Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fantastic 2015

It is the last day of 2015 and looking back, 2015 has been a fantastic year for me. I feel that I did a lot of adventure and achieved quite a few things.

At work:
~Involvement in SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games
~Completion of Clinical Pharmacist Preparatory Program

~First time I went to Batam. Batam is like a favourite weekend getaway place for people in Singapore so I am the odd one out to never visit Batam despite living in Singapore for more than a decade.
~I finally fulfilled my dream to visit Japan!! Hurray!! I hope I will be able to visit again for many more times in years to come
~I got to stay at Swissotel and Marina Bay Sands. Yeah!!!
~I went up to Gardens by the Bay Flower dome and Super Tree for the first time. I also swam and took pictures at MBS Infinity Pool. Hoho...
~I visited Universal Studios Singapore for the first time as well. 

Personal development:
~I finally joined a class to learn Japanese. It is going to be tough but I wish that I will be able to travel alone to Japan some day. It will be a bonus if I can read manga, watch anime, and watch Japanese shows without translations.
~Spiritually, I think I am slightly better this year than in 2014. At least, I went for Sunday masses more regularly.

Of course there are still things which I am still lacking in:
~Physical exercise. I literally did not physical exercise for 2015. My excuse is that I am scared after my surgery at the end of 2014. Actually the doctor already gave the go ahead to resume my jogging after 1 month of resting. I take it as 1 year so I hope I can start again in 2016.
~I managed to drop to 58kg prior to my trip to Japan. After that my diet and weight went back to square one.. until now.. Time to restart my diet again in 2016.
~I am still an angry, impatient, and arrogant boy. I hope to be a more patient and humble person.
~The most difficult thing is to actually control and cut down my shopping on anime/manga related stuff. Haiz.. I have been trying every year since I started working and I always fail.
~I am still single... aaah...

I am thankful for everything that happened to me in 2015. God has been very loving and generous to me this year. Thank God!! I hope that 2016 will be even more fantastic than 2015 and I hope that I will be a better person in 2016 as well.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Random thoughts on some mangas

Godhand Teru
After many years, finally Godhand Teru ends with the 62nd volume. I am talking about the Indonesian version of course. It is one of my favourite title as most of the stories are very touching and make me cry buckets. The beginning is really promising. In fact, it can be inspiring for young people who read this to become doctors although what the manga depicts may not be a true reflection of work life in a hospital. Lol. As the story progresses, there are more shounen action spices being injected like rivalry with another doctor and another hospital group. Unfortunately, I feel that the ending is very anticlimatic. It seems that after a long journey, the mangaka forgets about Teru's intention at the start of the series and the end does not tie back to that. Bleah.. we do not even get a nice wedding scenes after all that lovey dovey relationships. Heck, I think the mangaka was forced to just quickly end the series and hence we get such an ending. I know there is a continuation called Godhand Teru Kamigami no Souheki and although I am disappointed with how Godhand Teru ends, I will still read the continuation if it is translated by Elex Media Komputindo.
Fairy Tail
I had high hopes for Fairy Tail as I enjoyed Hiro Mashima's previous work: Rave Master. Fairy Tail slowly losing its uniqueness with artwork which getting more similar to One Piece -whose artwork I dislike- and trying too hard with all the fanservice. The fanservice is too much and the jokes are no longer funny. There is a limit on how Gray's shirtlessness, accidental booby grabs, losing clothes in the middle of battle, etc can be funny and I think they are no longer funny. I am surprised how Fairy Tail can retain its popularity as I already lose track with the main plot with all the side plots. This is going to be a long ride as I am still at volume 36 and the Japanese version is still ongoing at volume 52. I want to quit but the other part of me feel that I am way into this already. It is sad to see how Fairy Tail has moved way too far from its predecessor. Other than the artwork, there is no way to tell that this is actually done by the same manga who does Rave Master as Fairy Tail has almost none of the good points of Rave Master, especially the great touching stories.
Now if you want to have a fantastic example of great comedy manga: read Beelzebub. I wanted to stop this at the beginning as the story is almost non-existent at the beginning. However, this is the first manga that made me laugh out loud while reading it. The jokes tend to fall on the lame side but coupled with the stupid expressions that the characters make, everything becomes an explosive comedy. It is an interesting concept as usually humour is inserted to move the story along but Beelzebub is doing the other way. Well I am not complaining because even the filler story arcs -purely there just for the sake of the comedy- are hilarious. Fairy Tail should learn from this on how to make things funny with minimal fanservice. Yep, even the naked baby does not become the butt of all the jokes to keep things funny.
Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun
My sister informed me about this new title a few months ago and my only reason for buying this was good reviews that I found on the net. I did not even actually find out how the artwork looks like or what the story is all about. My first impression after reading the first few pages was not very positive as the artwork is too shoujo for me. But beyond that, everything is becoming enjoyable. Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun has an interesting approach with 4-panel per page per 'story' which reminds me of those comic strips in the newspaper. There is still a continuation from 1 page (or 'story') to the the next. The humour style is very similar to Beelzebub: funny and lame lines coupled with ridiculous expressions from the characters that makes me laugh out loud although not as loud as Beelzebub. Hmm... if this is considered LOL, Beelzebub's level can be considered giving me 6-pack from the laughing.
Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai
This is rather moutful as a title. The literal translation is 'Yugami does not have any friends' so thumbs up for M&C translation to 'Friendless Yugami'. I bought this just because of an end of year sale of buying 3 and get 1 free M&C manga. Last week I only needed to buy New Prince of Tennis 13 and just nice that so far there Yugami-kun is up to volume 3 so I picked those 4. As an antisocial, especially during my school days, I am naturally attracted to a story about an antisocial boy. Lol. The story turns out to be different from what I expected in a good way. Yugami-kun is supposed to be brutally honest, blunt, and self-centered but surprisingly his words and actions turn out to be very funny. The humour is similar to Beelzebub and Nozaki-kun above so it is not a surprise that I also enjoy reading this.

