Sunday, 23 December 2012

Long Holiday and New Year

I was at TESCO in Kota Bharu, Kelantan yesterday, shopping for garlic, chocolates and coffee. Yesterday was Saturday, which means shoppers have to bring their own plastic bags. I brought along 2 yellow cloth bags from Billion, a TESCO green bag and lots of plastic bags for whatever. I arrived at TESCO shopping complex in heavy downpour as this is the monsoon season. I had lunch first before performing zohor prayer upstairs, and then went to look for groceries. To my surprise, TESCO was filled with shoppers, families and kids. Kids were everywhere but there were not many people between the shelves. Anyway, most of the shelves were empty. I wondered why. Did the lorries not make it through the heavy rain? Did the accidents this week prevent delivery lorries from arriving on time? At the fruit and vegetable section, there were Bombay onions and only 2 miserable shallots. There was no garlic in sight. I wondered why. Since I could not find what I needed, I moved on to the coffee and chocolate section. There were new coffee selections but not my usual coffee 3-in-1 mix. I wondered why. I bought a new Colombian coffee mix just to try. I also saw Kopi Tupai? It was not Kopi Musang (coffee beans excreted by the musang and fried to make ground coffee). When I was at the chocolate section, some music played in the tube. It was Jingle Bell by possibly Dean Martin. I wondered why TESCO played such a song when the shoppers are 99% Malays and don't celebrate Christmas. There was no Christmas decor in the store and I didn't see Santa and any reindeer. So why play Jingle Bell? TESCO could have played Pulanglah or any of the Malay songs since shoppers here are predominantly Malay. I wondered why.

Kota Bharu is jammed with holiday traffic. Parents can't even make it to the shops to buy cheap school clothes. It's terrible and worse each coming year. Sometimes I wonder if shopping online for school clothes is better or even buy things in February 2013. I can't even get to Kota Bharu in this wet season and crazy traffic here. Really crazy shoppers' craze. Year end madness and the long wait for holiday to be over.

Scott Perry (Xlibris) went on 5-day leave so I can't order my own books - the offer ends at Christmas. I will catch up with readers next year. I have a lecture to prepare for 7 January 2013. The title is Acid-Base Homeostasis: Blood Buffers. I have been teaching this topic together with Hemoglobin, but Hemoglobin was taken by Hematology after its lecturers returned from overseas. I am still stuck with Acid-Base lecture because nobody likes the 3-series lecture (trilogy, to put it right). I don't mind doing it but I'm doing it from a chemistry perspective and the physiology lecturers can cover gas exchange and such. I wonder whether the anaesthesiology lecturers would like to handle this lecture series in 6 years time when I leave.