Monday, December 31, 2012

Good Bye 2012, Hello 2013!

In the year of 2012...

1. I completed the Master of Science Foundations in Clinical Psychology and Mental Health.
It wasn't an easy task, mainly because I continue to work part time in North London Forensic Service while studying in Brighton. But I did it, with a merit. I'm pleased. This shall be the greatest achievement of the year.

2. I had lived in one of the most beautiful cities in the UK.
I have moved from place to place, Brighton is my favourite! It's such a young and happening city, yet it's not one of those busy, stressful and humanity-losing place, because it's at the same time very close to the sea, with very beautiful sunset almost taking place every night.

3. I went to Norway (Oslo, Flam, Bergen, Flam) and Switzerland (Geneva, Interlaken, Luzern, Zurich) for holidays
This is definitely one major dream fulfilled. Norway is such a peaceful and beautiful country! I hope it doesn't change and I'd get to revisit it one day.

4. I have seen the Northern Lights!
I never think I'm this lucky, but we were! It was amazing, somehow incredible why the green light moving in the sky. Nature once again proved to me that it can be so incredible and beautiful, let's do as much as we could to protect it.

5. I visited Amsterdam, Holland.
It's a beautiful yet not peaceful city, I missed the chips!! I have seen tulips (though we were a bit early in terms of season) and windmill. I have been to Holland, don't sell me to there - their red district is eye-opening. Haha.

6. I made the decision of leaving the UK and my first full time job in my life.
Put it this way, I learnt that what's more important in my life. (More about this later!) I just bought the ticket today though, on the last day of the year!

7. I made some really excellent friends from work.
I'm going to miss these people so much when I leave.

8. I went to London 2012 Olympics, Badminton quarter final games!
This was an experience. Can I be greedy and hope that I can go to the next one in Rio? :X

9. I have seen my first concert in my life - Mayday in London.
One night of "singing along", now I am really a fans of Mayday. Hopefully I will get to go to more quality concerts in the future.

10. I started the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Oh my god I still got to complete the assignments! and for the Advanced diploma in Stress-Management and Resilience Building,

11. This is random but I can now put on contact lens easily. Thanks to Specsaver (sounds like an advertisement?!)

12. I'm now an auntie of three!!!
I can't quite believe this, I have never met any of them yet although Adelyn is almost 1.5 years old already!

13. I went to see my favourite musical - Lion King!
It was simply "goosebumps-growing" amazing!

14. I started the journey of capturing beautiful things, almost not missing any opportunity with my Samsung Galaxy S2.
I'm very happy with people who really appreciate me sharing my life and beautiful views with them.

15. I have put on too much weight this year!
Now that all seems so great, there must be things that isn't going so well... =.=

I'm grateful, very grateful, for what I have achieved and been given opportunities to achieve. Have a healthy and blessed 2013!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dog Sledding in Norway

I really love dogs, so when I was told about this "Dog Sledding" activity I was really looking forward to it. But believe it or not, I think this is the cruelest thing I have done in my life!

I was the driver of the sledge. Before we started, all the dogs were like crying, my eyes watered. I didn't think I could make it. I was later told that huskies have to run, if they don't run they suffer. (So they woo because they want to race/run). See video below.

But I really wonder whether this was in their nature or it was human-work? Did people actually train them to become like that? They actually run (when they sledge) and poo at the same time!! It was kind of funny to see it when that happened, but to think deeply, what kind of life they lead to poo and work hard at the same time??!!

As there were a number of sledges running one after another, so I had to step on the brake from time to time so that the dogs didn't go over the front ones (my dogs ran relatively fast), and I felt heartache. Because they were running hard and fast, but I was pressing the brake!! (but actually I don't quite have a choice, coz we were told if they run side by side they would all tangle together). When I did that to them, they would even turn back and look at me...

I'm not sure if those were the holes they live in. It looks so cold and they look so unloved.

This was really an experience. But I would discourage anyone from join any activities like this. I simply hope when there is no demand, the huskies live the kind of life they deserve, run/race only when they want to. I still feel so sorry to have done that.

 Just before the dog sledging begins, what made my eyes watered.

During the dog sledging. This is what you're going to experience, but it really isn't much. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Psychology In Malaysia

If you've ever wondered why I'd entered the Psychology field, here is a short reflection that I've written couple weeks ago, about my passion for Psychology and about my job in North London Forensic Service, NHS. 

The blog "Psychology in Malaysia" is run by a very inspiring friend. It's also the kind of subject I'm now becoming interested, especially after all these years in the UK. 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

I'm Lunatic!

I learnt this word - lunatic - from one of my patients. The first time I heard it, he was saying to me "you're lunatic!" I didn't know the meaning, but I thought it was related to "lunar", so I was thinking the word may be saying someone whose emotion fluctuates a lot (just like how the moon changes every day). Of course he was just having fun by saying that.

But that day I heard it a second time, and checked it online later, the online free dictionary says:

1. Suffering from lunacy; insane.
2. Of or for the insane.
3. Wildly or giddily foolish: a lunatic decision.
4. Characterized by lunacy or eccentricity."

At the same time coming out from the search is a BBC News - "How offensive is the word 'Lunatic'?" and it mentions that the word originally "referred to a kind of insanity that recurred according to the cycles of the moon". Hahaha so I was right to think about the moon, but still get the meaning wrong. It reminds me of Dragon Ball (hahaha) and other werewolf movies.

Anyway, it was inappropriate to use the word to "normal" people. But when my patient said that to me [jokingly], I [jokingly] said back "You're lunatic too!" He just laughed and continued to repeat that I was lunatic...

My whole intention of this post wasn't actually about introducing the word "lunatic". In fact it's an introduction...

I realized there have been quite a number of this so-called "mad" people in my life, mainly due to my work. I have also been talking quite a lot about stigmatization people hold towards those suffering from mental health problems. Whenever I thought about helping and standing up for these people, my patients come across my mind.

I thought I no longer hold these stigma and prejudices like everyone else. And I was wrong. The other day I went to Wood Green, and there was this man, I probably have seen him a few times, who was talking loudly in front of Morrisons, what he talked makes no sense. I avoided standing too close to him like everyone else, but undeniably I think he was mad, he was dangerous. (although I work in a forensic ward, but no, people with mental health problems are no more likely than "normal" people to commit crime, to hurt others!)

No matter how many "mad" people I have met, and how much fact about "mad" people I come to know, when I walk on the street I behave like everyone else. I'm not saying that I'm wrong behaving this way. But I realized I can only be confident to work with people with mental health problems, in a safe environment or, with patients I already know for a period of time, in any environment. I don't have the ability to approach a ["mad"] stranger on the street and attempt to help him/her.

What can we do about this? Create a safe environment any and every where, change everyone's attitudes towards the mental illness and the people who suffer from them.

How do we achieve that? I dont know... 

