Thursday, July 30, 2015


When I look at myself, I can be a good person, count my blessings, and be thankful to God for everything that He has given me. When I start to look around, I start to compare, and envy starts to creep in. Although I was feeling very happy and grateful with my promotion a few weeks ago, I am feeling very sore after knowing someone of my junior is also promoted this year.

Honestly, nothing is wrong with me and nothing is wrong with him. Everything is wrong with the higher management. Firstly, I always thought that it is stated that a minimum 3 years experience is required before a promotion. He is only in the job for 2 years. So what makes him so special? Some people start to wonder and everyone says the same thing: perhaps he does a lot of external things. But when we ask among ourselves "such as what?", noone has the answer. So precisely, what are his achievements that a lot of people are unaware of? Even my senior (who is no longer with the company now) did not get promoted after 2 years although she set up and lead a workgroup from the scratch.

Being promoted in 3 years is normal so I am normal. I am not too happy because I was hoping that I could be promoted earlier last year, at least in December. I have been placed in shitty conditions for the past 1.5 years and yes I shamelessly felt that I deserved something about it. The other branches have a few seniors but at my branch, I only have ONE who happens to be the manager. Thrust into such circumstances, I am forced to be the second-in-charge without any benefits. Sad isn't it? I don't want to boast my achievement but I won an award that noone in the company has ever won before and I did something quite big that everyone knew that I was doing that task. So why am I just being normal while the other guy got 'fast-tracked'? I knew he had an award for being excellent in customer service. If smile triumphs over achievements, it seems that this is not a company that I want to stay on.

I promise that by 1st August next year, I will prepare for my departure. I don't give a fuck for long term career whatsoever. I am shameless enough to say that I do have some talents and I have contributed in a medium way at least. I don't think I am being appreciated for what I worth so I might as well find something I like better or somewhere I will be appreciated. No point sacrificing my life and my sanity but remain poor and feeling shit like this.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Passport woes

I just renewed my passport and I was shocked to see how fugly my new passport photo is. Sigh.. My photo for my old passport was taken during my NUS final year and I thought my life was super duper miserable during the final year project. It is unbelievable how much (working) life has taken its toll on me for the past 4 years. I specially made the effort to have my haircut hoping for a better looking passport photo. That does not help obviously.

Currently I am in a relapse state for my diet control. I am happy that I managed to go below 60kg again!! I have no problem with fast food or bubble tea but I am back in my addiction of eating potato chips and eating out at restaurants. I know they are bad for my face, my body, and my wallet but I really have difficulties avoiding them :( I keep finding excuse like I will start all over again in August etc. I have about 1 month before my Japan trip and I hope I will look good for photos there. After seeing my new passport photo, I am feeling down again.

My passport woes do not end there. I thought after year 2012 or 2013, newer passports would be e-passport by default. I am very wrong. My new passport is still normal. Bleah.. I asked the woman if the passport would be biometric and she said yes so I thought that was it. I don't understand what's the point of taking fingerprints when the passport is exactly the same as my old passport when no fingerprints were taken back then. I emailed the Embassy of Japan here if they could give me a visa waiver for my e-passport but they told me that I could only do that in the Embassy of Japan at Jakarta. Well, it does not matter now since my new passport is not an e-passport. I am fated to apply for normal visa.

Sian lo...

Sunday, July 26, 2015


A few weeks ago I came across to this J-Pop group called AAA. A mixed group (i.e boys and girls) are rare and it is even more rare to find a great and successful one. Again, I support songs rather than artists as all artists definitely will have good and bad songs. However, being used to idol groups (like Johnny's Jimusho boys or AKB girls), I have to admit that AAA members are great singers. Each member has a unique voice and it is nice to hear different voices/solo parts in a song. Even when a few members singing together in harmony, you can still hear the individual voices as each voice is unique enough to be recognisable. In addition, they also sound great when singing live, unlike AKB or Johnny's live singing which make me cringe. 

