June 5, 2016 at 9:15 am (人生)
我在初中一与他同班，记得他有一副冷冰冰的脸孔，沉没寡言，很少言笑。短暂的初中一之后，我就没有跟他同斑过。他成绩优斐然，一下子就往北走，进入A或 B 班，而我却往南走。LCE过后，我的积分双位数，被编入文科，平时老汪一直在鼓吹理科的好处，眼看就要读文科，觉得前途一片渺茫，只好硬着头皮走后们，找老汪商量，希望能多开一班理科。皇天不负苦心人，我终于进入理科最后一班。
1972 年是一个我毕生难忘的一年，MCE金榜题名，钟灵仅有约20巴仙及格，是历年最差的。原因：马来文不及格。我与章哲也名落孙山，差别的是他考获全A，只有马来文不及格。而我的成绩麻麻而已。幸亏钟灵有开办黄昏班，由先修班老师执教。哈哈，我又在黄昏班碰到他。在昏暗的霓虹灯下，老师好像催眠大师，嘀嘀咕咕讲了一大堆，就是不能吸收，眼皮好像不听话，可能是白天工作的缘故，或者天资还在发育?而章哲却全神灌注，目不转睛的听课，呆了几个月，我收拾行装，跑到英国去。而他呢，不仅没有信心动摇，反而一鼓作气，以私人身份报考MCE马来文，也同时报考HSC（现称STPM），在他不懈的努力下，MCE马来文考及格，连HSC也考到 特优，被马大录取，选修机械公程，他的那股必胜的精神，令人肃然起敬。
也不知道是何原因，他开始跟我有打交道，开始请我帮他搞定电脑问题，或者一些家中DIY 的奇难杂症。又过了不久，他也加入Tropicana Golf Resort 的会员，常约我去club游水，两个“疯子”常在土耳其浴内引亢高歌，或闲话家常。他的歌声低沉，并不好听，不过他很喜欢一首老歌—月圆花好。
打从去年开始，他老提一个话题 —五福临门。他作了详细的解释 :-
June 4, 2014 at 11:15 am (Uncategorized)
It was a week before the Chinese New Year eve during 2011.As usual my wife worked very hard for the spring cleaning.But that year was different.Her sister had requested to stay in our house.I knew that she had this unusual habit to please the guests.So she worked feverishly hard to make sure that the house was spotless clean.Then she started coughing.At first she thought it was some minor problem and took the Chinese cough mixture.But the cough prolong and became chronic.One morning she coughed so violently that blood came out together with the spatum.I was shocked and immediately took her to Damansara Specialist Hospital.She received only outpatient treatment as the specialists were on leave during the festive season.However,the radiologist pointed out that there was a growth on her left lung upon examining her chest X-ray.They wanted her to be admitted.I told them that it was pointless to admit her if threre were no specialists around.Then I hunt around PJ and managed to find Assunta Hospital with Lung specialist.She was admitted immediately.During the one week stay,she went for various test.They took her spatum & blood sample and took many kinds of antibiotic.One thing was for certain,her chronic cough never subside even after the seventh days.The doctor told us that she contracted Pneumonia and there was no sign of malignant.The lung specialist did not investigate the growth that was raised by the radiologist of Damansara Specialist.Then I consulted my wife whether she needed another opinion as there were no clear sign of recovery.My client strongly recommended Dr Pakar Chin of Subang Jaya.This Doctor as I was told was the former lung specialist of SJMC.He came out and set up his own lung clinic.