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Just got to Moan!

I returned to work after a few days off yesterday, after some discussion with a colleague I decided to take up the response, and this little decision made yesterday the record of my life. I went to the female ward twice, and physically restrained and put two persons in the seclusion rooms.

For the first one, she was kind of abusive and fighting back when I got there. I had to restrain her on her feet (which I think I did it correctly), but my right arm was hurting awfully. After some struggles of 20 minutes as she wouldn't cooperate, we got her there. I got 4 bruises in both of my hands, and when I got home I found one big bruise on my thigh.Another staff even fell over. I thought the incident was bad, and so decided to take a break after that. After I returned, the alarm went off again, so again I went to the same ward. I saw a patient standing by the garden door completely naked, stood by her was a male staff and another female staff who was just about coming to help. I took over the male staff, and we tried to cover her with a bed sheet, and brought her to the therapy room. We helped her to put on some clothes there. She was still crying, shouting that she was very scared, and describing what happened to her in the past. The charge nurse then decided to put her in the seclusion on our ward (this ward is next to us). Although I see completely no point of doing so (why would you put someone who was scare and crying, and not harming/hurting anyone in the seclusion room?!), I did what we were told. She was crying and saying she was scared throughout.

So that was what happened to me as a response nurse, within 3-4 hours. I went home feeling sorry for them, tired, and telling myself I wouldn't want to be on this job for anytime longer than this. It wasn't that I don't like my job, it was just that I don't think we're helping them, and this is bad. This is of a caring job, we're supposed to be helping them.

This morning I came back for a long day (a 14.5hours shift with an hour break which you don't get it sometimes). I was supposed to take someone back to his parents' home (in theory this is meant to be part of therapeutic recovery). Because of what happened in the past, I came prepared. As we left, he was getting abusive to me... I couldn't convince him to come back with me, so I had to call the ward and they got the unit coordinator and the response team in a van to come to the train station to pick him back (we walked there). So all I had to do was to convince him to stay there, and wait for another escort as such (given that he thinks he was annoyed by me). It then went okay as things go and he came back. He was becoming remorseful and kind of apologized (but that is him, the fluctuation of his mood and behaviours). I got to say I felt fully supported by this qualified nurse who picked up the call and supported me throughout. She clearly knew what happened in the past and was imagining if that was going to happen to me, I was almost in tears. But later as things go I feel much better. (Other than those occasionally awful incidents, there are many other who can often cheer me up)

I'm actually on my break now. I don't know what I'm feeling and thinking, about this job, about working here, about the patients here. I'm not angry at or upset by any patient as far as I'm concerned, but I slowly realized what annoys me was the staff (the pm shift staff), and it had nothing to do with the patients who are not well (that's why they are here; although for many instances I'd say it was actually the system here that drives them unsettled).

It's a lot easier to in fact deal with the so-called mad people, then those who are "normal", but lazy, sarcastic, ignorant  and uncaring (especially when they are in a caring job!). 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Values of Life

Yet another October, my blog is now 4 years old.

There's been a lot of thought recently but I don't know what and how to write, perhaps too unorganized. Life has been pretty enjoyable. I remember telling a few friends and also my mum that I'm not aiming to be rich in my life, I am aware how important money is, but I'm not going to work for money. And guess what, within few weeks I kind of regret saying that HAHAHA. It's like the kind of lesson that God or someone wants me to learn. I start finding I need and do not have money in order to do a lot of things, especially we're planning a trip to Norway and Switzerland, and everything is about money, money and money. Really? Life do you have to do this to me?!

I just thought I want to lead a contented life through helping people in needs, and here I'm referring to people who need help psychologically or mentally. I suppose when people see no point of me leaving the country and go home (to, erhmm, survive with a rm2k salary, traffic jams, crimes, corrupted government, etc etc) as opposed to the kind of freedom, all physically, psychologically and financially that I have here. But really I see no point of being a health care assistant in a forensic service for any time longer that I've done so far, it really isn't fulfilling... I think I have far more potential to help people than what I do now. And I think I've been a lucky person all my life so maybe I can share some fortune with the unfortunates too?

Ah anyway, we'll soon see where the life leads me. Yesterday I read the final words of this 40 years old Singaporean billionaire who suffered from lung cancer and passed away about 10 days ago. I think I'm right. I somehow feel grateful that I haven't been adopting the definition of success and values of the society nowadays. There must be times that we're lost, but do some reflection every day, just 5 minutes or even less, sit down and close your eyes, and think about how you've been doing today, and whether that's really the kind of life you want to lead, if you only had a month life left, and whether this is the kind of life you want to lead, if you look back 20 years later and see no regrets.

"Everyone knows that they are going to die; every one of us knows that. The truth is, none of us believe it because if we did, we will do things differently. When I faced death, when I had to, I stripped myself off all stuff totally and I focused only on what is essential. The irony is that a lot of times, only when we learn how to die then we learn how to live."

Friday, September 28, 2012

Behavioural Experiment for Social Anxiety - Walking a Banana

I have long heard about behavioural experiment in the CBT. We used to have a guest lecturer in the uni who shared quite a lot different types of behavioural experiments she has done throughout her life as a therapist. One of them that I remember quite well was working with a woman with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), who was very obsessed with hand washing. And in short what they did, was putting their hands into the toilet bowl, reaching the water in it! then what? Without washing hands, they used their hands to eat!!!! It was like OMG, REALLY?! But yes that's what was done, the therapist was going it with the client, and really, nothing happened afterwards, and the client realized her obsession with hand washing really wasn't rational (of course this is kind of simplified, you should assume that they have done a lot of work in identifying irrational/negative thoughts, doing relaxation techniques and also discussing the rationale of designing such experiment etc).

Guess what I did today? Hehehe, oh the title tells - I walked a banana in Croydon, London. YES I BLOODY DID IT. Me and Krishna did it together, initially we didn't quite get into the state, and we were laughing and stuff. But after that we realized we really need to be so serious, so people know, yea we're serious about it. Believe it or not, so many people looked at us! (Well refer to the video below although it wasn't quite obvious in it). Some people asked Pei Man (she was following behind us and taking video). Some just stared, some tried to look covertly Haha. We went into the McDonalds, and obviously people were looking. I saw a guy taking pictures of us. I heard the staff saying "people coming with a banana on the string". At the end a guy approached us and asked whether he could take a picture, even asked for their names and age. LOL. The staff in McD also asked us. We left, another black woman on the street was like "what's this for?" Another two women walked past and we could overhear them saying "look at these stupid people". Hahahahaha. Stupid, I kind of enjoy this stupidity!! There were also quite ignorant people, who walked past like nothing happened. In front of the hotel, there were 4-5 teenagers, some just stared at us, while one who was obviously more extrovert approached us, and patted on Bobo (Krish's banana, and my banana is Nana), although another friend of his almost gave Bobo a big kick!

