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June 21, 2017

A day in the life: surgery

I've been racking my brains as to what to post lately. I've just been working and going out to dinner with friends, and blogging about dinner is getting a bit boring. So I figured I'd post about work, where I'm currently doing a rotation as an intern* in a certain surgical specialty.


June 18, 2017

Graduation


Uniqlo silk shirt and jeans / Cole Haan loafers / graduation gown with the tackiest colour combination.

I attended my graduation yesterday. For some reason, our graduation ceremonies are in June despite the academic year ending in November. So our class has been working as doctors for almost six months now, which made the ceremony and taking the oath a bit anticlimactic. The weather was also pretty dreary, as you can see, which made photos difficult. My mum was definitely more excited about it than I was. It was nice to see everyone, though.

As our faculty's colour is purple (instead of a normal respectable blue or red or literally anything else) I decided to go with trusty black and white underneath. I actually built the outfit up from the shoes - I really wanted to wear loafers because they make me feel scholarly (plus you know how I feel about heels), and I like to wear pants with loafers, which then left me to pick out my dressiest white top.

Later that night, a few of us went out for drinks to catch up on the gossip, which was way more fun than the ceremony! We went to Bulletin Place, which is a super cosy bar, where I spent way too much money on fancy cocktails.

June 6, 2017

Vivid '17

Another year, another Vivid Sydney. While my enjoyment of Vivid has waned over the years as the crowds increased, it's come to mark the start of winter for me - strolling the Circular Quay and The Rocks after dark, wearing a coat. We went on a Monday evening this year, and while still crowded (especially for a Monday night) it was significantly easier to manoeuver than it would be later in the week (or, god forbid, a weekend).


June 2, 2017

Behind the scenes


Went to one of the talks at Sydney Writer's Festival last weekend. It was a bit too academic for me, I was kind of lost. Looking at the timetable there are lots of good talks on during the weekdays, but who are the people able to go to these?


The wall I see everyday which happened to be lit up nicely before I drove to meet my friend for a Thai lunch.


Across the road from Bills in Surry Hills, where I had brunch last Saturday.


The details of the QVB behind my friends' heads during yet another brunch.

I know, I know, it's been quiet around here lately. Mainly because I'm not doing very much worth photographing, and it's too dark before and after work for outfit shots. I'm more than halfway through this rotation now, and despite initial anxieties, I've gotten into the swing of things. It's less busy than my previous term - I leave more or less on time and I eat lunch every day - so there's not much to complain about.

I have, however, been grappling with a kind of identity crisis over the last few weeks. It looks like the medical specialty I thought I'd settled on isn't something I want to do anymore. I've changed my mind a lot over the years, but I thought that this was The One. It feels like a break up - you know you won't work well together and it's better this way, but there's a bit of mourning for What Could Have Been. Now I'm six months out of med school and still have no idea what I want to do - which is technically fine, but medicine is so competitive it works better to have a goal so you can build your CV and connections.

Back to the drawing board. I need to decide what I truly like about medicine without being affected by any preconceptions (mine or others), and decide what my priorities are in life (which is hard, because who knows what they'll be when I'm 30, 40, 50?). In the meanwhile I've given myself a break from studying (for an exam I don't know if I'll even sit now) and I've been doing things I've neglected, like trying to get back into running and planning my travels for August (!).

May 17, 2017

Single and not looking

A few years ago, I saw on my stats (with some amusement) that someone had looked up "boyfriend" in this blog's search bar. These days, the same search will turn up more posts, but referring to a style of denim rather than an actual person. In other words: no progress on that front to update this curious reader on.


May 14, 2017

Old towns

As I've mentioned before, one of my favourite things to do when I visit a new city is to explore the historic district, or old town, if it has one. They usually involve interesting architecture, cobblestones, staircases, and winding lanes you can get lost in. I'm probably fascinated by these places because the "historic" areas or towns in Australia aren't very old at all. Here are a couple of my favourite "old towns" I've visited across the world.


May 7, 2017

Food catch-up

Couple of food shots I've taken over the last two or so months.


April 23, 2017

Lazy Saturday

Had a lazy Saturday yesterday.


April 20, 2017

Easter Sunday

On the Sunday of the long weekend, YY, Mel and I piled into my car for a road trip down south. There's nothing like driving fast on a sunny day with your friends, listening to the albums which defined your emo youth - namely From Under The Cork Tree, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, and Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count.


