Monday, October 13, 2008

Bangkok October 2008

Bangkok traffic. On a good day.

Rama VIII Bridge

Chris with Singha beer, tom yam kung and baked calamari with *lots* of pepper. yum.

We drove past the parliament on the way to this restaurant and saw that the streets were still barricaded with tires and barbed wire in preparation for the protests. The Monday protests had been canceled to pay respect to the two people who died during the demonstrations last week (it was the day of their cremation). There is also rumor that the two factions may be reaching a compromise.

On, Jonny and I at a seafood restaurant

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bangkok October 2008

Northern Russia from the plane

As I suffer from the inevitable jetlag that accompanies traveling, I feel inspired to update my blog at 3am. Since my last post, I have uprooted (once again) from Georgetown, Washington DC and replanted in Philadelphia. I'm now starting a residency in pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (I just couldn't get enough of internship so I had to do another). This is hopefully the last move for at least 3 years, given that's how long it should take to finish a pediatrics residency.

The CHOP pediatrics program, aside from being one of the largest in the country (40 something residents per year), is an incredibly supportive program. People are rooting for my success and education, which is a very different vibe than at Georgetown. As sexy as it was to be a life-saving surgeon, I feel much better suited for pediatrics.

I'm now back home for the first time in over 3 years and Bangkok doesn't seem to have changed as much as I had expected. The taxis are a different color, the airport has free wifi and things are slightly more expensive, but the city still has the same sense of disarray with its millions of people and unstable government. I love being home!

Yesterday my mother and I headed to the Chachuchak market in search of home decor (my Philadelphia apartment still looks barren). The Chachuchak market is an enormous outdoor weekend market where, with a little determination and a lot of walking, *anything* can be found, from snakes, fish, dogs to antiques to American army surplus. At the end of our expedition we were walking on a side street as it was getting dark when my mother accidentally came head to head with a baby elephant walking in the opposite direction. She screamed in surprise while the elephant just kept on walking by... I would give the elephant the right of way any day.

My dad at a local coconut seller: 10 cents a coconut

Chinese restaurant lunch appetizers: jellyfish in the middle, pigs ears on the right, and "thousand year old eggs" (the blue things). The eggs really did taste like they were rather old. Eating the jellyfish, I felt a vengeful satisfaction- I still harbor a grudge against the jellyfish that stung me some 20 years ago and left a scar.

I was reading the newspaper this morning and on the front page just beneath the headline highlighting government problems "PAD Leaders Surrender", I found these advertisements:

USA = Foodland. There's something seriously wrong with this perception, given that over 50% of the US population suffers from obesity.

Bangkok: the capital of sex change operations. Cheap too! I'm wondering why "orchiectomy" is crossed off though...?

And then on the side of the front page, a blurb about lizards: "Wildlife officials believe monitor lizards, seized in the Northeast, were destined for dining tables in neighboring countries".

Surgery Roast May 2008

As I was downloading pictures from my vacation I came across these ones from our May 2008 Georgetown Surgery Roast!

Krit and Aimee

Babushkina and I

Kiran, one of our chiefs, once again spoon, er..., hand feeding Alex??

Friday, April 18, 2008

Washington DC Spring

These pictures were taken in the late afternoon sunlight so they are a bit dim, but the flowers are still fun to photograph.


A goose at the reservoir

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Surgery Alumni Dinner!

From right to left: Neda, me, Liz's boyfriend, Liz, Tim, Tim's wife, Alli's date

Aimee the star chief!
Neda and I pre-dinner

Alli, looking amazing, and me!

Who, me?

Alli, Drs. Chahine, Mark

Alex and Arun cute! Neda and Alex!

April 11, 2008

Quick Update

First, let me apologize for not keeping this blog up to date. I will once again try to keep it current.

News: I'm moving to Philadelphia to start my pediatrics residency program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in June. Lots of new and exciting things to look forward to! Until then, I'm finishing up my surgery internship in Washington DC. Currently I'm working on the cardiothoracic surgery service at the VA hospital. The veterans are an interesting and surprisingly eclectic group.

Tonight, the surgery residents hosted a.... bowling party! I hit a high score of 78 (scoring *1* strike). More pics to come...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Finally getting around to seeing some DC sites!

It's cold at the Lincoln Memorial! I couldn't quite appreciate it as I should have.
The Washington Monument

The World War II Memorial

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Moving to Washington DC!

Can you believe that this is the size of the truck that brought my little bit of furniture over from California! 18-wheeler

Graduation!! June 16th, 2007

Some of us who have taken a little longer to finish than others. We're just well-rounded.

"I think this is the direction we're supposed to be walking..."

Finally the MD diploma! Half is for me, and the other half belongs to all those who supported me along the way! Thank you!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Washington DC: First Impressions (June 11, 2007)

I've always thought of DC as the metropolitan capital of the US, swaying the decisions of the world, where important people schmooze with other important people. I was here 2 years ago taking part in a course at the NIH in preparation for a fellowship in Botswana, and now am back in a very different capacity, but exciting nonetheless.

After many delays at the Philly airport, arguing with an angry cab driver, and checking in to the wrong hotel, we finally arrived at our hotel in Georgetown. The weather is surprisingly pleasant, the people friendly and the shopping looks fabulous! My moving company has just called and informed me that my furniture will be a week late, and I can’t get a permit for my car yet. Somehow, this disorder adds to the excitement of starting a surgery internship. It reminds me of the chaos of moving to Botswana.

I just read an article from the South African Aids Conference in Durban. There was a controversial discussion about instituting mandatory HIV testing. My first thought is that in the US, individual rights are central to the way its society functions, and that mandatory HIV testing would never happen. But then I wondered about the mandatory isolation of TB patients, and all of the alarm that was raised by the XDR TB infected man traveling. Personally, I feel that mandatory HIV testing is an excellent idea if implemented carefully. Measures to protect those who are found to be HIV positive are essential; there is still so much stigma associated with HIV that this is issue that has to be thought about carefully. But health-wise and economically, mandatory testing seems advantageous. Most children in the US require immunizations to attend school- why not implement other protective measures in areas with a high incidence of HIV?

Northern California Coast (June 6-8 2007)

"Rear View of the Golden Gate" (it's been looked at from so many angles, why not this one?)

Sea Lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco

The Transamerica Building in SF

Point Reyes, Northern California Coast

Mouth of the Russian river draining into the Pacific Ocean

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

San Francisco (June, 2007)

April 2007: Muir woods

April 2007: The Golden Gate bridge

Bay to Breakers! May 2007: my mother and I ran the entire way (well, almost) and saw some amazing costumes, as well as no costumes... Great race!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Binche, Belgium (Jan 1, 2007)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! May the next be even better than the last.
Part of the Church in Binche, my home town in Belgium.

The rest of the church.

The walls (les ramparts) that surround the old part of Binche were built in the 1500s (I think) when Marie of Hungarie was living in the castle here.

My mother's old elementary school. She was, at the time, the only girl attending an all-boys school. Here, she perfected her shin kicks and punches!

A statue of the Gille de Binche- the town's claim to fame. People dress as Gilles with ostrich feather hats and a bucket of blood oranges during the carnival after Mardis Gras.