Okay up to this point you probably going to ask me, why were we doing this for? The idea came from Donald, our lecturer on the hypnotherapy course, who treats people with social anxiety. Oh yea this was one of this behavioural experiments with his clients. The idea is to do something and make people really look at you. In fact some people are often so self-conscious, being worried about what other people think about them, whether they look stupid, look anxious or too awkward etc etc. With experiment of this sort you probably find out the reaction could be quite different from what you think. But even if it was what you think (that "you look stupid", "you look so anxious", "you look like an idiot"). Those are just their thoughts! So what?? It's nothing catastrophic. Let them think what they want.

It's like people who are overly anxious doing public speaking, worrying they might make mistake. Well okay there are a lot of thing you could do to present your best, but what if you make mistakes? What if... you make a mistake deliberately?? Laugh it off? Chances are you are going to survive it anyway, why worry? This is my way of seeing it, though Don said people can test by making a mistake deliberately and see what happens, see what's so catastrophic about it. Of course this doesn't mean that I'm no longer anxious, and no longer worried in public speaking, but when you really analyze your reason of being nervous, rather than focusing on hiding your nerve/anxiety, the results are most likely going to turn up better.

I also forget to mention, at this very same day when Don realized we're going to do his banana walking experiment, he was also interested in joining. So I gave him a string and he got himself an apple to walk, but that apple fell off. And what did he do?! - he went to a toy shop, got himself a pink piggy soft toy, which could fart if you sat on it - and he MADE the shop assistant showed him how the pig fart in front of a long queue / big crowd of shoppers. Then he put the string on the big pink pig and walked it back....... You probably going to say he's such a weirdo. Hahaha well he is... not. I suppose it can get addictive, so additive. But to go to shop and ask for certain things to be done, is part of assertiveness training (and other things). And doing all those things can get quite addictive! Well, in fact at the same time you're also helping your clients and being a problem-solver.

I just have got to say, I have really enjoyed it. And Krish did too - know what? She's a mum of two, and she was as passionate as me if not more, in stuff like this. Hahahaha.

P.S. I just think it's important to give credit to Donald Robertson, given how much of his ideas I quoted here (you can google about him if you're interested).

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Power of Social Networks

Warning: What I'm going to write is probably quite random to an extend that the title may turn out irrelevant.

Last week I was attending the Stage 2 of the Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy diploma course. Then we sort of discussed the opportunity of practicing as a hypnotherapist in the future, and Donald shared his experience, tips and advice of setting up one, including a website as a start-off point. He then also mentioned twitter. And with this I have something to say, I realized there have been a lot of random people following me on my personal account, just, for example, for me saying the word "dissertation", there was a proof reading company following me, then I mentioned "hypnosis", and there I attracted another 3-4 people following me. Other than that there is also a pet food company (I think it's because I said I'm going to "walk a banana like how people walk their pet dog")... Really?!?! So you think I'd need to buy food from you for my pet banana? And there were some photographer, random whatever commercial stuff. 

So I sort of tested this, for the following days I tweeted a bit more about hypnosis, and really, there are then people who offer hypnotherapy in the area coming to follow me. (Sorry if you are one of my followers and were wondering why I've been talking so much about hypnosis - especially if it didn't interest you). 

This is kind of powerful, just to make yourself having more followers, although I'm not sure about when it really comes to offering your service (or selling your products), eh but, there is no harm of doing it, really. Don also mentioned some people use blog, write about controversial issues in the field. I suddenly remember one of my posts that received quite a lot attention - at that point I thought about this one - "Swollen Fingers due to Excessive Writing" (wow huibee you're random). And honestly, this completely random post (even the pictures went missing due to my setting after I joined Google+) is still receiving attentions! Now I remember the top post of my blog, which is "A Letter by a Malaysian living in the USA", ironically though (well done if you realized before I said it) - I live in the UK, not the USA, so that wasn't written by me (acknowledged in the comments... a few times)... But I'm not sure why it appeared to be the first source people come across if they google it. Now this is a very good example of controversy. (Just if you're interested, this post in 2009 received on average 2+ view each day now). 

So I guess one important thing now is to do more reading, to assure the quality of my post/tweet (unlike most of my personal posts hahahaha). Though, to call myself a blogger I think I need to start writing a bit more regularly, and I do hope to share more about my reading and experience on hypnosis and my work in NLFS, while protecting my patients' confidentiality!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

End of Another Chapter

Huh what?!?! I handed in my research dissertation today! That unofficially marked the end of my postgraduate study. Oh my god, I still can't quite believe it, this feeling is incredible (the 4th or 5th time I'm saying this today XD).

It hasn't been an easy year I've got to say, but now what? It's all over. I'm once again... "no longer a student". I didn't quite feel it this strong the last time I completed my undergraduate, though that was an exam that marked the end.

Guess it's just important to thank everyone especially my family and some close friends who make this whole year easier for me, and to make this possible. I truly appreciated that! I also made a few cards using the pictures I took in Brighton as a farewell gift to some international friends and as a thank you card to some who have really helped me. :) Now I can only hope that it all goes well and I can wear my gown again on January next year :D.

I'm going to relax!! and enjoy Brighton, for the first time, without any "immediate" stress, I'm going to enjoy Brighton. Oh by the way, I've got so tanned when a friend visited me last week and we kind of crazily walked by the seaside all the way to Marina then to Hove. If mama sees this she's going to think this is how I looked when I was in Hin Hua. =X (to be honest even I couldn't quite recognize myself from the mirror =__=)

Anyway, if you were to ask me about my future plan. Well, I have two more stages of Hypnotherapy diploma to complete in September. Then hopefully do some travellings in european countries (and visit Miriam in Hamburg!!). Depending on what HR says, I might come back full time on my job in the hospital - my manager would be happy with it. Then I should be going home. I'm going to work with people who need me!!! :)) If like most of my colleagues you're going to ask about doing a PhD, yes!! But not now... I'd love to become a student again, but seriously, I'm not a study freak, that should take place at some points of my life when I know what I'd love to spend three years with.

P.S. Oh my god, the label "my PG study" will probably never be used again?!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Certificate in Hypnotherapy

I completed a Certificate in Hypnotherapy last week. There are still stage 2 and stage 3 to get myself a Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy.

I'm not going to say how Hypnotherapy was defined academically and practically, just would like to say it is really nothing like how the TV or medias depict it. Yet it is something really powerful, to help people think positively, to treat phobias and minor clinical depression, to manage pain, to relax and release stress etc etc. One thing worth noting is the pain control and management. There have been people who gave birth or had their teeth removed without any anaesthesia yet feeling completely good and positive throughout the process and after it. We tried it with some minor pain in class and shockingly it worked (we had a clip on our hand, that didn't cause that major pain although it wasn't really anything comfortable). At one point I could feel no pain at all. But what's important is the way you see the pain. I'm still going to do an experiment myself at one point with similar sort of stimuli without self-hypnosis and see if that pain-free feeling was due to habituation.

