Karmic Cycle

The last week and a bit has been a whirlwind of happiness, a coming of a full circle, some massive amounts of physical pain, lots of pleasure and I cannot add in whatever more else. Life, of course, has been quite a full one in the past week.

First off, my whole residency appeal – I played a gamble in going without a migration agent (not really a choice either, at any rate), therefore without plenty of legal advice, and won. I really won’t suggest anyone to do the same thing, it was a most stressful 4 weeks leading up to that, and I definitely hope I won’t have to go through that again.

The judge/member (as they call themselves, but don’t be fooled), was a very pleasant guy who also made the whole affair quite casual so it was a lot easier on me to think through what I have to say and not to make any legal boo-boos. of course, in my writing to the judge, I will give it that I gave a very casual approach as well, leading to very casual use of colloquial terms.

All in all, I had say, never again, even if it worked to my advantage.

I received the letter he promised today, which was a write up of the facts of the proceedings. Amongst it was something I… pretty much expected but was still somewhat enraged to see. My wonderfully inept and useless ex boss? He dobbed me in to say that someone pretty much forged the forms I asked him to sign and that he has doubts about our relationship etc etc because we don’t seem to know each other very well.

Funny that, he was the one who offered us a deposit on our current home. Not to mention, we both have been under his employment for the same length of time. Even if we were together, that’s a damn long time to not know each other.

In Chinese, we have this word ?, which can be translated to many things… One of which is being “vengeful” or “determined”. As my dad said, he’s goddamn ? lor… Then again, my dad believes that we should always leave everyone a “backdoor” out of every situation, never to “burn any bridges” so to speak.

That he was determined to hurt both of us in such a manner and caused us so much grief in over the last couple of year (I will just blame the year of the Tiger for last year, really), while expecting it (I even told immigration that it would happen, but they won’t believe me), I was still vaguely enraged yet amused.

?… Did he think that being so ? and completely vengeful, nothing will come back and bite him? Funny that 2 years later, he was the one crawling to Waife, hoping to get Waife to come help since everyone had abandoned him. Waife ignored him, of course. At the end of the day, he sold the business at a loss, he lost everyone who was loyal and supportive of him, and all of it was his doing. Considering how much he hated Canberra, and how long it finally took for him to sell that business (about 3 years, so to speak), I had say Karma came and bite him in the ass.

Yes it did create a bunch of problems… simply because the left hand was not talking to the right hand. I mentioned to immi about possible issues leading from an idiotic Mr McFarlane who might commit perjury just to get at me, but the lady at immi didn’t believe me and would not take in the materials suggesting that he has ulterior motives. the whole conversation was meant to at least be documented but nothing was mentioned. Which resulted in me needing to explain myself (guilty before proven otherwise in such situations) before a judge.

Do you know what perjury is, Mr McFarlane? it’s called lying before officials therefore obstructing and costing them time and wasted resources (i.e. your tax money) on important matters. idiot.

Anyways, secondly!! I WENT TO MELBOURNE!! woohoo! holiday away from Canberra. I haven’t gone to Melbourne for ages, and most people should know by now Melbourne > Sydney for me. So, this was a welcomed time away! I won’t bore you with what I did there, except that it was at least fun, and I saw, for free!, the blackened imitation of Tutankhamun’s corpse! and lots of pectoral jewellery! and fishes! <3

The Moon hanging over the cliffshur hur hur

sleeping Koalaaxolotl

LOOK AT ME!!!

On the way to Philip islandVictoria museum is awesome!!

I also got myself an old school polaroid SX 70 The Button (which is about as old as me LOLOLOL) as well as some Impossible Project Film – but of course, my inability to read manuals before using something caused a lot of fails… may I present, big fail:

Polaroid

It still look arty from some angles, but hey, I kinda prefer to see a little more shapes to that!

In all other news, since my residency is more or less resolved, I am going “back” to sort out more paperwork, specifically that of my Singapore IC (green card, ID, whateverthefuck) which I very nicely lost last year. I am sure enough of you have heard by now, but to gain citizenship here (achievable within the next 18 months or less, so it was suggested), I need my IC so I can bloody surrender it.

