Tuesday, June 24, 2014



One word, enough to say everything. You shudder at it. Fear of heights, fear of waters, fear of speed and the list goes on. All of us have at least one thing that we are afraid of, and the degree of fear varies ranging from mild to phobic.

I have a lot of fears. Heights, especially, give me sweaty palms at the mere thought of standing at the edge of a tall building.

But I have one unusual phobia. I started realising I had this fear when I was three or four when the Miri Zoo still existed. I remember I entered the zoo welcomed with lots and lots of aquariums on both sides and unconsciously I grabbed my dad's hand a little tighter and was so relieved that the aquariums weren't placed in a long line. And as you can predict already, I never enjoyed entering a fish shop without holding on to someone.

Fast forward to 20 years later, one week ago.

I went to the Melbourne museum and they had a section showing the typical forest in Australia. They recreated the forest with lakes, waterfalls, tall trees and forest plants. A sign "to see behind the falls" attracted me and I followed down that dark path. Little did I know soon after treading down that path, I was surrounded by dark murky waters. It was covered with glass, like how you would find in an aquarium but that sight just sent shivers down my spine. I instantaneously shut my eyes and tried to manoeuvre my way out without bumping into the walls. (Clarification: I wasn't afraid of the dark, just the waters)

I have no idea what this phobia is called, I tried googling it but I did find one or two people who share this fear that I have, not very common.

It's interesting though to know that people have unusual fears. Just as much as I don't understand why people are afraid of clowns, it is fair to say that you don't understand my fear.

On a side note, this link gives a list of 25 unusual fears.


Have a read and maybe you might find your fears among them

Monday, October 14, 2013

The spur of the moment

I have moved to this place for more than 2 months now. Just like I had expected, I'm getting more and more used to this environment now. I get along with my colleagues well, picked up a few new words here and there, and have finally successfully performed PCR with clear distinct bands *super proud*.

A little brief description on how my work is, for those of you who are curious.

It started off like this. People collect soil samples. From the soil, microorganisms are isolated, grown to pure colonies like these. There are several types; fungi, yeast, actinomycetes and the one that I am in charge of, bacteria. One of the many reasons why I like handling them is because of their lovely colours:

Soo from these babies I have to kill them so as to extract their DNA to identify them (i.e to give them names). After extracting their DNA, I amplify the sequences using PCR and send the products for sequencing to get their ID.

Now about the PCR part, I got really frustrated during one period of time where my PCR was super duper clean, not even a single band. I would be happy even if the negative control showed bands. After several reruns, I nearly gave up until someone found out that it was the problem of one of the reagents. Soon enough, I got a clear definite picture of the PCR run. Imagine the extreme disappointment after retries and finally getting bands, I leapt like a little kid around the lab. It felt like some springs had been stuck to my feet and I just literally bounced out to the lab telling everyone I had bands for my PCR. And yes, I didn't even care what others will think about me because you see, I was quite desperate in getting results already. Below is a picture showing a part of my workplace, and some of my colleagues

That's basically a very brief description of my work now. If you've not been wondering why I named the title of this post as "The Spur of the Moment", please wonder now.

This blog post is titled so because
1. I haven't been writing for a long long time and when an inspiration like this comes, it is definitely the spur in my head.
2. On a side note, do you know that love at first sight occurs in the first 10 seconds of eye contact, or 8.2 seconds to be exact?? Interested to know more?? Click below!!

TATA.........TATA box i meant =P

Till next time, whenever the next 'spur' will be

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The beginning

Recently moved to a new environment, very much different from what I have experienced before. It wasn't that hard when I first got to Canada. There was no language barrier, transport was easy to use, place is so much safer.

When I first reached here, I really regretted the choice that I've made. Wanted to pack up my things and just leave. It was a tough start, but I told myself that everything will turn out fine eventually, told myself to trust what God has planned out for me. So I swallowed it all in, and one week has finally gone through slowly. And indeed, things had begun to turn for the better. I felt more at ease now, even though I still have language barrier, even though there are still some obvious differences. I'll hang on to my cross and I'll carry them with patience and courage.

For this is only the beginning...

Friday, May 24, 2013

That helpless feeling, where you can't do anything but just wait and wait and wait, for time to pass by as you place your hope in Him.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

So for those taking BIO476, or those who have friends taking BIO476, or those who have heard me mention that in BIO476 there's a Wikipedia edit assignment that we have to do. And my topic is first of all a Wikipedia protected one from vandalism apparently.

That was fine with me. So I chose a subtopic. The treatment of multiple sclerosis.

It was late at night and I just want to get it over and done with. Not like I care so much since the information up there looks like it's sufficient. So, I did what most students like to do. CTRL-C and then CTRL-V and there goes a nicely-written phrase on Wikipedia.

Was crushing some candies for a while since it was already too late for bed anyway (is there even such a thing as too late for bed?? anyway....)