From the class I also learnt meditation. With his lead I really enjoy meditation, and at times I did it on the train while we were on our way to the class. But after that I started to fail, because of my ability to really focus and concentrate. It's now getting better. I probably need more time. To be really focus and concentrate is always my problem anyway. I also did a self-hypnosis yesterday due to my sore arm. Of course I didn't come out from the hypnosis pain-free, but I was able to see the pain differently and soon forget about it.

I will share more when I have time. Ask me anything about it if you want (and surely it doesn't mean I will always have the answer). If not then try to find some more established site to learn about it. It's something very useful and interesting. At one point I hope I can learn about then practice it more and really let people benefit from it. 

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Will you stay or go?

This thing has been in my mind all these recent years, maybe I haven’t actually got a choice, but I’m just wondering, what’d everyone else out there do?

I have been in this country for almost 6 years now, I understand if I go home I’m going to suffer from what cultural psychologists call “reenter” problems. I’m very used to the life, cultures, shops, traffic, transport, food, weather (maybe not!), living styles, freedom, even the air and the water here…

There was one point in my life, where I come to realize I’m not making a very big difference to other people’s lives while I work here. And that’s because there are plenty of geniuses and professionals here in this country, whether or not Hui Bee serves here, it doesn’t really make a big difference. There are also plenty of people out there who would break their heads intending to serve this country (or, well, to get some benefits whatever ways). So I told myself I should go home and I will be going home. This is what I have been telling myself and sometimes, others.

But deep down in my heart, I’m really not so sure. I don’t know if I’m really that strong and tough to take up all the challenges, after learning how Malaysia is like all this time.  The crimes, the weather, the “cultures”, the language (i.e. Malay), the transport, politics etc etc… Can I cope? Do I need to cope? Do I want to cope? How far can I go? What else are the barriers? Or should I say, take up papa's view, which the older generations would mostly and probably think that there is no "future" back there, so if you can stay, you should.

Of course other than my own professional career (which sometimes I don’t really care about), my family, friends are all home. I’ve left home at the age of 19 and since then only gone home for holidays. I spent my 6 year high school all focus on school, friends, studies but not my parents and family. Then I left. I wonder if I’d regret one day if I continue this. Few months ago I have a friend who lived in Taiwan since he graduated (4 years earlier than me, so he was there for about 10 years), returned home as his father was becoming ill. Now he’s settling better in Malaysia although I guess he quite often missed his life and time in Taiwan. Although before this, I’ve always been aware of this “spending time with parents as they’re getting old” thing. (Believe it or not, one thing that I’ve been changed most, was in fact that I became more of a family person, after leaving home.)

On the other hand, my family back home has grown. By the time I returned next year there are going to be 3 nieces/nephew (and of course two sister-in-laws). In other words, my status is no longer “the youngest” at home (which I didn’t really mind – since I’d had the status for about 24 years!). It made me wonder that at this point of life when I think I want to spend more time with my family, do they still have time for me? I don’t mean that they are going to ignore me or leave me on my own, but is this a point where I’m supposed to be more self-centered rather than family focus? I guess it wasn’t even my choice, was it? Some thing that I’m sure is that the dynamics would have changed, and it could be either positive or negative change, or both.

I want to serve my country, I want to be somewhere closer to my family so that they can visit me or I can visit them more often. I do not like England as far as I’m aware (I am not sure if I like it in some ways subconsciously!).

P.S. This is written few days ago when the internet was down. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Things that we do subconsciously

I have been wondering all day today whether I applied shampoo while showering this morning. I woke up in the morning and took a shower before going to the library, I haven't got much memory about the shower - I'd assume that's very normal since that's something we do every day. But while I was drying my hair I felt my hair was a bit different, although I couldn't tell the difference in what way. Later I was in the library and the hair was fully dried, I realized my hair was kind of oily. Eh? I just washed it, I thought. Then I tried to recall, and couldn't remember if I apply shampoo while I showered, or I just wet my hair then started washing my face and body...

Occasionally I intended to take facial wash but I put body shampoo in my hands. Other time I wash my face already but I still take more facial wash. Most of the time I complete my showers without much thinking about the shower itself (but probably a lot thinking on something else).

I'm not trying to say that this is abnormal, or being over-worried. But I'm wondering things like this (my brother gave an example of locking a car), we do them naturally, automatically, subconsciously, without much thought on them, then --- how do we know if we really have done it? So yes I know people check (go back to see if they lock their cars, check if they lock the front door, call mum to ask if they remember to shut the auto gate etc). But how about my case? How do I know if I did wash with shampoo?!! It's going to remain unknown for the rest of my life. HAHAHA (Oh but I do collect evidence and am quite convinced that I didn't use the shampoo 1. I felt my hair was strange when I was drying them 2. its felt oily when it was dried 3. I seem to finish shower quicker than I normally do 4. I normally need a bit of conscious brain use to decide how much shower gel to apply but I don't remember making that "decision" today)

Eh but, if it was done subconsciously (rather than unconsciously), there should be means to recover this subconsciousness?!

Sometimes I'm impressed by myself, having the ability to write such a blog post just base on little thing like that. Ha.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Another Leaving, this time a Discharge

先前写过一篇一名病人因癌症去世 今天我送走了另一个病人
可是这次他是被 discharged 了!! 这是我的 ward 里最年轻的病人 是我比较喜欢的一个
可是后期因为他有很多 overnight leaves, 外加我减少工作时间所以不常看到他
看到他被 discharged 真的很开心... 虽然其实有点不舍得 可是我还是不断告诉他请他不要回来
不管要做什么都要 think twice before doing any things that might bring you back
希望他有听进去吧 毕竟他还年轻 (才大我一岁) 大把前途 没道理把一生困在医院里 (话说爸爸在英国是医生 妈妈在美国是律师 父母我都见过 我一直不明白他怎么会在这里!! [医院])
话说在这个 ward 里工作已经一年十个多月 这才第三个被 discharge 的
话说第二个被 discharge 的还回来了 (不过没有回来我的 ward)
其他大部分离开的 有的回去监狱 有的去了更 high security 的医院 虽然也有两个去了更低 security 的ward 可是他们到现在都还呆在那里 每次在 grounds 看见他们都会问他们怎么还在
虽然这样问其实很残忍 (谁不要自由?) 可是其实我也很心疼看这些人把大把青春耗在这个地方

今天送走他 我在想其实我或许不适合这分工
不喜欢离别 虽然有的病人比较不熟 可是相处久了 送走谁都会有点不舍
当然还是最希望他们的离开是好的 希望他们不再碰不该碰的东西 不再做不该做的事 病也不再复发...
还是庆幸今天能送到他 衷心祝福他 也希望其他病人会慢慢好起来并被 discharge.