Therefore I am going home to get a new IC so I can bin it. hahaha, so dumb right? oh wells.

I won’t be home for very long, however, I don’t have much leave and would personally prefer to see/help Japan rather than stay in SG and get severely mocked and harassed by my mother (aiya, you all know the story la). And, I do want to see a lot of you, which I have damn promised left and right in the past 3-4 years hahaha.

So, if we can, can we kind of plan this thing properly so I do see all of you? :) please send me emails/message me on facebook/whatsapp/however you want to communicate so we can do a good and proper meetup/farewell (maybe I will get banned from coming back to Singapore for 3 years after I quit being singaporean hahahahaha because I said I don’t want to be in the same citizenship as TPL hahahaha).

AND AND AND, MAYBE!! JUST MAYBE! I CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT COMICON!! maybe not this year, next? BUT COMICON!!! <3

Current Mood: (accomplished) accomplished
Current Music: Written in the Stars

sometimes, it ain’t all right

I have been real sick about 6 months now, and haven’t told many people about it. I kind of thought it was such a soppy thing to tell anyone, really, and the worse was being found and consoled in the emergency department by one of my resident’s family.

And, frankly, I couldn’t be more ashamed.

If you are wondering where all that came about, well, I always thought that if I am working in an industry like this, I ought to be the “strong one”, not the other way around. So, yes, I was incredibly embarrassed.

I won’t go into detail of what I am sick with, but suffice to say, the doctors still don’t know either.

However, what this post is about is more of how horrified I am with the whole health system at the moment, and the people working with it. This is also a reminder to myself of who I don’t want to be.

I have been bleeding for about 6 months straight, this part is something that I don’t mind sharing. The first time I went into hospital, it was from the sheer length and amount of blood I was producing. I waited nearly 6 hours before I was attended to, and then I was grilled by the doctor.

“why are you here today? what caused you to come through the triage? what was so urgent?”

“you’re not dying, dead, bleeding to death or in deathly pain, you shouldn’t have gone through ED, your life was not threatened.”

I don’t know lady, but bleeding for at least more than 2 months this extensively would cause you to worry if you aren’t a doctor – or even if you are a doctor, isn’t it? Plus, I have a right to think I am bleeding internally… considering all factors – fatigue, sore legs, unable to walk steadily, I have a right to think I deserved to come through ED.

At some point, my memory started going. I lost sheets of paper, I lost track of time. Most importantly, I lost the referral letter to the ultrasound and I forgot about a possible follow up with the clinic, mostly useless anyways since they referred me to a doctor who HAD ALREADY RESIGNED.

Before I went in the 2nd time, I made sure I called this time asking for advice what to do, since the Dr was no longer there. This time, there was some pain involved, but I made sure I was nice and civilised to anyone I met. The midwife on the phone suggested I come through the emergency department again, so as to see a particular doctor.

Again, I was told the same thing by another doctor, this time just a little more stern and sharp about it. My blood works were ok – I am seriously not dying, I need to stop wasting people’s time and there are people who need the beds etc etc. Then, I was kicked off the ward pretty much.

By the 3rd time, which I did the same thing, calling midwives and all, I was just admitted into ED itself as I was completely breathless from the pain. No one was listening to me, even when I said I was in pain. It took another nurse to come around, whom I begged for some pain relief, before I got some. And then I finally saw a doctor about 4 hours after I got in.

The wait was not the problem, the timing of when the 4 hours later was. A bed solved part of the problem since i could curl up enough to control the pain WITH the pain relief, and I finally took a rest. The thing was… my bleeding has never been nocturnal. Of course, what drove me to go in there again, really, was finding a giant pink piece of tissue in my hands. Not like your usually clotty looking ones – this looked like it was alive. I freaked.

However, despite me saying all that to the doc, it wasn’t till another 3 hours or so later (2200 hrs) before she examined me and declared that there’s only minor bleeding. I mentioned there might be a lesion – “oh can’t see anything”. well, what can you see manually up a pipe? whatever you can see close to you.

