Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The Braces...Are Off! Finally...

Checklist to do before going to Canada:

22) Get braces off!!!



I got my braces removed yesterday, after wearing it for 23 months...Finally...=)

I was fretting about the whole post-brace thing because all four of the cap-thingy that holds the braces down (the one on the molars) had dug deeeeep into my gums. I was anticipating quite a bloody mouth, and very sore gums (that is one of my enemies), when they yank it off.

One thing which I was looking forward to, post-braces, was to get a good teeth-cleaning. I hated the way the metal and wires dug into my gums, making them blotchy, swollen and red.

Half of the mouth felt like it could not be brushed properly, and God knows I tried. I had 5 different brushes (one in handbag), two different types of toothpaste, alot of floss everywhere, a mirror wherever I went, and enough salt to last a lifetime!

So yes, I was looking forward to getting into the dentist's chair to get them off!

The sweet dentist who removed my braces was a darling. She chatted away during the procedure. I knew she was a funny one when I sat down and asked her the one question I was wondering about: How do you remove the caps?

Dr Wong Lirn Jiing replied: "Well, we use a hammer, chisel and we just knock, knock and hope it comes off. Or we can use a screwdriver. Which one you prefer?"

Me: "You not scared I get heart attack ah?"

Dr Wong: "Nope. So which you want?"

As she moved her equipment around my mouth, she chattered away, dropping comments like "If the tooth comes out too, I don't know ar", or "It's (cap) out, it's out!...Oh no, it isn't..."

From left: Dr Khor Swee Ting (dentist), Dr Arjunan (Orthodontist who took over from Dr Lee), Dr Wong Lirn Jiing (dentist, training for orthodontics, I think), and Me...

And when she asked about my career choice (see previous post), I could only manage feeble 'Nah uh's'...

One more senior dentist remarked: "She can't reply lar"...

...to which Dr Wong quipped: "That's the best part! I can say what I want"...

I finally gave up and put my hands up asking her to stop with the mouth-work, because I desperately needed to laugh and could not do that with her hands in my mouth. So I had a nice laugh, and the senior dentist (sorry lar, I didn't get her name) said: "See you made her laugh"...

Yeah, she did...She was darn nice...

And I bet none of you will believe the braces all came off completely pain-free (despite Dr Wong teasing me how horribly painful it was), and completely blood-free!

Anyway, I wanted to record my heartfelt thanks to the orthodontic-dentistry team at the Klinik Pergigian Ipoh. They were very efficient, dedicated and professional.

I want to especially make mention of Dr Lee Siew Khuen, the orthodontist who fixed my braces, and who retired sometime early this year. Stepping into Dr Lee's clinic was like walking into a tomb...seriously...

It was dead quiet, and you could hear a pin drop. But she worked very quickly, and she showed her care in her own way, like remembering where you study, trying to fit you in where you missed classes the least, and making witty one-liners (or one-worders)...

"Naughty girl you. Break my braces ha! What you ate? Stones?" *Yeah, I broke them, but then again, after over a year*

She had a darn cold stare (I lose to her man, and I have a very cold stare. I kid you not...), and was very no-nonsense, but I adored her actually...Goes to show appearances can be fooling...

My brother, who is also wearing braces, came home after initially wearing it worried that his teeth had loosen from the gums. He felt they were moving...

We finally took him back to the clinic asking if Dr Lee could have a look, eventhough he didn't have an appointment, and she agreed to have a look, then quipped: "They're moving boy, because I made them move". I think she must have been rolling her eyes!

*Dr Arjunan did a good job too, explaining the post-braces treatment and care. I only saw him twice.*

The nurses also deserve mention. Despite the heavy work schedule, they were always cheerful and very friendly. And they were very nice becuase they always tried to push both my brother and me in for appointments on the same day, one after another, to save us another trip. And they remember us by name...

From left: Me, Nurse Hanita, and Nurse Norhazrin...

