Friday, March 30, 2007

Kawaii Mini Cakes.

Caroline Eating A Mini Cake

Went to the food and wine festival in the city last weekend. Met up with Noriko, Kevin, Ashley and Caroline. The weather couldnt be better. The first thing we tried were the minicakes. These were super sweet mini pastries costing AUD2.50 each but were worth every cent. The cream was super rich and the pastries were so sweet I felt thirsty after eating only one.

There was also a chocolate festival but it was very crowded and the chocolates were exorbitantly priced so we didnt really buy any. Bought a bucket of icecream and that made me full anyway. I've been having too much super rich foods recently. Had McD for brunch followed by sugary highs throughout the day. Hmm... Back to a healthy diet during weekdays i guess.

Caroline, Kevin, Ashley: Hi res photos can be downloaded by clicking HERE, and HERE.

Monday, March 26, 2007

STOP! Wait a second...

Road Sign Near Caufield. Unique perspective from top deck of a double decker bus

I eat whenever and whatever I want to eat. But I'm only 52kg and 174cm with 0.1% body fat. Yup. Im clinically underweight. I was wondering how this could be. I play badminton twice a week, squash once a week, and swim once or twice a week. I also play pingpong whenever it's convenient. Despite all the exercise, i didnt seem to be putting on weight! So I bought a weighing scale and measured my calorie intake. To my surprise, even if I ate whenever and whatever I wanted, my daily intake was between 1600 and 1800 calories a day. W00t. I was malnourished!

Ok, since coming to australia I have been a bit of a health nut - the type of person who puts effort into taking a daily dose of riboflavins (in beetroot, fresh blueberries, cranberries etc). I try to limit my consumption of unhealthy foods. I'm now trying to gain weight. Would like to push myself to 60kg over the next year. Yup. 8kg in one year. The natural way.
NO supplements. NO shortcuts. My diet here has been super healthy. I start my days now with a ~600cal breakfast of oats/bread/cereal, milk, orange juice and a serving of driedfruit/raisins/bananas.

My daily target is 2500-3000cal of
healthy food a day with roughly 100g of protein. Anyway, Im starting to get used to eating a proper breakfast. I used to feel sick eating so much for breakfast. Yup, I could have gotten 600cal from a bag of chips easily - but believe me, a 400cal serving of oats is difficult to swallow, even with dried fruits and sultanas. If I ate unhealthy foods (read: icecream/fries/chips/shortbread), 2500 calories would have been easy. But no, im not going to indulge on chips and cake and shortbread. I typically eat extra trim lamb/beef/fish steak for dinner nowadays. I get most of my roughage from fruits and salads. Carbohydrates come from bread, potatoes and biscuits. Its a very balanced diet - and I hope in the months to come I will be healthier than ever before.

A few people commented that I should go to the gym. Well,
if I wanted to bulk up (like bodybuilders do), i'd have to eat closer to 4000cal a day with 200g of protein. That borders on unhealthy so im not going to do it. Dont know why, but I dont find it a challenge. I've tried doing weight training but never could do so consistently (unless i was unusually bored... which has NEVER happened since I got here. Heck. I've never even spent a weekend to relax!) as I dont find myself motivated to go. I guess i just prefer to play games where i can beat someone. I like the challenge. I finally beat Krish (A good player in my hall) and im looking forward to the badminton tournament this coming sunday. I swim trying to push my current freestyle endurance (medium speed) past 50 laps so I could take part in the Melbourne open ocean swimming marathons (always wanted to as it's a sport that suits my build).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Art Of Medicine.

Fire dance near Luna Park, St Kilda.

Third week of the medical course. That's when we had our first real science based lectures. Surprised? Well, from what we have been taught so far, medicine seems to be as much an art as it is a science. We learnt basic civil law regarding medical practice and alot on the patient experience of having an illness. This is to give us a more rounded perspective on the healthcare profession. We were also briefed on the roles of the Allied Healthcare Professionals (paramedics, nurses etc). Much of the course is centered around the patient and is very hands on. I cant wait for my first patient interview at Alfred hospital early next month. The science stuff is pretty heavy, but there are enough tutorials and roleplays about common problems faced by people who come to their practitioners for advice to keep things interesting. There are many ethical problems faced by medical practitioners with regards to patient autonomy and the possibility of giving biased advice on sensitive issues such as abortion. Theory Of Knowledge (epistemology. basic philosopy. It is a compulsory subject to recieve an International Baccalaureate diploma) wasnt a waste of time after all.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Day Out In Melbourne

-diary entry from friday- Long long long day today. Classes started at 8 and ended at 12pm but I had to leave the last class, a PCL exercise 30 mins early as I had to catch a shuttle at Mannix to the airport. Got there, then walked 20 minutes in the hot sun to the DHL office. Then I had to walk 5 mins to the customs office. Then back to the DHL office again. Then i had to walk back to the airport. Caught a shuttle to the city. Got a wool filled quilt, cover and photo paper and powerade. Spent AUD215. Got back tired. Walked alot around city too. Finding my way around was an adventure. Got back at around 5.30pm. Had subway sandwich and played badminton from 8 to 10.30pm. So dead tired now. Tomorrow, I will be going to the beach! Wow... i wonder if i'll be able to find time to myself.