还有一个老人家 一个超烦的老人家 超喜欢烦我的老人
他是个很挑战我的耐性的人 可是我这么久以来就今早差点对他"发脾气"
因为其实他很可爱 他只是很"病" 外加牙齿掉光 今天又拔了几颗 现在只剩三颗 所以他说话的时候很好笑 (也很难明白)
他的病情不轻 常常在 ward 里叫 要不是因为他年纪大 早被其他病人殴打了 (话说病人虽然是病人 敬老这件事 他们其实还真的是会的...)
昨天就告诉我他 700 岁了 后来又问我要不要做他的 sister (我想他 700 / 60 岁 怎么能做我 brother) 他还继续说 这样也就做了 Obama's daughter... 原来他是 Obama 的儿子 所以我要是做了他的 sister 我也就是 Obama 的女儿了 XD 能说他不可爱吗?
不忙又有心情的时候 耐心听他讲话其实很有趣... 他心情好的时候也会在 ward 的走廊上唱歌 然后会害我(们)也不自觉的跟他哼起老歌...
当然他凶起来生起气来还是很恐怖的 只是他不 violent 他也还是会对我还有几个他比较喜欢的 staff 很好...

有时间的话 我或许该多写这些 因为我想以后的我 会觉得这一切像梦 也会很怀念这一切... 

Friday, May 25, 2012

The past 5.5 years, The coming 5.5 years

I haven't got anything in particular in mind to write about today, but due to the weather I'm in really good mood, partly also because there was a significant progress with my dissertation today, after meeting with my supervisor the sixth time! What? yes, the 6th, while in fact people are meant to only have 4.

It's the end of week 6 of Summer term, in 2 weeks I'll be completing all the studies, left with 3 assignments and one research dissertation. Time flies. I've been here for over 5.5 years now. Looking back this year, I came to realize I have become a role model of a few people that I really respect/like, including my high school friends, my previous university friend, my working colleague, and even my viwawa friend! I somehow manage to inspire various people, just because of what I'm doing (I guess). But deep in my heart I know I'm not that good! But if I can motivate people a bit, why not?! Hahaha. I've been procrastinating, been demotivated, been in doubts. I don't know what is in front of me, I don't know if I'm ready to take any challenge I'll be in, yet I'm even worried if there isn't a challenge...

I saw, read, heard various things that changed me. I started to learn what's more important in life and in lives. I also came to understand my life has been easy which I'm very grateful with. I somehow believe in this "quota" theory (my own theory, hahaha) where everything has its limit, so I think I'll have to take up a lot more challenges, be facing a lot more difficulties in my future life (because I'm using too much of the "easy" quota). To make the quota theory more understandable - for example, I also have this "hardworking" quota, from the age of 13 I studied real hard because I thought Hin Hua was a very high standard high school and to make sure I did okay I had to work damn hard. So the next 10 years from my 13 years I worked hard throughout (slightly relaxed in the first and second university years). Now it's more than 10+ years, I came to think the quota is worn off. (Okay it's an excuse of being lazy...) My father suddenly popped into my mind, no, I don't think the hardworking quota is only 10 years, it had to be at least 25-30 years, because I believe that's the time of my dad working real hard. (Oh no HuiBee, you've got no more excuse!!).

Anyway, time is running out, I need a good night sleep, just because the weather has been so good (i.e. warm) - it was too hot for me to go to bed at nights, so I haven't been sleeping well.. And I've got to be working for the next 4 days. Then I'll have a short course on voice analyses and desynthesis - should be a very interesting course! I also applied for a hypnotherapy course in July with peiman. Greeeeedy, everything is an interest!

I'm hoping to travel as much as possible too!!! But couldn't find suitable travel partners.. :( Most new friends are interested to go to places that I had been whereas the old friends.. ughh don't ask me! But now the upmost importance is to complete my assignments, then enjoyyyyyy my dissertation research writing~

(P.S. the title is pure random. It's nothing about the past or future 5.5 years! XD)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Good Bye

I have been thinking to write about this, but haven't really got the time for it. I work in a forensic mental health ward (as most of you would know by now), had never thought I'd have to face that - we have a patient that passed away last weekend.

Perhaps it's not right to say that I never knew I'd have to face this, because when he was sent to our ward he was already terminally ill. We spent a lot of time making sure he was okay. And this is a man with great sense of humour, I mean - a nice companion. Guess what, maybe it was such a coincidence, I blogged about him before, back then he was so, so unwell that I had to share my experience with him (Blog post: I want sex!!). Oh yes, he was the one who first saw me, told me "I want sex! I want sex", he was also the man who didn't use the toilet and slipped on his own poo in the seclusion room.

If you still remember, he was sent to highest security in the country because we couldn't have him there. He was then diagnosed with cancer and deteriorated. Staff there decided that they couldn't keep terminally ill patient in such high security, so they sent him back to us.

This man only saw me once a week, sometimes once in a fortnight, but he never forgot my name. On my first shift with him, he directly commented that I must be very hardworking at the end of the day when I went to sit by his bed. Slowly he deteriorated on our ward, up to a point he was so ill that they had to send him to A&E, and was then transferred to CDU (Clinical Decision Unit). I went there for about 8 hours last weekend. I met his twin brothers and had quite a long conversation (or according to him, it was more like one of the brothers "lecturing" me. hahaha). I walked him to the bathroom, and I gave him my right arm telling him this was his walking stick, he then hold my arm and dance, while humming a song that I didn't know. Of course he couldn't even walk properly, leave alone dancing.

But it was beautiful. I came to realize I brought this man laughters. Despite all the pains he was in, he was always positive. At times I found that too positive. I have to say this is the kind of experience I probably wouldn't forget. Unfortunately the rapport was built, then we lost him.

I didn't think about it at all when I was told the news that afternoon after he left. It was a "noisy" shift with some nice staff, nobody really mentioned it, I didn't think about it either. But that night I couldn't sleep, I thought about him and my tears dropped. I suppose it wasn't sadness, at least he is now no longer in pain.

In fact he is a "legend". I wish someone can study him in depth. Because back then he was so, so ill, so unwell mentally. But the physical health problem "took over". Don't ask me how this can happen. Nobody knows. We all wonder. Because most of us met a version of him that was so crazy so mad so unwell so... you name it. But we all met this "version" of him who's so grateful, so positive, so friendly. He was always grateful, with the time with we spent with him, with the help we offered him.

On my last shift with him, he was in the bathroom when a member of staff came to take over me. I insisted to wait till he came out so that I could tell him I had to go and a goodbye (no, in fact I always say "see you later" rather than "bye"). With him you never knew when it would be the last time you can see him. I'm glad I waited, because that was indeed the last good bye.

Rest in peace.