April 16, 2017

Good Friday

Good Friday was a day off, great weather, and also my birthday, so we had an opportunity for a picnic.


In the botanical gardens, as usual.



Read a little while waiting for the others.


On the way to the toilet.


Spread for the day.


Lying around til golden hour (and then it got too cold).

April 14, 2017

7.30 to 6

A couple of work outfits.


April 9, 2017

A wholesome Saturday

We finally had a sunny Saturday yesterday, and I went to YY's house to help her and Lucinda pick olives in the garden.


April 6, 2017

NYC ii

Finally the last post from my trip! See part i here.


April 2, 2017

NYC i

NYC was the last stop on our trip, and we arrived in the very early morning of new year's eve after an overnight flight from Guatemala City. I'd been here once before, when I was 19 and on my first solo trip. I'd found it intimidating then, but I had a few more years' experience under my belt this time around - and a whole heap more friends to hang out with.


March 30, 2017

Thursday off

Once a month, we get a rostered day off. Before you think it's out of the goodness of their hearts, it's really not - it's unpaid and the purpose of it is to save money from the overtime they have to pay us (which I haven't been claiming, by the way, because they make sure there are plenty of hoops to jump through). Despite my cynicism, it was nice to have a sleep in today, especially since I think I'm coming down with something.


March 26, 2017

On the weekend

I had an unusually active weekend. Here's a play-by-play. As you can see, I've redownloaded VSCO, the powerful tool for making boring photos look interesting.


March 22, 2017

1 month in a carry-on: a review

Way too late to be relevant but I'd already edited these photos so I thought I might as well do this post! Also because I get to ramble on about both clothes and travelling, my two favourite topics. A review of what I packed in a carry on for my trip last December (that I still haven't finished posting about).


ASOS t-shirt / Cotton On drape pants in Antigua.


Whitepepper smock dress in Tulum.


Zara coat / Uniqlo jeans / broken H&M umbrella in NYC.


Dune boots that survived cobbles in Cuba and snow in NYC.

The heat
The dress was a lifesaver in the heat! I should've taken advice and packed a pair of shorts, though. Every second I was wearing those pants in Cuba and Mexico, I was wishing for shorts. I also want to rescind what I said about the Uniqlo ultra dry t-shirt being good to pack - it's good if you're able to wash things often since it dries quickly, but if you're not able to do so then you can definitely get more wears out of a 100% cotton shirt before it starts smelling.

The cold
I find cold weather easier to plan for, since once it gets below 5C there's only one outfit to really wear. My wool coat is absolutely horrible in windy rainy weather and snow though, water/snowflakes just stick to it like crazy. It stays warm, but I can literally feel it get heavier and heavier as the water soaks in. Serves me right for being vain and not wearing a sensible parka.

Shoes
My pair of Chelsea boots did heroically. They're the only pair of shoes I took aside from flip flops and it was fine. I did wish for sneakers on rougher ground on cobbles and ruins, and I definitely had trouble when it snowed on our last day in New York (more from being uncomfortably damp than cold), but they did their best. I did end up buying a pair of socks at Uniqlo in NYC (shown in the last photo), but mostly because the short socks I'd packed kept slipping down and were driving me crazy.

Toiletries
I posted what I was able to fit into a sandwich bag here. It was all fine, but I almost ran short of my cleanser before I got to NYC and was able to buy more - but now I know that 50ml of it can last me about two and a half weeks, and will titrate accordingly for future trips.

I loved being able to do carry-on only for a couple of the flights, it takes away all the stress about lost luggage. It was especially helpful when my flight out of Sydney was delayed and I missed the connecting flight in LA - I didn't have to freak out about collecting and re-checking my luggage. I think I'm going to aim to do carry-on for my flight out of Sydney for my next trip (which, yes, I've already started the packing list for).

March 19, 2017

A catch-up


An outtake from my Orange post.

I don't really chat about life on here as much as I used to, do I? Partly because I'm still trying to get retrospective travel posts up, and partly because I've been so busy I don't really have the chance to write about things straight after they happen. But here's a bit of what's going on.

