Life’s Up and Downs

Someone once told me life is unpredictable. I’m pretty sure that’s the case. I have evidence for it from my own limited life experience.

Sometimes in life, you get to a certain place you had planned, something like a career. But the means to get there have been unpredictable, and you had to relocate to a different country. That’s being unpredictable.

But isn’t that a beautiful thing in a way?

There are many different ways one can get from A to B in life. Unfortunately, the way one gets from A to B is not always a straight line, and not necessarily the easiest or the one that is the most comfortable. And so that is the up and down of life. Trying to negotiate how you get from A to B. I believe that a person who shows resilience is able to handle the surprises and stresses of the different pathways from A to B.

I once believed that I was weak mentally. And then through the hardships of life, I realized I’m more resilient then I gave myself credit for. Having failed to get into my dream career of medicine the first time round was perhaps the most devastating experience ever (even worse than my first break up to be honest). But somehow a rather, I still ended up pursuing my dream career. It didn’t turn out how I planned in that I had to relocate, but in the end, I still got from A to B. I just needed a few detours.

I suppose I have seen hardship among some of my friends as well, and I am surprised how one friend in particular managed to survive a string of lows. In the space of about 2 months, he managed to lose 3 fingers, be out of work for a couple of months due to losing the fingers, and had relationship issues with his long distance girlfriend (he’s now broken up with her to end the misery). I mean, that is absolutely terrible. Bad luck really does come in threes doesn’t it?

Anyway, this post really doesn’t have any particular central point I must say, but probably more just a rambling of words.

A Note To Myself on Dating

I don’t know what it is, but I still don’t understand relationships. And I find myself at the end of getting a beating from the rejection stick.

Roughly 3 weeks ago, a girl contacted me on wechat. I was expecting this, because my grandma from China had spoken to another person in the retirement village, and said that her grand daughter (currently living in my city) was looking for someone. So, I left my wechat contact details.

Having been on the first date, it felt pretty good. She was only 7 minutes late, but she still turned up. I felt things were pretty good, and in general, I was open to the idea of just having fun whether it works out or not.

My idea of having fun however, started developing into expectations, and there were perhaps lots of things I overlooked. I mean, this person’s english was terrible (even though she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Urban Planning). Lucky I could communicate in Cantonese with her, so I was willing to overlook this.

Then came the fact that this person sells cell phone cases. Unable to get a permanent residence, this person couldn’t secure a job in urban planning. Again, I was willing to overlook this.

I must admit, this person was pretty. I think I overlooked too many other things.

Things were slightly weird afterwards, in that she hardly texted me. I put this down to girls liking to be chased (especially ones from China). So, I end up texting her a few days later, and only text to make plans for a second date.

After the second date, she hardly texts me. I get extremely agitated, and the uncertainty is killing me. In it, thoughts that maybe she wasn’t interested kept popping up. When she finally does text, I get a massive relief that she replied. Although I suggested a date for our third date, she states she is working. No counteroffer.

At this point, I should have just left it as she wasn’t interested. But no… I text her again asking when she’s free, and she tells me she will check the roster. So later that night, she states that she is working for the next 6 days and will be busy. At this point, I’m starting to think she’s not interested. Working as a doctor, I’m also extremely busy, but if I can take a few hours to meet up for a date, I don’t see how someone selling cell phone cases can’t.

I phone up… No answer. She texts back saying that phone wasn’t by her side at the time. Isn’t she going to phone me then? A few minutes pass, and then I phone back. She picks up, and I ask when she is free. She tells me some BS like the other workers have exams, and she’ll be busy till July. I ask her to contact me when she is free, to which she says “ok”.

I’m pretty disappointed at this point, firstly in myself that I didn’t pick this up earlier, and should have ceased contact first. And secondly, I’m disappointed that she is still trying to string me along. I understand that maybe she’s trying to be nice, but I’d rather you be brutally honest about your intentions rather than make me think I have hope still.

I’ve decided to not contact her again, and even if she does contact, I’ll respond that I’m busy. I don’t believe in second chances in a relationship. If a person isn’t interested the first time around, they won’t be interested the second time around. And even if they did come around, it would mean I’d be their back up option. And I don’t think anyone deserves to be a back up option, not especially if the person puts the other as number 1.

This probably comes off as a rant, but at least it lets me vent some off. I’m going to look back at this entry in the future, and have a laugh at it.

Social Customs

I want to start this post off by acknowledging how important social customs and interactions are in day to day functioning. Any activity or actions one performs that is out of social norms is seen as odd and weird by others.

Now I must admit, I’m not one who has tons and tons of friends. But I can strike a conversation with others when I want to and if I am interested enough in the other person. This has lead me to at times to be very friendly Continue reading Social Customs

Distantly Familiar

On a cloudy evening after work, I suddenly felt really sad. Thinking back to why I was feeling so sad, I think it was in part due to a sense of rejection.

