Jun 30

This is my third Sunday here in Dublin, and I decided to go to a friend’s church. Every Nation Dublin.

Ahh, compared to the previous one I’ve been to, definitely feels more like home. Younger crowd, similar style of service compared with SIBKL, in fact, the atmosphere felt like when I was in SIB KEC (in Kuching). Truly really lovely people to hang out with. And so I did! After service, went for lunch with them, and got some ice-cream too! Will I go back? Surely!

Then come weekdays, back to the hospitals! Every day something different, every day something new, every day something exciting and always, well, unfortunately, someone sick. But I’m still learning heaps and just soaking in everything I can with my doctor. He gave me my “first case”. So that means I acted (note: ACTED) like a SHO (senior house officer), and I then have to look at the charts beforehand, check/chase lab results and all these before his rounds begin. And when it comes to my patient, I’ll explain what has been going on, and has been done, and maybe if I can, suggest things to do. So it was amazing! Because I had my first real patient examination and then it was a slightly complicated case but with a change of antibiotics, she got better! and then we got to decide, how long more does she have to stay, what drugs to give, why those drugs, and how it may affect the baby. And by Thursday, she was discharged, case closed! Though legally not my case, but it felt really awesome.

On Wednesday I had a bit of adventure. I had the opportunity to join a couple of friends’ at a meeting for the campus ministry at Every Nation Dublin. I mean, meeting? Haha yes! Meeting! Because I’ve always loved to know and be inspired but what other campus ministries are doing all around the world and maybe grab some ideas from them for CF! But the adventure was that, it took me 2 hours to get to the house, and I was like.. 1 and a half hours late. Well, long story short was that I didn’t know it was that far away, and google gave me a place that had the same street name but so much nearer. So I thought, walk only lah! By the time I got there, I couldn’t find the house, so I had to find a place with internet and googled it again. Then it came up another same street name but it was to the north of Dublin and I was like “Oh, okay! Grab a bus” Well, thank God I somehow remember that the place was south of Dublin just before the bus came. So I went to find another bus and though that particular bus won’t bring me to where I needed to be, he directed me how to go. So there I went, hopped onto another bus and was now on the right track. I was using bus wifi to track where I was so that I knew where to stop, but by the time I realized that the wifi wasn’t working and managed to get down from the bus, I was like 4 stops further than where I should have been. Then I had to walk and walk again, oh and all this was under the rain! Such an adventure to the south side of Dublin!

And then on Friday, while doing my rounds and when I just about to finish, guess who showed up! Prof Mary Cafferkey and Dr Anne! Awh, it felt so good to see someone close to home. I knew they were coming but I didn’t know they have already been in Dublin for almost a week! And most of them are going back soon! I would have totally met up with them if I could. But it was so nice to see them, and for them to see me, not in a uni setting, rather in a hospital. Gahhh! So happy!

Saturday! Tour day! This week, I chose Galway!

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Jun 30

If you haven’t read Part 1, read it here!

So what made the starting of Part 2 a surprise?

Well, long story short, I was supposed to shift the next day to another house, but then the day before, complications happened and I couldn’t go over. Technically then, I GOT NOWHERE TO LIVEEEEE :O But no lah, so my initial host, the young family, said “of course you could stay longer, definitely not gonna kick you out onto the streets” THANK YOUUUU :’) So while I stay here, I had to still look for places to move to, don’t wanna be a burden to them!

But meanwhile, that Saturday after I found out of the freaky news, I followed the family to do some shopping. And it was a shopping mall! Ohmy, it felt like (close to) home. It was only 2 storeys and the size of one level as compared to lets say, 1 Utama, is like only 1 quarter or less of the size of 1U. Still! A shopping mall! And instead of going because the weather was hot outside, it was the other way round! So much warmer inside than out in the cold wind!

And then the next day, Sunday, I followed them to church once again. But what was slightly different was that for this week the church had a picnic! And I joined in and it was.. haha culturally different. Like how someone puts it, “The style here is, this is my space, my food. Mmm. Rather, back in Malaysia (and I’m guessing other Asian countries too), its this is food I’ve prepared for everyone, come dig in!” What was interesting also is, its not that they are selfish or what, but even if someone offers food, the other person could and can sometimes be..”you are offering me food? *gasp*” Okay maybe I exaggerated it a bit, but it was something like that which was quite interesting. (I obviously like the old way cause.. I GET TO EAT OTHER PEOPLE’S FOOD! 😛 ) Then the best part, they were playing football! (or they call it soccer) YEAHHHH. So so so happy, got my dose of football here in Ireland. Hoping for more!

