I'm a hugely privileged person. Almost all the advantages that can be bestowed upon someone in our society have been bestowed upon me. I was brought up in a family for which money wasn't really an issue. I lived in a nice place - in leafy, privileged Cambridge - and went to very good schools. State schools, as it happens, but in Cambridge the state schools are remarkably good, and Hills Road Sixth Form College, where I did my A Levels, can compete at an academic level with pretty much all the 'top' public schools in the country.
I realize that its such a silly post but I’m truly excited. For years and years and years (well, most of my life really), I’ve had short stubby stumps for fingers. My fingernails have never reached any sort of enviable length or even a length in which a lady can be proud of. The reason (obviously) is that I’m a nail biter. I bite my nails when I’m nervous, when I’m bored, when I’m agitated. I also bite out of sheer habit. Its a disgusting habit, I know. But I do it anyway. My mom always shudders when she looks at the sorry condition of my nails. And other than a short spell in Chicago when I paid to have fake nails pasted onto my short stumps, I have never had my nails protruding beyond the length of my nailbed. In short, I would be severely handicapped if I was to ever be involved in a cat fight.
Alas! No longer! Substituting my nail biting habit for copious amount of coffee drinking, my nails, for the first time in my life, are now protruding beyond the nail bed. My mom is no longer clucking like a nervous hen over my short stubby fat fingers. The fingers (unfortunately) are still fat, but they have attained a certain elegance to them with the acquisition of the nails. I have white tips (ok, so not completely white..but you get the drift). Its all, in short, VERY EXCITING.
Yep. That’s it. I just want to record this in black and white for all prosperity. I HAVE NAILS. I’m sure in a week of so, it will be worn down to stumps again. But I have nails, au nautrale, and I’m rightly proud of them.
What does drug use in a Kenyan village, a Rwandan community court and a UK prison have in common? Theoretically, quite a lot.
In our work to identify the reasons why people start injecting drugs in Kenya we are exploring ideas from a range of disciplines and areas of research. Heroin use is increasing as a public health challenge in Kenya.
The last few months have been a whirlwind. I've recently started a big project that I'm really excited to share with you. Earlier this year I signed a book deal with Stewart, Tabori & Chang, to turn Illustrated Bites into a book! I've been delaying announcing the news, because for a long time it seemed too good to be true.
And so it has come to pass that a jobless pediatrician has just returned from yet another trip abroad. My mom and I have just returned from a short trip to Macau and Hong Kong. Mother makes an annual trip to Hong Kong to see our elderly relatives there and when I am able, I try to make the trip with her. Part of the reason is because well, mom normally pays for everything. But the other reason is because I know that time will make these trips unnecessary soon enough. Whenever I tag along though, mother will try to suggest a location accessible via Hong Kong to keep me entertained. 4 years ago, we had visited Macau in addition to Hong Kong. As it was both our first trips to Macau, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. This time round, however, we were slightly more prepared. We had hoped to stay at the Sofitel again but due to timing issues, we were unable to procure a room there. Or anywhere on Macau island itself. We ended up staying in Taipa, right across the bridge. Aided by Agoda, we got rooms at the Regency Hotel, which turned out to be quite a disappointment. It was described as a 5 star hotel, but honestly, the room itself should have be more honestly classed as a 3 star hotel. I wish I had put my foot down and insisted on booking rooms at the 4 star Holiday Inn. Certainly from the lobby alone, it looked a lot more comfortable than our hotel.
During our last trip, we had paid our visit to the ruins of St. Paul. This time round, I was quite determined to poke around the other islands. We went to Coloane by bus (their public transport system was quite marvelous) and went to a number of temples there. I also got to sample the infamous egg tarts from Lord Stowe’s bakery (divine!). We also went to Taipa village where I got to experience eating at my very first Michellin starred restaurant! Quite exciting!
Overall, it really wasn’t a bad trip. I had the chance to eat quite a variety of foods, and we did a lot of walking and sightseeing. AND, I also had the chance to use my (almost) forgotten point and shoot camera. It boggles my mind at the sheer number of people who now largely depend on their smartphones for their touristy snaps. It seemed as if the tourists either had fancy (heavy) camera equipment or they used their phones. I’m quite certain that I was the only stubborn fool who held on to my dear (old) trusty point and shoot (digital) camera! Good thing the pink rectangle box has managed to survive all the knocks over the years…
The Grand Prix weekend in Macau is possibly the worst weekend ever to decide to visit Macau. Or HK for that matter. Most of the hotels are fully (or over-) booked. We ended up in the Regency. The pictures on Agoda looked rather nice and it was rated as a 5-star hotel. But in reality, this hotel has seen better days and really should be a 3 star hotel. I like their service but their rooms leave a lot to be desired. We had originally intended to visit our relatives in HK and Macau last week but because we wanted to participate in the GE run, this was the only weekend we could come. Unfortunately, it turns out that we weren’t signed up for the GE run like we thought we were. But man, I sure wish I knew earlier that we couldn’t go to the GE run because then I would have bought us tickets to HK for last weekend instead. Our air tickets were doubled, and so was our hotel bill as a result! And not only that…its also much colder! As always with travelling…timing matters! Anyway, not much time to gripe. Will post on the trip itself at a later date!