We took all the X-ray picture of both Assunta & D’sara specialist & the medical record to Dr Chin.After going through the X-ray pictures,he reckoned my wife was having TB.He said that the so call “growth” was nothing but the scar after infected with TB.My wife faithfully took the bagful of prescribed antibiotic.Her health condition greatly improved and the cough diminished.Finally there was no cough.We were both delighted about the “miracle” cure.I took her to the monthly medical check up and also had the X-ray taken.We went to Pulau Perhentian on May 2011.She enjoyed herself like a healthy person.As her health condition improved further,she went To Chiang Mai with her close friend on Oct 2011.After the trip,I noticed that she began to shed her weight.Everything is OK except the peculiar weight loss.I never suspected anything amiss.Then she went with her sister to Kunming in November 2011.Her weight kept dropping and her chest was like those Jews in the Holocaust.Again I never suspected anything aweful.She went to Dr Chin for another X-ray taken.This time her left lung became “whitish” .It was like the entire lung was missing.Dr Chin assured us that it was the pleural fluid developed after having TB.”Nothing to be worried !” he said confidently.He tried to drained the fluid but having limited result.Then in December 2011 and during a routine massage,the masseurs discovered a bulge around her waist level.Damansara Specialist examined her and confirmed that she was having Hernia.She went for the operation.Somewhere around the Chinese New Year (2012) she developed Shingles around her chest(under the breast).Dr Chin gave the injection to stop the infection.We also went for traditional TCM to eradicate the “snakes”.Even though the Shingle was cured,she kept having this uncomfortable pain around her rib .I took her to the neurologist at SJMC .The expert told us that some middle age people did developed post Shingle pain.However the drug could never get rid of her pain.Then she suggested increase dosage.Still,the pain persisted.She was a bit disturbed when we told her that the drug did not work.But she never investigate why the pain could not be cured.Then she prescribed the expensive plastered type medicine.It did work for a couple of hours after applying to the affected area.The oral drugs had serious side effect such as depression.All this time,she hide all her suffering…
One day she suddenly broke down and cried profusely,”老的，我对不起你，我很舍不得离开你们。。。“she uttered in our lounge( I am sorry ,dear ! I don’t feel like leaving you all…)I was so shock and could not control my emotion.I did not suspect that this was回光返照。
To relief her suffering,I tried many things such as Chinese Bomoh, Accupuncture,Mild Electric Shock treatment and even STEROID.Only the latter can completely rid her of the pain.Finally SJMC suggested that we consulted the Pain Specialist in Selayang Hospital.
Before starting the diagnosis,she was asked to answer a questionnaire.I had a terrible shock when I saw some of her answer.
1) What is your pain level (1 to 10) answer 9
2) What is your suicidal tendencies…… (1 to 10) answer 9
I was speechless and trembling.
The synergy drug from Selayang Hospital did not improve her pain level.In fact it had worsened the side effects.Finally I decided that enough was enough.I took her for another opinion.This time it was the Government Respiratory Institute located at Jalan Pahang.After examing her,the consultant wanted me to have an immediate CT-Scan of her.I nearly fainted when the doctor told me that she was having stage four cancer on her lung after going through the photo images. My wife gave me this sphine chilling stare from the distance by observing my facial expression.The cancer had in fact spread to other part of the body such as bone and liver.Her rib bone was like wood infested with termites. The pain was originated from the eroding of rib bones and not the nerve.The neurologist had diagnosed wrongly all along !!To confirm whether she was having the big C,she had to go for the risky bronchoscopy.She agreed with the test so positively and was fixed at 22nd May 2012.
She took the test on that faithful morning.However complication developed the moment when the probe nearly entered the intricate lung area.They had to abort the test as she suddenly had difficulty to breathe .Then came the inevitable – she had to be on live support as soon as they withdrawn the bronchoscope.An unpleasant omen flash through my mind,I started to weep.I suspected her day was numbered.I cried and cried.She took my hand and used her index finger to stroke my palm.The louder I wept,the faster and firmer the stroke.I felt that she tried very hard to comfort me.There was a complete silence in the Intensive Care Unit.I had this shear sense of hopelessness.
At 5:30PM I waived good bye to her as I had to fetch Joanne from school Six sense told me that she might not be able to live through night.I requested the doctor on duty to give me a call should her condition deteriorate .Then this heart shattering phone rang at midnight.”Please come to the hospital at once !your wife’s condition worsen….” uttered the words from the other end.