So, you see people, not every government department is bad (although got bad ones also lar). We have good apples too, and I wanted to share that. Because these people deserve mention, and our thanks. You know when a government officer does something for you that they do it because they are professional and want to give their best, because hey, we don't pay them a cent.

I've had friends complain about the orthodontic treatment given in private clinics (no particular reference to any clinic out there) where they hold on to their patients and treat for long periods of time, recommend braces even when not needed, and don't do a good job cleaning the cement holding the brackets to the teeth after removal. (Of course not all private clinics are like that lar)

I'm happy to say no such thing happened here in the government clinic. In fact, my neighbour-dentist was very impressed when he saw the good job Dr Wong had done removing the cement off my teeth.

So next time, give the government clinics a try!

PS: Am now stuck (literally) with a retainer for the next year (Note to self: "Repeat mantra: No pain, no gain"), which the clinic made and had fitted for me in less-than-24-hours. Talk about efficient. Now I sound like Daffy Duck, sans spitting...So much for being called Daphne, and dreaming of being metal-free...

Monday, 28 July 2008

Perceptions of Canada, Daphne and Psychology...

I decided on a career in Psychology after volunteering in the hospital for 10 months, in the year 2006. And I decided on Canada way back in 2003 because my parents were happier that I would have family there, and the fees are more reasonable. And I find that people's response to these are generally the same =)

Perception Number 1

On Canada:-

1) Lecturer in Inti:

She: "So, Daphne, which part of the US are you planning to go to?"

Me: "Oh, I'm going to Canada".

She: "Oh, very cold"...

2) Taxi driver in Penang, whom I befriended, because I always called on him:

He: "Eh, which country you going to? Australia ah?"

Me: "No lar Uncle. Canada".

He: "Wah, very cold wan".

Me: "Oh, you've been there? Cool!"

He: "No lar. But very cold. After your nose also you cannot feel".

3) Veterinarian, whom I bring my animals to:

She: "So, where to next, girl?"

Me: "Canada".

She: "Aiyoh, God bless you. It's very cold there".

*And she asks me the same question every time I bring my dogs. It will be followed by 1) What are you going to study, and 2) Which part of Canada...

Come to think of it, the only person so far who hasn't exclaimed how cold Canada is (when hearing I'm going there to study) in the course of the conversation is Tun Dr Mahathir. *Lol*

Perception Number 2

On Daphne:-

1) While chatting with the uncle who cleans the market...

Uncle Lourdes: "Daphne, what are you going to study? Medicine?"

Me: "No lar Uncle Lourdes".

2) At the Roti Canai shop today, where I've been eating for the past, 10 years? The man there always talks to my mum and dad, but he usually just smiles at me. Today, he addressed me:

Him: "Sekarang sudah belejar mana? KL kah? (Where are you studing now? KL?)".

Me: "Tak lar. Sekarang cuti. Nanti August baru sambung balik (No lar. Now on holiday. Will only continue again in August)".

Him: "Belajar apa? Medic ka? (Studying what? Medic ah?)"

Me: "Aiya, tarak lar Uncle (Aiya, no lar Uncle)".

3) At the dentist today, where this new dentist, a sweet thing, was seeing to me...

Her: "So what are you going to study in Canada? Medicine?"

Me (with mouth open, and some metal poking at my braces): "Nah uh"

Her: "Dentistry"

Me: "Nah uh"

Her: "Veterinary Science"

Me: "Nah uh"

Her: "Ling, so Foo-Chow. Must like money. Banking, economics, accounting?" *I'm actually Hokkien*

Me: "Nah uh"

*She never got it, even till my mouth was done...;) *Lol*

4) At the hospital, when I was warded...

Neighbour: "Girl, you study what? Medicine ar?" (In Hokkien)

Me: "No lar Aunty" *How on earth do you explain Psychology in Hokkien???*

I addressed the daughter instead, telling her what I'm studying. The daughter scratches her head for the term, and finally tells her mother...