‎"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
- Leo Buscaglia

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Netherlands Trip

01.04.2012 - 04.04.2012

Can't be bothered to write, pictures say it all!

World of Heineken. Recommended. There are a lot to "play" inside. plus you get 2-3 drinks!! XD

This is example of "what to play". We took this picture and had it sent to our mailbox. (Though it went into my Spam folder..)

Chips from this shop is VERY nice. A lot different types of sauce too. The source of me having sore throat then fell sick during the trip! Recommended still!

Keukenhof. It's a must go. Lots of tulips. It's a bit too early for the season, so most of those in the garden are not fully blossomed. But those indoor ones are very beautiful too!

This is from outdoor (obviously). Very beautiful!

Windmill in Keukenhof. Get to go up and take a round. Very "cute". hahaha.

We went for Thomascook Canal Cruise. Be warned that you aren't allowed to bring food up as we bought chips thinking we can have it on the cruise ended up have to finish them by the river. =.= The journey was quite long, not very informative. We went simply because it's included in the "package". Wouldn't recommend if you have to pay for it.

This is the Old Church. Picture is taken during the Canal Cruise. Very nice picture isn't it? Credits to the photographer - myself! xD

Red light district. Quite an interesting experience.

You-know-what-it-is! Otherwise the answer is also in the picture.

Wooden shoes. Cute. Haha. But not nice to wear.

Windmills at Zaanse Schans. Unexplainable excitement to see the windmills. Maybe being brought up knowing windmill is something "from Hollands" and is famous there thus it becomes a must to see their windmills!

Cheeses! They look funny. Some taste nice but some don't! This is also in Zaanse Schans. (Don't ask me how to pronounce it..)

Her name is Miffy. If I'm not mistaken there's a story or comic based on her written by a Dutch half a century ago. She's very very cute!

Many many Miffy(s). Some are her family maybe. Haha. This is also in Zaanse Schans.

Not 100% sure about the link between Netherlands and Indonesia but apparently Indonesian food there is quite good. This one is Restaurant Bojo. The picture might not look so, but it's very very yummy (and big portion!) (And not so pricey)

During the last day of my trip I was pretty much sick despite pm and fel lending me their jacket I was still feeling really cold. Be warned that early April can still be quite cold!

Overall it's a great trip. Amsterdam is a must go! Although I still don't know why people like to say "sell you to Hollands ah" or "got cheated to Hollands"? xD

Friday, March 30, 2012


Got to admit I didn't make very good decision this time, wasn't being considerate enough to realize I might not be able to cope with a long day before flying early in the morning.
I mean, I'm on a 12 hours shift long day tomorrow, 2.5 hours away from where I live, and I have to come back and get ready for an early flight the next day..
I always believe in making the impossibles possible, but the long day tomorrow is ruining my holiday mood, and I have yet to mention, I'm FINALLY going to Amsterdam! It's been more like a dream saying to go and not being able to "achieve" it.
Hope all go well and tulips are all blossoming waiting for us!

I still have some essays that I don't know what to do with it. It's just not something that I have done before and despite swallowing 3-4 chapters of the book I still don't get how to start and what to do with it :(
I used to think all this will come to an end once I completed Spring term. But it doesn't seem like it. Haih. When all these are over I hope I can then enjoy doing my research. The British data collection has completed, Malaysian participants and Msian in UK is on their way. I do really struggle to get enough people for MSinUK. On one hand I wouldn't put too much pressure on people, but on the other the pressure is on myself if I couldn't get enough people. I do appreciate those who really tried hard to help, especially some who aren't even very close friends...

Hoping to go to Turkey and Egypt at least, during Summer. At best if pama can come, at best they can all come...

Where I live and love. It always reminds me to be grateful, to slow down and feel the now and then.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

五月天 Just Rock It 伦敦演唱会

Wembley Arena, London - 27.03.2012 1930-2230

话说从小到大没去看过什么演唱会 前几个月在纽西兰的婉倩在 fb 上分享说五月天会过来
不知道为什么有种想去的感觉 问了问周围的朋友 都兴致缺缺 我就不了了之了
谁知道 26 号那天五月天来了 阿信分享了一张照片 一个朋友 Belle share 给我
我就告诉她说我没去 找不到 kaki
结果呢 竟然很巧地被中学学长团的嘉伦看见了 然后说他也要去!! 还知道哪里可以买票
(而且很值得 因为是从买了票却不能去的人那里买的 便宜了二十几磅 更巧的是卖票的香港人 是我一个新加坡朋友的朋友@.@)
就这样弄着弄着 去了!!!

首先话说我虽然听很多人的歌 记歌词能力也不错 但是对五月天比较 popular 以外的歌都不知道
所以就听了一个晚上的 mayday (又因为本人不能一边听歌一边读书 所以就把整个晚上牺牲掉了) 还紧张得没睡好 =__=
其次这次一起去的 是我中学毕业到现在六年多没见的朋友 这感觉未免也太奇怪了
(还好他人没变 感觉还熟悉)


开场之后发现之前的顾虑都是笨地 因为有荧幕有歌词 根本不用做功课(既记歌词也)也可以
而且其实大部分歌我都会唱 *得意*
开始他们连唱几首都不说话 后来其实他们说的比我想象中还多...
包括用各种语言介绍了一下 (其实不就是石头用英语 其他的就用中文或闽南语 =.=)
还分享了在伦敦一日游做了什么 和 如果还有下辈子还要再干嘛
(其中阿信和怪兽说了要再学吉他 石头还要再来伦敦 (玛莎说什么我不记得乐 =_=) 冠佑要当导游去北极看北极光 这时候阿信说了冷笑话 说如果看不到北极光 看北极熊脱光光可不可以 换作平时我会觉得这笑话很 lame 但是当时候就笑了出来 =__=; 后来发现其实冠佑答非所问)
然后当然他们唱了很多歌 *废话* 从初中听过地到今年的新歌..
他们各自也呈现了一段乐器表演 超厉害!! 希望有人录下来分享..
而且encho后还唱了四首 人也太好了吧!!


他们组团在 29.03.97 就是明天 成为明星却是 07.07.99
这是我大概记得的 还有第一次在伦敦的演唱会就是我们见证的那场
阿话说那也是我和嘉伦的第一场 =.= (只能希望下次见面不是又过了六年!)

今天整个人还是没办法走出来 还在图书馆里哼他们的歌
那感觉像昨天作了场梦 很美的梦 ...

*人生短暂 去疯 去爱 去浪费*

Friday, March 16, 2012

Virtual World

It's the last day of term. No, not yet. I have yet to graduate. It's the last day of Spring term, I still have Summer term! Had quite an "interesting" lecture day in Mill View Hospital today, which is really not what most of us had expected. We thought we were going to get more practical kind of things but who knows?! They made us travel there then what? Sit in the lecture theatre for whole day!