I felt dizzy but I quickly regained my composure.Within minutes,we were in the wards.The scene shocked me.They performed trachealintubation on her .A metallic tube was shafted down her throat.I saw her struggling to avoid the uncomfortable insertion.The doctor then quickily administered heavy dosage of sedative.Her body immediately turned motionless.I called her by her name and she briefly open her eyes.After a glance,her eye lids rolled down.From that moment onwards.she never open her eye again.
Later she was transfered to KL Hospital as they had a better live support machine.I was told.
It was a stressful scene at KL Hospital.The housemen were working frantically to the ever increasing number of patients.The I saw this “housemen” took portable X ray picture of my wife every fifteen minutes.”Are they following medical code of ethic ?”I wondered.My wife remain motionless.She never respond to my repeated calling.Later her good lung was also infected with pneumonia.Her condition was getting more and more crtical.IEventually after the fourth cardiac arrest,the rib breaking CPR performed by the doctor would not bring back the blips on the scope.It was a continuous straight line…
The world fell apart. I took out the horrible tubing from her mouth and slumped onto her still warm body.I tried to cry but tears seem to run out.欲哭无泪—That’s what the Chinese say…
It was probably the darkest night in my life.
June 3, 2014 at 5:52 am (Uncategorized)
Visiting Philippines can be a risky experience.
At the end of one of my business trips to Philippines,I was sipping tea on the pool side of Peninsular Hotel ,downtown Makati City,Metro Manila.Then all of sudden I heard this drone of an aeroplane high in the sky.As I looked up,I saw a WWII like propeller plane dashing pass like running for live !
“Ladies & Gentlemen,please take shelter in your room immediately ! There is a coup d’etat.”a blasting announcement from the hotel PA system.I quickly went up to my room and had the curtain drawn.Out of curiosity I peeped through a gap of the curtain.”Shhhh………”Strands & strands of “red flashes” surged pass my window with the aweful hissing sound .It left quite a lasting impression against the evening backdrop.I asked the room service about these strange phenomenon.The answer was nerve racking :- it was live BULLETS !The rebels were exchanging fire with the Corazon Government troop at this hip business district !”Alamak !” my heart sank to its lowest.
Under this live threatening situation,any sane people would take refuge in whatever safe haven.And the street should be deserted,isn’t it ?WRONG ! It was actually SHOW TIME for the Fillipino.People regardless of age were gathered along the road ,stretching their neck to catch a glimpse of the thriller.Then ”Bang !” one of the “spectators” fell to the ground and lie motionless.He must be hit by the stray bullet.Immediately the crowds ran helter skelter.But within minutes the crowd re-appeared ! UNBELIEVEABLE !
Next the hotel management had an emergency meeting with all the room guests.They informed us that the rebels led by Gregorio Honasan was staging a coup d’etat against the Government of Phiippine President Corazon Aquino.Currently they were entering Makati area.Their snipers had taken position of the high rise buildings. The government troops were trying to flushed them out by firing at their strong hold which was at the opposite end of the boulevard right in front of the hotel .”Do not attempt to peep at the cross fire.Withdrawn your curtain and off all the lighting !Do not sleep on the bed as the stray bullets and shattered glass might injure you.If possible sleep on the bath tub !” .So I followed their instruction and was about to sleep on the bath tub .. Then there was this panicking loud bang on my door.”Take your important document and follow me to the cellar immediately ! The rebels were coming !! Quick !“ the short of breath room service frantically knocked at every possible door.I quickly grabbed my passport and follow the rest of people to the cellar.The general manger made an apology to us about this sudden events and he told us that from now on we had to dwelve here for safety reason.Food and beverage would be on the house.
It was suppose to be Christmas Eve and Makati suppose to be packed with last minute shoppers. But the intense sound of gun fire and the heavy artillery dampened our festive mood. The streets were now deserted .Apparently the rebels did enter the hotel but somehow the hotel staffs managed to clinch a deal with them and so we were spared from their inhuman treatment – cutting off electricity and telecommunication line.Other hotels was not so lucky.Imagined the hotel guests and staffs had to live under hot and humid condition.Not to mention the pitch darkness.
