Sunday, September 04, 2005

Comic Relief - Please...

The past week has been bad. And I mean BAD. I wish I could talk about it, but I'm actually trying to forget, so maybe it's better that I don't.

Just a sincere apology to my poor MOs and nurses, who've been approaching me a lot recently for opinions and such. Don't mind the rainclouds hanging over my head. It isn't your fault. Hopefully, this'll blow over very soon.

Ah yes, the comic relief.

From House! ( where else? )

House: So what's wrong with her?
Dr. Allison Cameron ( one of the 3 senior residents on his team ): Him.
House: Him. Her. Does it matter? Does anyone think it's a testicular problem?

Dr. Cameron: Men should grow up.
House: And dogs should stop licking themselves.

Dr. James Wilson: That smugness of yours really is an attractive quality.
House: Thank you. It's either that or get my hair highlighted. Smugness is easier to maintain.

House: No, there is NOT a think line between love and hate. There is, in fact, a Great Wall of China with armed sentries posted every 20 feet between love and hate.

House: I've been a doctor for 20 years. You're not going to surprise me.
Patient: Um, it's an MP3 player. [ ie. stuck up his butt ]
House: ( looking pensive ) Hmm. Is it because of the size? The shape? Or is it the pounding bass line?

And the kicker...

House: What would you want - a doctor who holds your hand while you die, or a doctor who ignores you while you get better? I guess it would particularly suck to have a doctor who ignores you while you die.

We have a winner, people! "House, MD" is now officially my favourite medical TV series of all time. Move over, Jeffrey Geiger. :)

Something Else To Look Forward To

My profuse thanks to M, who generously booked the Michael Buble concert tickets for me with her HSBC credit card ( due to priority booking issues, and sadly, I don't have an account with this particular bank ).

After sending out a HUGE number of harried SOS-SMS's, I hit the jackpot when M replied, and couldn't believe it when she managed to secure 4TH ROW SEATS for me, woohoo!

By the way, Mikey's one of the main reasons I decided to stay put in Singapore instead of going ahead with a trip to the ACEP conference in the US. The others being, of course, terrorist threats, a hurricane named Katrina, and the fact that I'm in need of a vacation from my last vacation. Thank goodness for Y's inside scoop. :)

I'm still taking leave in October, but mostly for lazing around, going on long overdue dinner dates, and visiting the Night Safari.

Looking forward to it. :)

Italian Trip Post #5


Don't expect lengthy narratives about its cultural history. I usually spend my time daydreaming or snapping pictures while the guide drones on about dead people and old pieces of art.

In a nutshell:

1. It's a pretty nice place, with a novelty that lasts all of maybe 15 minutes ( depending on the individual ).
2. It's insanely expensive.
3. It smells.

But to be fair:

1. It has a rather magical quality at night.
2. St. Mark's Square is absolutely breath-taking ( also post-sunset hours ).
3. The speeding water taxi rides to and from Burano Island were quite exciting.

This is one place that looks a lot better on film than in reality. From "Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade" to "Only You" to "The Italian Job", I've always had this idea that Venice is one heck of a lovely spot - romantic, clean, enchanting.

In truth, it's so crowded you can't even walk ( the Square being chosen as the meeting point of EVERY single tour group in the vicinity ), the weather is ( yet again ) unforgiving, and the gondola ride an eye-opening horror ( one of my companions, an Indonesian lad, was totally disgusted, heh heh ).

The saving grace? Certainly our Venice By Night tour, which I will always remember fondly. We set off along the Grand Canal via water taxi, standing on an open deck as we made our way to the Square, passing scores of beautiful monuments including a hotel Lord Byron used to favour, and a church where Vivaldi reportedly composed his Four Seasons masterpiece.

Upon arrival at our destination, we were ushered to choice seats at one of the many cafes scattered all along the Square, where we were offered a selection of either gelato or champagne, and a chance to savour excellent music played by a number of ensembles.

Ours preferred Broadway and Andrew Lloyd Webber pieces, which didn't sit that well with me ( hey, I didn't come to Venice to hear THIS! ), so my mom and I sneaked over to the establishment next door - the Quadri Cafe, featuring an all-male string quintet with a repertoire comprising Vivaldi and Nessun Dorma. As the Italians would say: Perfecto! :)

Would've liked to hang with the jazz band round the corner, but our time at the cafe was short, and before long, we had to head back. Crazy air-conditioner in our hotel room was below freezing temperature. Didn't sleep very well that night.

The next day was spent browsing in and around St. Mark's Square. Arriving early at 8am provided a nice view of the area just before the inevitable mobs showed up. And boy does it get congested! I admit it's a lovely place, but I got a nagging headache after a while, and went to hide out in a nearby McDonald's ( which we found without a map, hah! ). Feeding the pigeons dredged up memories from a similar experience in London's Trafalgar Square way back in 1994 ( weather in London was much nicer, though ).

A ride on the gondola was stuffed somewhere in between, and I made the mistake of NOT taking Dramamine before hopping on. Water was choppy, sun was scorching, and the smell - a mixture of algae and raw sewage - was almost unbearable at times. Some of the other people in our tour group loved it, but my companions and I were completely disillusioned by the end of the trip.

A late lunch/dinner at the much quieter Burano Island ( though a bit too sleepy for my taste ), and our time in Venice was over.

An interesting interlude, but also a tad overrated.

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