Hi! My name is Daniel Lim Jhao Jian. Here is where I share my experience, knowledge and ideas. You are welcome to leave comments and follow my blog. You are free to copy anything from this blog. Please recommend this blog to your friends.

Monday 30 July 2018

England: My favourite team in the FIFA World Cup

I have always been a strong supporter of England in the FIFA World Cup. Why is this the case?

Since Malaysia is a commonwealth country, UK has always been the European country that I am most familiar with. Since young, I always admired the British culture. In contrast, I was never truly interested in any other European country. The first time where I watched the FIFA World Cup was in 2010. I naturally supported England at that time. After seeing the England team, I felt that they showed good sportsmanship, and this reaffirmed my support towards England.

During the round of 16 in FIFA 2010, much to my disappointment, Germany defeated England 4-1. Worst of all, when Germany was leading 2-1 in the game, England actually scored a second goal which would have equalised, but the goal was somehow disallowed. This was definitely one of the greatest injustices in the history of FIFA World Cup. It gave me the strong feeling that FIFA was deliberately biased against England. As a result, I supported England even more.

The subsequent FIFA World Cup was in 2014. At that time, I was applying to study Medicine at NUMed. Since NUMed is a UK university, my support towards England in FIFA 2014 became even stronger. Unfortunately, England failed to win a single match in the group stage, and eventually finished last with just 1 point. Some people questioned my support towards England which they felt was a weak team, but in my opinion, the ability to win should not be the sole reason for supporting a team.

In 2018, the FIFA World Cup was held just after I returned from UK for my Medical Elective. There were many things I liked about UK when I was there. As such, I most definitely support England in FIFA 2018. England got through the group stage easily this time. Then, in the round of 16 and quarterfinal, I expected that Colombia and Sweden would be huge challenges for England, and I dared not even watch those matches live. But in the end, England was able to defeat them and I was really impressed.

For the semifinal, I thought that England would defeat Croatia without much difficulties. However, it turned out that Croatia defeated England 2-1, which made me feel very upset. Worse still, there were many Croatia fans who kept teasing England and its fans. As a result, I hated Croatia and I wished for them to lose in the final, which they eventually did. I initially wanted to tease the Croatia fans just like what they did to the England fans, but I decided not to do so after seeing the lovely Croatian president who appeared during the final.

Honestly speaking, it is still a great achievement for England to get the 4th place in FIFA 2018. In the future, I will continue to support England in the FIFA World Cup, and nothing will change this. The only exception is if Malaysia qualifies for the FIFA World Cup and gets matched with England, where I will definitely support Malaysia instead of England.

Wednesday 18 July 2018

My weird dreams

One night in June 2018, I had two weird dreams in my sleep, one after another. The second dream seemed to be a continuation from the first dream.

In the first dream, I travelled myself to a university in Penang to help my father deliver a document to one of his friend. I can't remember the name of the university, but I knew the university didn't have Medicine course. There were many students at the university. I delivered the document at the 2nd floor of the university.

The 2nd floor looked really nice, so I wanted to take a picture there. However, a few students kept interfering, which prevented me from taking the picture. I switched to another angle, but they continued to interfere. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I got so annoyed that I shouted loudly. A lecturer then asked me what happened and I told him I really wanted to take a picture. With his help, I managed to take the picture.

After that, I wanted to go back down to the ground floor using the lift. However, when the lift door opened, the lift wasn't there and I saw the lift shaft instead. The lift arrived after a while. I found that really dangerous and I dared not use the lift. A few students told me that the lift had the problem for some time and they had gotten used to it, but I was still not convinced. There were a few other lifts, but all of them were out of service.

I decided to use the stairs to get down to the ground floor. The only stairs I found was the emergency stairs, but its door was securely locked. A few students told me they were confident that they would never need to use the emergency stairs. As I continued to look around, I noticed that outside a window, there was a grass slope all the way down to the ground floor. I then climbed out of the window and walked down the slope. After reaching the ground floor, I got scolded by a student for stepping on the grass on the slope.

