Back in KL

Last week, we had a flying visit to Malaysia to support my mother-in-law who had back surgery done. Thankfully it all went well and she is now recovering at home and sending us updates via her new Ipad. (Yes, you can be a geeky nerd at any age.)  Whilst I can’t speak for myself, Peter said that he has never spent so much time in a hospital before in his entire life. And that was even before the surgery. For instance, after admission at 9:00am, we spent close to 6 hours waiting before the surgeon arrived to talk to her about the procedure. He spent a good 20 minutes asking her about where her pain was, doing a neurological examination and then talking about  the cause, what they will do about it and the risks of the procedure. We were quite impressed with him and later found out that he also lectures at the medical school (hence his very detailed explanations together with beautiful sketches of her spine). What we also found out later was that he was NOT the one doing the procedure. We were like “what??!”

So, who is actually doing it?

Oh, that would be my colleagues. They will be turning up soon.”

We immediately thought why are you here then? Are you the stunt double? The one who is good at sketching? Of course, one would never voice these thoughts out loud to anyone who holds the scalpel. As it turns out, his colleagues did turn up later of which one of them was the acting head of the unit. He did the procedure in the end. He was also the one my mother-in-law had been seeing in the clinics and had become quite friendly with so she was actually happy he performed the operation.

So, like visiting a foreign land, Peter was convinced after this to expect the unexpected. So, when he was given a prescription that same afternoon with just 3 items on it to fill, he was right on the money. After asking for directions, he dutifully turned up at the hospital pharmacy downstairs where he took a number from a machine. When his number was called, he went to a counter to hand over the slip and was told to wait. After a short wait, his number was called again to pick up the prescription from another counter.  There he found out that they only had one of the three items. He was told then that he would have to get the other items from a different counter (less than 3 metres to his left). And, no surprise, you have to pay for the one item at the cashier counter (two counters away)! So he went to pay for it at the cashier counter and queued up again at the said counter to pick up the remaining two items.

He was then told that they only had one of the two items and the last item, he would actually have to go to ANOTHER place 3 doors away! So, after paying again for the 2nd item, he trudged to the last place to pick up and pay for the last item! As you can imagine, he was completely perplexed. You want to shout out WHY!! What kind of system is this? Why can’t we just pick up ALL THREE items from the same counter and pay for it there and then?!! But when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Besides, he would probably have been told to go to another counter to lodge the complaint.

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Stunning skyline at dusk. Not hard to make out the twin towers which you can just about see from everywhere.


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If you have ever been a visitor to Kuala Lumpur in the last 20 years, this will be a familiar sight. Yes, construction and road works. It appears to be never ending. Big, grandiose infrastructure projects are replaced with ever bigger projects so much so that it just blends into the everyday life of the locals. If you turn up one day and there’s nothing to be seen like this anywhere, then chances are you have landed in the wrong country. Please check your flight itinerary.

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Of course, in Malaysia, for the fans and connoisseurs’ (including President Obama), you cannot go past durians. This prickly ‘King of Fruits’ is polarizing when it comes to its smell and has a record of sending people into panic (for example, a ward was evacuated in Mitcham Hospital in April this year when the smell of the fruit brought in by visitors for an inpatient was thought to be a gas leak. Even the firefighters were called in! ) But the fleshy fruit is an intoxicating delight to many, including myself. Hence, we stopped by a durian fruit stall one night and picked two up. It was heavenly!


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On the flight back to Melbourne on AirAsia X, we were treated to a Mothers day special by the crew who dressed up as “Momma’s” including the guys complete with wigs, makeup and outlandish gear. The chief steward in the photo (also known as Big Momma) was great. He had one of the crew sing a song, got kids to come up and wish their Mom’s a Happy Mothers Day on the PA system, had gift bags for them and we even enjoyed complimentary tea and cakes. Of course, we couldn’t resist being part of the fun! Best inflight entertainment ever at 37,000 feet.


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