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Archive for June, 2014

Natasha Kam

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Summery London Trip

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Hiya, I’ve just celebrated my 2:1 pharmacy results with one of my friends in London few days back. We just got back to Sunderland yesterday but I will be going down to London once again next week when my family visits me! It is going to be such an exciting time! My parents will be coming together with my grandmama and my brother to see me graduate- Can’t wait till they arrive next Tuesday all the way from Kuala Lumpur Woohhoooo!! So back to the London trip, to be honest my friend and I did not really plan for this trip, we wanted it to be as spontaneous as possible and surprisingly, it was really fruitful, felt so adventurous!

Day 1:

Took the train, Grand Central at Sunderland station and guess what? So coincidentally, we met another friend on the train & decided to sit together. The journey seemed so much shorter with us chit-chatting away. After 3 hours, we arrived at London King’s Cross, bought my Oyster card, went to Assa Korean and ate one of my favourite Korean dishes- Bibimbap. Walked to Tottenham Court Road, Soho which is also known to be a hotspot for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)). Had some cakes for tea at L’eto (wow whoever who visits London MUST try the cakes there, they taste so heavenly!). Later on, went to Regent Street to hunt for last minute musical tickets and we got Wicked at 40 pounds each which was actually not too bad for stalls- right in front of the stage! Then, we checked in to Malaysian Immigration Building at Bayswater- really cheap stays for Malaysians who study in the UK (only 12 pounds per night). All you need to do is to fill up a form online, get an email from the warden and confirm your stay. Last stop was us doing some shopping at Harrods & Burger and Lobster for dinner (my very first time).:p

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Sunderland Metro

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The view on the way to London from the train

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All smiles!

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London King’s Cross

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Day 2:

Malaysian breakfast (nasi lemak), walked around Regent Street and Oxford Street. Visited the British Museum- Mummy Invasion! 🙂 Lunch at Okonomiyaki (Korean), watched Wicked musical (my second time and yet it’s still good) at Apollo Victoria Theatre. Shopping at Sloane Street and dinner at Big Easy at Kings Road.

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Day 3:

Malaysia Mee Hun goreng and teh tarik for breakfast and rushed off the L’eto to bring home some cakes and we’ve arrived to London Kings Cross a minute late so we didn’t manage to catch the train back to Sunderland. T’was just literally one minute and we decided to get a one-way ticket back which cost us 80pounds.. T_T But then again, our return train tickets were really reasonable so that actually made us console ourselves.

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Propak Asia Exhibition 2014

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

My trip to Bangkok last week ended well as my family and I attended the Propak Asia exhibition. It was an eye-opening experience because this is the biggest packaging/processing event in Asia. There were pharmaceutical machines like the powder hopper, mixer, machines to help out with the blister packaging of light-sensitive tablets. I have also spoken to some of the exhibitors about their products and gained so much information and insight into the pharmaceutical world. This has been so wonderful as my dream is to be part of a pharmaceutical company one day or potentially own one.:P

 

“Propak Asia is an event organised exclusively for the food and beverage sectors as this show exhibits the best solution for packaging and processing of the food and drink items. The leading industrialists will be present in this show to exhibit the respective range of modernized and assured range of packaging items. This event serves to be an important platform where the attendees will get to know about the advanced way of preserving the freshness of the consumable items. The show has proved to be beneficial for drink, laboratory, testing and other relevant sectors as every sector aims to transport goods in the best manner possible so that no complaints are received from the clients. The professionals find this show to be the best place where the individual can explore the technical skills.” By Propak Asia.

For more information: http://www.propakasia.com/

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Shout-out of the Month: Pharmacy Manager in KL, Chloe Chia

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Good day readers! Before I introduce our monthly shout-out, I would like to personally thank Chloe for the interview session despite her very busy schedule! Also, credits to pre-reg pharmacist, Leong Cho Sin for helping me out with this blog post (Jia you with your pre-reg exam!:P). So this month’s shout-out goes to Chloe Chia currently working as a pharmacy manager at  HealthLane Pharmacy, Kuala Lumpur. Chloe studied in University of Sunderland few years back, did her pre-reg training at Boots Pharmacy in United Kingdom before coming back home to Malaysia. Read on to see how is it like to work in Malaysia as a pharmacist.:)

 

1. What is the process like applying to become a licensed pharmacist in Malaysia?

As a UK registered pharmacist in Malaysia, first we must pass the forensic exam. In the mean time, we need to apply for Certificates of current professional status (CCPS) from the GPhc. Then we can send in all 3 forms (application for provisional registration, application for full registration and application for provisional exemption) to the pharmacy board together with the required documents and wait for their reply. This pretty much sums it up the whole process for full registration and it takes about 2 months to get everything sorted out. You will have to apply for poison licence A if you plan to work in a retail pharmacy. From then on you are responsible to comply with all the laws governing the healthcare system in Malaysia.