Yep, so that's how I end my 2015. Lol...

Friday, December 25, 2015

Missing Christmas spirit

Let me begin by wishing everyone
Based on Gundam, not on Star Wars.
I am safe and sound at ho ho home but Christmas feels somewhat underwhelming for me this year. With all the hustle bustle of daily activities, I am really missing Christmas spirit. APG preparations and operations since mid-November really took up a lot of my energy and attention. I did not even have enough time to listen to Christmas music. Not to mention that I have no new Christmas music since the last 3 years that listening to what I have start to become boring. 

It is almost a week since I am back at home but I have been out most of the days. In fact, today is the first day that I am able to enjoy myself at home. I arrived on Saturday and I went to Bandung for a day trip on Sunday to attend a session by Mr Anton Porat. The journey took about 3 hours via the highway. It is kinda sad to realise how old my family and I have become that we need to stop at the rest area to look for toilet. It is amazing that in the past, before the Jakarta-Bandung highway existed, the journey took many more hours through the mountains and yet we were able to hold our bladder.

On Monday, I flew to Pontianak to visit my grandma. I went there in 2013 so it is considered very early for me to go there. My grandma fell down earlier this year and I was worried that she would not have long to live. Thus my main reason to visit her was to see her while she is still alive. I don't know if this is going to be my last time doing that. I am actually very happy to see her eating more as compared to when I saw her last in 2013. 2 years ago, she would only eat 2 spoons of rice but now she could even eat tidbits after her proper meal. I also heard that she started to get senile but it was not as bad as expected. She still remembered me and spoke to me in Indonesian (the last time I called her she only spoke Teo Chew). Although what she said sometimes did not make sense in reality, the things she said were actually still coherent and not disjointed.

I went back to Jakarta on Wednesday morning and I was brought to my mum's office first before going home. It was shocking to see the condition of my mum's workplace. It was worse than her old job -before her retirement- as everything feels so run down and ancient. Not to mention that the traffic was also demonic. It took me close to 2 hours to reach there from the airport although they are not that far and the journey back home took us 4 freaking hours!! Bleah... Thank goodness the company has a new manufacturing plant elsewhere so most of the time my mum will be at the new plant. 