I walked out of the university and took a taxi to the bus stop. As I got down at the bus stop, I suddenly realised that I had left my bag in the taxi, and the taxi had just left. I began to panic as I didn't have the contact details of the taxi driver. A few people at the bus stop told me the name of the taxi driver, having seen him earlier. However, they refused to give me his contact details. I tried searching for his name on Google, but I could find nothing.

Worse still, the bus that I wanted to take would be arriving shortly, so there was insufficient time for me keep trying to get back my bag. I had to choose between losing my bag or missing the bus. I felt extremely stressed and as a result, I woke up from the dream. I was so glad to know that it was just a dream and that my bag was safe and sound. I then went back to sleep, where I had another dream which seemed to continue from the previous dream.

In the second dream, I was at a hot air balloon festival in Penang myself. I wanted to take a hot air balloon ride since I had never taken one before in the past. There were many people at the festival and I had to wait for quite some time while queuing up for the ride. When it reached my turn, there were a few other people who were taking the same ride with me. I didn't know them personally.

I walked down the stairs to get to the platform where the hot air balloon was positioned. I got onto the basket of the hot air balloon and the pilot lifted the balloon off the ground. As we ascended into the air, I was able to get a nice view of Penang. Although I wasn't afraid of heights, I was a bit worried of a possible hot air balloon accident.

After a while, I noticed that there was another hot air balloon near us. We got closer and closer to that balloon and we were about to collide with it, causing me to feel very scared. However, the pilot managed to steer our balloon away from the other balloon and avoid the collision. The pilot then said that it was a normal occurrence in hot air balloon rides and told me not to worry.

Then out of sudden, the balloon started shaking violently due to turbulence and I once again felt quite scared. As time went on, the turbulence became even worse. Eventually, I was thrown out of the balloon by the turbulence. I hung on to the basket of the balloon, but I couldn't do so for long. None of the people on the balloon offered me any help, and I was about to fall to the ground. At that time, I woke up from the dream and I was so glad about that.

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Saturday 7 July 2018

How I became a Star Wars fan?

Star Wars is well loved by many people all over the world. I am a huge Star Wars fan too, but this wasn't the case until year 2018. For many years in the past, I never liked Star Wars. What was the reason for that?

It all dates back to year 2001. In January 2001, I watched the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day on television. This was the first English movie I watched in my life. I really loved the movie, and I was particularly impressed with the boy who acted as John Connor.

A few months later in May 2001, Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace was shown on television. The poster of the movie featured a boy, who is the young Anakin Skywalker. When I saw him, I somehow had the wrong impression that it was the same boy who acted as John Connor in Terminator 2.

As a result, I became interested in watching The Phantom Menace. However, it turned out to be a terrible movie. There were no exciting action scenes, and the overuse of CG effects ruined the movie. Worse still, I couldn't understand the plot at all, and I thought that the movie was just about some children playing.

I got so bored that I couldn't even finish watching it. I tried watching it a second time a few days later, but it wasn't any better. This completely ruined my impression towards Star Wars, and I hated Star Wars since then. Whenever I heard anything about Star Wars, I would just dismiss it as something terrible.

This quote from the movie Inception is very true "What is the most resilient parasite? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate." The idea in my mind was that anything about Star Wars is terrible, and that idea stuck on firmly for a very long time.

14 years later in December 2015, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens was released. It received positive reviews from a lot of people, including my friends and family members. At that time, my immediate thought was that it is just another terrible movie and I refused to believe the reviews.

Some of my friends and family members tried to explain to me that The Phantom Menace is the worst Star Wars movie ever so I should not judge the whole Star Wars franchise based on that movie alone. Eventually, I was convinced to download The Force Awakens to give it a shot.

However, I never bothered to watch it, as I was more interested in other movies. After the actress Carrie Fisher passed away in December 2016, I found out that she acted as Princess Leia in Star Wars. With that, I began to have a bit of knowledge about Star Wars.