 

2. What experiences have you had in the pharmacy setting prior to your current job?

I did the summer placement programme with Boots during my year-3 summer break and I further working in Boots as a pre-registration pharmacist. I must say that training in Boots is one of the best experiences I have ever had, because their training programme is so well organised that it prepared us to become really qualified pharmacists.

 

3. Why did you choose and what do you like about working in the community pharmacy?

To be honest, my first choice was to work in a hospital a few years before venturing into retail. However, it just so happened that I have been offered a job in a retail pharmacy, which is literally 2 minutes away from my place. It was before I took the forensic exam and I thought, why not give it a try to work as a pharmacy assistant before I get my full registration done. Eventually after working for a few months, I decided to stay back and continue to serve in retail. I really like the patient contact in retail setting. I started to build up a good rapport with the customers and it always gives me the lovely sense of belonging when the customers come back to the pharmacy every month, or some even every week! That is the job satisfaction I get when I see the impact made on their well-being.

 

4. What is your daily routine like as a pharmacy manager?

Dispense drugs and medications, selling OTC (Over-the Counter) med, supplements and pharmaceutical products, keeping the record of controlled drugs, counselling the public of minor ailments and healthy lifestyle, offer blood pressure monitoring and blood check-up, supervise the inventory management, respond to phone calls, recruit and manage staffs, arranging supplier road shows for outlets, and the list never stop here. Basically I take on the responsibilities of running the business and supervise the day-to-day operation of the pharmacy.

 

5. What are the challenges working in the community pharmacy?

Being in a retail pharmacy, the biggest challenge is none other than customer contact. Customers are likely to be cranky when they are ill (not all though). I have to be really calm and treat them patiently. Another challenge is the price war among the competitors. There are too many retail pharmacies out there and we have to maintain a good relationship with the suppliers to ‘fight’ for the best price. Last but not least, to raise the awareness of antibiotic resistance around the community is one of the challenges I am facing now. I have seen doctors prescribed antibiotics for just minor flu and patients would come back to ask for more antibiotic, which is a big no no.

 

6. How is it different working in the UK and in Malaysia?

Totally different. I can’t deny that working abroad was a good experience for me as I get to work and make friends with the locals and learn their culture. However, healthcare systems in the UK and Malaysia are totally different and I had to start all over again 8 months ago to adapt the healthcare system in Malaysia. I always get surprised of the drugs we can sell without a script in the retail pharmacy.

 

7. What are your future plans?

Well, I really love my job now so I guess I will continue to work and grow in this field. At the end of the day, I hope to have my own pharmacy. I wish to have the courage to run my own pharmacy business and able to survive in this over-saturated market.

 

8. What do you like most from being a student and what is it that you miss most in Sunderland?

I miss the freedom I had when I was a student. My only responsibility was to attend lectures/workshops and pass the exam.  I can relax and go for a night out with friends, sleep day and night, go travel whenever I want to and of course, partying. One thing I miss the most in Sunderland is the fish & chips served in Greens, the bar near to bridges shopping mall. It was cheap and tasted really good!

 

9. Advice for future pharmacists?

University does not prepare you for the world of work. It was the training during the pre-reg year that I found it really useful to explore pharmacy world. Always be humble and never stop learning as a pharmacist, because new things continue to evolve on a daily basis and we have to keep up to date with the latest news.

 

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Sweet & Lovely Chloe Chia 🙂

Music Covers

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Playing music is one of my favourite hobbies apart from dancing. I started playing the piano when I was 4 and went on learning the organ, drums and the bass guitar. When I arrived in Sunderland, I bought myself a keyboard as I cannot live without playing the piano for long. So here are some videos of my little brother and I jamming together after one year of not touching our instruments.

 

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Preparation for Graduation (Yeeha!)

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Good morning guys, just a few days ago, our faculty have been contacting some of us Year 4s for viva appointments which will be conducted next Monday onward. Students with a plus/minus 5% overall grade for our finals (from failing to passing the exams or a 2:1 grade to a first class) will be called to attend something like an interview session for question and answer on our exams & hopefully get to upgrade our grades. After that, our year 4 pharmacy results will be released on the 18th of June at 630pm so sunspace server will be really busy then.:P On top of that, our graduation day will be held at Stadium of Light on the 11th of July at 10am – which I can’t wait!!! I have already rented my graduation gown and bought 4 main stand tickets for my family at about 27 pounds each. I am so excited that I have already gone shopping for my graduation dress in KL.:) It is advisable to get button down blouses/shirts to hook up the gown but I could not find a nice one so went on getting a plain bright-coloured dress instead.

