Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Induction week

'Whats that test you do for ppl you suspect have an MI? Some cardiac enzyme....not amylase...?'

'Yup, like that Ventouse family.' 'You mean Von Trapp family?'

'What would you like to do for this patient?'................'I'd like to investigate him.'

'Hi, I'm Jonathan. Oh, you're doing medicine too? Brilliant! Er, are you up for swopping on calls?'

And meeting a whole group of people whom I've never met before, there must be at least 60 of us Foundation Year 1 doctors starting in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital this August, a period of time known as the F1 phenomenon, where patient admissions drop, and mortality rates go up. Fun fun fun.

AT least I'm not on call first week.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Just wondering

With the start of work, comes responsibility, trepidation, and the slight regret of not being able to sleep til 10am every morning.

WII is fun to play, but for some reason I'm not very good at it. Don't think I'd like one for myself though - still prefer PC.

The Dark Knight was as good as the reviews painted it. Heath Ledger was unpredictably scary as the Joker, and while the last 45 mins went by too fast to really make sense to me, it was thrilling enough not to matter.

Prince Caspian was not as good for me, simply because of how much it deviated from the book. Having said that, it did keep me entertained for the duration, and was definitely more action-packed and climactic than the first one.

Whenever I hear a line in a movie that echoes the book word-for-word, shivers run up my spine. I think that's because those are the books I wanted the most to be brought to life. And that what I'm seeing onscreen will from that point on BE what I imagine the book to look like.

I need to pass my driver's license soon. GBP100 is way too much to throw away.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Madrid 08

The inside of the bull-ring
The botanical gardens

A long overdue post about our trip to Madrid in...sometime near Easter!

Ai Lee (also a doctor now) joined us from Msia, together with Jack and HP, the 4 of us set out to see the sights of Madrid with Lonely Planet as our guide. Besides Madrid, we explored the towns of Segovia (known for its castle, upon which the iconic Disneyland Sleepy Beauty castle was modeled) and Toledo (a old walled city apparently home to previous kings of Spain).

Above one of the castles in Segovia.
Countryside view from the castleAqueduct in Segovia built without cement

Madrid itself was ok. Like any other large city, it had a certain fammiliar feel. Its divided into various districts, and has many squares dotted around the city. If you've watched the film Vantage Point, you;d have seen one such square.
Plaza Mayor

The food was interesting in that we had tapas for nearly every meal (when we weren't having paella). They are small-ish dishes that accompany drinks, and range from baby eels to ham to blue cheese to roast pork. It didn't help that many of the places we went to seemed to have inhabitants that spoke mainly spanish, leaving us to guess at which dishes to order. Having sangria constantly kept us in a good mood however.

Museo de Jamon - Museum of Ham
Baby eels
Sangria with lots of fruits in
Bits of ham - they keep these for years at a time before serving
Cocido - a peasant sort of stew

The flamenco dancing and the bull-ring were interesting, but what kept us going back for a few nights was the churros con chocolate. Looking and tasting a lot like yau char kueh, you dipped it in chocolate that came piping hot in bowls and ate it before the crispyness disappeared. Nice stuff. Together with coffee ice -cream (thats ice cream with hot coffee poured over) which is served in every establishment including McD's, that kept us going throughout the day.

Where we had...
These bad boys ! Churros
Flamenco at Cardamomo
Las Ventas - the largest bull-ring in Spain

The rest of the time was spent wandering around gardens and parks, and avoiding unsavoury characters by pretending to be couples out on a holiday.

Our trip ended with us getting detained at Liverpool airport for fear we were terrorists, but other than that, the journey was uneventful. Barcelona seems to be a must-visit still.