And I'm going to talk about the final talk "Projected Research and Business Developments" by Susan Conboy-Hill. Let me try to be unbiased and say what this talk is about. They are trying to bring in technology to "do" treatments. So here she talked about the people who are hardest to reach, people who stay at home all the time, people who are scared of human interaction or touching, people who hate leaving home, people who are scared of crowds (perhaps, I added some of these myself), yet all are people who need psychological helps. And they proposed (or in fact are going it already) this "virtual world" where people can learn about interaction, get support, feel "well-being".

Before she even finished introducing the whole ideas of it, my colleagues already started to raising hands objecting how this can probably work, then I joined the debate... We are psychologists (or "worse", we were trained "critical thinking" so much that we criticise everything all the time lol), we emphasise human interactions and think it's incredible central to human lives, well-being, contentment, satisfaction, recovery etc etc.

So I asked her, if Yuko (she just happened to sit next to me so I used her name) had problems interacting with people and thus is prescribed with "Virtual World", how is this going to help her with her situation and to get back to normal life? She answered, "how do you know she wants the interaction?" and carried on with her whole idea of how this can work. I agree, recovery quite often doesn't mean get back to "normal" or "how it used to be", and recovery can simply mean "a sense of well-being" very subjectively, but does she mean Yuko is going to spend the rest of her life in "virtual world"?!! Sometimes in Psychology, even Yuko doesn't know that she wants the interaction, at least not until we help her to do it, then slowly she realizes she really enjoys it and gets the most benefits out of it.

I'm so against technology in some ways. Of course I love technology too. I remember seeing a quote on the train, saying if the world hadn't invented mobile phones, we'd all interact more. Yes, so true. It was meant to assist communication, but nowadays how often do you sit in front of a friend but s/he is using phone on facebook/whatsapp etc?!

I appreciate the kind of convenience technology brings us undeniably. Or I wouldn't be able to Skype with my mum whenever I want. I also appreciate that technology can help with recovery, for example if you have a spot above your eye you google and find out what it possibly be then only decide whether to seek help. But technology can't be a treatment as a whole. Just because we're human... People can often read self-help books and understand more about themselves, can learn how to make themselves feel better etc. There can also be an iphone or android application to help people understand depression or monitor alcohol intake. But how are we going to treat someone with bipolar personality disorder with......... an app? with virtual world?!!!

She acted as if she's very "in" and initially perhaps she also kind of thought she'd get all kind of agreements and acceptance from us because we're the generation who have used and benefit most from the technology ever since. I suppose she was quite shocked to have heard us and turned really defensive, and didn't really make obvious points to answer most of our questions. I don't mean that I don't see the potential of their proposal. But I hate spending so much time in front of the laptop, with the phone. I still do it because there's this habit/addiction/whateveryoucallit. I certainly don't hope to see in the future facebook/twitter/smart phone apps replace all part of our social lives. (She loves twitter so much..) Oh let's go out for dinner... I mean in virtual world?!

And one day when I see you, I lost the ability to interact. (we all are certainly losing it... I just think we should stop before it becomes part of evolution)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The "Social Media Censorship" Debates

I travel a lot on underground and have recently noticed that The Economists has launched a debate on censoring social media. I do not personally think it should be, but I can see why certain people argue that we should - it's understandable. (for more details about the debate, click here)

I just have to say recently I'm quite addicted to a social networking website (Facebook it is. What else?). Although I don't play any facebook games but I can still spend quite a lot of time every day, reading friends' updates, articles, watching videos etc.

And thanks to FB, I came to know LYNAS and this rare earth materials. I do read news on, but the thing is I normally skip this type of "political" (I'd think it was if I didn't read on) news. In fact I come to realize a lot of political stuff that I'd never thought I'd be interested in. At times I think they've been exaggerated to reach the purpose/motives of the writers but more importantly, this becomes a very important and accessible media for people of all age no matter where they are, as long as they can access to internet..

From my view it's a good thing. Even when it's violated sometimes (also when it creates some racial issues), as long as we can judge rationally. But I'm not so sure for younger people.

Should social media be censored? Where do you stand?

P.S. I'm not writing about LYNAS.. I think there is no need to say that I'm against it. It doesn't make much sense to go for it. So there's no point to argue here.. (I just don't understand our government..) I'd rather Malaysia to be a developing country for another century or even bankrupt, than earning the money now and having later generations suffer badly.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Psychology

I'm not writing to introduce these methods, so if this is what you're looking for please close this page.

I'm doing my dissertation this time again in quantitative method, originally I thought this reflects my interest and what I thought is the best method. Until recently I realized it doesn't reflect my interest, it reflects what university is able to provide their students with.

I did my undergraduate in University of Gloucestershire. There we had a professor who was a bit sissy (sorry! and worse I can't remember his name now), and he was really good in Discourse Analysis (a type of qualitative method), so that was what we were taught. I remember me and Pei Man did an assignment together regarding religions, in which we interviewed the head of our uni chapel (christian) and a malay friend who practices Islam religiously. I wouldn't say that I was very keen in that assignment, afterall that was something completely new, we weren't even sure what we had to do. This university we have Tom Farsides who is specialized in Ground Theory (another type of qualitative method), so again that's what we were taught in. He is quite a good lecturer, but I didn't pay too much attention during his lecturers, I thought, yes I thought, I wasn't interested, I thought I have decided to be a quantitative researcher.

Until recently, when I start to talk to people regarding my MSc. project. Most people found it very interesting, and quite often people share what they encountered in their lives with me. Today I was speaking to a lady in the language institute, she was like completely surprised and happy with what I'm doing, and told me she is really looking forward to my work. She continued to share some of her knowledge, and more importantly, some of her experience ("there had been lots of tears in this room (her office)"). I'm surprised how much she knows, despite the fact that she is an English and isn't someone practices in the social science field, but she sees a lot of international students.

You might think I must be happy to meet someone who can provide me with more information about my study. Unfortunately no, I'm slightly upset, with the fact that I'm going to disappoint her with my work. Because quantitative method can never capture so much information, I can never share her experience (and some of others) in my studies, my project is fixed, although it's complicated enough, but still, it's fixed.

Before I left I told her perhaps I can do an interview with her and learn more about her experience.. then we both smiled and said "for my (your) phd". Of course I was just joking, I told myself I am NOT going to take phd, at least not now.. but this is the first time...

(1) I feel I have to use qualitative method to capture how human behaviour really is like
(2) I think about doing a phd!!!

Friday, February 03, 2012

When you become a Psychologist

I have become a Psychologist a few years now, although I don't really see too much difference in myself but I slowly realized how people see me differently..

Another day I was talking to a psychologist-wanna-be, we were just talking about a guy she likes etc, then towards the end she claimed that she can see how "professionally" I formed my questions and she was suitably impressed. I was a bit surprised because I really thought we were just having some girls talk, quite casually although I certainly concern about how she feels. So I explained to her there was nothing psychology related..