Daughter: "She studies the brain"

Me: *Smack head*

Neighbour: "Wah, even more fantastic than medicine".

5) While attending the funeral of my grand-aunt a week ago, my mother's cousin (My aunt) declared to all the other distant relatives there, in Hokkien:

Aunt: "Wah, you know ar (points to me), she very smart one ar. Going to become a doctor"

Ling family: "Eh?!?"

Me: "No lar Ah Ee, I'm not doing medicine"

Brother: "Yeah smart aleck. Now you have to figure out how to explain Psychology...in Hokkien"...


Either I look like a doctor/medical student (dishevelled hair, maybe?), or that's the only occupation anybody can think of...

Perception Number 3

On Psychology:-

1) At the photo studio, where I often go to get my prints...

Owner: "Ah girl, what are you studying? Medicine?"

Me: "No, I'm studying Psychology".

Owner: "Wah, dangerous. Can read minds".

2) At the orthodontist...

Dr L: "What are you majoring in?"

Me: "Psychology"

Dr L: "Dangerous. I'm not talking to you". (She was teasing me)

3) At the hydrotherapy pool, where I volunteer...

Mother of special child: "Dik belajar apa? Doktor ya? (What do you study? Medicine huh?)"

Me: "Psikologi"

Mother: "Eh, dahsyat tu. Bahaya, boleh baca minda orang (Eh, dangerous. Can read people's mind)"


The best? The one where people combined all three perceptions...

At the computer store, while browsing for a notebook...Two salesmen (S) were with us...

S1: "Where you going to study?" (We were discussing the International Warranty)

: "Canada".

S1: "Wah, very cold!"

S2: "Studying medic ma?"

Me: "Nope. Psychology lar".

S1 and S2: "Wah, dangerous lar you"...

*Smack Head*

Aiyo, studying Psychology doesn't enable you to read minds lar...Cos the first head I would attempt to read, would be,well, mine...;)

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Oh My...I'm Actually Moving to Another Country!...


Two more weeks, and I'll be flying off...

I was pleasantly surprised when Winnie The Pooh emailed me a few days back, reminding me of things I should do before leaving, and also gave me important stuff I should know about, like what banks I can open an account with in Canada, various telephone companies etc...

One important thing she reminded me to do was to bring along all my medication for my allergies...Haha! Thanks, Winnie. I will be needing them...New environment means new allergens!

A while back, NightWing also sent me an email with things he thinks I should bring along to Canada, after reading my checklist of things to do...Thanks NightWing...

My immediate neighbour, a dentist and his wife also had a surprise for me the other night...Aunty Janet called one night and asked me to open my side-gate as she wanted to come over...I thought maybe she had baked a cake and wanted to pass some over...We are friendly with our neighbours, so we do exchange recipes and plates of steaming food...

Instead she came with a bag in her hand. In it was a lovely box with a pen inside. Dr Chuah and Aunty Janet know I like to write, so they said they felt this was a good gift for me. They asked that I remember them everytime I put the pen to paper...

Awww...Of course I will!

The box...

The Inside...It comes with a Card-Holder...

Hey, my name engraved on it!...

And a message...

People have been feeding me too...*Lol*...A Malaysian tradition is to eat! And I am most thankful for all the people who took me out to celebrate, from the bloggers, to my Umi, to my teachers, to close family friends, and even to my doctor (hey, who said the doctor you see when your allergies flare up can't become your friend?) who even came with a list of medicine she feels I should bring along in case my allergic rhinitis gets out of hand.

"Daphne, this will help relieve the pressure in your ear but don't take it before landing because it is drowsy and you need to pull your bags...This you better have in case your eyes start to itch and swell...This for the insect bites so you don't blister...This...This...This..."...


..."Daphne, stop scratching. Your skin is turning red...I said, stop scratching..."

