Thinking of Johor For The Long Run

Read Sixthseal’s blogpost about Johor’s Iskandar, just one of the many things i have been reading about the development within the state and it prompted me to spill about my plans. I haven’t spilled here in a long time, I know. πŸ™‚

Blogging is SUCH a chore, you know?!

But it’s good to be back to share sometimes.

So for those who have wondered where I have disappeared off to, I’m currently in my second year of my compulsory service with the government. When my FYDOship ended, I was supposed to report for duty at Batu Pahat!! After many tearful phone calls to the headquarters and a very fortunate switch with a colleague in JB, I’m still in JB, living with Chee Kiang who is still working in Singapore. πŸ™‚

We’ve been doing this for over 7 months now and living together has been amazing. We cook almost every week night, sometimes I dump him here and drive home to Subang Shah Alam myself. Yeah, my family has moved away from Subang too. It still hurts when I think about my childhood house in SS18.  Going into Singapore whenever friends want to meet up, exploring JB together, watching downloaded movies together on our landlord’s flatscreen and sleeping in the living room every single night because the entire apartment is literally our bedroom.

Oh! I’ve started baking and cooking more too!


Butter cookies fresh from the oven! I wanted to decorate it with royal icing but the icing i made was way too sweet and runny, so I gave up. I’ll need to head out to buy lemons and meringue powder to try again. Don’t think I’ll use raw egg whites again as it is not hygienic. And I have no idea where I can get pasteurized egg whites.


Spinach pan mee with the necessary yums


Tried roasting a chicken. Tasted okay, couldn’t get it to be a dark crispy brown. 😐


Herbal chicken, not too bad!


And my favourite and my best dish (ahem), chicken+broccoli+carrots+french beans dimsum style. <3

I think I drifted off again.

Yes, so throughout university I knew that I had to, needed to, MUST end up in Johor in order to put an end to the nonsense that was a long distance relationship. I was sent to Kluang first when I first entered the workforce and after making it through 6 months, I am finally in JB. When my first year training ended, I managed to secure myself to be permanently based in JB.

It’s all going to plan, isn’t it?

But deep down in my heart, I wanted.. or thought that it was to be this way: That the both of us complete our respective three years with the government and move back home to finally start our lives somewhere permanent.

But it’s not fair to uproot him from Singapore when he has put in so much effort building up his career here. Not only that, if I go back, I will have to start networking all over again. It’s okay if we start off immediately after the end of our compulsory service because we are still relatively young then and can slug it out. But I’m afraid that won’t be the case and we’ll probably have more…well, changes in our lives if we wait it out a few years and head back in our very late 20s or early 30s.

I do want to open my clinic one day and I want to open it somewhere where I will grow old.

I am confused about plans to work in Johor, KL or Singapore.

The reason why I want to go home is so that my children can grow up around their grandparents and I can be there for my family. It’s just horrible to have to grow up and old without your parents around. But most people don’t have a choice because of their careers and I am afraid that we might just be one of those people.

For an AIMST graduate, it might be a little tricky because the degree is not listed in the list that the Singapore Dental Council has come up with. Most of the Malaysian public dental schools aren’t even on the list too. We have to sit for an exam which, IF you can qualify for it with the suitable requirements, has a waiting list of 2 years. I hear that it’s the final paper for the Year 5 NUS students. I will of course try for it if I have the chance to. I would need to study really really really hard for it and cross all possible fingers and toes.

Singapore would be nice. But I really need some guidance if Johor is just as good, if not better. Or even better than KL for that matter, which I hear is pretty saturated now.

It gives me hope that there is so much development going on in the city and there is a buzz of excitement about the endless possibilities. Healthcare facilities, residential areas, educational institutions (though I’ll probably still send my kids to a government school to let them see the real Malaysia and save the money for their overseas education) etc.

The whole Johor-Singapore thing works very well for us now. I know a big chunk of Johor roads now, made a horde of new friends from work and more contacts from helping out with the southern zone’s dental association….

I just hope that it is the right choice to be based here.

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.

Link: http://forum.lowyat.net/topic/1935892

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?

Finally.

I know this comes as stale news.. but tomorrow is a big day for us. πŸ™‚

We are moving the first of our things into our very first rented apartment together. My pots and pans and textbooks will go first. Only that alone has taken up the whole car!! @.@ Might have to use the textbooks as decor on the ceiling or the walls in our tiny apartment.

I would say this is a pretty huge milestone for us as we have been playing the long distance game for.. well, forever! We have never been the couple who saw each other day which I believe allowed us our own space to grow during the past six years in our own ways and yet whenever we get to meet during our semester holidays, we make the most of it and then go back to living our own lives. πŸ™‚ It was difficult at times but you get used to it.

Being in Kluang for the past six months was great because I could go home anytime I wanted (space) or choosing to go down to him (spending time together). It was a perfect balance, a gradual step to living together.

I have been praying and bugging and praying and bugging and begging for the second leg of my first year dental officer posting to be done in JB and thankfully, I GOT IT!!! πŸ™‚ We went apartment hunting the very next day.

It still hasn’t quite sunk in… this whole living together thing. It’s exciting and strange at the same time because living on my own usually means that I have housemates. Is he my housemate? My family? What is he? What is this?? It’s a strange limbo between boyfriend and husband. It’s a whole new level of closeness. I think this is what people mean when they say taking the next step.

The both of us did feel awkward as we surveyed the apartments, quite shy to introduce ourselves as a couple, almost like as if we’re too young to be a ‘couple’. We really need to get this whole We-Are-Still-Kids mentality out of our heads because god knows how long ago that was. This is what being in university for far too long does to you. You grow up a little later than your peers. πŸ˜€

I have friends my age already buying houses, some even buying houses on their own without a partner involved. It’s all very adultish!

