am in Johor. All this while I was just blinded by the fact that Chee Kiang and I can shorten our distance for the first time in almost six years but when I reported for work at the hospital, the seriousness of the job settled in and I think the motivation is sinking in as well. I’m not just here because I love someone, I’m also here because I have a purpose to serve. I’m pretty gung-ho about this new job, if you can’t tell. I heard that my clinic will have 100 patients a day. That sounds pretty awesome either way.

Kluang is only three hours from home and about 1.5-2 hours to Singapore..see lah if I want to drive or something. I can even take the KTM from here!

Being working adults (wahhhh), Chee Kiang and I will probably have less time to see each other if I was posted back home. But with me being in Kluang, seeing each other would be easier and by seeing each other more, we get to be in the same line of thoughts as we grow through this phase of our lives. We have so much to think about for the future – not just marriage lah u kepo aunty – but like where we actually want to live, what we actually want to do with our professions ..we need to settle down somewhere. And without constantly talking about it, we can never reach an agreement.

With discussions of big issues, come disagreement I’m sure. So if we maintained our distance of over 800km and seeing each other only every 1-2 months, once, (sometimes we are lucky enough to have reasons to see each other for three weekends at a go, or a few days of holidays together when we were still in uni) we won’t be able to talk about the big stuff and ideas would individually form in our heads as we grow up. We make up our own minds about what we want in life and automatically assume that’s what the other one wants as well.

But being here, nearer, we won’t have to spoil any rare weekend by disagreeing about something that we want together in the future. That’s the idea of why I chose Johor. πŸ™‚

My stomach keeps clenching whenever I think about my first day at work. I worry about arriving late, I worry about making first impressions, I worry about parking spaces at the clinic, I worry about my lunch! And please don’t get me started about worrying if any of my clinical knowledge has escaped my brain. SO DAMN SCARED! AHHHH!!!

This will be my first real job. It’s a definite jump from the days where I worked part time at a nail art salon in Sunway Pyramid when I was 15. From scrubbing callus from the feet of rich tai tais, pushing back their cuticles, changing the dirty water (had to row 20 litres of dirty water to the nearest toilet) every morning and sweeping the floor… well, being a dentist!

Wish me luck…I’ll be needing it. πŸ™‚

AIMST Dental Students’ Day Out Into The Sunlight

With only two more weeks to go before my life as a university student ends, I am trying really hard to be appreciative of everything around me before I leave this place for good. I don’t even feel the end drawing near because of the pressure cooker that I’m in everyday at school what with our quotas and clinical management report (an assignment where we handle a patient’s case from beginning till the end to be presented to an external examiner during the finals), patients’ compliance, lecturers’ expectations.. I can’t begin to tell you how I much I wish for everything to end. But to end everything would mean facing the music, putting myself through the stress of finishing up all that I have to do in order to sit for my final exams.

Melvin and Jimmy while waiting for the rest of the dental students to pose for a photo for Prof. Comfort who wanted a nice shot of all the dental students in their clinical uniform to be used as a photo for the following year’s handbook. I am not sure which year the handbook would be for. Maybe for the new batch of clinical students. Who wants to place bets?

Then there are the final exams. What to study? Every damn thing, that’s what. Can I do it? I don’t know.. I can only hope so.

I believe I echo the sentiments of my entire class, the 37 of us who have spent the last five years together. We always talked about how much we would change by the time Year 5 comes around. We talked about how graduating and becoming dentists and hearing people address us with the title Dr would get pretty surreal. Something so impossible as how everything in the future is like. Uncertain.

But it’s only around the corner now. It is becoming a reality. Year 5 is ending soon.

With the closest girlfriend I could grab at the moment, Angela.

Though not all 37 of us have been extremely close. We have our own dinner cliques whom we spent almost everyday with and spontaneous weekend getaways or shopping trips with. You guys know who you are. πŸ™‚  We met when we were still teenagers and we have finished the journey together in our mid-20s, the dreaded age we used to moan about back in Year 3 about how ‘old’ we will be when we graduate. We are already here, guys.Yet we go about everyday like we are coming back again after the end year holidays.