Monday and Tuesday I had an RCSI Research Class, and that marks my first time stepping into my “mother university”. The feeling was awesome! But its not like that much grander than PU. Haha. Managed to meet some Malaysians there, and as usual, sure somehow got mutual friends. And it was nice! Just spending some time with the people there and the lectures were helpful. Cool part was that some of those lecturers are those who writes the lectures and sends them over to Malaysia. So it was quite cool to finally get to hear them in person! And on a side note, my picture is on their “International Medical Universities” (RCSI Affiliations) noticeboard! YEAHHHH 😀

THE DAY. After 2 weeks plus in Dublin, finally, on Wednesday, I get to meet my doctor who is behind all these. Dr Richard Drew, Consultant Microbiologist. (Prof Mary’s successor) I mean, obviously I didn’t know what to expect except for the fact that he’s very young for a consultant. And so the moment I began to talk to him, I knew its going to work out well. Such a decent, humble and wholehearted man. The way he interacts with the people around him, the way he handles his team, and the way he teaches me. Wow. Its really an awesome experience because he doesn’t just tell you about medicine and micro stuff, but he even breaks down the whole dynamics of being a consultant, and from his point of view, a YOUNG consultant, where every other consultant in the hospital is so much older, is truly truly amazing. And more so, through that, you can just see how humble he is. There are people in your life that inspire you and their inspiration pushes you or act as stepping stones to reach your goal. But then there are some people just like my doctor who just blows your mind and at the end of it, all I can say is “I wanna just be like him”. Not so much the fact of being a microbiologist, but just the way he carries himself as a consultant. Wow, just so.. Wow.

So then from here on, I spent time going around the hospitals, seeing patients and reading a lot of charts and trying to understand heaps on info thrown at me. Of course then, is also the other most important thing – my research. Now I’m sorry, initially I mentioned that I’ll be doing Group B Strep infection, but then actually I’m doing something else now. Its regarding S. aureus colonisation in Children. So I also began work on that to see where it’ll take us! But its quite obvious I’m more excited of how I’m doing rounds and analysing patient’s problems than the research itself. I mean, it is really more exciting!

I also got to spent a little time at RCPI (Royal College of Physicians in Ireland) because my doctor was asked to speak to SpRs on ethics. I felt so small, cause everyone there were all doctors, training in their various specialities and the rest of them were professors. Nonetheless, the things discussed, though on the topic of ethics, was actually so much more interesting than what I’ve been doing because the examples given were real life cases, some even happen very recently!

So to cap it all off, this weekend, usually a Saturday, I’ve decided to go on tours and explore Ireland! I woke up early early on the Saturday morning to catch my tour bus and first my first trip, I’m headed to Glendalough, Wicklow and Kilkenny! I mean, I don’t know how to describe it, but all I can say is, BEAUTIFULLL. Such pleasantly calming and pretty sceneries that they have. And at Kilkenny there is this Round Tower that people can climb to the top, and the view of the city from there, splendid.

Well, below are some of the pics! Enjoy!

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Jun 15

My journey started once I got onto the tube from Canada Water station to Euston and there take a train to Crewe, then to Holyhead, then ferry to Dublin port!

Virgin Trains
Nice and really comfortable. ESPECIALLY IF EVERYONE TAKES THEY’RE ALLOCATED SEATS *grrrrr*. My first train to Crewe I sat on my allocated seat and it was good cause it had a table! Then my next train ALSO had a table BUT someone decided to hijack it. So I ended up with a normal seat type. Still, the view from the train of the countryside of UK, AMAZING. I love the view, the landscape, Mmm! Sweet! Plus saw so many cows and sheep and horses. That’s where all the food comes from!

Irish Ferries
My last leg of this journey to Dublin is on a ferry! But ohmygosh, it felt like.. a CRUISE! But apparently all “ferries” are like that here. I couldn’t believe myself, I walked around the whole ship (I mean, obviously except the restricted areas) like 2 to 3 times just to sink it all in. Haha! Unfortunately, unlike a real cruise, no free food :/ But it was a comfortable ride, and for whatever reason, time passed quite quickly! About another half an hour left, we could see the port and Dublin from a distance. Beautiful. If only I had a better view, would have been able to take a nice panorama. Instead, I took a selfie!