And when she asks what I was thinking of getting done by coming into ED, I suggested a couple of procedures to 1) find out and 2) possibly fix the problem if it’s a minor one, I was brushed off with “they only do those between monday to fridays in the day. They are closed on Sundays and will only perform those for those who have life threatening problems.”

So, I was sent home, increased medications and like 2 tablets of pain relief and pandered off completely.

I spent that week crawling around in pain.

All this time, I really only saw my GP once. I have mentioned to some how much I adore him because he respects me and gives me knowledge, but this whole time, there was also a feeling of urgency and the trust factor that MAYBE the hospital will be able to help me immediately. however, the hospital kept insisting that I need to see my GP before they would see me again. So I finally returned to the GP after getting some other tests done – because maybe, just maybe, I can really only trust in him :(

In the 2 days that I went to see him (long story short, all the tests done by the hospitals were not returned to me nor were it forwarded to him), I got referred to a specialist, discovered that everything else “seems normal” on tests – BUT the procedures I asked for in my last visit to the ED were the right procedures to really test me and fix me.

BECAUSE. ALL. THE. MEDICATIONS. THEY. HAVE. GIVEN. ME. MADE. THE. TESTS. USELESS. False readings, false counts, false everything.

It would take 2 months at least before the last trace of all those tablets gets out of my system enough to give it an accurate reading. I am so fucking pissed. Do you realised how hard it is to take blood out of me? how much pain it involves, how many bruises? and for how many vials in total this whole time? One vial actually had to be “refilled” because that’s how small and fragile my veins are.

But, beyond angry for all the pandering off, telling off, disdain they held for their patient, the disbelief, the uncaring… I am now relieved. Relieved that at least 2 persons out of the whole fucking system believed me. Do you know how relieving that felt?

It’s a surgery, the queue is still about 2 months – but fuck, someone believed me and is doing something FOR ME! I am not being pandered off! yes yes and yes!

When I was waiting for my GP on the 2nd day, a lady was being carted into the treatment room for hypoglycaemia. She looked pale, faint and semi-conscious. This loudmouth beside me said if it was her mum, she wouldn’t be here, she would be in the hospital.

The queue would have been an hour to 2 long, even if she did seemed to have something life threatening. But, most importantly, the question to ask is…

How would they have treated her?

Ageism

Clouds

Ageism – ageĀ·ism: prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly -Definition from Merriam-Webster

During secondary school days, and especially later on in JI, we spent a part of our school life on compulsory voluntary work hours (notice the contradiction there). There were 2 particular volunteer work that I was a part of (in some way or another, since I was really suspended for one of them but organised it) that really stood out in my mind in many ways.

One was the aged care institution that looked extremely clinical, and therefore uncomfortable and the aged are left to… age. And the other was a religious-affiliated aged care home that preferred a “lessened” contact with the outside world for it’s inhabitants. I never got to find out why they preferred less communication, but looking back now, perhaps these people had some debilitating disease that often gets stared at out in the community.

There’s another story related to all this that I have mentioned before but I will gloss over it again. My dad was a part of the local government’s housing development board as a site supervisor (or something similar) for about 30 years when he was “asked” to “transfer” to the privatised sector for a retrenchment payout package. He would be on a contract that was supposed to be renewed annually. When he was about.. 56? He lost his job, the only one he had knew since he was 18.

My story is not unique, as the recent election has brought to light the plight of many people’s parents who has lost their jobs and never got another job again. I guess my dad got lucky (in a way) because of his varied connections in life, and finally found himself a job to feel useful in 3 years after losing his first. Considering his long service to the government, he never learnt how to write a resume, has barely manageable written English and has never went through a job interview in his life. Never mind that he hasn’t got more than a high school education, which was quite a long time ago.

In our society, at least for my dad’s generation, having a stable job and a family is the equivalent of one’s self worth. However, in our society, we have also grown leaps and bounds in terms of wealth, education and everything else that comes with those 2. Ours has become a very strictly meritocratic society, where the younger generation benefits in that we have got better education than our parents and our grandparents.

