Thursday, July 30, 2009

Of copper suns and scarlet seas

Born in SL, I grew up in Africa...

Some of my earliest memories are of the swaying grasses of the savannah as we drove from Zambia to Zimbabwe to Kenya. Long legged giraffes grazing peacefully by the roadside, zebra, elephants and antelope. The blazing hot sun as I ran around the garden.... and the dense exotic smell of the flowers cultivated in dazzling, unruly profusion by my grandfather.

I remember being cuddled by Rose, our housemaid, as she fed me kshima (the local porridge, made of maize). Guests were offered a sumptuous meal whatever time they turned up and I remember my grandma presiding over the kitchen, directing a dozen cooking activities at once... I remember Ms. Launa (Laura?) in Nursery school teaching me to curtsy. I remember running screaming around the playground, colour, race, nationality not yet an "issue".

I remember the gentle spray from the Victoria falls, and my mother saying sweetie, this is the biggest body of falling water in the world. I remember wondering what it would be like go over the edge... the water looks smoother from a distance, I had no concept of the mindless raging swells that would have dashed me to pieces.

I like to think that I still retain an essence of that lush, golden, wonderful continent... that it somehow colours my words, my actions, my thoughts. One friend (who had no knowledge of this piece of my history) said I had an "African aura" around me, words that caused me to smile out loud. Memories still surround me...

Copper carvings of elephants adorn the walls...

Ivory bangles and earrings lie nestled in velvet, too politically incorrect to be worn...

A rhinoceros horn necklace gently decomposes in a sili sili bag, too manky to be stored in velvet, too connected to precious memories (raiding grandma's jewelery box, dancing around with said necklace draped in hair) to throw away...

Malachite ornaments... Copper flower vases... Strange carvings of faces, frozen expressions staring at me staring back.

It's been almost a quarter of a century, memories are faded at best... yet in a strange way, I miss it...

And I yearn to go back...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Male Chauvinist Oinkers

What is it about some Sri Lankan males that make them just not able to speak with due respect to educated women? My rant is specifically aimed at all those idiots, who over the last year, kept referring to me as "Miss".

Now that is a perfectly respectful form of address, unless you're a lady doctor, treating them/loved ones. In which case, the term becomes an insult, more so when the male doctor next to you (who is actually junior) is addressed with a bent head as "Sir".

For those of you who think I'm making an a big deal out of a petty issue, it's a big deal to me. My education means a lot to me, I sacrificed time and energy and youth in order to become the best doctor I could. At least have the decency to respect my education. And for those of you who think attire has something to do with it, trust me, I've been dissed while in saree, dress and skirt-and-blouse.

One guy was idiotic enough to snap his fingers at me (accompanied by an imperious, "miss") and beckon me over.... why? because he wanted me to get the urinal from under his bed. I was not amused.

One guy actually had the gall to ask "what do I call you then?".

He comes to a hospital.
He approaches me expecting the services of a doctor
I offer the services of a doctor, minister to his ailments etc.
He has no problems in referring to my male colleagues as "doctor" And he calls me "miss"

The worst offenders* (and I hate to be racially discriminating) are muslim males (young and old) followed very closely by young sinhala males. Tamil guys have in general been quite charming, forces personnel are extremely respectful - and meticulous about following medical advice - and old seeyas generally very sweet. I have never had this problem in the female ward, unless it is from a male relative of the patient.

*Note that the above is merely what I specifically have experienced over the last year.

Okay, okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. I know it's not a life-or-death issue since frankly, I've dealt with enough of those to know one. It just pisses me off, and at least here on my blog, I can rant the frustration out!

Have a good week, all!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Last week...

Well, livin' life to the fullest possible, and totally lovin' it!

The big moment was at work was when we referred one of our patient's to another specialist and she was like, "I want you to do this-that-this and refer back to me". And I could say, M'am, I've already done those things... here are the reports and scans. And she gives me this appraising look and says "you're good". :)

I'm also going to start a "I love the Inn on the Green" facebook group because man, their food is so totally awesome...! I hate places that serve up fiddly little portions of food with little decoration thingies taking up most of the plate space. This is the only place where I can't polish off the potion of pasta... and their chips are like, real chunky chips of luscious fried potato and not just half a dozen limp little fries. And "roast chicken" means half a chicken, roasted to golden perfection and not just a scrawny thigh... (Note : will not be ordering food at R&B unless they change their food policy radically) The only downside is that they haven't included the SC and taxes in the price so gives a false sense of monetery security... still good value for money.


So, went clubbing after what seemed like a decade...