In December 2017, Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi was released. However, its reviews weren't as good as those of The Force Awakens. As such, that didn't help improve my perception towards Star Wars. I had a lot of free time in January 2018 and I watched several movies, but not Star Wars.

On 16 February 2018, I and my cousins were in Kulim celebrating Chinese New Year. On that night, my cousins were watching Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back. I didn't join them from the start, but I happened to see the asteroid field scene which seemed quite exciting. I then continued watching the movie with them.

The Empire Strikes Back turned out to be a really good movie. I was interested to find out what would happen in the next episode, so I watched Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi with my cousins on the following night. It was also very good, but I could only watch the first half as it was already late at night.

As I was quite busy in the following weeks, it was only on 1 March 2018 where I could continue watching the second half of Return of the Jedi. Once again, I really enjoyed the movie. However, as I still wasn't really a Star Wars fan, I didn't have immediate plans to watch another Star Wars movie.

On 24 March 2018, I watched A Wrinkle in Time. Although this movie was unrelated to Star Wars, I felt that its climax was quite similar to that of Return of the Jedi, as both were about the use of familial love to defeat the "dark side". This was interesting as I watched Return of the Jedi just 3 weeks ago.

During my Easter break in April 2018, I often searched on the Internet about Star Wars. I found out that a significant number of Star Wars fans didn't like the prequel trilogy (Star Wars I, II and III). Therefore, I decided to just read the plots of Star Wars I, II and III on Wikipedia instead of watching them.

After reading that, it gave me a good understanding about the character of Anakin Skywalker and I became even more interested in Star Wars. I felt that Star Wars III should be worth watching. However, as a few highly-anticipated movies were being released around that time, I wanted to watch them first.

On 25 May 2018, I watched Solo: A Star Wars Story in the cinema. Although it was released on that day itself, not many people were watching it. The reviews of the movie were also not very good. However, I personally liked the movie a lot, particularly the characters of Han Solo and Qi'ra. This was the 3rd Star Wars movie I watched since February 2018.

Then, I watched Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith on 16 June 2018. Despite already knowing the plot, it was still enjoyable to watch the movie. At that point, I had truly become a Star Wars fan. It was hard to believe how differently I perceived Star Wars just 6 months ago.

I followed on with Star Wars IV: A New Hope on 24 June 2018. One week later on 1 July 2018, I watched Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. After watching it, I could finally understand why everyone said it is very good when it was released 3 years ago. I loved the character of Rey in the movie very much.

On 8 July 2018, I watched Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. Overall, it is a great movie. However, I really didn't like the character of Rose and the scenes on the casino planet, which in my opinion should be removed from the movie. This was the reason its reviews weren't very positive.

After that on 16 July 2018, I watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It is a very good movie, although its ending felt really sad. I loved the character of Jyn Erso in the movie a lot. With this, I had watched every Star Wars movie up to that point, except Star Wars II which isn't worth watching in my opinion.

On 30 December 2019, I watched Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Despite its poor reviews, I really enjoyed the movie. It gives my favourite character Rey an emotional and satisfying ending. Rose is also much more likeable this time. Interestingly, the plot of this movie has similarities with Avengers: Endgame, which was released a few months earlier.

Now, I hope that there will be more Star Wars movies in the future.

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Sunday 1 July 2018

My experience of doing the SSC 3 in UK

The 2nd semester of my 4th year of MBBS at NUMed consists of three Student Selected Components (SSC) and two Electives. The SSC 3, Elective 1 and Elective 2 can be done either in Malaysia or in UK. I chose to do the SSC 3 in UK, but not the Electives. The SSC 3 lasted from 16 April 2018 to 25 April 2018. Here, I would like to share my experience when I was in UK for my SSC 3.