Earlier that evening, I was finishing off work by reading up on the patient’s charts for tomorrow’s surgical cases. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a colleague who I had known a few months back after doing my ED paediatrics rotation with her. Continue reading Distantly Familiar

Neglect

This blog site has been very neglected it seems. I think it has more to do with my laziness more than ever. I’m too lazy to think up of some awesome catchy blog post to write, and too lazy to spend time actually typing stuff up. In a way, I have also been posting to¬† my other blog (which contains more work related topics).

But what’s happened since the 4 months I have written in the past? A whole lot.

  1. I moved away from a town of 65,000 people back to where my family live. And that means that I’ve changed my job location.
  2. I have taken up a distance education course in Mandarin
  3. I have taken up a distance education in paediatrics

Well, those are the main things I guess. Now that I look at it, it seems very ordinary. I still have no girlfriend, and I don’t feel like my social life has improved a great deal since moving back to a bigger city. I feel that part of it seems to be due to a 2 year absence from my medical school colleagues who I have seem to have lost touch with (funny how time seems to make good friends drift further and further away).

Wow, now I’m exhausted writing so much stuff. I better go to sleep now.

Good night everyone!

Christmas Eve

So this year is about the second time in my life that I will be spending Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s away from family (the first time was in 2007 when I was in China).

It’s rather a different feeling being away from family. It’s a tad bit lonely, and there isn’t that sense of family when you’re away on your own. I mean, the meals I have are more lonely and less conversational, and there isn’t that sense of togetherness.

On Christmas eve, I spent the majority of the day glued to the computer. Essentially just watching some anime, and then later on finishing off some paperwork to facilitate my departure back to the big city centre of work for next year. Come night time however, and I was thrilled to have gotten a call from my friend to play some board games at his house. When I turned up, it was just me, with only another person joining us later on. Just 3 people at a board game – I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t more roudy.

We ended up playing a spooky game about a haunting, with it’s very complicated rule books. There were several times that after making moves, we realized we could have made several more different alternative moves. It was nonetheless still pretty fun, and better than being home alone with nothing else to do.

All in all, a boring first part to the christmas eve, but it got a little better later on that night. Now, time for work later on today.

I Can’t Play Table Tennis Anymore

Ever since my crazy work schedules have been going on, I havn’t been able to attend social Sunday table tennis at my local club group. Which is a shame really, because I really sort of wanted to.

It’s costing an arm and a leg to play really, at $10 per visit, and part of that is what makes me hesitant to go at times. Also, the fact that we play in a large shed which gets boiling hot is not really something I relish at the thought of. So, I sort of have been reluctant to go at times.

But, not having gone two times I have tried to go and play, I havn’t been able to.

1st time: I had the Sunday off, and having not played for about 7 weeks or so, I decide to pop around to the steaming hot shed we play ping pong. What do I see? Construction workers, and the sound of loud hammering and drilling. The table tennis staff member greets me, and tells me that people probably aren’t going to come because of the work. He gives me the option of waiting for a half hour to see if anyone else would be coming. I thank him, and leave – as if I’d play in a dusty saw dust environment.

2nd time (today): It’s been about 2 weeks since the last time I tried, and I’m keen to play today. I made lunch extra early so that I can go and play. I phone up the place – a competition is happening, but I’m welcome to attend to watch. I thank the man, but decline the offer.

So there you have it. I can’t play table tennis anymore. I’ll spend today studying mandarin, and taking a nap.

On Being Single

My parents and my grandma are pretty concerned about my relationship status. I’m single, and I’m creeping ever closer to that age of 30 years old. But I must admit, it’s been a really great single life up to now, and I really wouldn’t mind staying single for a few more years.

For one, I get to do whatever I want, when I want. I can go and travel overseas whenever I want, to whatever country I desire. Best of all, I don’t need to consult that one person. I won’t need to make any compromises, I don’t need to feel guilty about leaving her behind if she can’t find time to go with me. It’s all about my own selfish needs which I feel I am entitled to. I work hard, I pay my taxes, so the least I could get is some freedom to do what I want.

Secondly, I don’t have to worry about the doubt of a relationship. My last relationship was filled with doubt. There were sleepless nights spent analyzing my ex’s actions and words. Some of her words and actions hurt, although she may not have realized it. Perhaps she wasn’t very empathetic as a person, and probably had low EQ. She didn’t see the harm in admiring and commenting on other men’s figures in front of me as anything wrong. If the genders were reversed, I’m certain that that would be tantamount to saying the man is a douche/jerk.

Thirdly, I have more time to myself. Sometimes, I just need alone time to pursue my interests like writing in my blog, studying chinese, or doing exercise. When I was dating, good grief. Endless phone calls and skype. Sucked my time right up. Skype and phone calls and conversations about nothing. And the conversations brought more doubt into my mind. I knew that she wasn’t right for me, because in some way, what she said were against what I believed in. I felt that I was slowly changing, changing into someone I’m not. I felt that I was slowly starting to lose my identity if I stayed on.

But good thing that I am now single.

To another great weekend having stayed single!