So my stay in Ireland begins with 2 weeks at a lovely family’s crib! It was a blessing that they relatively recently just moved to Dublin, and have very willingly opened up their place for me to bunk. And they have a little baby boy that I can play with everyday! YAY!

Since Monday was a public holiday, I went to check out where my hospitals (Rotunda & Temple Street) are located. And that was my first time hitting the streets of Dublin! Mmm beautiful place. It was COLD too! Then I was photographing places and shops into my memory and trying to understand their public transportation. (All their public transport here has WIFI! 😀 )

Along the next 2 weeks I was just like setting up myself at the 2 different hospitals, paperwork, ID badges, passwords, bla bla bla. But at the same time, I managed to get to join some doctors on their ward rounds on some days (and I think I’ve embarrassed myself and PU :( ) But it was an awesome learning experience because unlike last year’s hospital attachment, this time round it was all on microbiology which I’ve just recently learned and it was nice to put everything into context. And I have to mention, the doctors here? AWESOME. Ok not all lah, but also not just the doctors, the staff as well! I guess maybe its their culture or just the way they do things, but my my, such level of friendliness, helpfulness and just the way they conduct themselves, amazing! Oh and for PU people, this is quite amazing, though no surprise, but when every time I’m introduced and the moment they say, “Prof Mary sent him over!” Literally, immediately the other person/people’s faces light up! “Oh really? She’s such a lovely woman isn’t she?” I cannot agree more. But I didn’t know she had such an impact! And she left it all and came to teach us! :’)

Anyway, of course it wasn’t all hospital and work and bla bla, I had some fun of my own! 😀 Alone. :(

So just like London, I signed up for the Sandemans Free tour of Dublin. Again, I had a really really good guide, and since this time it was a 3 hour tour, they had actually had a short break in between. And guess what? While I was buying tickets to another tour, then after I bought it and looked up, everyone was GONE. Haih.. Such fail pls. So I left, did try to come back another day but I wanted the same guide! So.. probably will try out another day. But anyway, Dublin is so full of stories!

Then there were other days I just walked around myself, went passed RCSI (mehh :P) and quite literally walked without much thought of where I was going. Except for one place which I was very sure I was headed. Guiness Storehouse. Don’t judge me. Haha.. But it was coooool! Pretty much like a museum and at the end of it, I got to pour my own pint of beer! And from the “Gravity Bar” it had an amazing view of Dublin city, being one of the tallest buildings there. Plus, people there were all going a wee bit crazy. It was quite funny cause a staff had to announce, “Mr XXX, your wife is waiting for you downstairs” And the whole place burst into laughter, then some were booing some cheering, but it was all just so funny. They also announced 2 people’s birthdays and everyone on the count of 3 just sang their hearts out. Ohmy, what beer can do.

The 2 weekends here was also my first time trying out Irish churches. 1 was quite traditional, though not entirely, and the other was much more younger and modern. Still, neither of it felt like home. Haha! Out of all the songs sang at both churches, I only knew.. 3, out of.. 10? But it was a really nice experience to be at both (and more to come!). One thing that felt familiar was that at both places, they had coffee/tea and refreshments after the service, which reminded me of SIB KEC (in Kuching).

And finally then, aside from all these, since I stayed at Portmarnock, I had to at least visit the beach! So on a Friday, I did work and research from home then once I was done, I did what I always wanted to try to do. Jog. I mean like.. what so cool about it? Nothing really, but just wanted to experience jogging in a cold weather and I mean, I’ve never jogged having to wear a sweater! AND STILL FEEL COLD! But the beach, SPLENDID. So beautifullll and pictures really can’t describe it. I’ve actually never seen such a beach before, with such a diverse landscape.

Anyway, so this is just Part 1. Part 2 is gonna look more exciting as my doctor is coming back and my research is then really gonna begin! Plus, I’m also gonna start going off on day tours to different parts of Ireland which looks sooooo AMAZING! Stay tuned! And Part 2 starts off with a surprise!

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Jun 04

Flew by Qatar Airways, it was good! Would recommend it to anyone.

Landed in Heathrow at about 1.30pm Tuesday and the first person I met who fetched me from the airport was Jo Fan! Of all places to meet up, it was London. Awesomes.