Work
I've been completely hammered at work. I'm doing geriatrics right now, which seems to be one of the busier terms. My life is less like Scrubs or Greys Anatomy and more like The Devil Wears Prada. Every day I'm trying to do things I have no idea how to do, or feel impossible, like trying to get hold of unpublished Harry Potter books. Nevertheless, it's satisfying to know that I'm the one making things happen for patients. There are still days here and there that I don't have time for lunch and one time I cried in the car on the way home from sheer hunger and exhaustion. I'm hoping it's a baptism by fire sort of situation and I'll find my next rotations easier in comparison.

Study
Unfortunately the study didn't end with med school. I'm looking to go into surgery, and I need to sit a surgical sciences exam before I can get on. I'm planning to take it in February next year, and while I can always sit it again if I fail, each attempt costs $4000 (!!!) so I'd rather not. I'm generally good at exams, however I've been finding that studying is really, really hard after a day or week at work. I'm just going to have to try my best and hope my next few rotations aren't as hardcore.

Travel
I'm going (with my tried-and-true travel buddy Wai Lam and her sister) to Moscow, St Petersburg, Vienna and Budapest this August! I've never been able to get time off in the European summer before so it'll be a nice change to pack for mild weather. At the end of that trip I'll also be in Edinburgh for a few days for a surgical skills course (it's equivalent, but cheaper to do there than in Australia). It's supposed to be a holiday but I'm excited for it in a nerdy way. I've been to Edinburgh once before, but the weather that time was horrid and I'm hoping it will be nicer to walk around in early September. Something to keep me going!

Please tell me about the fun things going on in your lives right now!

March 16, 2017

March 12, 2017

Antigua i

More from my trip in December (I'm aware these posts seem neverending).

Antigua in Guatemala was a bit of a detour, but during my planning a friend told me that I definitely had to go while in the general region. And she was right. It's a colonial town about an hour from Guatemala City, with cobblestones and painted houses much like Trinidad. It's special for the surrounding scenery, with the Volcan Agua rising to the south, and also for the ruins of old buildings left from an earthquake in 1773, dotted all over the town.


March 6, 2017

Dad jeans



Uniqlo t-shirt / Lee jeans via my dad / Cole Haan loafers.

A couple of weeks ago, I went rifling through my father's wardrobe (with permission) in search of a belt. This was unsuccessful, but I did end up coming away with an entire pair of jeans. I had been looking for new light wash jeans since my last pair finally wore out after ten years (they started off as dark wash). I saw my dad's pile of jeans and tried them on for laughs, and surprisingly these fit nicely, so he let me have them. The pockets, as with all men's clothes, are amazing - I can fit my Kindle in the front. Without a belt, they sit on my hips, but I'm looking for a jean belt to wear them as more high-waisted. I also considered getting them altered shorter, but I wouldn't be able to give them back to my dad if I got bored of them, so I'll probably leave them as is for now.

I don't think I should buy/acquire anymore clothes for the rest of this year, unless it's to replace something that's worn out. I probably have 120% of the amount of clothes I really need. However, I'm possibly moving out towards the end of the year, so I'll probably end up channeling (i.e. wasting) my money and energy on interior decoration instead of wardrobe planning.

February 28, 2017

Orange

Over the weekend I went to Orange to visit a friend. It's a country town about three and a half hours west of Sydney.


February 23, 2017

Chichen Itza

After Playa del Carmen, we headed up to Cancun for a few days. From there, we did a guided day trip to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.


February 21, 2017

Tulum

December travels continued. After Havana, I met up with my friend Jenny in Cancun and we based ourselves in Playa del Carmen for a few days. We did a day trip to Tulum from there, mainly to see the ruins. We decided to try and get there are opening time, so instead of taking a day tour or an ADO bus, we got a colectivo (shared taxi) since they start earlier.


February 19, 2017

Riley Street Garage

On Friday night, I miraculously got off work on time and headed to the city for dinner. We were celebrating Wai Lam's admission as a lawyer and she had picked Riley Street Garage, a fancy-ish restaurant which serves share plates.


Baked chicken (which was okay), truffled mash (great), fries (can't go wrong) and pea risotto in the background (really good).


Chorizo corn dogs, which was disappointing for how tiny they were (they're $4 each).


Burrata (the great love of my life) with peppers on fried bread.

It was moderately pricey overall and we were still hungry afterwards (we'd got a few other dishes too) so I'd save this place for special occasions.

