Summer started here, in Japan, with a `Bang`, quite literally! It started on the 1st day of August every year with a huge firework show, and the biggest in Japan is in Tondabayashi, east part of Sayama city. I watched the fireworks show from the hospital area together with all the patients that the doctors and nurses dragged out from the wards 🙂 Unfortunately my camera was a cheap one, so the quality of the pictures were not good. Nevertheless, I got the chance to go and see for myself a summer festival event at one of the village in Tondabayashi. It was made possible by the excellent hospitality shown by my Japanese teacher (although i have quit her class, susah ma….), Mrs. Kakimoto. We went there with her mother and Mrs. Kakimoto also joined the show!
Right, back to the seminar. The seminar was a one day thingy and we were given animal models. When I asked what are the animals that are going to be used, they told me that it was going to be the stomach and intestine of the cows and pigs! Hmmm….I think it should be ‘safe’ since I’ll be wearing gloves…..but could I really scope a pig’s stomach? I was imagining that there will be the whole big fat pig on the table/bed and I have to insert the scope through its mouth! Watching its big nose staring at me while I’m inserting the scope…….now I’m a bit freaking out!
In reality, since I’ve never been to any hands-on seminar before, it was only the stomach and intestine that were on the table…………how relieved was I.
At last I’ve got my ‘staff card’, although I’m going back in two weeks time. This will be my souvenir from Japan 😉 FYI this staff card will be my 4 different staff cards at 4 different hospitals for the last 2 years. When I first started my training two years ago, I was working at Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah, Kuala Terengganu then was ‘involuntarily’ moved further away from Kuantan, to Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, Kota Bharu before going to UMMC, KL. So, I am now able to speak ‘ganu kite’, ‘bahase kelate sokmo’ and of course now, Japanese….otsukare samadeshita [which means ‘good job’ – we said this after successfully doing an endoscopic procedure ;-)]
Last Friday, there was no cases for me to see and do in the endoscopy room, so I took the chance to go to Kobe. Primarily to do my first ever Friday prayer at a mosque in Japan (previously I only had them at a Malaysian student’s house near Nagase). I’ve been planning to go to the mosque since the first few weeks I arrived. I was told that Kobe mosque is the first ever mosque in Japan and there are a sizeable muslim community around the area as well. This mosque was said to be the only structure remained intact after the great Kobe earthquake in January 17, 1995 that nearly flattened the city of Kobe. There were more than 6,000 death (> 4,000 in Kobe) and collapse of more than 200,000 buildings. The mosque was also intact despite the bombing during world war II in 1945.
The journey took me about 2 hours by bus and train. The mosque is about 10 minutes walking from the main train station (Sannomiya train station).
Weekends have always felt long here, especially when you are alone and doesn’t know what to do. Since I’ve started this blog, might as well download some more pictures here. I think, here in Japan, FB has not been well established (correct me if I’m wrong), hence my difficulty in uploading my pictures in FB.
Anyway, the highlight of my wife’s visit was the USJ – Universal Studio Japan! I’ve been to Universal Studio Florida, some years ago (1996, during the Atlanta Olympics), when I was still single and available….;-) This time will be different, it was go with my lovely wife! And after this, maybe we will bring the kids to Universal Studio Singapore. Apparently there are 4 Universal Studio in the world, 2 in the states and 2 in Asia. It was a good experienced, lots of rides and shows. The only problem about USJ was that, most of the shows were being played in Japanese. So I had a tough job of translating them to my wife 😉
Alhamdulillah, Ramadan is approaching. In Japan, most probably we will follow the saudi for the date of 1st Ramadan, which is going to be Monday, August 1st 2011. Currently its the peak of summer, where the hottest of summer here is at the end of July and beginning of August. It has been a long time since I’ve fasted in a minority Muslims country. Maybe 12 or 13 years ago. I wish all of you Ramadan Mubarak, may we achieved At-Taqwa as that is what we’re trying to achieve in this month of rahmah and forgiveness.
During my wife visit, last week, there have been a lot of good news that I’ve received as well. Allah has been very kind to me, not just bringing my wife here in Japan, but also all the things that I’ve been working for and prayed for has been granted, All Praise to Allah.
First of all, I’ve been confirmed as the recipient of the APAGE/JGH Foundation Fellowship Training Award for this year. If you want to know what its all about, you guys could have a look at its website, you’ll see a photo of me with receding hair line and a short CV. What this award means is that I’ll be getting some funds for my research which hopefully could help me and my family in Australia when we go there, hopefully by the end of this year. I would like to thank all of you, who have prayed for me getting this award. I would also like to record my gratitude to my previous consultant, Prof KL Goh, wihtout whom I shall not even think of applying for this award.
Secondly, my application for medical practice in Australia has been approved by the relevant board and now, its pretty sure, by Allah’s grace, my family and I shall go to Adelaide by the end of this year. It has taken me precious time, effort and money just to hand-in the application, which was ages ago, and now it only take us for the visa application. Before that, I have to wait for the Australia hospital to apply first. It was a loborious exercise with all the forms, procedures and mailings, but hopefully this last hurdle could be dealt with ease. Amin.
Thirdly, my long awaited Japanese medical licence has been approved, albeit 2 months late, and I could beginning next week perform some endoscopies. My hands has been itching to do some scopes and the time has come for me to show some of my skills…;-) and its also time to brush-up my Japanese…. Anata no kuchi o shite kudasai hiraku koto ga dekimasu (could you open your mouth please) heh heh
All in all, Alhamdulillah, Allah has made my path relatively easy in pursuing my dream of becoming a gastroenterologist, although this period of my time in Japan is on its own a struggle. Hopefully it will be a reminder to me of the importance of my family, not just ‘my family’ but also my parents, siblings and relatives. Though we may be apart at different corners of the world, you will always be in my heart and my prayers….love all of you and Ramadan Kareem…..
It has been a busy week last week. The moment that I’ve been waiting for has arrived! The thing that kept me going through the day here in Osaka-sayama has finally arrived! Yes, the ‘thing’ was my wife visit. Although I would like to just stay in my room with her the whole week…;-) it seemed a waste to come all the way from M’sia without visiting Osaka. So we went to several places around Osaka city and few other places around its vicinity. One good thing about Osaka is that, it is in the middle – you could go around Kansai area which have a lot of historical and beautiful cities within 30 – 60 minutes. Unfortunately, despite being summer, Japan was hit by a typhoon last week, resulting in raining for most of the days last week. Despite that we managed to visit some places like Nara and Kyoto, and not to forget the Universal Studio Japan (USJ as the students here call it).