Expenditure: $2.70 Skewered Chicken $5.95 McD Dbl Cheeseburger Meal $35.00 Bus Fares To Melb Airport and to City $3.10 Metlink $119.65 BigW Comforter69.84 100sPhotopaper29.66 QuiltCover15.23 3Powerade4.92 $49.50 DHL $7.50 Roast Beef Foot Long Sandwich

If i had taken the lazy way of getting to the airport, the taxi fare alone would have cost me AUD160 so I would have spent at least AUD210 to get my parcel delivered. I spent only about AUD225 today. Got lunch and dinner and still have half a sandwich in the fridge. Got a nice quilt and photopaper too! Ok, so I had to walk abit, but it was worth it.

Had some bad experiences at customs too. The lady at the counter was outright rude. My parcel had been detained for some reason (it contained only books and some winter clothing). She said out aloud. Well, its probably because you were cheap. Inside, I was like "WTF!!!". My parents had paid more to send me the parcel by courier (DHL) instead of regular mail. I also had to pay an extra AUD49 for DHL to clear the package. I could have skipped coming to the airport customs if I paid AUD165 to DHL but I felt that was daylight robbery (and I dont have a credit card so I couldnt pay them anyway online). Then I had to get clearance from quarantine after speaking to that outright rude officer. The Quarantine Department lady was very nice. She told me that parcels sent by courier had to go through that process. However, regular mail gets x-rayed by default and there is no such problem. I was passed back to customs after Quarantine Department clearance. The next customs officer was so snobbish I would have thought he was from British high society or something. Luckily, I knew he was not. He was Indian! I asked him why my friend's parcels were not detained. He kept on rambling about the fact that they had filled in some forms etc. When I mentioned about the post. He just exclaimed "That's what I was trying to explain just now..." and went on and on about how I didnt understand him. He doesnt seem to know regular mail does not have to go through this troublesome procedure. I've heard alot about racial discrimination in Australia and I dont mean to sound racist impolite, but I got the impression that this Indian guy felt that he was, colloquially speaking, "whiter than white". Thank goodness the citizens of Melbourne were not nearly as impolite. Had to ask for directions many times as I did get lost in the maze of shopping corridors and city streets. When I asked a nice lady where Myer's was, she went to the trouble of asking another person as she didnt know. I guess the people of Melbourne are generally good. Those that arent probably have marriage problems or were abused as children have sad, mundane lives.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Dive To Blue... :-(

"Habataku no sa sugu ni" dareka sasayaita "Hizashita no kyoukaisen tonde shimaou yo"
Senaka awase no jiyuu "Sabita kusari ni saisho kara tsunagarete nante nakattan da yo"
"You'll fly soon," someone whispered; "I'll jump over the borderline underneath my knees"
Back-to-back freedom; "I was never held by these rusty chains"

Doko mademo hate naku yozora wo matoi; Atarashii sekai wo sagasou
Aitakute aenakute; Yure madou keredo
Mezameta tsubasa wa kesenai
Clad completely in endless the endless night sky; I'll search for a new world
I miss you, I miss you; I'm confused, but
I can't erase these wings that have awakened

Nani ga tadashii nante kotae wa nai sa; Edawakare shita michi
Kami nomi zo shiru tomerarenai supiido
Kasoku suru hodo kodou wa takaku; Takanari oboete iku yo
There's no answer to "what is right?"
The forked road; Only God knows;
I can't stop at this speed

The faster I get, the more my heart pounds
Beginning to throb violently

Sadamerareta unmei wo kirisaite; Sora e to nuke dasou
Tearing up predestined fate; I'll race to the sky

Lyrics from "dive to blue" by L'arc~en~Ciel (laruku).
Translated by Megchan.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Medical Transition Camp 2007

We arrived at Phillip Island on Friday afternoon. The camp was a very leisurely one. Had an hour for breakfast and an hour for sports/yoga in the morning. Activities during the day lasted until only 9pm. The night was spent playing table soccer, cards, "murder/mafia", night basketball or pingpong. Many simply chatted the night away. We had the standard team building activities most camps had and a few tutorial like sessions with 3rd and 4th year medical students. It was an excellent way to get to know our course. The weather couldnt be better. It was bright and sunny with a cool breeze all day long. We also got to try a giant swing that was a couple of stories high!

Look no further...

A GIANT swing!

We had to manually pull each person up.

It was worth it. Some people morphed into Ultraman!

...but Spiderman pwned Ultraman.

Mamie catches a ball...

4R printable pictures, in the same order as above, can be downloaded by clicking here, here, here, here, here and here.