My First Naked Experience

So having been to South Korea, they have public bath houses. It’s more like a swimming pool in one place, and a spa place at another end.

The spa end are only open to one single sex, so there’d be a female spa and a male spa. On going to South Korea, we were taken by the tour guide to this public swimming pool. I wanted to swim for sure, but didn’t have any swimming gear with me. A quick look through the stores showed how expensive the swimming shorts were. It got up to 60000 won for a pair of shorts (which is ridiculously expensive, even if I bought the same priced shorts in Australia – about $AUD 70).

Well, I was cheap. I don’t need a new pair of shorts at ridiculous prices, especially if the quality was not the best anyway (no brand generic shorts). So, what’s cheaper than wearing nothing at all right?

So into the spas I went, fully naked like the day I came out into this world. Thank heavens that none of the other members of our tour group went to that area, otherwise, it’d be extremely awkward.

Guys came in to the spa place pretty casually – they were locals, and probably used to all this. One guy comes in with shorts, and gets told off by the cleaner/spa minder. He gets told off in Korean, and what I imagine went on was something like:
“Hey you there! This is supposed to be a nude spa. Go and take your shorts off!”

“Oh, I didn’t realize. I’ll go soon to take my shorts off.”

The man looked slightly embarrassed after that encounter.

Anyway, I guess being short sighted was a little easier. I wouldn’t know who was looking at me or what not. In a way, it felt strangely awkward, yet quite free in a way.

Definitely an experience to try once in your life, but I’m not sure I’d want to constantly do it.

What’s Wrong With China?

Having spent a fair 2 weeks in China, I can say that there were aspects I loved about the country, but aspects that I hated about it too.

I spent about 5 days in Beijing, and 7 days in Guangzhou. I had a good impression of Beijing, but then again, it was a sheltered trip to Beijing as I was with tour guides.

In Guangzhou, I stayed in a hotel, and visited family members, as well as did some free roaming about the city.

Things that wowed me about the city:

  • The variety of food.
  • The language.

The variety of food

In Guangzhou, restaurants are a plenty, and they’re cheap as well. Noodles, congee, bread, yumcha, all within walking distance of pretty much anywhere if you’re in the city. Did I mention that it’s cheap as well?

The language

People spoke in mandarin or in cantonese. I understand the latter pretty well, but my mandarin is still a work in progress. I was amazed at the difference in being able to read basic road signs compared to 8 years ago, when I couldn’t recognize any characters at all. Naturally, I’d be inclined to take a keen interest in the language given my interest in learning it.

Things that I didn’t like about the city:

  • The people
  • The environment
  • The society

The people

My impression of the people, are that most are quite unfriendly, and some are insincere. Asking a shop owner (such as a computer retailer) where the closest CD/music shop was, would be answered with “I don’t know”. This was a common occurrence with all shop owners, especially when at the heart of the “electronics district”. Asking locals for directions was equally difficult. People would either say “I don’t know” or I would usually end up being pointed in the wrong direction.

In addition, people are selfish or lack any care to others. I once saw a woman carrying her baby on board the bus, and not one person offered her a seat. Now that’s got to be saying something about the peTople there.

People openly spat on the ground, and they smoked in the restaurants, despite the “smoking prohibited” signs. More than anything, it’s also a reflection on the management staff of the restaurants, who don’t want to risk offending customers, so they allow smokers to pollute the air, potentially making every other non-smoker a potential lung cancer patient.

The Environment

Dirty. That’s what I can sum it up as. The streets are extremely dirty, the public toilets even worse. It’s almost as if there is no one cleaning those toilets, and the stench…. Oh it’s just painful!

Pollution was also another terrible thing. My throat would feel dry, and the air was unrefreshing. I’d hate to live in such a polluted place, breathing polluted air constantly.

The Society

People are focussed on money. One of my family friends told me how every restaurant manager learns to profile customers according to their wealth. Based on what clothes they wore, the meals ordered etc, the managers figure out who’s rich, and who’s not.

Health care is a shambles there, with hospitals requesting a standard batch of investigations (even if not indicated) as routine. Going to another hospital with x-ray films, the other hospital will order more x-rays, because they don’t believe the results of the previous hospital’s x-ray (and also so they can make more money on investigations).

Trying to cross the road is extremely hazardous, with people having to give way to cars on pedestrian crossings. And red light runners are a common site. Not to mention the “Random 3 point turn” – on a busy two way double laned street, a driver would suddenly decide to do a 3 point turn, no regards to how disruptive it can be to oncoming traffic.

The internet was broken as well. Google maps are blocked, and trying to find places to book “eg booking.com” were a nightmare, especially when you couldn’t see where on the map it is!

Noise pollution is a real thing, and because of how busy it is, there’s never a quiet moment through the day or night. Car horns go off constantly because the drivers are pretty inconsiderate, and bike bells ring. I found it got too much at times, and stress levels start building up as a result.

I’d love to visit again sometime with the hopes that things improve, although I also fear that things may get worse, especially if it’s something like the people and the society.