Background information:

- In the past, I had always been hesitant about going to UK for the SSC 3 and Electives. This was because I had never studied overseas before and I felt that it would be difficult for me to adapt to the environment overseas which is quite different from that in Malaysia. However in September 2017, I made the decision to do my SSC 3 in UK.
- Despite living away from my family for more than 3 years since I started studying MBBS at NUMed, I still do not know how to cook, although I am able to prepare instant noodles and operate microwaves and ovens. As such, I had expected that this would be a challenge for me in UK.
- A Short-term Study Visa (STSV) was required in order to do the SSC 3 in UK. I applied for the STSV online on 4 February 2018. Subsequently on 23 February 2018, I went in person to VFS Global at Wisma MCA, Kuala Lumpur to submit my passport and the supporting documents. My passport together with the STSV was then mailed to me on 7 March 2018.
- I originally intended to travel to UK with my friends. However, vast majority of them planned to fly on 30 March 2018, which in my opinion was too rushed, considering that there was an exam just 2 days before that. They also planned to have a tour around Europe before the start of SSC 3, but I had no interest in travelling to anywhere in Europe outside of UK. In the end, I chose to travel to UK with my parents on 13 April 2018.
- For my SSC 3, I chose to do Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough. James Cook University Hospital was the only hospital in UK where university-managed accommodation was available, thus avoiding the need to arrange private accommodation.

My diary while in UK:

12 April 2018 (Thursday):
- Checked in my luggage at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

13 April 2018 (Friday):
- Had breakfast at Plaza Premium Lounge, Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
- Boarded flight MH 4 to London. It was a really nice A350 plane.
- Had nasi lemak with chicken rendang as 1st meal.
- Watched All the Money in the World.
- Had chicken sandwich for snack.
- Had chicken satay with rice as 2nd meal.
- Landed at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4.
- Bought a Three SIM card.
- Took a taxi to Ibis Hotel. Stayed a night there.

14 April 2018 (Saturday):
- Had English breakfast at Ibis Hotel.
- Took a taxi to London King's Cross Station.
- Took a train to Eaglescliffe station.
- Took a taxi to Holiday Inn Express, Middlesbrough.
- Had fish and chips for lunch at Orchard Cafe.
- Took a taxi to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.
- Moved into Corby House, the university-managed accommodation.
- Met my friends who were also staying there.
- Bought groceries at Tesco Express and bought my dinner at Peking Chef.

15 April 2018 (Sunday):
- Travelled to Middlesbrough town centre with my friend. Met another friend with his landlady who offered us a ride.
- Went shopping at Cleveland.
- Had lunch at Banana Leaf Restaurant.

16 April 2018 (Monday):
- Registered at James Cook University Hospital for the start of SSC 3.
- Attended my 1st occupational health appointment. Underwent blood test for tuberculosis.

17 April 2018 (Tuesday):
- First day of session for SSC 3. My SSC 3 supervisor was away on that day so I met his colleague.
- Observed a case of coronary artery bypass surgery.

18 April 2018 (Wednesday):
- Results of the SSC 1 Oral Presentation, SSC 2 Poster & Abstract and WriSkE were released. Passed all of them successfully.
- Attended a lecture on Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. The lecture was largely about postgraduate topics.

19 April 2018 (Thursday):
- Went to the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit.

20 April 2018 (Friday):
- Had chicken soup for dinner with my friend.
- False trigger of the fire alarm at Corby House due to excessive smoke from cooking.

22 April 2018 (Sunday):
- Had butter chicken for dinner with my friend.

23 April 2018 (Monday):
- Observed cases of thoracic surgeries.
- The really long surgery made me feel very exhausted. I no longer enjoyed my SSC 3 very much.
- Received warning letter from James Cook University Hospital due to the fire alarm incident.

24 April 2018 (Tuesday):
- Met the undergraduate medical education manager due to the fire alarm incident. I and my friends at Corby House had to pay a fine of £12.50 each.
- Attended my 2nd occupational health appointment. Received MMR vaccine.