It was really an eye opener for me. I really think I have no right to complain with what I currently have at my work and I have no right not to take care of my mum. It is really amazing just to imagine how she survives doing this daily for the past 3-4 years. And it is amazingly ungrateful for me just to spend less than 1 hour for travelling to my office and to complain about my job etc.

I was planning to rest at home yesterday but my sister tempted me to eat at Outback Steakhouse because of her 1-for-1 credit card promotion. I have never tried Outback even in Singapore. Thus I relented when she assured me that the traffic was not busy and it would only take at most 45 minutes to reach there. At the end of the day, we spent 8 hours outside. Bleah.. Although I feel tired, I think the food was worth the trip and the time. Lol.. I ordered the Toowomba Sirloin Steak and I did not make a wrong choice. The Toowomba thingy was refreshing and went great with the steak. As there were 3 of us, we ordered the steak & ribs combo as the additional free one for sharing. If not because of the Toowomba thingy, I don't think I can finish both the steak. I did not order french fries as I was scared of being too full with each meal comes with 2 side dishes. The portion for the side dish was pretty small. I ordered mashed potato -which I usually hate and avoid- but I have to say that it was pretty good. The vegetable was fantastic too: they looked bright and fresh and yet very soft to chew. It was a great meal as I don't mind going there again. Haha..

So yep, that's all I did for the past week. It is too late to watch Disney Christmas cartoons that usually helps to get me into the Christmas mood. I was even too tired to pray. Sigh.. 2015 Christmas is a bad one for me indeed.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


People will call me dumb.. career suicide.. big mouth.. etc. I have to agree with the big mouth part though. Lol. Sometimes being too honest can be a bad thing but that is really me. I don't like to lie and sabo others just for my own benefits.Whatever others may say, I feel kinda liberated after saying what I am honestly feeling.

Today I told my branch manager that I have the thoughts of leaving although I do not have any solid plans yet. I have heard it previously but today was the first time that I 'officially' heard from her the plans that big bosses have for me: to train me up as future managers in anticipation of opening of new branches in few years time. That is nice of them and in return, I have to be nice also to tell them what I am thinking of so that they do not waste time and effort on me and in the end I really decide to leave.

There are a lot of things on my mind right now. If I am thinking about career progression etc, it is so easy to make a decision to stay on and just follow with everything. But on a more personal level, I know front line is not my passion and if I am committing myself to this, I am essentially committing myself to something I do not really like for the next few years. My passion is teaching and I enjoy doing things when the fruits of labour can be really felt. I do not get any sense of achievement when I do things just for the sake of meeting KPIs.

Still related to my pride, I bear some grudges. What's the point of doing so much and get little recognition while someone else gets promoted earlier although people do not know what the person has done. It is a big difference between "You have done well and I want you to be a manager" versus "I think you have a potential to be manager and I want to train you to be this or that". I don't mind with the first one but currently I am under the second circumstance. I am too proud and I refuse to be a pawn. I want to be myself. I do not want to be forced to change just so that I can be a manager that others want. I have been the 2nd most senior since 2 years ago and that was not even looked at all. I do not want to be "used" now only just because they have places to fill in few years time.

Haiz.. it seems that I still have yet to overcome the problem with my pride. But no matter what, I am not going to sell myself and my 'siao' personality just for career or money. After all if money is really all that I want, I might as well go sell my backside. That will be easier to earn money. Lol.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ticket to hell

"The proud, heaven rejects. The humble, hell rejects".

That is the phrase that Father wanted me to repeat during my confession. I am proud (see lah!) to say that my pride is the root of all my sins: from blaming others and God when things are not going my way to having a huge inflated head and completely forget about God when things are going great. I am impatient, temperamental, and can be quite rude to colleagues and family too. Sigh.. 

Knowing and realising that it is a problem is a step towards the light but I am always having the problem to change. Sigh.. I think it was very obvious that I am a very proud person and Father spent the whole time to advice me to be humble and not so much about me skipping masses occasionally and not having sufficient time for prayers.

Some of the words he said perfectly described my state of mind: feeling angry for not being promoted because I thought I had done a lot, getting scolded for trying to do the right thing, and it is very difficult for a clever person to be humble. With the level of pride I have, it is obvious that I am nowhere near to heaven. After all, the cause of Lucifer's downfall is pride.