Instead of X’mas carols ,we were greeted by sporadic gunshot and mortar sound.The TV did not provide any useful coverage.What it provided was the long winded interviews of top army chief.It was Just like the interview of Soccer Manager before the official kick off .And the annoying part was that it kept repeating.Nothing concrete had come out of the interview.The government appeared clueless.It was much evident on the tit for tat exchange fire on Makati .The army did not make any advance.It was the rebels whom can roam freely !These went on day after day.Nobody knew what exactly the government would do next.The sense of anxiety coupled with insufficient sleep had taken a toll on us.Some of the guests were weeping at a corner.Others embraced each other. My colleague ,Terence,had actually wet his pants !To us each passing day is actually a blessing as nobody could guess what will be our eventual faith.Because of the danger,food supply to the hotel was soon trickled to a halt and we soon run out of proper food.So we had to survive on the freshly made bread and water.
Then one day we were told that the rebels had agreed to let us board the bus to the airport.We were so excited and within minutes we all lined up with our beggages at the lobby.Led by a hotel staff with a raising white flag,we began to step out of the hotel in the orderly manner.The scene I saw next was heart stopping .Guess what ?The street was “petrolled” by these dark skin dirty looking men clutching with AK -47 .(Just like the Amigos in Hollywood’s Spaghetti Western)Magazine of bullets criss-crossed their bare chest.They talked very loud among themselves.
Then all of sudden machine gun sound rattling on the air.All of us went ducking for cover .We managed to criss-crossed & regrouped at the hotel lobby.The rebels,I was told,did not agree with the “initiative” offered by the hotel.After another round of “negotiation”,the rebels gave us the greenlight and we hurriedly boarded the waiting coach.I had to pray hard that the rebels would not go berserk and rained the bus with bullets.As it slowly moved out of Makati,I could see many buildings’ exterior riddled with bullets.Some even had holes as big as mellon probably due to artillery bombardment.As the bus finally pulled up at the departure hall of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport,most of us simply could not control our emotion outburst .Score of people knelt down and kissed the earth.Others weeped uncontrollably.Some jumping with joys … “OMMANIPADMEHUM” I said my prayer.
Compare to the recent slain of Hong Kong Tourists due to futile bid to overcome the gunman,I count myself lucky.
June 3, 2014 at 5:45 am (Uncategorized)
One day,I was queuing to buy my snack plate in one of the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in downtown Atlanta (Capital of Georgia).Suddenly,I saw one white man dashing towards the counter.Sensing something mishap,the floor manager quickly picked up the wall mounted phone and probably tried to call “911”.With a swift action,the white man reap the phone from the jaw dropping manager and dumped it on the floor.Next he planted the Rambo knife on the counter and ordered the frightening manager to empty the the till.All this happened in just a split of second.The customers whether sitting or standing acted like business as usual :- carried on their lunch and chatting as though nothing had happened.Unbelievable,isn’t it ?
When I shifted my vision to the door,I saw two black men guarding the door as though they were accomplices.Then I realized that I was being watched.One of the black guys with the look and size of Mr T from the US TV series –A TEAM was actually giving me this nasty spine chilling stare.Before I could swing my head away,he was right in front me.”What are you looking at ? F***** CHINK !!what a mother F***** !..”Then with a mighty push from his “elephant trunk” sized arm,I flung more than three metres away and narrowly missed the wall.Before I could regain my composure,he was right in front of me and uttered all the obscenity and waving his fist in the air.Survival instinct thought me to avoid eye contact with him and behave like a defeated animal.I immediately lowered my head to the lowest level and treated his swearing like the West Indies Raggae.After yelling at me for quite a while,he left me to join his accomplices in flight.
Again, nobody raised an eye brow throughout the scuffle.Maybe crime is a norm in this part of the World.They said “Curiosity killed a cat”.I should take a cue from this to avoid the unthinkable !It really scare the hell out of me.