Then obviously, first time stepping into the tube (London Underground), experience was surreal. Having to see all this on TV and movies, and now being able to experience it, cooooools! But actually after having to sit on it so many times, it just becomes like an LRT experience lah.. no biggy.

But to realize that I’m in London, AHHHH still couldn’t believe it then.

Day 1 – so I took the tube almost from one end to another and I stayed the first night with Jo Fan somewhere near Camden Town. It was cool cause when I stepped out of the station, I could actually see Emirates (Arsenal Stadium) not too far off! Where I was at, the whole area, was Arsenal territory yo! Didn’t do much that day, ate at an award winning Fish & Chips place then walked around that area and the whole way was really just Jo Fan breaking down to me how it all works in London. But it was just what I needed to understand whatever I saw or did for the next 4 days

Day 2 – Jo Fan and I started off with a Sandersman tour of London! This group of people are really amazing. The tour guide I got was a political science student and good knowledge of history and so the tour was really nice. The way he explained and describe events that happened that lead to the result we see today, was very nicely done. (Paul, is his name) But he did talk a lot to a point that the tour was supposed to be 2 hours ended up becoming 3 hours. Haha! Then just before he finished, we had to leave slightly earlier and we headed for some lunch at Burger & Lobster. I mean, I don’t even remember when was the last time I ate lobster! But the lobster was pretty awesome lah! (And ex, but its ok, once in a lifetime!) After makan, we rushed off to Emirates cause it was getting late and I really wanted to do the stadium tour. But when we got there, there was notice that some parts were closed for maintenance though the price was cheaper. But NOOOOOO if I’m there I definitely want to see EVERYTHING! So I didn’t take up the offer, we left. But of course, didn’t leave without taking pictures outside! But again, so surreal, I was actually at EMIRATES! So so awesome. 😀 After that we headed back, rested for awhile and Goldmine! Here we come. Accordingly, Goldmine is like this place that every Malaysian (or Asian) must go if in London for… Roast Duck! Haha of all things. But oh my, the duck is really that awesome. Like.. AWESOME. I think like what my friend say, it may not be the cook lah, its the duck lah. So much nicer. haha.. But after dinner, here I said goodbye to Jo Fan and Rebecca, as they headed off to Liverpool the next day, and I jumped over to Yee Chia’s place for the rest of the nights. It was good to finally meet her in London!

Day 3 – Yee Chia had exams so I was left alone, and Wei Nien was only coming in the afternoon and so what did I do in my free time? GO TO Emirates! I made sure this time that no more closing of whatever was happening and everything was open, so YAY! Stadium TOUR! It was truly something. We started off at a small gallery and short history lesson which was cool, but the moment they let you step out from the directors box to see the field, WOW, simply WOW. A wave of awe just swept everyone who stepped out for the first time. Beautiful, truly beautiful stadium. Anyway, so then after the tour, I rushed back to meet Yee Chia and Wei Nien. We were all hungry and so we went to Borough Market, grab some food there and then started walking towards London Bridge and then along the river. We saw HMS Belfast but didn’t go on it because the queue was just too long, nonetheless, huge beautiful battleship, especially to see up close. Then we walked and reached the London Eye. Again, didn’t sit on it, only saw people sitting on it -.- Then we just kept walking and walking and somehow ended up at Chinatown and Yee Chia brought us into the shop (Loon Fung) that sells most of the chinese stuff that most of us Chinese would want to get. PRior to this, Jo Fan said that one of the things that help ease to home sicknesses is the fact that they cook malaysian food, and most times, ingredients are obtained from these shops. When I stepped in, I immediately understood it. Its nice and good that shops like these exist, if I was studying there, that will definitely the place I would go and get all my cooking stuffs! Then we headed back, bought some stuff from Sainsbury and Yee Chia cooked dinner for us. Finally get to eat her cooking! After which, we went out and walked more! I don’t know how much we walked, but it was definitely A LOT! I guess the objective was to get onto Waterloo Bridge and walked on it. Which was beautiful, not the bridge but the view. Night time view of London is actually quite splendid! We also saw places like the Sommerset house along the way.