Then suddenly I got a new message from some random 29-year-old Spanish psychologist who welcomed me to Wikipedia and started assuming things. I don't blame him either, wasn't his fault for thinking that I am super interested in multiple sclerosis because I've edited tonnes and tonnes of times (EXAGGERATION ALERT!) and was finally pleased with what I did.

He started like this :

"It seems you are really interested in multiple sclerosis (NO WAY!) and some of your additions to the treatment of multiple sclerosis are potentially very interesting. Moreover, sources you have chosen are usually high quality reviews which is perfect for wikipedia (OK, THAT'S FLATTERING). 

BLAH BLAH BLAH......then.....

Specially harmful was the copy-and-paste from the abstract of the source to management of acute-attacks section. This is a copyright violation and I had to eliminate it completely.(OOPS SO MUCH FOR THE CTRL Cs AND Vs)

BLAH BLAH BLAH......then....

Contact me here or in my talk page, and I'll try to give you some hints on wikipedia editing. I have been the main contributor the both the multiple sclerosis article and treatment of multiple sclerosis so I am really interested in having the best possible articles, and you could be of great help. (YEAH, MAYBE IF YOU HIRE ME TEEHEEE)

TEEHEE but somehow I got to thank him anyway. I might end up in the dean's office instead if he hadn't removed it. Oh well in the end, before he goes ahead and removes more and leave me with only one sentence that I edited, I quickly hit the print as pdf button.

And then I replied him, just to clarify that I am not as interested in multiple sclerosis as he thought I would be and to clarify so that he won't be waiting for me to be his potential helper in guarding the MS wiki page (I'd rather be counting fruit flies)



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Just when it's about time

It's the last term of my undergraduate studies.

Just over dinner today, we were talking about our first year courses. About the bell ringer lab tests, about the activities we did in the labs. To look back now, I didn't really appreciate what I was doing. To me, education is a touch and go thing. I did it for the grades, I did it for my future, I did it because they told me that I need it. So when it was over and done with, I felt relieved.

And I felt that way for the following 3 and 1/2 years of university. Touch, then go. Without leaving any traces behind. When I was asked "How was school?", my answer would be, most of the time, "Great, but I can't wait to finish studies and graduate" and sometimes I would grumble a little on why I still have years to go through before I can graduate. I would be envious of people who are graduating soon and who are rejoicing over the few number of courses that they need to take for the term while I hurdled every course with difficulty and sometimes dragged myself through sleepless nights.

This went on for another few years.

Then at last, the very last year came. My final year - the year I have been anticipating forever.

Unlike many others who cannot wait to graduate as soon as possible, my heart began to sink everytime I think of graduation. After 4 long years I should maybe start planning a victory celebration for myself to mark the end of university life, to be finally free of my misery. But it just doesn't feel like celebrating anymore. Instead (and I know this sounds crazy), I started enjoying my classes. Every one of them. I remembered how I used to skip most of my classes in first year but now I long for Tuesdays and Thursdays (those are the only two days I have classes). Ironically, but true.


When people told me how envious they are that I only have two classes and that I am finally graduating and that they have years to go, I see myself in them and wondered if they will feel the same way I am feeling now or maybe it's just me.

There's no time for regrets. Well, there is no need for regrets. Even though the term is ending in 3 months, these 3 months will be the best 3 months of my university life.

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's finally the time to face the truth. It's not easy giving up but I figured out the best way is to finally let it go because no matter how hard I try, I feel hurt deep inside.

They say friends are the best things to share with others. I acknowledged that and I tried. I am really happy that more people get to experience your laughter, share your moments, hear your stories and have meals with you. 

But lately I feel that we are drifting apart. I no longer know what is going on in your daily life, I started avoiding a little and eventually that became a habit. Like we were on two boats out in the ocean, slowly tossed by the wave and float in our separate ways. There were less common topic between us. I didn't know since when that happened. I tried to bridge the gap, but you were always not there. When I wanted so badly to talk to someone, you were never there.

From the pictures on facebook, I can see you have definitely moved on. You were no longer the person I used to know. You smiled a lot more genuinely in pictures without me. That hurt me a lot, no doubt. You probably won't know this feeling because you are always the social butterfly that flutters around while I am the one who always finds a quiet place in a crowd of strangers. 

We've drifted apart into somewhat different worlds. So close, and yet so far. I used to think that this saying was nonsense. How could it possibly make any sense? Now I couldn't find a reason to prove it wrong.

The reason I wrote this all out is because I want to have my feelings sorted. I don't want to dwell on it any longer. It burdens me so much and it's just wearing me out. I have to move on. Maybe, this is for the best. Maybe, I just like you a little too much. Maybe, ....

Thanks for being a great friend. I'll treasure all the memories we had previously and I sincerely wish you all the best. I know I'm going to be fine. After all, I did cope well 8 years ago, didn't I?