AAA is under Avex and I am happy that Avex is quite generous in uploading their full MV. Here are some of the songs which I like:

Sayonara no Mae ni

Live version. Does not sound the same as the recording but not because they were singing off-key ^^

Niji (this is actually a song from Greeeen, another J-pop band which have quite a few great songs)

They just released another single on 22 July and holy molly: Avex already makes its full music video available in Youtube on the same day!! The song is quite catchy, although I may not like it as much as the songs I put above, and I enjoy music video as it feels very fun and light-hearted. I like this kind of video better than those "formally" directed and shot.

AAA is celebrating 10th anniversary this year!! I am surprised I never came across their music much earlier. Earlier this year, they even came to Singapore wor...

After graduation of many of the familiar faces that made me like AKB48 in the first place, it is quite difficult to sustain my interest, especially when AKB48's songs tend to sound somewhat similar. I watched newer AKB48 videos where new members singing the old hit songs and they sounded terrible. They were worse than the old members who were not very good in singing live to begin with.

It is more than half a year since the release of their single Kibouteki Refrain. The songs are okay but what makes it very interesting is that it features the members which have graduated. There are a lot speculation behind the music video: from it simply being a cash grabber using the old members which are more "loved" than the newer members to how it simply features various AKB48 centers throughout the years. There are plenty of interesting theories and observation from the PV. Oh there is actually another reason for its popularity upon the release: Tomo-chin violent boobs XD

Although Hey! Say! JUMP perhaps is my favourite Johnny's group, I tend to be quite lagging in their music release. Thus it was a record that I discovered their 4th album JUMPing CAR just a few days after its release. Lol. Sadly, I enjoyed this new album even less than their 3rd album s3art which is kinda expected given the fact that I don't really enjoy their recent singles since Come on a My House, except for Asu e no Yell. Usually there are plenty of good non-single songs in the album which I will like but there is not any with JUMPing CAR.
Album cover
Surprisingly, I decided to get Sexy Zone's album Sexy Power3 which was released in May after coming across their version of Let's Go to Earth. Although the PV was lazily made, the song is good and a lot of Jrs are featured. By the way they credit the song to Sexy Family. Faints -__-"

[PV] Sexy Zone Let's Go to Earth[PV] Sexy Zone Let's Go to Earth
Posted by Sunrise Nippon ♥ on Tuesday, March 17, 2015
I am pretty biased against Sexy Zone after they 'relegated' Sou and Marius to the background. I am not a fan of their PVs as a lot are very lazily made: they are just dancing in front of green screen and they put animated backgrounds etc. But when I listen to the album, some of the songs are actually pretty good. Haha.. For example is Otoko never give up. I never like the song when watching their performance or their PV. But after only listening to the audio, it has some nice parts too. Lol.. This album reminds me of HSJ previous album: there is a medley with all the singles (although Sexy Zone's singles do not blend as well as HSJ singles to form a medley) and there are a few nice non-single songs. By the way I notice something interesting. When they were a still 5-member group, there were a lot of criticism towards Shori's vocal as he does not get as many solo lines as Kento or Fuma despite being the center of the group. After they become a 3-member group, I think Shori can sing pretty well. I think his voice is not a generic boyband type of voice. I hope he remains cute without trying toomuch to be cute or to be cool like Kento or Fuma. 

The other song in their Otoko never give up single is actually quite nice and has a pretty fun PV as well. Quickly watch this before it is being taken down.

I actually don't like their newer singles Cha Cha Cha Champion and Maware Miracle. Let's see if my sentiment will be repeated again when they release their next album. Haha.. 

To end this post, I want to share this funny short clip featuring Kento and Marius.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

House blessing

Before I begin, let me clarify that I don't have any house!! Haha.. The Church of the Holy Spirit has been having house visitation for the past 1 year. It is now at the final phase and the place where I stay is covered now. There were plenty of times strangers knocked at the door when my landlord/lady was not around and I did not open the door. It is not my house after all. Thus I thought we missed it.

