Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Soro & The Boyo

Overslept & woke up late for the flight to Surabaya this morning. The trip was planned well in advanced. Paying airasia Rm 182.00 for the return trip for 2 person is what I call an exceptionally super bargain. Reached LCCT just in time for the check-in. Being fairly busy over the last couple of weeks, I must have forgotten to book the hotel on line. And as usual, the flight was delayed by almost 40 minutes (a trade mark of airasia I suppose). Just a couple of months ago I was cursing when my flight to phuket was also delayed by almost 4 hours.

Reaching Juanda International airport 2 hours 30 minutes later, I was presently surprise to see that the airport was fairy big and modern (according to indonesian standard). Booked the hotel through the local travel agent at the airport. We settled for Surabaya plaza hotel, a 4 star smoking free hotel (knowing how well the Indonesians smoke, i do really need some breathing space !). I’m fairly surprise that JW Marriott in Surabaya is not a smoke free hotel!. The thing I always admire about Indonesia (medan excluded) is their taxi drivers. First and foremost, they make you welcome, they are generally polite, proud of their profession, uses the meter and hardly cheat on you (apply to the bluebird group of company). This is in sharp contrast to our very own breed of taxi drivers (of course the government of present has to share some responsibility for indirectly protecting this unscrupulous and selfish bunch of homo sapiens).

According to the local myth, this city witnessed the great battle between the white shark (suro) and the white crocodile (boyo) who fought each other to gain the title of the strongest and most powerful animal. Being the second largest city in Indonesia, the city is undergoing rapid transformation with a lot of modern high rise buildings in the making. Fairly typical of Indonesian cities, the only set back is the traffic congestion (macet). Like most other cities in Indonesia, I must say as a whole there is nothing unique about Surabaya. Tunjungan Plaza is perhaps the largest mall with a lot of internationally branded outlets. Opps, I just love the freshly chilled avocado juice from excelso.

(the land mark of the city)

One thing that excites me about this once glorious majapahit kingdom is the abundance of small street kiosks trading in gold jewellery. No wonder the people from east Indonesia is so obsessed in buying gold jewelleries as they can easily disposed them off without hassle for quick cash at the numerous buying back street kiosks.

( if only our ah longs can set up kiosks like this to render their service !)

On a different note we were quite dismayed as our intention of bringing back our second domestic helper did not materialize. It seems that 10 days is still insufficient time for our embassy in Jakarta to process all the required travel documents.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dearest Alumni

It's been almost 25 years since we left the medical school. The chance to meet long lost friends and former teachers and mentors was an opportunity not to be miss. A few former teachers flew in all the way from Jakarta for the auspicious night. Little did i realized that 13% of our total alumni are consultants and specialists in their respective fields. and to Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Sharifah, I'll always remember you as my physiology lecturer (sorry, i never did like the subject anyway!) and not the present vice chancellor of university kebangsaan malaysia.

(these girls has grown up.....none wore skirts any more i suppose!)

professor freda meah, a world renowned endocrine surgeon. i was very much indebted to this great lady. needless to say many top surgeons in the country has benefited from her unselfish guidance. she has instilled good and meticulous surgical skills in her trainees.Thank you prof.thank you, thank you, thank you

(somehow our teachers appear younger than us !)

And thank you Jack @ Major General Dato' Dr. Razak for organizing the event. and not forgetting my good friend Din snake @ Dato' Dr. Zainuddin Wazir for donating RM 1 million ringgit to our alumni(so proud of you bro!).unlike the present day medical students who can afford to tour Europe with their scholarship money, the amount we received then were barely enough for our basic needs. well bro,i'm sure you still remember the hard days when we had to swallow maggie mee for lunch & dinner and the days the three of us had to share one nasi bungkus from our favourite warong bamboo.