Another year of academics where we wait in anticipation what the school of dentistry have in store for us ‘first borns’. It is always a surprise (some pleasant, some not so pleasant) with us being the first batch and having no seniors to forewarn us. Long ago, these surprises came in the form of lovely news about the setting up of a simulation lab for us to practice our dental skills where we will learn how to do simple restorations and a technology lab where we learn how to make dentures and the likes. The most exciting was when the dental hospital was officially opened and after three years, we had a building to call our own. I remember stepping into the polyclinic and being in awe of how vast it was. It’s still pretty big to me now and that’s because I feel it is such a pain to get things from the counter when I am placed anywhere after Bay 18.

See Magesh? This is not a silly face what. πŸ™‚ Proof that you don’t always make sien faces for my camera.

Don’t know if many of you read my sappy article in the program book during the dental dinner (and of course my non-BDS friends and blog readers (all remaining three of you!) wouldn’t have). I wrote about how much I looked forward to coming to AIMST in Kedah despite the uluness of it because I believe I will be making a whole new bunch of friends. New faces who will become familiar faces. It was so hard to imagine at that point in time but so very exciting too to leave my comfort zone.
During my free time in national service, I would pull out the AIMST brochure to see. There was an artist impression of the campus, with a lake glistening in the (artist drawn) sunlight that spread across the grounds. The building that caught my eye was the admin building (pictured below) and there were steps leading up to it where I imagined myself running up to when I was late for classes. Or even sitting at the steps with the entire university population enjoying the evening sun while seeing probable ducks bobbing around the lake.

Tiny figure in pink is Prof Comfort directing the dental students to the slope for the photo. This is the first time where the dental students are allowed out of the dental building in our scrubs. So it was indeed very invigorating.

But of course if we ever did that now, many of us would have died of heat stroke or be chased away by the security guards. No AIMST student in their right mind would seat along the benches on that huge stretch of pavement between the dental building and the admin building.

I found Lie Yuen!

Nicer photo of me and Lie Yuen without me looking like a character from Sesame Street.

I knew I would be making many new acquaintances when I went off to university. I never expected to see familiar faces like Lie Yuen, whom I said goodbye to when we had our A-levels farewell class party sometime in June 2005. The Lie Yuen in A-Levels and the Lie Yuen I have come to know and love here in AIMST like my very own sister, is so different.

This first impression goes out to all whom I met on my first day at AIMST. Brenda and I talked a lot about the blogs that we read and I thought “Damnit, must talk to her more!!!” We did grow apart over the course of first year mainly because we hung out with different people due to *cough* transportation needs *cough, thanks guys* but eventually found each other again in the consequent years and she’s one of my closest friends here among a few others. Same goes with Cze-Yin who was my very much feared housemate back in Year 1 due to her strict and cool persona whom I too grew apart when I went out to stay. We immediately grew close again when she became my housemate in 2008 and there are so many more levels to Cze-Yin to be accessed. The cool persona is just superficial but deep down, she is a quirky sweetheart:).

I love this picture because those are genuine smiles, not the ones we reserve for the camera lens.

We weren’t extremely close to Nien, Zhu Zen, Poh Yee, Sock Nee etc etc as we stayed in different houses when we were still in ‘hostel’. Our ‘hostel’ back then consisted of terrace houses in the same residential area which was pretty much devoid of any life form. It was only in Year 3 where we started celebrating birthdays together and having dinners more often that pretty much strengthen the bonds among a huge chunk of the class.

So many of my closest friends here today are the ones I gelled so well with on my first day and then grew apart over the next couple of years only to come back to talking cock like long lost childhood friends in our later years. (Yes, Jimmy, I mean you. I can still remember talking cock with you during our bus rides from BPJ to uni.)

Despite having our own nuclear bunch of friends, the entire class is pretty much like a big family. I don’t mean to be corny, but when I am around them I just feel so comfortable, so used to it.

Prof Comfort with her sunnies whilst giving us directions over to the slope. That’s Dr. Sathya in the background who was helping out with the photo taking.