I felt touched that my landlord/lady considered me as one of their family members. They asked me to come out of my room to talk to the pastor who came to visit as well as to take photo together. They never even mentioned that I was just merely renting a room there. The visit was purely for outreach and to get to know fellow Catholics in the neighborhood better. We did not talk about "please go to church, please join this and that, etc". At the end, there was a house blessing and the Father sprinked holy water around the house, including my room. It was quite embarrassing haha.. I hope the Father was not shocked seeing a boy room with pink walls and 1/4 of the bed covered with soft toys. And despite having a nice cross hanging on my desk, I have more 'ungodly' displays around. For example, I have 14 skeletons and a lady with angel-like wings on my desk. I am referring to my Virgo Shaka statue by Tsume and Valkyrie Profile Sculpture Arts statue. Lol.. Lucky my Final Fantasy Transcendent Artists collections are not displayed currently or there would be 5 more monsters around. It was quite a nice experience.

I finally managed to clear my backlog of work post-SEA Games and stress level finally comes down. I am very glad to say that my dream of visiting Japan is finally coming true. A friend in Jakarta is planning to tender resignation in August and he asked me if I wanted to go Japan with him in September before he starts his new job. Hoho.. As someone who is lazy to plan for itinerary etc, to travel somewhere with someone who has been there before is definitely very appealing. We also share common liking in Japanese culture. Interestingly, he is actually not a close friend when we were in junior high school. At most our interactions were around anime/manga/game topics. Interesting right? I will keep the planning about Japan on another day.

There is a new eatery at Takashimaya called Patties & Wiches. I just ate there and apparently it was just opened yesterday. There is a famous Japanese chef being cited but I did not really take note of the name. I spent $40 just for an avocado beef burger and Matcha shake. I really think they were overpriced. I guess I paid for the ambience. A lot of the staff are Japanese so it got me quite excited with the anticipation of my Japan trip soon. Hehe.. The beef patty itself is quite unique because if was like a grilled beef steak and it was medium (or medium rare?) with the center still red and quite juicy. The avocado is literally a few slices of avocado placed above the beef. The taste does not fuse at all. I thought the bread was also rather cheap. I will not recommend it to foodie. But I just got my bonus and I took it as a treat for myself. After all, there were no other available restaurants haha..

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I did not watch Iron Man I and II. I watched Iron Man III during a flight. I watched Thor I and II via pirated DVD. I gave Captain America I a miss. Generally I don't watch superheroes movie that feature very few superheros. Ant-Man also falls in the same category but after all the excitement from Avengers Age of Ultron that I watched 3 times and the anticipation for the upcoming of Captain America: Civil War next year, I asked my friend who watched Ant-Man last week if this was worth watching. He told me that it was better than Guardians of the Galaxy (which I thought was pretty good and enjoyable to watch once but memorable enough to rewatch) and Avengers are featured here! Obviously he did not want to divulge more information and I had to watch the movie.

I will try to summarise the plot into 1 paragraph. Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man) develops Pym particles which he refuses to sell or share the formula to people who are interested in it. Fast forward a few later, his former mentee managed to do something similar in the form of Yellowjacket and he intends to sell it to Hydra which is one of the evil organisations in the Marvel Universe. In order to prevent this, Hank tricks and trains Scott Lang to be the new Ant-Man to steal the Yellowjacket.

So what does the movie can last close to 2 hours? Obviously it is full of fillers like Scott Lang's training etc. Putting the fact that they are fillers aside, there are plenty of hilarious scenes that the 2 hours does not feel like an eternity. Some of the jokes are done in "serious" way and that is what makes them very funny. It does not feel as if they are "trying hard" to make it obvious as a joke and make people laugh. That was what happened with most of the jokes in Age of Ultron. And what is Ant-Man without the Wasp? Although the Wasp is not a character here, I am glad that there is a bit of back story and a flashback scene featuring the Wasp. The action and fight scenes are also pretty uninspiring. The animation when Scott turns into ant-size is great but other than that, the action does not make my heart beating fast. Yup, not even the fight between Falcon vs Ant-Man. I don't find any touching scenes either.

This film just reinforce my sentiment that single superhero movie will not be as good as movie with multiple superheroes :( And regarding the Avengers, my friend definitely bluffed me!! Only the New Avengers facilities and the Falcon are featured here.