Damn, has it been a decade, no, no not that long, although it feels like it, damn, what do chicks wear to clubs these days..? Will my tube top look too old fashioned..? I can't wear that white halter 'cos that means going bra less and I seem to feel the cold more in my old age

What has happened to the club scene in Colombo? Clancy's is now Shine and Molly's is no more and Tabu was just a dying hen party. Went half way to Tramps but the roads looked so deserted we thought it can't possibly be "happening". Went to H2O and found it closed so went to Sugar.

Eh? What's with the muzac these days? House?? That's music? Kind of zinga-zingbop-zing with an ill advised oooooh yeah baby thrown in? D'ya really need a DJ for that? Ok, this is music you can nod to, if you're high enough... difficult to dance to. Luckily we bumped into a friend of a friend who bought the third round... :)

The actual "scene" hadn't changed much. You still get the stoned weirdos dancing freakishly by themselves... the languid eyed beauties sipping drinks... the drunk chicks bopping around with different guys.... and said guys firmly clutching onto their butts. I had as much fun people watching as I had dancing... maybe even more!

So tell me, Bloggers and Blogistas... what's the best club scene in SL? Where and when do you recommend we go for a really good time? What's the really (ahem) happening place? We're partying again next weekend, so let me know!


I also discovered that you can't really taste the rum in pina coladas... which makes them dangerously, deliciously addictive!

Have a great week, all!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Out of internship, and into the sunshine!

Just about a week since I shed the dark shell of internship and set out, like a butterfly from the chrysalis, into a world without night on-calls, without broken rest and dark moods, a world where I can eat on time, watch TV and read, a world of normalcy.

And babes... enjoy I did...

I cut off my hair (before and after pics are pending...) and am wondering whether to colour it...

I got a pedicure and a wax and my legs don't look like their from the stone-age anymore... I bought new shoes.... little slippy things and peep toe pumps and hooker heels and also stole my mum's flats that have the little shiny sequins on them... :)

I got a great new job as "Medical Officer" in a cool new unit with a musical boss and a sarcastic workmate. After looking after 65 patients (sometimes single handedly) I now have less patients than I have fingers. I have time to sit next to them, listen to all their problems and think out the cause... I have time to give each and everyone of them 100% of my attention, my medical knowledge and skills and expertise and damn I feel so fullfilled! It seems like after an age of offering on-the-run attention (which couldn't be helped, given the working conditions) I can actually sit and care for people.

That said, I was able to go home before 3pm almost every single day (since it's near the hospital, and I can reach the ward in less than 5 minutes if needed) and shower and sleep for a couple of hours before cooking dinner. 2 hours sleep in the afternoon, and I still conk out at about 9pm... I have a massive sleep debt to make up for! Sleep is like a holy word to me... and it's only now... after 7-8 days, that I'm feeling refreshed...

I visited my in-laws after about 3 months... drank fresh passion juice and discovered that the family puppy has grown to the size of a calf and is one scary looking doggy indeed!

I watched Maid in Manhattan (again) and Street Fighter and Angels and Demons... I'm reading a book titled The Hours by an author whose name I can't remember, but who nevertheless has won a Pulitzer prize. Am reading The best of Oscar Wilde at the same time.

I'll be going dancing and out for lunch/dinner/coffee with friends... I'll be going to the temple and not feel like a philistine for neglecting my spiritual duties and needs for the last year.... I'll be going for movies and plays and maybe even see this TedX guy that everyone seems to be raving about... :)

In short, ladies and gentlemen, I, Angel, am going to live again!

Lo$t Art

Look at the absolutely gorgeous new header I've got, courtesy of Lo$t!

Wish I could have some marvelously gothic-y template to go with it...

Being a fan of dark text of light background, the rest remains more or less the same.. except for a minor twiddle with the colours...

Oodles of thanks, my friend... it makes me feel so special that you custom made this for me...


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Last Day!!!

7th of July 2009

In exactly 24 hours, I complete my internship...

I will no longer be obliged to work 36 hour (or longer) shifts...

Even if I do work nights, it will be at my own convenience (mostly) and better yet, I'll be paid for all those extra hours...

I will be able to welcome Darling home after work, instead of talking to him from the ward at 9pm, saying sorry honey, I'll take a good couple of hours longer. I'll be able to make healthy meals for him and not feel a pang at the sight of the bulls-eye and bread dinner he ate alone the previous night. (To be honest though, most of the pang is at the unwashed plate, but whatever).

I can actually take time to be nice to patients instead of snapping at their questions because I'm overworked...

I can get a haircut, pedicure and maybe go on a trip with some friends...


It's my LAST DAY folks.... wish me luck!