February 16, 2017

Around town

Food and random scenes, as usual.


February 14, 2017

Tinder, translated

I wrote this sometime last year and never got around to posting it. I figured today would be a good occasion to do so.


After you've been on dating apps for a while, you start recognising a pattern in what guys say in conversation or their bios. This is my effort to decode what they really mean. All of these are real examples, some collected from friends.

"I'm looking for a girl who has a sense of humour."
Translation: You need to laugh at my jokes, even if they're racist, sexist, or just not funny.

"I'm looking for a girl who doesn't take herself too seriously."
Translation: I'm looking for a girl who doesn't take herself seriously, but she needs to take me seriously. Otherwise my feelings will be hurt.

"I'm looking for a girl who can hold a conversation."
Translation: I think most women are vapid, only I am able to choose topics worthy of discussion.

"Swipe left if [insert quality here]."
Translation: I'm making it so that any of our interactions from now on are going to be based on you trying to win my approval.

"I'm attracted to introverted girls who don't know how pretty they are."
Translation: I'm not even making an effort to hide how creepy and predatory I am.

"I don't like girls who wear too much makeup [/something else girls do]."
Translation: I'm going to criticise activities commonly associated with women even though I don't do shit to actually help dismantle patriarchal structures which encourage those things in the first place.

"Not your typical Asian guy."
Translation: I have internalised racism issues I need to sort out before anyone should try dating me.

"I happen to find Asian women more attractive and personable."
Translation: Punch me in the face if you see me on the street. Go on, punch me.

And this is why I've had such little success with online dating, I'm too cynical and judgemental. I've given up now, my time can be better spent. Happy Valentine's Day from this feminist killjoy who can't take a joke!

February 12, 2017

Linen shirt


Uniqlo top / Mango pants / Cole Haan loafers.

An addition to my summer wardrobe out of necessity. Like I complained here, I didn't have many tops I could wear for hot weather that were work appropriate. I decided to try out linen, which I kept hearing was the ultimate summer fabric, so I picked this top up on sale from Uniqlo. The long sleeved ones were actually cheaper, but I figured if it was hot enough to wear linen it'd be too hot to wear long sleeves. I like it a lot! It does feel quite breathable and dry, and when I do sweat through it it dries quickly. I think the long line of this looks nice with slim pants but I'm probably going to get it altered shorter, so it's easier to wear untucked over more relaxed pants.

I ended up forking out for a staff parking pass so I don't have to walk on the way to work as much, so I probably jumped the gun with this purchase. I think I'll still get a lot of use out of it though, since I didn't have many things to wear for 30+ temps in terms of casual clothes either.

February 10, 2017

One week down


I have survived my first week as a doctor! Technically, I started full time work two weeks ago, but that was mostly orientation workshops and shadowing. Surprisingly, it wasn't terrible, and I don't hate it. There's a lot of work to do, but each task is generally manageable. My registrar (who is my direct senior) was super patient with all my stupid questions and there's another intern on my team who is lovely. Other teams have also been really nice about my terrible requests for consults as well. I'm exhausted, though - I've been finding myself skipping lunch and staying back a lot to catch up on paperwork, and I feel like I don't have time in the evenings to do anything other than shower and eat before I go to bed. Hopefully I'll get more efficient soon.

In other news, how bloody hot has it been in Sydney? It's been pushing 40C several days a week for the last few weeks, it's like it will never end. In the ultimate act of laziness, I've started paying for staff parking at hospital, so I at least don't have to walk far. I'm venturing outside this weekend, let's hope I don't get injured from this heat.

February 7, 2017

February 5, 2017

Havana i

I'd hyped Havana up in my head, so I wasn't surprised that it fell just short of my expectations, but I loved it nonetheless. The faded and crumbling colourful buildings and the picturesque side streets are a photographer's dream. It's quite a large city and there are several neighbourhoods, the most famous of which is Old Havana (Habana Vieja). In a way, Old Havana reminded me of Stone Town and the island of Cuba reminds me a lot of Zanzibar too.


February 1, 2017

Picnic repeat

Another picnic at the Botanical Gardens on Sunday. Basically the same thing as this post, but with hotter and sunnier weather. I know I said I like staying at home, but I need to see my friends sometimes. We all share similarly pessimistic perspectives on life and the world so it's fun to get together and complain.