Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Start

With the change of plans this current holiday, I have few extra dough to spend on stuff I don't really need. Heheh.

(L) Megadeth - Youthanasia (sejak bila Megadeth ambil berat pasal youth in Asia? Muaahaha)
(R) Iron Maiden - Dance of Death

I was looking for Brave New World and A Matter of Life and Death by Iron Maiden but the outlet doesn't carry those. The two I got will keep me busy for the next few weeks. Yearrgghhh!! Slowly but steadily expanding my (original) CD collection. Tak main la download and chetak rompak. Hmmm. One day I should write about the collection.

Makan kat tempat burger overpriced. Then beli cassette tape. TROLLOLOL!

Not your usual cassette tape. Usha betul-betul. Woooot!

Ok. This also means I've changed my phone number. Those who are still holding on to my 012-3611XXX number, kindly request for my new phone number via my old number which I'll still be using till the middle of next month (if you guys think my number is worth getting la. Ye la, who am I la kan?). Either that or you can wait until I SMS you myself (assuming I still have your number). This business of getting a new phone is quite troublesome lah.

With the termination of my old number, I've severed all connections with the 'dependent Azman'. Right now, everything I have, own and use are under my name. Bank loan, phone, internet, online banking, car, road tax, etc. Now, it's gonna be the 'independent Azman'. Aptly so for a new beginning when I start work as an MO on Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cats in the Cradle

I'm now blogging from a car while dad is driving back to KL. How cool is that? Meh. That's so 2007.

Along with us is an important package, and they're quite noisy and potentially smelly.

I think I'm getting an asthma attack.

Holiday and What's Left of It

I still got 5 days left before flying back to Sandakan. I made big plans for this holiday, taking a total of 14 days off.

A huge chunk of it was allocated for my best friend's wedding.

I planned to run at different places this holiday, but that has to be scraped of the slate.

Currently I'm nursing this 'penyakit misteri'. My heel suddenly hurts, which causes me to limp when I walk. No idea what's causing it. I didn't fall or hit anything. It can't be a gout attack because the back of the heel isn't a joint. Bah! At least I get to ride the tramadol high. Note: the ankle guard does nothing to help the pain, but it makes my limping looks legit when I walk at the airport.

Speaking of airport, I flew to Terengganu last night to meet my Tok Che (grandma on my dad's side). She's doing ok, but can't manage to convince her to follow us back to KL. During day time when Ayah and Mak Su are out working, she stays alone at home, and I think that's not healthy for her. At least if she comes back to KL, Tok (grandma on mother's side) is there.

Also I've been eating out a lot during this holiday. Don't worry, always picking healthy options on the menu.

Chinese tea in Pappa Rich has to be the best drink in any kopitiam ever.

I was actually looking forward to get to know a new person, in my elusive quest to expand my social circle. However I don't think it went the way I expected. I'm not even sure if the getting to know part actually happened.

I ended up inviting two ladies back home.

Here are their pictures. One on the floor and another in bed.

Man, these girls are loud.

And I thought Ali was the one who got hitched. Haha.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ali Marries Izrin: A Story of Tested Relationship, Late Night Guy-Talks, and The Best Man.

Summer of 2005. I think that was when Ali and Izrin got together. They've known each other for quite sometime, but it was during their flight back to London from that summer Euro trip, Ali cunningly found out from Izrin that she harbours feelings for him, and the feeling is mutual.

As they say, the rest is history, but not so for these two lovebirds. Fate brought them together, and Fate also took them through tortuous and uphill terrain very early in the relationship.

Shortly after the trip, Ali had to come back home to complete his studies here, while Izrin stayed in Cardiff to complete hers there. Ali didn't start right away when he came back. He had to wait for the academic transferring process to clear before starting. As he began attending classes again almost a year later, Izrin completed her studies around the same time and came back. Job hunting ensued, and she landed herself a job shortly after, and this went on for another year or so.