The mid-credit and post-credit scenes for Ant-Man are the first ones which I find to be quite lengthy and less "cryptic". The mid-credit scene is about Hank showing Hope the Wasp uniform and the post-credit scene has Captain America and Falcon rescuing the Winter Soldier. They are definitely more exciting than Howard the Duck sitting or Thanos wearing gloves. Haha.. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Assassination Classroom

Assassination Classroom is a live-action movie based on the manga Ansatsu Kyoshitsu. The manga is very popular in Japan but I have never heard of it. With no prior knowledge to it, the movie poster does not invoke any curiosity or interest from me. With an animated yellow smiley face, my guess that this would be a funny show but that is not conveyed through the trailer. I recognise Yamada Ryosuke from Hey! Say! JUMP as the main character but he is one of my less liked members of the group and I cannot really be bothered about him. So why did I end up watching this? Out of boredom.. Lol.. I read positive reviews about how funny and entertaining this movie is. That sounds exactly what the bored, stressed, and tired self needed.

The context of the movie does not really make sense at the beginning but that is a perfect formula for a comedy. A mysterious creature has destroyed the moon, leaving it as a crescent, and is planning to destroy the Earth next. For no apparent reason, this yellow octopus-like character strikes an agreement with the Earth authorities: he will teach for class 3-E of Kunugigaoka High School for 1 year and let the students kill him if they can. If they cannot kill him by March of the following year, he will destroy the earth. The students are armed with military knives and guns which will only hurt this alien but not human beings. The class is nicknamed as Assassination Classroom as their purpose is to kill this alien which is worth 10 billion yen bounty.

The story then progresses like typical school-themed drama as the students get closer to the alien teacher and calls him Koro-sensei. The students are also taught regular lessons (eg. Maths, English, Science) on top of combat exercises. Koro-sensei will even give tips to help the students improve their assassination skills. Meanwhile, the military is sending "transfer students" to increase the likelihood of killing Koro-sensei. The first is a super AI machine which projects a school girl in its screen and the second is a boy with hair that functions similarly to Koro-sensei's tentacles.

Unfortunately beyond this point, the plot comes across as being too forced. A new PE teacher is introduced and he becomes the antagonist as the students do not like his way of teaching. 3-E students suddenly ace their exam as Koro-sensei promises to give them 1 handicap for each student who gets top score in the school in any subject. The students manage to "kill" and Koro-sensei turns into a ball. The evil PE teacher wants to take this ball and surrender Koro-sensei to military to earn him the 10 billion yen. The climax is how the students defeat this evil PE teacher.

The second half of the plot i.e the above paragraph is essentially rubbish. Since this is meant to be a comedy based on a manga, let's not use our brain so much and just enjoy the movie for the laughter. I have to admit that the jokes are hilarious. Even certain scenes which are meant to be lame or corny also turn out to be very funny and everyone in the cinema was laughing. I would call some of the jokes as "smart jokes" which make them even funnier. My favourite is how they call one of their teacher Bitch-sensei. Bitch-sensei is a professional assassin and her name is Irina Jelavic. The students are supposed to call her Vic-sensei but because letters V and B are pronounced quite closely by the Japanese, that's how she ends up as Bitch-sensei. She is my favourite character. Instead of appearing lame with the fake white hair, she actually turns out to be very hilarious. Anyway, this is just one example of the funny parts. There are still many more.

Yamada Ryosuke really stands out among the students as he is simply the most famous. Although I am not a fan of him in HSJ, after watching this, I can sort of understand why people are crazy over him. His puppy eyes and expression are quite hypnotic and makes him like-able. Lol. No comment about his acting as his character is rather one-dimensional but I think he can do funny characters pretty well.