25 April 2018 (Wednesday):
- Met my SSC 3 supervisor.
- Observed a case of valve replacement surgery.

26 April 2018 (Thursday):
- Took photos with my friend at the operation theatre.

28 April 2018 (Saturday):
- Travelled to Whitby by train with my friends. Met many other friends who were also going to Whitby.
- Visited Whitby Abbey.
- Had fish and chips for lunch at Silver Street Fisheries.
- Visited Whitby beach, Whitby Harbour, casinos, Cinder Track, Pannett Park and Whitby Museum.
- Watched the Whitby swing bridge opening and closing.
- Had a light meal at Humble Pie and Mash.
- Went shopping at Co-op.
- Returned to Middlesbrough by train.

29 April 2018 (Sunday):
- Had pizza for dinner with my friend.
- Watched I, Tonya online.

1 May 2018 (Tuesday):
- Had naan for dinner with my friend.

2 May 2018 (Wednesday):
- Played frisbee with my friends.

5 May 2018 (Saturday):
- Volunteered to be a simulated patient for the Mock MOSLER assessment at James Cook University Hospital.
- Watched Black Panther online.

6 May 2018 (Sunday):
- Watched Avengers: Infinity War at Cineworld, Middlesbrough with my friend.
- Had dinner at Toby Carvery with my friend.

7 May 2018 (Monday):
- Bank holiday in UK.
- Watched Microsoft Build 2018 online.

8 May 2018 (Tuesday):
- Watched Google I/O 2018 online. Android P was announced.

9 May 2018 (Wednesday):
- Took group photos with most NUMed students at James Cook University Hospital.
- Played frisbee with my friends.
- Had pizza for dinner with my friend.
- Followed the 14th Malaysian General Election online. Pakatan Harapan won the election.

12 May 2018 (Saturday):
- Travelled to Durham by train with my friends.
- Visited Durham Cathedral, St Chad’s College and Market Hall.
- Had fish and chips for lunch at Bells.
- Visited Durham Castle, Durham University, Wharton Park and Clayport Library.
- Went shopping in Durham.
- Returned to Middlesbrough by train. Changed trains at Darlington during the journey.

13 May 2018 (Sunday):
- Desserts potluck with NUMed students and a Foundation doctor at Durham House.

14 May 2018 (Monday):
- Pizza and fried chicken party with most NUMed students at Corby House.

16 May 2018 (Wednesday) and 17 May 2018 (Thursday):
- Performed intravenous cannulation on patients at operation theatre.

18 May 2018 (Friday):
- Watched Deadpool 2 at Cineworld, Middlesbrough with my friend.
- Met a man dressed in Deadpool's costume and took photos with him.
- Had dinner at Akbar’s.

19 May 2018 (Saturday):
- Travelled to York by train with my friends.
- Visited Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York Minster and Dean’s Park.
- Joined a tour around York. Visited King’s Manor, York Art Gallery, Bootham Bar, York city wall, Shambles, Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and Clifford’s Tower.
- Had lunch at Wok & Go.
- Visited York's Chocolate Story, Shambles Market and National Railway Museum.
- Returned to Middlesbrough by train.
- Had dinner at Corby House with my friends.

20 May 2018 (Sunday):
- Started feeling unwell. I was very weak and had diarrhoea.

21 May 2018 (Monday):
- Took a day off due to my sickness.

23 May 2018 (Wednesday):
- Completed the SSC 3 ePortfolio.

24 May 2018 (Thursday):
- Recovered from my illness.
- Last day at operation theatre.

25 May 2018 (Friday):
- Went to the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit.
- Sign-off of SSC 3 ePortfolio, in-course assessment form and logbook by my supervisor. Official end of SSC 3.
- Took photos with my SSC 3 supervisor and teammate.
- Watched Solo: A Star Wars Story at Cineworld, Middlesbrough with my friend.
- Had dinner at Manjaros.
- Travelled to London by bus with my friend.