The idea was to get an apartment that was not too far from the causeway, super safe and near enough to my workplace. But because of the rotations a FYDO would have to do, I’ll have to drive around Johor Bahru for quite a bit and best of all, against the crazy morning traffic!

We were very fortunate, albeit very much poorer now too after paying 3 months rental plus utilities deposit for a 700 sq ft place within spitting distance from Hospital Sultanah Aminah, one of the places I’ll be attached to! I keep telling everyone that it’s really within spitting distance! Like, I can literally throw paper planes from my balcony and it would land in the hospital grounds! It’s also a stone’s throw from the seaside..which is basically just rocks because you ain’t got no beach front along the causeway area. πŸ™ No worries! I still have a seaside residence! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ The sea breeze blows in pretty strongly so I think we can save on aircon usage!

A lovely plus is the fact that Hospital Sultanah Aminah is THE place for all emergency cases so that means when I am on-call, I can just walk over when my phone goes off!

I’m so glad we’re here, the end of our long distance relationship journey. This moment was a hope we held on to dearly for the 5-6 years. We were even surveying Johor Bahru two years before graduation…that’s how excited we were! And to finally be here, we really don’t quite know what to make of it. πŸ™‚

and yes, we have both our parents’ blessings to be doing this together. More like no eye see.. hahahaha. <3

On A Day When We Felt Jaded

Someone and I were having a conversation on gtalk about how we feel about work. Although a professional, he feels small in the entire organization and feels like he is doing factory work day in day out. I tell him that I am no better, sometimes I feel like a cobbler. Fixing, making, cleaning.

Maybe because we both had particular long days which is why we are feeling this way but there’s like a stretch of 40 years of work before retirement. Is there such a thing as fresh grad syndrome? Where you feel jaded at times? I tell him that having goals in place will make our work more rewarding. A belief that I hope to hold on to as well.

While I feel my work is repetitive, at the same time I am plagued by the perpetual fear of not knowing if I know enough. It does eat at me. I know what I have to do, but there’s no exam to look forward to.. I need to be pressured into doing it.

I have roughly been through my career options in my mind a few times but all that would need money (furthering my studies, setting up a clinic…), I need to know what is best for me in the long run. What my priorities are. I can’t possibly be setting up a general clinic then running off to specialize after a couple of years, can I? But with only a few months under my belt, I really don’t know everything there is to know about this field.. I don’t really know what I want to do. I don’t really know if I should limit myself to a specialized field. I don’t know!

I believe it’s okay to have dreams in many places. You don’t have to have only one dream, one way of enjoying yourself. While it is important to have goals in your career, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the only thing you prioritize in life. As most of you would know, I really really enjoy my little sticker hobby-business. That’s a dream in its own. πŸ™‚

I chose dentistry because I narrowed it down from the things I’d rather do. This was when I was 16 years old, burdened by the huge duty of having to make life changing choices. SPM and college times were so hard and confusing. πŸ™ I knew very well that I hated physics to my very core, chemistry was nice, ahem, used to get the highest in class but was bombing chemistry in college, sometimes failing it too.. but I knew I had to do something science related.

I needed something that had no maths…no physics…no chemistry…..no sitting in a lab looking into microscopes… I’ve always liked biology in school. I liked how the human body worked. I actually wouldn’t have minded medicine but the long hours were the number 1 reason why I didn’t choose the field. Not like I confirm can get into med school also..ceh:P But dentistry provided me with all that. A chance to be in science, a chance to meet people day in day out and a chance to go home to make dinner for my family! I can be a professional AND a mother AND a wife! Yeah, so traditional at 16.

I really do..I really do like meeting people.

But sometimes, I sort of see why customer service people can’t provide customers with the most optimum level of services equipped with a smile. It has to be done. Especially now that the clinic has implemented a system for the patients to drop a yellow laminated smile in a box at the counter to rate our services. Sometimes there are very very difficult people to be dealt with. No matter how you reason, they don’t see the point in what you are trying to say.

Sometimes I wonder exactly how is my work rewarding? One patient might feel happy that he can now chew his chicken without any getting stuck in the cavity, another patient might feel grateful that her front tooth is replaced, another might finally get a good night’s sleep after the abscess has been removed. It does sound rewarding but it’s not epic. Unless the lama-lama jadi bukit thing holds true, then well, yeah.

An incident today did make me feel like I had a real purpose aside from fixing their teeth. πŸ™‚ A patient was so so so so so so so x1000000 of coming into the surgery. I invited her to sit down but she just stood there rooted to the spot, not saying a word. I thought “Great, another patient with mental disabilities…….how should I approach her?” Then I saw tears forming in her eyes. And then I realized that it was a really great fear of going to the dentist. She said that everything dental related scared her. The chair, the tray, the door, the light….. the patient and I had a good laugh after I explained everything to her, trying to alleviate her fears. I made jokes, she joked back, we had a good rapport going on. πŸ™‚ THAT was rewarding. To be able to change a person’s mind set, I think that is what matters most to me.

I guess at the end of the day it all boils down to appreciation. I want to tell that someone that it applies to him too. Appreciation for the things we do can go a long way.

I do wonder if all mid 20s go through such a period where they question where do they go from here.

But you know, I’ve a feeling that a couple of decades from now, we’ll all be well respected figures, solid and grounded with the odd cynicism here and there. We’ll be all right. πŸ™‚