Imagine that. Spending the first two years of a relationship being away from each other, and going through stressful period with each others life at the same time; Ali having to transfer his studies here, a frustrating and lengthy rigmarole, and Izrin starting a new job and getting used to working life.

A lot of revelations will be made throughout this writeup, and the first one shall be about Ali's temper. Yep, he had this problem. Those who know him well since school days, know this. Not many people are able to handle this sticky situation. And in the later half of the two-year period, when things got stuck in a temper-ego stalemate - get ready for revelation number two - Izrin would call me to vent her frustrations. I just listened and didn't do much, really, other than telling her again and again to be patient. 'Dia memang macam tu, sabar je.' That statement has to be one that I overuse. And thank God Izrin is one tough woman. Not only she has to be patient with Ali, she has to be patient with me telling her to be patient.

As I endured this, I witnessed true love unfolding right in front of my eyes. Not surprising. I knew this has got to be it for the both of them very early when they got together.

See, Ali and I have sleepovers when I'm around town. Sleepovers isn't exactly the right term because almost every time, I would lose sleep. Most of the time were spent talking, and most of the talking was about how happy he became when Izrin came into his life. The story of how they met and the Euro trip that marked the beginning of their togetherness was re-iterated again, and again, and again every time we have sleepovers.

I remember the eve of Subang Jaya 10km run in 2006. Ali put up a night at my place so that we could go to the run early next morning. He spent the night talking about this Euro trip, on how he learnt deeply about Izrin when they sat together on a pebbled beach in Spain, walking around Monaco. Again and again he told me about the flight back to London where Izrin sat next to him, and their mutual feelings were revealed. And not to forget when they arrived in their respective homes in Cardiff, Ali walked to Izrin's place to hand her something (it was either chocolates or medications, I can't recall exactly, but it was supposed to make Izrin feel better). This was told to me on many nights, and particularly on that night. We ended up running the next day without any sleep.

It's not really about the depth and repetitiveness of the stories he tell, but the reactions that he showed that says everything. Obviously I can't see his facial reaction, because when we talk he'd be lying on the couch, forearm across his forehead and I'd be lying on the floor with arms crossed, both of us facing the ceiling, staring at the rotating fan. It was all evident from his tone of voice. Unlike the serious tone he always has, when telling these stories, his voice was calm, the pace of speech was relaxed and you could tell that he is at peace. Very rarely you get to observe this. And as rare as diamonds are, what he has is something precious.

I guess true love perseveres and true love changes people. Both of them endured the difficult times, and grew closer, with each of their own advantages complimenting and filling in the voids of the other. He is a changed man, admittedly so.

Changes occur steadily, and when Ali so-call proposed to Izrin by means of asking her to join Kursus Kahwin, it is only apt. It shows that marriage is an eventual step in their relationship, and not a spike in the journey.

On 19th of May, Ali marries Izrin.

Panoramic view of the Akad Nikah, Ali and Izrin sat at opposing ends. Photo by Ismail.

I was made the Best Man, but obviously, I wasn't the typical one. By conventional standard, I was probably the worst Best Man ever. I left the mas kahwin bouquet in the car, forgot to bring an umbrella for Ali when it was raining during the Akad night, left his phone unanswered that night, lost one of the hantaran tray, and during the reception, I didn't interfere when the MC mistakenly called the bride and groom to cut the cake while the wrong song was being played.

I have a very different idea of a perfect wedding. What I was aiming for that night for the both of them, was the culmination of what the last six years has been, re-living those moments and tying them to the climactic event of the night. In the midst of everything else, I wasn't sure if that got across, but the both of them was happy.

You'll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and The Pacemakers was not played on the reception night, but it is still their song. It neither made the song less meaningful, nor did it make the wedding less memorable.

In the spirit of re-living those moments and having sight of the future, may I dedicate this song to Ali and Izrin.

To Ali and Izrin, I wish for prosperous days ahead for the both of you, and please do something we already know you'll do; live happily together ever after.

Photos are by Samsul Tahir of Kaseh Photography.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Thursday, May 19, 2011

She's Back!