The movie will continue in part 2 due sometime in 2016 and I am looking forward to it. The movie also ends with its soundtrack Koro Sensation performed by Hey! Say! JUMP. I honestly disliked the song and the PV the first time I came across it a few months ago because I did not see the connection between the song title and the people wearing graduation gown in the music video. Knowing the context of a song can easily turn a dislike into like lol. The song sounds quite catchy and I like to hear Inoo's unique vocal featured quite prominently in this song. Haha but I still think the song as so-so at best and I am not going to keep its PV in my desktop.
Please enjoy the PV before Johnny's take it down as usual. Lol. There is also another version of the PV dubbed as the Battle Version which depicts the guys in dancing, singing, and fighting in those atrocious battle gears. Urrgh.. that pink colour is definitely not nice. And for once, I think that the regular edition PV is better than the special version. Haha...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Level up

In video games, once you gain enough experience, you will level up and your stats increase. In real life, it works slightly different, you have to gain enough experience first and show that your stats have increased to reach the next level a.k.a being promoted. As of 1 July, I am officially promoted. Yay!! I am happy that my increment is ~10%. I was ready to be disappointed with an increment <10 p="">

Performance bonus, however, is a different thing. The default rating is 'good' and above it there are 'very good', 'excellent', and 'outstanding'. I got the default rating last year which translated to 0.9 month performance bonus. I got 'excellent' this year and the performance bonus is only 1.3 month! I really don't think the extra 0.4 month is worth all the extra saigang for 1 year. No wonder so many people are happy with where they are and what they are doing. There is simply not enough incentive to work harder. Since to get promotion there is a minimum requirement of working for x years, I think I learn the trick: just slack for the first few years (since there is no point of working hard) and just chiong on the x'th year.

Do I feel any difference after getting promoted? Not really. I feel a bit more pressure to 'guard' my emotion. My weakness is my mood swings, my volatile emotional state, my impulsivity, etc. I accept this as it is the truth. This year's appraisal is also rather different. One of my colleagues broke down a few weeks ago and knowing how 'unstable' things were, the first thing my boss said was "Do you have anything that makes you frustrated working here?". Wow!! Hahaha.. That was like giving me a green light to complain. Surprising since last year I was told that I always like to complain, I am negative, bla bla bla. I did not argue last year but I defended myself this year. I accept that I am negative but I do not accept that it is considered as a weakness. Everything has pros and cons and it is very irritating when people are always saying positive things about something but forgetting the negatives. I bring up the negatives and that should not be considered a weakness. Boss thinks I improved this year but it is just because I decided to be more bo-chup and keep my mouth shut.

Sadly, unlike in video games, I don't think my stats up after leveling up is permanent. Haha...

I am tired.. I do not have the time.. But I still can blog.. while I am still procrastinating over writing an article for internal publication about my involvement in SEA Games. Bleah.. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Universal Studios Singapore (USS)

I live in Singapore since the first day USS opened but I have never entered it even once, not even after knowing how fun Disneyland is. The reasons are simple: I don't really enjoy the thrill rides (thanks to the queue) and I am not a fan of the shows featured (Shrek, Madagascar, Jurassic Park, etc). Today was my first time entering and experiencing USS thanks to the free ticket for Team NILA appreciation day.

Our entry time was from 5pm and the queue was already super long. We even shouted the count down before 5pm. Crazy. Haha.. As expected, I was not too excited once I entered. So don't call me a cheapskate for not wanting to pay to enter, I just don't think it is worth it. Haha.. Firstly, USS is still so near to Singapore main island and Sentosa that you can see them. I always wonder why theme parks are often located far from the city and now I think they have a very good reason: it allows visitors to experience being in a totally different/magical place. I did not feel that with USS. Secondly, space constraint is always a big problem and USS is really so squeezy. Despite the different 'themes', as they are located too near to one another. When you are in a location, you can see a different 'theme' at the background when taking photo. For example, you can see the Battlestar Galactica roller coasters from the Egyptian theme. In addition, the space constraint also makes the place very dense with humans. I brought camera but I did not use as I don't like to have strangers in my photos. When I went to Disneyland Paris, although it was crowded, because of the huge area, I still could get photos with no strangers at the background. Lastly, the buildings are too nice and new that they feel FAKE. They do not convey any feeling of realism that you are in a different magical land. It was a completely different feeling from Disneyland. Although I knew the castle and the buildings were human-made, they looked and felt believe-able and they invoked the feeling that I was really in a fantasy land. It is also certainly quite sad to see short queue to take pictures with the characters (Woody Woodpecker, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop, etc). In Disneyland, the queue was super long even for less popular characters like Eeyore. Bleah..

