Musings Over the Seas

Writing is always therapy for me.

I’m a Pisces.  I was never really knowledgeable in Astrology, but I have a good friend who is.  She once told me that since we basically are fishes, we can go with the flow.  However, Pisceans can be moody as well.

Having said that, I’m in a mood.  A “blah” kind of mood.

Maybe it’s the crimson wave, blood moon, whatever.

Ninety eight percent of the time I can say that I am in a good disposition.  But today falls under the 2 percent.

I recently relocated somewhere Southeast Asia from nearby Southeast Asia. Lol.

It’s been almost a month. The new job, as expected, is still in its adjustment phase. Overall, I’m pretty much pleased with it.  It is very different from where I used to work.  I was – am, a GP working in a primary care hospital in an indigent area.  It was a good season.

After I got my license to practice as a physician, I felt a little bit lost what to do next.  I never really thought that far ahead.  I just wanted to be a doctor and help people (cliché, but true).  The logical next step for most would be to specialize.  So I tried.  I got in a residency program but quit after six months.  But that’s another story. Somehow I ended up working in this said hospital, and I loved it.  So why leave, you may or may not ask.

I just wanted to go see what’s next for me.

If I can describe in two words my move here in this country, I would say – sudden and serendipitous.

A couple of months ago, I felt restless with my current job.  I loved it but I was starting to feel stagnant.  I travelled more last year to satiate the restlessness.  But then last November, I said a quiet prayer to God that if my place in this world was to serve as a doctor there indefinitely, I would embrace it.

As irony would have it, a friend from med school whom I haven’t seen or talked to in so long, out of the blue messaged me in Facebook that a company was looking for an MD.  It was the holidays, so I didn’t give it much thought.

Weeks passed, and my sister reminded me of that Facebook message.  So I sent my cv and within the hour I received a call for an interview schedule. In a nutshell,  it took about five days for me to email the cv and get the job offer.

I was elated.  It was a bizarre whirlwind moment for me.

So now I’m here and so far it’s been…good.  Not great – yet.  It’s just okay, bordering good.

I hate that I sound like an ungrateful brat.

That’s why I’m having my writing therapy now.  I want to lay it all out.

Firstly,  I never imagined myself living here.  I’ve imagined myself living somewhere else but not here.  It’s not that I don’t like it here, it’s just that it never ever remotely occurred to me to even consider working and living here.  Second, even if the general culture here is exposed to the West, it’s still pretty much Asian. And I don’t mean that in a negative way.  It’s just how it is. (Asians get me, right?)

Just to clarify, I’m 100% Asian.  I grew up in the Middle East much of my formative years, then moved back to the motherland.  For the past five years, I’ve been going back and forth to Los Angeles to visit my brother and relatives.  So I don’t know if that information bears any weight, but I just don’t get most Asians sometimes. In the sense that occupation, title, education, bank account, appearances can have so much bearing.  Maybe I live in my own little ideal world?  I apologize for the generalization, when I am in fact adamantly against generalizations and stereotypes.

You see, I am a doctor and I’ve been around doctors of all sorts.  There are occurrences where said doctors would have airs (entitled because of their achievements etc) but that type of mentality never really settled well with me.  Because for me, I see people as persons.  It is never a case of what you do, how much you make, which family you come from and all that shebang.  I would always take note of what you speak of, your thoughts, your insights and how you regard others.

So where is this going?

This part of Asia (forgive me, I’m just basing this on my one month stay here) is a little bit contradicting for me.  This place is pretty much the entry point of the rest of the world in Southeast Asia.  I had assumed that given that exposure, it would be more…how can I say this without sounding whitewashed…like LA.  Sure, there’s still inequality everywhere.  But here it’s subtle but obvious.  Again, I’m not generalizing, this is just what I have observed.  Example salary here for non-Asians are a grade higher than non local Asians right off the bat.  Colonial mentality is subtle but prevalent.  Sometimes it works in your favor.  If you speak in English without your native accent, then there is a change in the way they regard you.

So the little idealistic girl inside of me was a little bit disappointed in that aspect.  It makes connecting with people on a real substantial level a little bit more challenging.  Because there seems to be a reflex of exterior judgement prior to knowing the person.

But who knows what happens in the days to come, right?  It’s still a little bit too soon to form a concrete opinion.

I’d like to end this on a positive tone.

Here’s what I saw on Instagram, from @artidote a few days ago, “Consider becoming the type of energy that no matter where you go, or who you’re with, you always add value to the spaces and lives of those around you.” – Arab Proverb.