Tok's recovery has been very dramatic. I wish all my patients are as strong as she is. Day 5 post operatively dah boleh balik rumah. Kalau masuk ward kat Sandakan, memang meet ward policy.

While recovering in the ward, she has been very compliant to treatment. Chest physio was done, she was fighting the pain to cough properly. Elderly people, after undergoing abdominal surgery, tend to get lung infection because the wound pain prevents them from breathing properly. Pain meds help, but it's the strong will that makes most of it.

The surgeon told her to eat a lot of protein and despite having a bad taste in the mouth, she took all the egg, chicken and fish bits. And when the surgeon ensured that the wound will hold if she walks, half an hour later, she's already doing it.

"Peace and love, bruv. I'm back in biznezzz. Syukur, Alhamdulillah. Now wherz de periuk? I need to make de dapur berasap again."

She really said that. Well, not really.

Monday, May 16, 2011

At Large In A Smaller Room

I started my first official day as an MO moving into a new place. It's a room and I'm staying with a friend.

Moving from a house where I stayed alone into a single room with another friend is gonna be a big change. Now I have to berpakaian elok, if berpakaian at all. And I have to close the door everytime coming in and out of the room. And it's a rumah taman, which means the house opposite has a window that allows direct view of what's behind my window. Gile takdok privacy.

But I have a good feeling about this move.

For one, there's a stretch of flat, straight road that runs for 1.5km. That means a 3km lap. Nice. Memang akan jadi playground for tempo running. And the sports complex is nearer. Ada track sana. Finally I can berjinak-jinak with interval training.

Also, I begin my first 2 weeks of MO years being on leave. Muaaaahahaha. Currently sitting at the airport waiting for my flight back home. Cantek kan? Semalam baru fly KL-SDK, hari ni pegi balik KL. Gila babeng jet setter.

Ada apa plan 2 minggu ni?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Iye ke ni?

For someone who stays by himself, I sure have a lot of stuff!

Emergency Leave

Dua hari lepas gua terpaksa ambik emergency leave, not that kena apply apa pun, pasal pada hakikatnya memang dah lama apply ntuk leave yang asalnya tak emergency. Berbetulan dengan kejadian emergency yang tak dapat dielakkan.

For old time readers of this blog, you may have come across writings about my grandma, affectionately known as Tok among the family. Tok hasn't been feeling well for about 2 weeks, then a recent checks, the doctors found her gallbladder is infected. This means a certain hospitalization and surgery. She was admitted on Friday and a surgery to remove the infected gallbladder was promptly scheduled in the late afternoon.

I was still in Sandakan, and I know I must come back. Tak guna treat strangers untuk 2 tahun tapi bila family yang sangat disayangi sakit, tak boleh buat apa-apa. Terpaksa la beli tiket last minit yang terkenal dengan kemahalannya tu.

Mujur row tu dapat duduk sorang. Jawabnya, baring horizontal atas seat dan krohhhhh sampai KL.

When I reached KL, the surgery was already over and Tok was warded in the ICU. Nurse yang baik hati allowed me to see her at 1am, walaupun sepatutnya tak boleh. Thank you, staff nurse. She's stable, tapi at that time sedang sakit. Politely I asked for some analgesia to be given.

Lepas tu kena tido kat luar ICU, atas kerusi. Abis sakit belakang.

Sunrise pukul 7:30am. Gila jakun. Biasanya kat Sandakan, 7:30am dah terang-benderang.

McDonald's breakfast (sausage McMuffin, cheese on the side, supaya senang dilempar ke dalam tong sampah), sambil dengar lagu Jamiroquai. Memang pagi yang tenang.

Ramai datang tengok Tok. Semua anak and menantu dia ada. Gilir-gilir kitorang pegi tengok.

Alhamdulillah, memang boleh nampak Tok sedang recover.

Mula-mula heart rate dia stabilize, no longer tachycardic.

Lepas tu blood pressure makin cantik.