Due to the limited time and the long queue, I only had the chance to experience 3 rides: The Transformers, The Mummy, and Battlestar Galactica Cylon. I enjoyed The Transformers very much. We waited for about 30 minutes and the ride was about 5 minutes. Although it may be considered as 'level 1' for the adrenaline rush, I find the 3D to be very clear and vivid. I could somewhat tell what was going on (i.e the story/journey during the ride) and that made the movement effects more exciting. I guess I am a big boy now and knowing that these were fake, I did not shout, not even when things were flying towards me. Haha..

The Mummy can be considered the next higher level for the adrenaline rush with faster and more abrupt acceleration, deceleration, and changes in heights. It was pretty dark for most parts of the rides that all the changes in speed and heights were not that scary. The ride itself was also rather short (definitely shorter than the Transformers) and at the end, it felt rather anticlimatic, especially since we queued for almost 45 minutes.

We had dinner at the Goldilocks which I find still expensive even after the $10 food voucher. It was very crowded and was considered 1 of the more popular eateries. The fried chicken looked burnt and not nice to me so I don't what the hype was all for. At 8pm, there were some fireworks which were obviously not as impressive as SEA Games fireworks. Haha.. However, in photos, I got some pretty nice effects. Those circular light effects are not due to flash photography by the way.
Outdoor rides were suspended from 7pm onwards because of the fireworks. It resumed after and we wanted to go for Puss in the Boots which unfortunately had technical problems. There was no other choice except for that notorious Battlestar Galactica. I have never ridden any roller coaster in my whole life. This would be my first and this was as crazy as it would get. I was more scared of vomiting than the heights. We queued for close to 1 hour and although the ride was quite short, this was my only ride of the night that I WAS GLAD IT WAS NOT LONGER. Haha.. Yes, I am a scaredy cat and I was scared that I was going to die. Haha.. I always thought this kind of rides would not be so scary when I cannot see anything with my spectacles off. The dramatic acceleration and free-falling were scary enough even if I could not see anything. Climbing up was bearable but the falling down was really really scary. I would say that the falling down sensation was a near-death experience. On the 'good' side (or perhaps morbid side), perhaps if I were to die because of a building collapsing or a plane falling down, I sort of 'know' how it will feel like =X

Battlestar Galactica has 2 rides: human and cylon. Cylon is the inhumane one because the leg was dangling. Anyway it does not matter whether the leg is dangling or not because the ride is too crazy. I could not even feel when I was upright or I was upside down. Well, that is another item struck off from my bucket list. Haha.. I don't think my heart can take it if I have to do this when I am a few years older.

I took an early leave instead of staying with the group I went with until the closing. On the way out, there was a free photo booth for us. The queue was only about 5 people so I just thick skin and went for it although I were alone. I wore green shirt and the background was green too!! In the printed photo, my head is floating on a black background. Lol..

I guess this will be the last of SEA Games-related memories.
Thanks for the once-in-lifetime memories and experience

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Caregiver stress

This is post will be about what is happening for the past 2 weeks. My dad was complaining about his bloated stomach and was thinking of seeing a doctor in Singapore. Unfortunately, the doctor of choice (who did gall bladder removal for him almost 20 years ago and did my surgery last year) is out of town until mid-July. He thought he could wait but the pain was severe enough to make him go to hospital in Jakarta. Fast forward to the eventual diagnosis: colon cancer.

That begins all the stress that I am feeling. Actually I am not too stressed because of the diagnosis. Call me heartless but I see sick people everyday and I am bombarded with statistics like 1 out of X people will eventually get this disease or that cancer when they hit Y years old. It makes me feel that being healthy is a blessing while being sick is normal. My stress comes from how my family members are dealing with this. They think that being healthy is normal and being sick is unlucky and have all the negative thought. Get over it! Gosh.. The disease has struck, just accept it and pray to God for strength to sail through it. Perhaps it is easier for me to say that as I am a very negative person. Apparently that works as a 'strength' during times like this: to realise that this life is God's gift and He has the right to take it away. I can emo all day, all week, all months thinking why God is cruel bla bla bla but at the end of it, when I think of everything comes from God, there is nothing I can do except praying for strength and may His will be done.