In this particular society too, the sense of making use of young people’s energy, ability to retain information, their education and ability to adapt quickly is every employer’s dream. When we are so competitive, ageism grows and festers.

Having lived in Australia since 2003, I am constantly amazed by the different attitudes they have towards the “more experienced” people. It’s not really age related, but where a person has garnered their experience and what they have experience, that counts. So, when I look back at Singapore, I feel a little sad for my father.

Considering our Asian values of respecting our elders and their life experience, the contrast in the employer’s methods of hiring cannot be more stark. I know of employers who prefer to hire people under 40 years of age, who openly asks the candidates “what can you really do?” when the applicants are over 40 and obviously old enough to be any of the interviewers’ parents – with sarcasm.

I know employers who prefer to hand PR out to foreigners, who are younger than the Singaporean applicants, because they just represent a longer “shelf life” as an employee.

At the same time, then I turn to Australia and, very generally speaking, I find that older people are hired for their experience. Head hunted, even, for their experience and knowledge. Their pay exceeds that of new graduates (beat that in Singapore!) despite their lack of certifications in comparison – BECAUSE of that sheer amount of working knowledge they carry on their shoulders.

In nursing homes here, I have seen, via my interactions with my residents, their abilities to still intelligently debate and discuss current affairs. I know someone who was 90 years old, and attempting to learn new languages because “it’s interesting”. I know someone who is 80 and, while “semi retired”, is still the go-to legal knowledge for the government – as well as the person who wrote and has been amending the OH&S laws. AND he gets paid for that work.

I have walked into rooms filled with scientific research, computers (YES THEY USE COMPUTERS!!!) with links and files of various sort of information – written by them!, healthy discussions of history, economics, science and politics, complete with the ability to “agree to disagree” quite gracefully. I have been humbled and I have been awed.

And then I talk to my dad over the phone, marvel at the amount of knowledge he has, and feel despondent for him sometimes as his depression seeps into our conversations. In a country where our Senior Minister (about to be ex) is 80 plus and contributing significantly to the state of affairs in our country, it is quite scary how ageism factors into our society.

So, when Lee Kuan Yew mentioned in the recently election how “the younger generation does not remember from whence we came, that is expected. But I do, and those amongst you who are older than 50 will remember”, I found it incredibly insulting on many levels.

there are many above 50 who has lost their jobs in the recent economic downturns, and even prior to that, due to that age in one way or another. In fact, those who are older than 50 were the first few to go in the public service, after being dangled the “retrenchment package” – and who have the hardest time to find new jobs.

At the same time, considering the type of education we had, considering how we were brought up by the same people who “remembered (PAP) struggles”, I find it insulting too that one would think that the younger generation do not know nor remember of PAP’s struggles. We are not stupid nor insipid. we know, we understand – but do you really know OUR struggles NOW?

For a government that grew and nurtured a society to reject and despised their elders’ work and life experience, you have no right to ask anything of the over 50s, who have been worked and then abandoned, ignored and replaced with foreigners. If we really needed the extra hands from outside of Singapore, that is all well and good. However, we have a pool of abled minds who are being neglected and ignore, who have so much to offer….

In this day and age, I do not know nor understand why ageism is such a huge factor in Singapore. I can only hope that with us, the supposedly arrogant “younger generation”, and those who come after us, that this will all change. Age is not a barrier, nor is it meant to be a stopping point for anyone.

Those people in the aged care facilities, they needn’t be isolated from the rest of the world nor be left alone. Alot of our elderly are quite knowledgable and can contribute to our society in one way or another. Yet, not enough people look after the elderly in Singapore or speak up for them. They were someone’s daughter, uncle, auntie, sister, brother – but now, they might not have anyone.

There are enough people over the age of 50 who can teach and show us “young’uns” the way, in terms of work ethics (which can be incredibly shocking!), their working knowledge – everything. Even their own urban myths should all be compiled together at some point, before we really “lose touch with our roots”.

Current Mood: productive
Current Music: Shannon Noll - What About Me?