Doctor transfered her to High Dependency Ward (kira tahap bawah sikit dari ICU). Arterial line comes out.

Lepas tu NG tube drain turns from bilous to clear. The NG tube comes out.

She was allowed sips of water.

Lama sikit, just before I left the HDW a couple of hours ago, dia dah start passing flatus. Bowel patency established. Esok insya Allah dah boleh makan pelan-pelan. Maybe even get transfered to the general ward.

Moments after this picture was taken, Tok yelled "Imraaaaaaann!!" Mungkin masa tu dia tengah merepek marah Imran sebab tinggal baju sekolah atas lantai (to Kedahans, merepek tu maksudnya mengigau). Tengah sakit pun masih semangat lagi keeping everyone else in line.

Masa tok bukak mata and saw me standing next to her, she said "Man makin lawa." Agaknya dia merepek jugak masa tu kot. Mana ada lawa, Tok. Man makin hensem! Heheheh.

Right now, I'm waiting for my flight back to Sandakan in 5 hours time. I have to go back to settle some paperwork (report duty 'naik pangkat' jadi MO).

I also have to move out from the house, among other things. Tuan rumah halau. Nak naikkan sewa kunun. Piiiirah! I found a much cheaper and better house.

Then Monday, balik ke KL again. This time for 2 weeks. This one I've been looking forward to. Banyak aktiviti nih. Ali a.k.a Ali Botak (gila redundant) akan melangsungkan perkahwinannya in the coming week. Guess who is the best man? ;-) Also I look forward to see Tok recovering. It's very rewarding to use the knowledge and skills I've learnt to treat a family member.

2 minggu cuti ni kena plan betul-betul. I can foresee the temptation of nasik kenduri (ada 5 kenduri I'm invited to), Tony Roma's, Pappa Rich, durian, heck, makanan yang masak kat rumah pun dah cukup irresistable.

Nak kena run nih. Jom explore tempat running yang tak pernah pegi.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

12 May 2011

It is another monumental day. A day that marks few milestones in my life. In ascending order:

I have left the triple D club. Yes. My weight is now in the double digit figure. With clothes on, today I tip the scale at 99.5kg. Probably weigh 99 with only the undies on. So I have in total lost 21kg since 17 January this year. Lets hope we can stay in this side of the fence for good. Still, a very long way to go.

The day also marks the completion of my second year in Sandakan. Which means today, I complete my Housemanship Training Program. I am no longer an intern. I am now an outern. Hahaha. Ok, ok. No such thing.

With the late Firdaus, a memorable patient who have fought kidney disease valiantly.

Two years of enslaving myself in a commitment that hopefully will last a lifetime. Have I learnt a lot? Hell yeah. In the greater scheme of things, is it much? Not really. In fact I barely scratched the surface.

So what does the future hold as a Medical Officer now? More enslavement. I say BRING IT!!

All these achievements will not be possible if not for one person. And 12 May also happens to be that person's birthday.

It's my mother's birthday!!

Happy Birthday Mak!

When I am your age and if I'm half as successful as you are right now, I will be very, very pleased, even if my eldest son is still helplessly single. Hahaha.

Homaigod! Besarnya aku. Mak, kita kena ambik gambar lagi sekali lah.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Borneo International Marathon = BIM = Bring It, Man!!

It wasn't just the BIM. It was a one-week holiday, siap with interstate visit lagi.

Major draggy post with a lot of pictures.

I saved up a large chunk of my leave for this trip. Us housemen only get 8 days of leave every 4 months, and we work on weekends too. Talk about cheap labour. So as always, my cuti was a jamak (jamak, bukan jimak) of a lot of things into one.

This trip served as one of my goals for 'The Final Frontier', a getaway from work, and meeting and catching up with old friends (like literally old and longtime punya friends. Haha. Rizal jangan marah. You have more hair than I do, I give you that).

Holiday started early, 4 days before the run. It kicked with a 6-hour drive from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu. I took a cup of coffee, the first one since February. Needless to say, I was singing like a wild gibbon in the car. Caffeine has this weird effect on me, you see.