26 May 2018 (Saturday):
- Arrived Victoria Coach Station. Had breakfast at McDonald’s.
- Visited Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, London Eye and King’s College London.
- Visited Borough Market. Had chocolate doughnut, Ethiopian marinated chicken, duck confit and vanilla ice-cream for lunch.
- Visited London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Chinatown.
- Had dinner at Ruyi Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown.
- Stayed a night at London Backpackers Hostel.

27 May 2018 (Sunday):
- Travelled to Cambridge by train with my friend. Met two other friends on the train.
- Visited Cambridge International Examinations, Emmanuel College and King’s College.
- Joined Cambridge punting tour.
- Had lunch at The Copper Kettle.
- Visited Garret Hostel, King’s College, Clare College, Trinity College and Market Hill.
- Returned to London by train.
- Visited Earl’s Court. Had dinner at Masala Indian Restaurant.
- Took a bus back to Middlesbrough.

28 May 2018 (Monday):
- Arrived Middlesbrough.

29 May 2018 (Tuesday):
- Had lunch at Peri Peri Original Middlesbrough.
- Had dinner at Toby Carvery with my friend.

30 May 2018 (Wednesday):
- Travelled to Newcastle by train with my friends.
- Followed my friends to store their luggage at Safestore.
- Visited Life science centre, Chinatown and Eldon Square.
- Had lunch at KFC.
- Separated with my friends at Eldon Square bus station. They would be travelling to Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Visited Newcastle University, Newcastle Medical School and Royal Victoria Infirmary myself.
- Took photos of Tyne Bridge.
- Returned to Middlesbrough by train.
- Took selfies at James Cook University Hospital and Roseberry Park Hospital.

31 May 2018 (Thursday):
- Had lunch at McDonald’s, Middlesbrough.

1 June 2018 (Friday):
- Had lunch at Peri Peri Original Middlesbrough.
- A few persons who were not NUMed students moved into Corby House.
- Packed my luggage.
- Had dinner at Akbar’s.

2 June 2018 (Saturday):
- Moved out of Corby House.
- Had English breakfast at James Cook University Hospital.
- Took a train to London King’s Cross Station.
- Took the tube to London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4.
- Had lunch at Oriel restaurant.
- Boarded flight MH 1 back to Kuala Lumpur.
- Had beef kerutup with rice as 1st meal.

3 June 2018 (Sunday):
- Slept for several hours on the flight.
- Had nasi lemak with onion sambal as 2nd meal.
- Landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

- I did not truly enjoy my SSC 3. Although I chose to do Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, my time throughout the SSC was largely spent on surgery instead of anaesthesia. During a surgery, nothing would be going on in the anaesthetic room, so I could only observe the surgery. As I do not like surgery, I found this rather boring. Worse still, I usually had to be at the operation theatre for long hours every day, which made me feel very tired.
- Despite that, my time in UK had been really enjoyable in overall. I had plenty of opportunities to be together with my friends, and we had a lot of interesting events. I spent time with not just a particular group of friends, but with multiple groups. This was definitely able to make up for the shortcomings of my SSC 3. This also brought me closer to my friends, making me value them even more.
- Adapting to life in UK turned out to be much easier than what I had expected previously. Within walking distance from Corby House, there were 4 restaurants which were open daily. Microwave food and oven food were also readily available at the grocery stores nearby. Therefore, food wasn't a problem for me. I also had no problems getting used to the environment in UK.
- There are certain things that I really like about UK. In particular, most services in UK are very efficient, due to the fact that the workers are truly committed to their jobs. The public transport system is good and reliable. Credit and debit cards are accepted at many places in UK. High-speed, free WiFi is also readily available.
- Of course, there are negative aspects about UK as well. I met some teenagers with terrible behaviour, and alcoholism is a real problem in UK.
- I can say for sure that I made a really good decision by choosing to do the SSC 3 in UK. I feel really regret for not choosing to also do the Elective 1 in UK, as most of my friends continued their Elective 1 in UK and I had to separate with them by returning to Malaysia after SSC 3. I cannot imagine how much more I would regret if I did not do the SSC 3 in UK.