You realise how sinful you are when you are fearful to go to confession. It is not easy to confront yourself and admit your failures in front of a stranger, even if that stranger is a minister of God on this earth. Although I was so excited yesterday when I heard about penitential service today, I got very discouraged when I realised skipping mass is even considered a mortal sin. Gosh... I am so glad and thankful that in the end I went and I had a good and meaningful confession today. 10x Our Father and 1x I Believe are too light for penance as compared to the gravity of my pride. Every morning I pray for patience and to be able to be God's blessings to the people I meet but every day without fail, I will explode just after 1 rude encounter. Not to mention how I fail daily in setting aside quiet time for prayer..

Friday, December 11, 2015

Post-ASEAN Para Games

1 week before and during: oh God this is super stressful and frustrating!!
After: So sian to return to branch
Oh well..

Good thing must end and finally APG was over. Although operation hours were extended till 8pm, I kept a clean sheet for the last day, just like the first day. Lol. I am so glad that there was 1 student who volunteered himself to help me for the last day. Otherwise, I have no idea how I am going to finish packing. It still amazes me that I ended up with more boxes this time around. During SEAG, I packed a total of 30 boxes and I had 4 people helping me. This time I had 39 boxes and only 1 person helping me. After a long tiring day, the last dinner was at DC comics cafe again!! Haha.. this time it was recommended by colleagues who were also doing the last day and packing. The first time I ate here was after I was done with the setting up. It is apt to eat here again after I was done with the packing up. No food picture this time as the Chicken Schnitzel that I ordered -not sure if it is based on Hawkman or Hawkgirl- looked pretty normal. Although the look was disappointing, it was still pretty delicious. I am used to super thin and super dry chicken meat in schnitzel but this one was of reasonable thickness and was not dry.
A drink named after Frozen Fortress
I am pretty glad that everything went smoothly without major hoo-hah this time. I was slightly irritated for a few times because some people did not read SOP to prepare for their shifts and did not use their brain while working. But overall, things were alright. It was a bad decision to take a photo on the last day because my hair grew and made me ugly. Not to mention that no matter how I tried to smile, my face looked very tired after all the packing.
It was even messier than bumping in >.<
End result
I realised that I have not posted any picture of the pharmacy at all!! Oh well.. Let's have a virtual tour through the photos then.
A very simple pharmacy set up: cabinets for drug storage and a table as dispensing counter
 Drug cabinets. Half of the 4th cabinet is to put staff personal belongings so I did not take a picture of it.

And now I will be back to my daily chores plus 3 weeks worth of delayed work.. Bleah.. I am already in a holiday mood for Christmas and New Year at home.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Graveyard shift

It is 5am now and I still have 3 more hours before the end of my overnight shift. Fiuh.. Initially I was a bit sian that my colleague wanted to do the overnight shifts and this was the only overnight shift I had. Now I am feeling very grateful. Yes, it is good to have a peaceful shift but it is difficult to resist natural temptation to sleep during sleeping hours T_T I tried to sleep on the chair but I failed. That is the reason why I am typing this at this hour.

My preparation for this overnight shift is clearly useless. I tried to sleep from 11am yesterday but I woke up at about 2pm because of hunger. I slept again at 3pm to wake up at 4pm. I was intending on going to sunset mass but it was raining heavily. I waited until 5pm+ and it was still raining so I decided to sleep again until 6pm+. After dinner, I bought 3 cans of coffee to standby but I am not feeling sleepy at all. I shall leave those 3 cans for subsequent people who may need it. My dinner was heavier than usual but I was already feeling hungry since 2am. At least the bread I bought is useful.

I am so bored and tired that I do not even have the mood to play games although I bring along my tablet. I want to revise my Japanese lesson but my brain is too tired. I have a student with me and he is a good companion for the first few hours. He cannot take it anymore and is sleeping right now. I want to sleep too but I cannot. Huhuhu...

Yesterday I thought that I can go to church this morning, sleep awhile, wake up for lunch and for Japanese lesson later. Now I am seriously thinking of skipping church and Japanese lesson altogether. Haha..

Bleah.. this is totally random post..