Day 4 – We woke up to Yee Chia’s breakfast! Used whatever leftover from yesterday’s ingredients to make us something simple. Then we headed to the expensive place – South Kensington. But before we got there, I happen to meet Azwa! Of all times, stations, tubes, coaches and all, met here in London! haha.. Anyway, so the first place was the National History Museum, which was HUGE! and SO PACKED! Other than the museum I was facinated by the amount of people who actually crowded up the whole museum. WOW! From old uncles and aunties to little babies, all were there! Beautiful sight. But because it was just too big, we didn’t finish walking not even half of the place. Then we went to Oxford Street, again it was crazy packed! Went to Harrods (for some reason its a tourist thing to do, i don’t know why) Then to places like Primark, Nike Town and all. Then we chilled at Soho park. Again still so many people just sitting there and chillin together with us. What was cool was that there were 2 ping pong tables planted into the ground and people just came and bringing their bats and balls and playing! I was so so tempted to play with them. But play it that weather? My hands were soooooo cold! We went 4 seasons for dinner cause someone was craving for some duck. And yea, not much difference as Goldmine leh, but it was still goooood! After dinner we chilled at Hyde & Kensington Park. It. Is. HUGE. like.. HUGEEE. But Huge and BEAUTIFUL! Oh how I wish Malaysia had such parks! Saw some statues and more swans and pigeons but it was just beautiful lah. After walking so much, we eventually got tired and we all headed home!

Day 5 – Today Wei Nien is going back to Edinburgh :( So we went back to Borough market to try more food we didn’t get to try 2 days before. Yum! Then I sent Wei Nien off at Kings Cross Station. Yee Chia was busy with her brother-in-law so what did I do? I cannot believe it myself. I wanted to take a bit more time and looked inside Primark and other shops to see whether I wanted to get anything and this was all at Oxford Street. So, take train? Meh too mainstream, I walked. Then after my shopping I didn’t really have anywhere else to go, so I’d thought, go home lah. Train? Meh. WALK AGAIN. I told Yee Chia the day before that what I really love to do aside from all the tourist destinations, is that when I am in one place, I just wanna walk the streets, see the life of a normal commoner as if I would have been living there for many years. So I did! I just walked and walked. Saw so many things, too many things I couldn’t capture them all in pictures. From people rolling a cigarette, street side market and 2nd hand book sales, to people uhm, asking me whether I wanna spend some time in a strip club, some more promised me got nudity. Oh my, dodgy. I walked at least more than 15km easily. Of course, got lost a bit, but it was cool. By the time I got back to Yee Chia’s place, ate a bit food and played some COD zombies with her and then I wanted to take a nap. Nap, but I ended up sleeping until 4am! yikes. I then spent 2 hours packing up, read the bible, and got ready to head off.

Day 6 – Early morning I head off to Dublin! so check out Wander 2014 – Dublin. But what was scary was, of all mornings, the Canada Water station that I was to begin at, opened later than usual. Then the first train came like another 20+ minutes later. I actually became scared I might actually miss my train to Crewe. Yikes! But *phew* ok lah, I still made it in time.

It was an awesome time, and I’ll be back in London somewhere in August! Thank you everyone who spent time with me and allowed me to stay with you at your place.
These people were: Jo Fan, Rebecca, Yee Chia, Wei Nien

“Thank you !! for letting me stay at your place, dear friend from London” – my friend thanking herself

Just some pics here, but FB will have more!

 

 

 

 

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Jun 04

The last time I was in a long haul flight, when I was like, 2 and 4 years old! I hardly remembered anything so I don’t count it. Then ever since, the longest I’ve ever had was a 3 hour flight to Bali.. Mehh that’s hardly long. But this time.. LONDON! Plus, I’m all ALONE!

Its cool because I’ve never travelled so far, all alone, for relatively such a long time (2 months plus) to a place I hardly know, or ever been. Some of you may wonder, why how come so suddenly I ciao away one? Well, more than just a holiday, it was an opportunity. This year, after applying for an overseas placement for a summer research project, it was a miracle and I truly thank God that I managed to obtain a place (the only place) in Dublin, Ireland!

So since I’m already in that part of the world, why not travel a bit? Yay!

Wander 2014, will detail my journey as I travel to different places, experience different things, cultures, lifestyles and also things regarding my research. This gonna be exciting! 😀

In fact more than that, “Wander” series from here on, will detail my travels to anywhere I go, whether in or out of Malaysia.

Excited? CAUSE I AMMMMM!

Stay tuned!

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