When you complete a psychology degree people somehow see you differently, it is like you can never have girls talks or chat normally any more, because people will keep be reminded that they are taking to a psychologist, not a friend. But they forget that I can be a psychologist, a friend, and also a psychologist friend, or, just huibee.

Sometimes they really want to consult about something, for example a cousin who seems to be autistic, an uncle who has severe sleep disturbance, or just basically themselves having insomnia. At this point its okay you try your best to say what you know and think can help..

But at other times, they talk about their problems, so you listen and try to comfort like any friends will do, they then start becoming annoyed, wondering or even asking cant you just behave like a normal friend but not talk like a psychologist as if they need psychological helps! Well, in fact there isn't such thing (the psychologist-style-talk), it's all in their mind, their own illusion! All this time huibee is still huibee, the way I talk doesn't change much, in fact I still say what I want to say!

I know this sounds quite nonsense. But I face this situation quite often, especially to friends that I newly come across "wow psychology! I better watch what I say", "wow psychology? do me!" (DO WHAT?!).. or worse, they just take it and bear in mind subsconsciously and we carry on to talk, then towards the end they suddenly say "so that's what you think as a psychologist", "so that's how psychologist xxx", wrong wrong wrong! thats what I think being myself...

Now even worse, even myself start getting that illusion. When friends come to tell me s/he having insomnia, I start to wonder what s/he is expecting.. a psychologist's advice? (err I dont know! I can only use general knowledge..) or a friend's comfort? or just a listener?!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

It's now the 4th day of Chinese New Year. And it's finally that I feel it's going to over. Lol. Yes, because I don't get to celebrate it, I want it to be over as soon as possible. It was kind of depressing when it was approaching it, and the first couple of days. To be honest I don't remember feeling so down in the past few CNYs. But perhaps one of the things is that I had to complete two essays due this week (later today). The only thing made me better is to Skype with my family, and I think we did it 3 times on the first day, so I got to watch the fireworks through my sister's Iphone, the kind of thing we always do passing midnight since I have memory. I missed home that I felt I was going to cry on the eve. :(

It's time to go home!

Anyway, I completed my essays today! Just now! So I'm giving myself a brief holiday. Then I realized I have been so tensed, that I do not know how to relax, what I should do to relax. The thing is those ethical form, other assignments etc are still crossing my mind. I somehow lost the ability to relax, sadly. :( Even my entertainment now - watching drama, I'm watching "In Treatment", recommended by a Clinical Psychologist in his visitor lecture. Now I have visitor lecturers every week, twice a week. I quite like this, we get to see different professionals, who come in and tell us what they do, how they do it etc.

I was going to end my post by saying 新年快乐. Then I suddenly recalled the news that I saw, a man passed away playing fireworks on CNY eve. He's just got married last Dec, a father-to-be, he was also the only son at home.. I can't imagine how it's like for his family to lost him in a day like that, that way.. Guess we should just be grateful and treasure what and who we have with us!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What you need to know to travel to Barcelona

The Barcelona Card is worth getting. It saved us a hell lot of money on travelling (especially on Metro). And of course, some entrance fees too, though most are just 2-3 euros discount.

When entering the ticket into the machine at the Metro station, sometimes it's on your left, other time on your right. Weird!

Check their sales period before going! They don't have boxing day in December like most other countries. :(

The weather in December is not as warm as you imagine. The temperature up the hill is not as cold as you think.

In general they have all their meals 1-2 hours later than us. You might think this doesn't matter, but we went to a restaurant at 12pm and they were trying to serve us breakfast..

The Txapela restaurant is the only restaurant that I'd like to recommend. It's very close to one of the Zaras in the town. Though, I suppose people go there to eat "for fun" rather than treating it as a proper meal, otherwise you'd end up having a bill like ours.

Zara is not really "everywhere" like the guide book says. Though the price is also not as low as what most people say (well, at least compared to those in the UK, blame the pounds sterling!).

The only name I came to know after my trip is Antoni Gaudi. And Barcelona is the city of Gaudi. He honestly did very brilliant art work in this city. He's Gaudi!

Bring someone who reads maps brilliantly, if you can't do it yourself. We spent most of the time walking the complete opposite direction while we're looking for places!

Don't sleep with someone who likes to put his/her arm on his/her head. The elbow will be waking you up all night. (note: I wasn't the victim).

Overall it's a beautiful city (thanks to Gaudi). Most of the entrance fees are a bit costly. The food in general is good, and is usually reflected through the price. It's many people's favourite European city, though not mine!

Note: Can't find a proper picture of us 4..

New Year, again

It's hard to stop myself from saying it's again, another year. For the past few years I summarized what happened in that year and wrote a post at the end of the year, but not the 2011. It isn't that I haven't achieved anything worth noting, but I haven't got the time to do it. I was at work from 22nd to 26th of Dec, then went to Barcelona on 27th and came back on 30th late night, at work again on new year eve. Other than that I've been trying to work on my addiction essay, linear models exam and preparation for dissertation, and of course, some "necessary" entertainments.

That kind of summarize my life..

It has been quite a year for me. Let's talk about work first. Though I'm not going to talk about the content of my work, but the people I'm working with. I learnt so much, and realized how blessed I'm. I must had done a lot of good deeds in the past to have known some very nice people, for example one left me with her flat keys for me to stay in when she's away for holidays, and a lot of very nice colleagues. I don't think I believe in karma, since I was brought up, being told by my mum that we shouldn't do bad things, but we don't have to do good things too. And I can see where that comes from (it would take few hundreds words to explain that). Yet for me to have received all these kindness, I have to do something to pass the kindness and love around, I think. I don't know how yet, though. Ha ha. Perhaps I just dont like this "owing" feelings, I want to return the favour, but I can't, not yet.

Another major change in the year 2011 must be enrolling myself into a clinical psychology postgraduate study. That's like back in Hin Hua, that's what I call study, and what I realized I've lost - the ability to work so hard like nobody's business. It's way too different from pursuing my undergraduate degree. But I guess I enjoy it, I guess, most of the time, if it's not all the time.

It has also been more than 5 years since I came to the UK. I see how much I've changed, then I wonder if anyone else sees that. There are certainly changes that I don't want them to be, I suppose we human don't always have choice (is free will an illusion? there will be few thousands words discussion..).

Other than that, I went home twice this year. My eldest brother got married in June. I became an aunty in July. I moved to a beautiful city in September. I said Good Bye to my 5 year old Dell and welcomed my Macbook Pro. I started to go to church occasionally. ... ...

New Year resolutions is not something for me. And I think I have so many things to do that I do not need more to have myself fail doing. The most important thing now is to look for my motivation, to pull myself together and study. (Now I'm going to watch drama..)

P.S. I aim to write more about my trip to Barcelona if I have the time!