I wasted no time and surveyed the running route once I reached KK. The next day was spent buying running rations (gels and what nots) and a new running shirt. Pretty boring stuff.

Stadium Likas. Starting and Finishing line.

Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen. Very scenic. Very hot!!

Second day in KK, picked Doc Hisyam up from the airport and had dinner with him. Doc taught me a lesson on how to order soda water at a bar in a very cool way. Actually, there's no way. Haha. We initially planned to go water rafting together but due to unforeseen circumstances, rafting day was changed and it clashed with my Miri trip. Takpe Doc. More reason to come back to KK ramai-ramai again.

Then on the third day I took a flight to Miri to meet Rizal, a very close friend, the keeper of skeletons in 1203 Jalan Rasah.

Clouds preferring land over water. I need to look about this stuff up in one of those geography website.

The person who designed Brunei is surely OCD about having everything aligned.

The person who designed Sarawak (and Sabah for that matter) is surely OCD about oil palm plantation (read: money).

Disembarking on a roofless portable stairs (or whatever you call it). Wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt, rasa macam member of Iron Maiden turun dari Ed Force One.

We went to have sushi in Brunei. Rizal has this theory that economic superiority brings positive change to everything. Judging from how delicious sushi in Brunei is, I kinda agree. Sushi was too good, I didn't take any photos.

Then lepak on a beach near a supermarket that sells Tim Tam for $1.60 Brunei Ringgit. Economic superiority at work. It was a sunny day. Very sunny day.

Errr. I think I need to get a new pair of pants. This one is falling off my hip already. And wearing a Maiden t-shirt and posing with a coconut tree is.... wrong.

Dinner was at this place called 'Kinky Fat Chef Kitchen' or KFCK for short. This place is such a gila place to find. It's actually a house, located behind a few houses, in a housing area where you have to circle around to get to. Orang gila apa bukak kedai makan ulu-ulu macam nih! (Ekceli orang yang pergi kedai tu la yang gile sebenarnya)

They sell homemade burgers. They make their own meat patty and sauce. It's sedap gila, you know. Patut la kedai ulu-ulu pun orang pegi.

Rizal agrees.

As an homage to 1203 Jalan Rasah, we tried to boil water in a watermelon for breakfast.

An experiment me and Vijay pioneered.

Still failed though.

A movie and a quick goodbye, I bid Rizal farewell. Weh lepas ni kita gi cuti kat Ostrolia pulak.

Went back to KK and went straight to the Pasta Party organized by the BIM committee.

Do you see it? A lot of strong runners!

Here's a closer look:

Naahhhh harun. Badan ketul-ketul. Lean, mean running machine.

Tak cukup dengan tayang body, depa tayang baju. Marathon finisher. Ada yang pakai 84km finisher! I think finisher t-shirts should be banned when there is a gathering of more than 5 runners. Either that or during the next pre-run party, I'm gonna wear a t-shirt that says 'Massive Cock Down There'.

Sesi isi perut terus bertukar menjadi sesi kecut perut. I felt out of place. Didn't know anyone in person. Quite difficult to start a conversation because everyone was wearing this 'Haha. This guy? Running?' face.

Chewed onto some food kasi cukup syarat and left to have dinner some place else.

There were books going out cheap in Suria Sabah. Aaaaahhh. Paradise.

Went back to the place I was staying and started to set up for tomorrow.

Jam yang dihiasi dengan estimated time for each KM. In the end memang jadi perhiasan pun.

Woke up at 3:30am for the race. Don't forget your Vaseline.

Doing 'number 2' was damn frustrating that morning. Arrgghh. Apasal la tak berselera nak keluar. Had to run with few extra grams. Dah tengah-tengah lari baru la terasa. Terasa apa? Terasa nak berak la!

The next 5 pictures were cilok-ed from Doc Hisyam's blog.