The doctor in Jakarta mentioned that it would be an open surgery and my dad was worried about the wound and recovery. People asked me if he should come to Singapore for second opinion bla bla bla. I am not a doctor. I have no idea if this kind of surgery can be done only by open surgery. My thought was perhaps the doctor was not skilled enough to do laparoscopy and hence did not say about it. It makes a difference whether a laparoscopy can be done vs the doctor is not able to do laparoscopy. Thus if he still wants to know whether laparoscopy is an option: YES just fly here!

My dad flew to Singapore 2 Wednesdays ago for second opinion and was planning to fly home on the same day. Unfortunately, it seemed to be bad enough that surgery was warranted on the same evening or latest by the following morning. The doctor said that he could do a laparoscopy (although depending on the condition, laparoscopy can turn into open surgery). The cost here is definitely more expensive than Jakarta so I was not sure what my dad was thinking about. If cost is the main concern, then he should do in Jakarta. If laparoscopy is his concern, then do it here. It is as simple as that. After thinking for a few hours and bargaining, he finally made up his mind to do it here.

The surgery was done on the following morning and the wait was nerve-wrecking. The surgery was planned to be about 45 minutes and we waited until 1.5 hours with no news. At the end of the surgery, he was sent to ICU. The surgeon explained that it was lucky that surgery was done as the blockage was pretty bad with the intestines badly swollen due to the fluid accumulation and perforation was imminent. Surgery went longer than expected as it took about 45 minutes to squeeze out the fluid accumulation. Due to the swelling, laparoscopy was no longer possible and open surgery was a must to remove the swollen colon. Sigh..

I was lucky to have 2 friends working in the hospital and found out that my dad was in high dependency unit, and not the traditional ICU. At least the cost would not explode. The main reason for his HDU stay was his persistently lowish BP 80/60 even after dopamine. We don't know how long his body has been in this condition and after the surgery, there were so many of these complications: clinically dehydrated, electrolyte imbalances, low albumin, pneumonia. That was the longest 3 days of wait. As much as I hate my work, I have to admit that it gives me the knowledge and the calm to breeze through all of these. I did not freak out when I saw the deranged lab values and I knew what was happening.

We also did not know if epidural anesthesia might potentially cause some of these things. But for the record, try not to have epidural if inhalation and IV anesthesia can do it. Why risk an additional line i.e an extra potential source of infection? In addition, the line could only be removed at least 2-3 days after the surgery and after the removal, patient has to lie completely flat for 6 hours to prevent "spinal headache".

After being transferred to normal ward, my dad felt better and was in a 'rush' to go home.From the day the antibiotic was escalated to tazocin, I was telling my parents that at least 5-7 days would be required. I was back to work so I was not sure with the conversation with the doctor. In the end, my dad was discharged after only about 4 days of tazocin. The antibiotic was oralised to levofloxacin and metronidazole. The ID doctor was reluctant to let him go. In fact, during his final check before letting my dad to go, he tapped his back and let me hear that the sound from the right lung was still dull indicating that the infection was still present. He had to come back for follow up 2 days later.

Meanwhile, my mother and sister made things more difficult with their indecisiveness in their plane tickets and their choice of hotel when my dad could be discharged. Haiz.. I don't know how many rounds of messaging and phone calls for them to stop changing their mind and make a decision. I was already very stressed managing my credit cards for the payment and they were just giving additional unnecessary stress. Eventually, we chose Swissotel. I think God was kind to us as we got a discounted rate of $224 per night with breakfast and taxes inclusive. That is about 30% off from normal rate. The receptionist was kind enough to upgrade our room to the one facing MBS whee... I guess she was quite paiseh because she asked me if I were staying for staycation. Nope, it was for my dad's recovery after surgery. Ooops.. Haha.. The room is huge with 2 double beds and up to 3 people are allowed to stay for no additional charges, except if extra bed is needed. Can consider for next time haha...