*Lol*...She's thought of everything! And yes, I am weirdly allergic...They call it atopic allergy...

Looks like I will have lots of postcards to send out once I settle down...It's ok...I actually like sending snail mail...=)

And then just over a week ago, I got this in my email, from the university:-

What to Bring with You

•This CD
•Alarm clock
•Clothes hangers
•Power bar with surge protector
•Desk lamp
•Bedspread, sheets & pillow
•Towels & face clothes
•Dishes & cutlery
•Needle & thread
•Desk organizer (somewhere to put your pens, paper,
•Soap & toiletry items
•Shower shoes
•Loonies and quarters for washers and dryers (Loonies?!?)
•Laundry detergent
•Clothes hamper
•Posters/wall hangings (Do not bring anything that
would require putting holes in the wall to mount –
bring non-residue tape.)
•Wait until you see your room to make large purchases
– it helps to get an idea first of what you need.

*My aunt who resides in Canada (I have two aunts there) emailed me. This darling Aunt of mine has already bought me pillows and towels, and has set aside bedsheets for me. She even found me a phone (which they bought a while back, but never used), a desk lamp and a pitcher with filters so I have filtered water to drink...Thank God for family! Thanks Ah Ee's...

What NOT to Bring with You

• Pets, including fish (Awww man...)
• Own bed (Duh!)
• Items to loft furniture
• Appliances – all appliances with open elements (i.e.,
hot plates/George Foreman Grills) or appliances such
as toasters and kettles must be used in the kitchenette (But, but...I need a coffee maker! ;) )
• Candles/incense
• Weapons – including decorative ones (No pepper spray?!?)
• Duct tape or packing tape for walls, do not use duct
tape or packing tape on your walls
• Drinking or drug paraphernalia – (including but not
limited to mini kegs, bubbas, bongs and funnels –
all such items are prohibited under the Residence

And guess what? Their Internet...54 Megabits of high-speed bandwidth...


Oh my...This is really happening isn't it? I'm actually moving to another country!!!


PS: I'm keeping my number active, so you can actually still reach me by sms...=)

Help the Furry Friends Farm...

Hey folks,

I (along with some other bloggers) received this email from a Wani Muthiah just this morning, and I am most happy to help out such a noble cause, so come on, people, pitch in if you can:-

"THE founder of a dog sanctuary is worried that the farm's latest fund raising efforts may be in vain.
According to Furry Friends Farm (FFF) founder Sabrina Yeap, only a handful of tickets have been sold for a performance held to raise money for FFF.

"The Operafest Children's Choir, Kuala Lumpur and The Nyonya-Baba Golden Voices will perform at the The Royal Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur on July 25 to raise funds for FFF as well as another animal shelter in Taiping, Perak, but the response has been very slow,'' said Yeap.

She added that besides buying food for the dogs at the farm, the funds raised at the performance was also needed for the medical care of the almost 100 dogs at the sanctuary.

So, kind people out there, please help out by taking your entire family to the performance which is scheduled to start at 8.30pm.

Tickets are only priced at RM30.00 each.

For reservations please call:

1) Tracy Ho : 016- 3323382
2) Wong Huai Chiing : 012- 2021008
3) Chris Ng : 012-3112257
4) Chris Chan : 019-3803650
5) Sabrina Yeap : 016-6319018

Come on, animals are helpless if we don't help them. I would most certainly go for the show if I was in town...

Hey, look, you do get something in return for your money. Besides the knowledge you've helped some critters, you will also be serenaded! And hey, with a sanctuary like this, you'd have less homeless strays wondering the streets and passing diseases.

So, let's support them!

Oh, by the way, feel free to post this on your own blogs, and spread the word through whichever means possible...

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

'Dear God, What Is Happening to My Body?'...

As some of you already know, I have been meeting and working with special children of various disabilities, some with progressive conditions (like little Naqib, who had Muscular Dystrophy), for about 3 years now. But the one thing which I can never figure out is 'the future'. Go ahead, laugh, cos obviously no one can figure it out either ;)...