The race was brilliantly organized. Pre-race instructions were clear, distance marker every kilometer, water stations every 2 kilometers. The route was designed in such a way that no matter how far back a runner is, there are always runners around. And volunteers! They even have volunteers to cheer you on! Amazing! People were chanting 'Bole bah kalau kau!!' while we were running.

Water stations serving 100Plus and mineral water. Supply was always enough. Two supply stations along the 21km route served bananas. I took a drive along the running route few hours after the run and all the mess was cleaned up. Not a single sign of a marathon taking place few hours earlier. Amazing job organizers!

Runners coming and going. A very fun atmosphere.

Did I tell you it's hot?

Yaaaaa. Itu dia. Running with a bottle in hand macam budak sekolah. Kalau tarik Ezi Bag, lengkap for back to school. The adidas climacool running shirt is awesome!! The technology that keeps you dry really works. Mana tak. Harga hampir sama dengan dua kali on call. Do you think they make climacool underwear?

I actually had a hydration pack belt on, tapi the tugging at the perut made is so tak selesa. In the end pegang jugak botol tu. The hydration pack became a useful device only masa nak 'ease myself'. So I had both hands free to manipulate the hosing apparatus to aim accurately.

Doc looks too good, so he had to sembunyi half his face when taking the photo, just so that I can outshine him for a moment. A very cool company to hang out with. Nanti balik KL kita pi Plan B Rock Kapak, Doc. Thanks Doc H for the pictures.

I was aiming for a sub 3 hours, but that was shooting for the moon lah. Kalau budget ikut training, memang ngam-ngam habis. Tapi tak pernah try pun. Kejadian sebenar 3:28:03 (official time) for a half marathon. Hahaha. Officially juga the last man crossing the finishing line within cut off. Read that. WITHIN cut off. Wow. That's a first. Selalu hujung-hujung dunia, mau dekat 4 jam. 4 jam tu orang buat full marathon.

I was actually off by 3 minutes at the first 4km. Lepas tu baru jumpa running pace yang dicari-cari. At U-turn, the time at hand was 1:34:++, kira memang ikut budget lah. Tapi sampai je 11 to 12th km, bonked gila. Terus run, walk, run, walk. Belasah je. Memang uncharted territories pun.

Consolation was I didn't experience any muscle cramps and was able to hold my hands up high and smile when crossing the finishing line. Kalau dulu, pedulik. Nak tercabut nyawa rasa.

Post race, terus cari tempat nak soru.

Marry Brown is soooo much better than KFC. I don't know why their chain is not as extensive. Marketing kot. Oit, Marry Brown. Here's a suggestion for your tagline. "Some people say our chicken tastes much better." Nah! All you need is one idiot to try your chicken and actually liking it, and the the word will spread virally. Serious ayam korang lagi sedap.

The next day jumpa Hady for dim sum breakfast at Karamunsing Capital. Kerja kat Hospital Kota Belud dia nih. On call boleh kata every night (doctors know what that translates to. Heheheh). So sekarang ni minum air pun kat Starbucks.

Hari Selasa baru drive balik ke Sandakan.

Driving into the clouds, macam my little pony.

Stopped at Kundasang for a breather. Fuuhh. Cantiknya. Cerah terang-benderang, tapi sejuk. Kalau dapat minum Teh Boh mesti best.

Entrance to Kinabalu Park.

Asyik berjalan sorang je. Tak bosan ke?

340km and 6 hours of driving back. Enjoyed every km of it. Sapa cakap jalan kat Sabah tak bagus? Korang je bad drivers, tak tau nak appreciate jalan.

It was an awesome 7-day trip. Could have actually done more, but who is keeping count?

With the conclusion of BIM, I've checked all my goals in 'Final Frontier'. Is it really the end? Of course not! Kita set goal baru la. Blueprint tengah... errr... printing.

Last one to mark an achievement on the Final Frontier album. Training resumes... errr... soon.

Malam tu tido pakai finisher t-shirt. Maklumlah, first time muat pakai finisher t-shirt without having to sedut perut.