I also don't know what my mother is thinking. She tries to keep everything as a secret and this makes my relatives back in Indonesia very worried. Her messages were cryptic, even to my younger sister. I got bombarded with messages and phone calls from various relatives over my dad's condition. Jeez, if want to keep everything hush hush, then right from the start might as well do not tell anyone! I mean if you tell someone, obviously they will be curious about what happen next. It is worrying and strange when your reply is something along the line "everything is okay" but you are not going back to Indonesia anytime soon.

This morning my sister called me at about 5am as my dad's surgery site was oozing blood and the dressing was soaked. She asked me if they should go to A&E immediately or wait until the doctor's clinic open at about 9am. I could not give a good opinion if she could not describe the bloody thing properly. One moment she said blood, the next moment she said watery discharge with blood color. "Blood" and "watery discharge with blood color" means completely different thing to me! I asked her to take a picture of the dressing and the picture she showed me was a blood DROP on the bed. WTF -__-" After the call, the final decision was not clear but at 530am she called me if I was coming to A&E as well. After rushing to A&E, my dad asked me why I came to A&E. Win liao lo... Anyway A&E only changed the dressing and asked us to see the doctor when his clinic opened later. Lucky the A&E only charged less than $50. I was expecting a good few hundreds.

I decided to take leave to see the doctor this morning. I have to admit that I was very stressed, tired, and angry throughout the day. My mum and sister were of very little help. They never asked important questions, just made their assumptions, thought of negative things, and made life difficult for everyone. For example, they thought my dad could still only eat porridge. I asked the surgeon and he said he could already have his normal diet, except for green vegetables. Sigh.. it was so difficult to find porridge for this dinner the night before and that was completely unnecessary if they ASKED instead of ASSUMED. So I might as well ask anything I want to know so that I can control my stress when they call me and describe something poorly or extrapolate everything with their negative thinking, like the blood episode earlier. It seemed that the wound was infected and the source of the discharge was under the skin. Some of the discharge leaked through the stapler and hence the watery blood thingy.

I actually did not know my dad's surgery turned out to be an open surgery until this morning when I looked at the wound as the doctor opened the stapler (eeeek!!! can see the abdominal cavity!!). They were with my dad in the hospital for the past 3 days before discharge. If they all knew it was an open surgery with such a big cut, I don't know how it did not occur to them to ask what to do for any bleeding. I thought it would be normal to think of bleeding when you have such a big cut.

I thought I would have a peaceful evening. No.. my sister just called me again because the water+blood discharge happened again after dinner. Freaking out on the phone would not help, you know? And what's the point of calling me for advice if you were not going to listen to any. There were a few choices: call the doctor and ask if they could change the dressing on their own, or get an additional dressing to 'patch' over the source of leakage while shops were still open to get the dressing, or simply freak out. Hhmpph...

Oh God.. I pray for a better day tomorrow. My dad is pretty cool throughout the past week. It has always been my mum and sister who make me stressed unnecessarily. Isn't it sad when my caregiver stress is not due to the patient but due to other caregivers?? Bleah.. I also had my fair chance of losing my cool and FON-ing to a nurse. During my dad's second night in HDU, I asked if I could take a look at the clinical notes. I was irritated when she said I could not due to patient confidentiality. Hello.. I was the patient's son and I was asking on behalf of the patient. If the reason is due to hospital policy, then say so from the start la. If it is due to hospital policy, I know cannot means cannot. Do not give me lame excuse like patient confidentiality and could not reply when I said I was asking because the patient would like to know. Anyway, it was only that one particular nurse lo. The other nurses were very kind and nice. When I asked, they would share with me the exact lab values, exact medicines, doses, etc. Haha.. Perhaps the nurse I FON-ed previously already put a message: son is FON or something. Not something that I am proud of but it makes me realise how bad and crazy the FONs I meet daily. Even with that kind of stress I was in, I could not be as FON as those FONs I see daily.