Being the first batch of dental students at AIMST University, our dean has always been particularly attached to us. We looked forward to everything he had to say whenever he stepped into our year 1 class room. (Not so much when he stood in as our Conservative Dentistry lecturer due to lack of staffs back in Year 2. But how things have changed. I have lost count how many lecturers we have now!) He always brought with him great news about our progress as a young dental school.

One of the many ‘lucky’ few whom I managed to snap a picture of while we were scrambling to get into position on that steep slope.

The 40 of us back in 2005 constantly felt lonely and isolated from the rest of the university as we did not have any juniors or seniors to engage us in various activities. Not that we are extremely integrated with the rest of the university now but at least we have almost 300 other dental students to mix with.

Aik Munn never hesitates to smile for my camera. <3

Of course most of us wanted an overseas education but just how many can afford nearly a million ringgit just to get a dental degree from a good university abroad?

I think we should be grateful with what we have. A fully functional dental hospital where classes are conducted on the top floor, specialist clinics on the second floor, polyclinics and oral surgery on the first floor and the reception, common room, locker room and more lecture theaters on the ground floor. You have to agree, it is already pretty awesome!

As with Zhu Zen. πŸ˜›

The novelty may have worn off but think of the days when we did not have a sprawling campus with its own carpark, a cafeteria that can cook whatever you want (be grateful for the roti canai and maggi goreng okay!), a convenience store with enough snacks to save you that trip to Tesco, an in-campus ATM machine, a library maybe 10-20 times the size of the small little excuse of a library we had in the old interim campus, hostels where single rooms come equipped with air condition that you can leave on for 24 hours PLUS internet (not that I care since moving out of hostels in 2006)… so much have changed since that pathetic plot of land in Amanjaya where our classes were held in stuffy shop lots. I never want to go back to the sauna where my Year 2 classes were held. Remember how the aircon NEVER seemed to work while the afternoon sun effortlessly streamed in and we had to stay in that classroom from 8.30am to 6pm almost everyday?!

Now we have to bring jackets into our classrooms. *smiles blissfully*

Myself, Gerv and Kaixuan in the hot afternoon sun. My hair’s a mess!!

Ever since Year 5 began, classes have become few and far in between with our time being dedicated to polyclinics and postings to various specialist departments. Sometimes we even see more of certain juniors compared to our own classmates. That’s how it has become. The school has kept us so busy this entire year that we did not even have time to think or even breath. Like Prof. Smales once mentioned during a lecture, “Put down your instruments and think” (before preparing the cavity) I don’t even have time to think about how much I will miss everyone.

Ponytails – the standard hairstyle for girls in the polyclinic

It will be hard for us to meet again as we make our way back to our hometowns in different states all over Malaysia. Even dental conferences are divided to northern zone, central zone and southern zone. Perhaps one or two might end up as my colleague in the government service later on. Or even a colleague when I head into the private sector after a few years.

I love this! If only the person with the bent arm didn’t spoil the photo.

There will come a day where my mind will travel back in time yearning to be among my friends in dental school. Similar to how I will wish on my most stressful days to go back to kindergarten or high school just for that bit of freedom that the lower levels of education often came with.

Jeeva’s winning smile. Hahaha.

More blue.

This is just a small fraction of the 140+ dental students who are already performing dental treatments on patients. Each student sees up to 3-4 patients a week (us Year 5 students may have to take in more patients what with our crazy schedule), so I can proudly say that it’s about 400 patients getting treatment at the dental hospital every week? πŸ™‚ We have 4500++ patients in our database now.

I’m gonna miss these faces that I see every morning in the locker room and around the dental building.

And most of all, the many jokes that we share on facebook which we continue when we see each other every morning, only to continue online again when we get home.

It has been a great five years despite all the stress and mental torture that comes with dental school. Never again will I be in an institution where I have friends around my age like in primary school, high school, college and uni. This is the last leg of my education. (I don’t think furthering my studies will come with the joy of being a student surrounded by activities and friends of similar wavelength, so I will definitely miss this.)