But seriously speaking, what will happen to these children?

I was reading an article about Michael J. Fox just today. Anybody remember MJF? He was the cute pint-sized guy from the 'Back to the Future' series, 'Spin City', and who voiced 'Stuart Little'.

Anybody remember what happened to him?

He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1991, and declared it publicly in 1998, before quiting full-time acting in 2000.

Which brings me back to the question of what happens...

Look at MJF. He has all the money in the world, enough to get the best care and treatment in the world, and even to start a Micheal J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, and yet, from his few-guest appearances on some television shows, his "illness was evident".

The point here is this: No matter how rich or powerful you are, or how much good/bad you have done, a disease/illness is non-discriminatory. You can't run away from the progress of the condition...

What about people who don't have that kind of money, which is most people?

I know a lot of people are going to come out and say, oh God will be there for you, trust that God has a reason, you have to be strong, be patient, etc etc etc.

But did anyone ever think that perhaps the patients themselves are sick and tired of hearing all this, which they perhaps hear every single day? Well-intention as we are, it doesn't take into account the actual situation or how much illnesses can rob a person of the life he/she wanted. They're probably even angry at God Himself...*Sorry God*

After all, it is a loss. Can any of you imagine how sad it is to lose control of your own body, or having it become something you don't recognise anymore, or wonder why it is doing what it is doing?

After all, how many of you wake up in the morning, and say: Oh gee, I wonder how well my body will behave today?

I'm guessing not many...

But for people like MJF, and lot of other people out there, this is a question they ask everyday.

A video of Michael J. Fox...

I'm leaving you with a video of MJF. It's not the verbal message I'm asking you to look at (although yes, I support Stem Cell Research 100%), but rather look at what has happened to the body of someone we are all familiar with...

You know, it can happen to anyone of us...

PS: Do share your experiences if you have any...And if you have no experiences, your thoughts will do just fine =)

Monday, 14 July 2008

Rest in Peace, Olive Riley...

The World's Oldest Blogger, Olive Riley, has passed away...She was 108, when she passed away peacefully at her nursing home, on 12th July, in Australia...

In her last days, through her friend Eric Shackle's blog, Mrs Riley blogged about how happy she was "singing happy songs". Her words were simple, and yet, it was touching.

"Mike often encourages people to sing more songs, and I've found that it helps me whenever I feel sad. If you're feeling blue, sing a happy song out loud. People might think you're going round the bend, but don't let that worry you.

I love singing that old favourite, Happy Days are Here Again.

Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let's sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again

Then there's:

I want to be happy
But I can't be happy
Till I make you happy too."

I think we can all learn from her simple philosophy of life. Make others happy, and you will be happy too. How profound, huh?

You can read Mrs Riley's original blog here...

May you rest in peace, Olive Riley, and continue to 'sing happy songs', wherever you are. And this blog owner wishes to extend her condolences to Mr Shackle, and all who knew Mrs Riley...

Sunday, 6 July 2008

"Good, My Older Brother Isn't Married Either"...

Remember the little getaway I had in Sunway, where I crashed with my friend, and how I said there was an interesting thing that happened at the pool, and I will blog about it once I uploaded the pictures?

Well, I finally uploaded the pictures! ;)

Check out the size! And this is only one side of it...

Anyway, I went to the pool to just laze about, do some clumsy laps, and enjoy the peace and quiet. I was plesantly surprised to see the sheer size of the pool as it was quite different from most hotels...

And so I slowly made my way from one end to the other, swimming under the man-made rocks and having pretty much a great time. And then I thought I'd go laze in the kid's pool, which had cool water gushing out at high speed, kinda like a jacuzzi, but cold...

One of the 3 children's pool, and where the conversations took place...

I thought it would be quiet. I was wrong. About 5 minutes into the lazing and shut-eye, a little girl came waddling up to me, and sat next to me. After a while, she said:-

Girl: "Hello, big sister"

Me: "Hello, little one" (Groaning inwardly as I really, really wanted some quiet time alone after the hectic week)

Girl: "What's your name?"

Me: "Daphne. And what's yours?"

Girl: "*Anya"

Me: "I see. Hello Anya" (There are 6 other ladies around. Go talk to them...Pweease?)

Girl: "How old are you?"

Me: "22. And you?" (Gosh, this was beginning to sound like a job interview)

Girl: "I'm 9 and I'm going to be 10 soon"

Me: "Where are you from anyway?"

Girl: "I'm from Saudi Arabia. Where are you from?"

Me: "Malaysia" *Laughs*

Girl: "Are you married yet?"

Me: *Lol* "No dear, I'm not. Not that old la"

Girl: "Good, my older brother isn't married either"

Me: "Eh???" (Whoa, and where is this going?)

Suddenly, another 5 kids joined the pool. All about the same age, 4 girls and a boy. And suddenly, I had all these little kids splashing around me, asking me questions nineteen to a dozen and all talking about their older brother.

Whoa...Wait a minute...You're not all looking for a bride for him, are you? Are you?!? *Smack head* Oh, come on, I only want some quiet time alone, with nobody (that includes me) talking...Is that too much to ask?

Boy: "You want to meet him? He's sitting over there" (Pointed somewhere behind the trees)

Me: "No dear. Maybe some other time. It's cold outside the water" (Ah, there, a good excuse. The wind was strong and strutting around in a swimsuit was cold)

Girl: "It's ok. He can come in"

Me: "You know, I really gotta go. I want to get some actual swimming done. In the deeper end..." *Smack head, smack head*

It's 1.3 metres: Too deep for the kids!

And well, waddaya noe? He actually sauntered into view and lowered himself into the pool, as if on cue.

He smiled and said "Hello". I smiled back then quipped: "Oh, look at the time", and disappeared faster than I've ever moved in the water...*Lol*...In fact, my swimming instructor would have been proud!

This begs the question: Is this what people actually do? Do people from Arab countries (or any other country for that matter) actually come here for match-making? Come on, I can't be the only person to kena. After all, I'm no Jessica Alba or Catherine Zeta-Jones, or whoever else you may fancy. God knows how many other girls/young ladies have been asked the same questions in the span of that one week?

On second thought, he looked pretty darn hot. Haha. Oh well, why should I lie to you, right? I'll call a spade, a spade, and not pretend it's a spoon...Kinda like a Mediterranean Will Turner (of Pirates of the Carribean).

On third thought, it won't be so bad to actually get one of these guys. After all, the price of oil is shooting the roofs (And Saudi Arabia is famous for what?), and we need fuel for mostly everything (or so the hawkers, businesses, transport etc will have you believe to hike up the prices of their goods at every opportunity). Morover, if he can bring along all his siblings (let's see...6 kids and one adult won't come cheap on the plane, since they all can't squeeze on his lap) for holiday, he musn't be doing too badly in the finance department.

My Chair: Ah, this is the life...No match-making children ;)

Behind and slightly to the left of my chair were four pole-like brown structures made of stone (see above pic), and behind that was this lovely 'waterfall', leading to the spa...

But then again, he could be a pimp, for all I know. And anyway, I'm too busy at the moment getting ready to leave to be thinking about hooking up, with anyone. Unless, Mr Gorgeous would like to clean my room and closet and pack my bags...Hmm, that I might consider...;)

Note: *Name has been changed...

PS (Update): Everybody keeps asking about the picture of this guy. Aiyo. I don't have lar. I went to the pool quite a few times since I was staying there for about a week and had nothing much to do...I only brought my camera with me on the last day, and kept it in my locker till I was all dressed and dry. Can't bring the camera into the water, can I?