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The masters gown will look like this:P

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Trying out dresses for graduation

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My make-up artist and I trying out a photoshoot

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Make-up Prep

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Professional photographers from Wyluxx Photography

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One of the shots from the photoshoot

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Everyone’s favourite shot (Many me(s))

 

 

KL to Bangkok (HOLIDAY)

Friday, June 13th, 2014

So I spent 4 days and three nights in Bangkok, Thailand and all I did was eat, shop, walk, shop some more and sleep (hehehe)! After months of drilling for exams, final year project and assignments, I finally had some time off my usual schedule and I have rested so much during my Bangkok trip. 😛 On Monday, my family and I flew from KLIA 2 (new airport) to Don Meung Airport which took about two hours. The time in Thailand is an hour behind that of Malaysia’s and the climate is about the same. Bangkok is one of the world’s top tourist destination cities and has also been named “World’s Best City” by Travel and Leisure magazine’s survey for four consecutive years since 2010! It is famous for its shopping places and Thai massages. I bought 5 blouses for work and it cost me only 600 baht which is only 60 Malaysian Ringgit (12 British pounds!!!). We travelled around with the “tuk tuk” which is built on a motorcycle (it’s really fast and unstable). I have also went for a Thai foot massage which left me a few bruises the next day… Scroll down for pictures:)

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Found Boots Pharmacy in Bangkok!

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Malaysia vs Thai Food

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Hi guys!!! I literally just got back to Kuala Lumpur from Bangkok, Thailand. Thought I’d make a blog post on the differences between Malaysian and Thai cuisines! Both Malaysian and Thai food consist of traditions and practices found in the Southeast Asia whereby multi-ethnicity is reflected in Malaysian food as the population is divided among three major ethnic groups such as Malays, Chinese and Indians. The remainder consists of indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia. The mixture of cultures resulted in a diverse symphony of flavours in our food. When I was in Thailand, the most traditional dishes include Tom Yam soup/rice/noodles, seafood, green curry, pineapple fried rice, glutinous mango rice etc. Their government emphasises  on agricultural industry and that is the reason Thailand is ultra rich in agriculture- massive amount of tropical fruits available anywhere at anytime! Below are some pictures of Malaysian and Thai food that I have tried so far. Unfortunately, it is not enough to cover every food in Asia in such a short period of time. 🙁

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Mum’s home-cooked food with my favourite Chilli-fish

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All time favourite – Mamak’s Maggie Mee Goreng

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Bak Kut Teh

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Bak Kuh Teh (Herbal Pork dishes)

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Pan Mee

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Ramli Burger

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“Pau”

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Seafood

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My little meal in the plane on the way to Bangkok

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Malaysian Mee Goreng

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Famous Thai Tom Yam Soup

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Some vegetables and spring rolls to go with our Thai dishes

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Deep-friend cruller with soya milk

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Thai spicy wan tan mee

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Oyster and pad thai

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Glutinous mango rice

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Pork Curry rice

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Seafood Tom Yam soup

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Tom yam crab and prawns

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Thai beer

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Natural Fruit Shake

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Street Food: Toast Bread

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Fried squid, kangkung vegetable and crab meat

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otak-otak

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Chicken rice

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Street Food: DO NOT BE ALARMED: Deep-fried Bugs

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Pests in Tropical Countries

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Hey Hey, here’s a blog post on really IRRITATING pests you can find in tropical countries like Malaysia. After living in England for two years, I can proudly say that I have not seen a cockroach, lizard or anything creepy apart from gigantic worms and insects during rainy days. As for my fellow Malaysians, I am dead sure you do not miss any of our house pests as shown below…

So here’s TOP 8 Most Annoying Pests You Can Find In Malaysia:

1. Ants- I see them every where I go: In my bedroom, kitchen, toilets, living room even when there is no food or water!

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2. Housefly- You are bound to see them flying around in restaurants/cafe or even trapping in the house.

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3. Mosquitoes- They always attack me!!! I really dislike it when I go out and come home with swollen, inflamed mosquito bites on my legs and hands (mosquito nettings are a must over here!).. So beware of Aedes mosquitoes where they have got zebra stripes on their legs, they cause dengue fever which can be fatal.

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4. Lizards- They crawl everywhere in the ceiling of restaurants and parking places. Just pray they won’t accidentally lose grip and fall on your head!

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5. Cockroaches- EUuu I find them really disgusting! The more you scream, the more they would come towards your direction. And they fly blindly toO!

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6. Rats- You tend to see them in drains and in the trash so keep clean.

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7. Moths- They would fly into the house and stays at a position for a few hours. It flies back again the next day.

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8. Termites- Always had the termite pest control service people over to my old house because they were eating up so much of our wood!

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Street Art, George Town

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Day 3 in Penang: My uncle (Lefty Julian) who is an artist, brought us around town to visit some of his murals. The tour was amazing as we discovered a few unique wrought-iron caricatures with anecdotal descriptions. This street art project is called Marking George Town which was created in year 2012 to boost the tourism and attraction sector. True enough, it has now stirred up quite a media frenzy! There are soo many murals around town that I’ve also lost count but there is definitely more than 60 of them around! As mentioned on my Facebook Page, Ernest Zacharevic, Lithuanian born artist hand painted some of the very beautiful murals like the kungfu girl, tishaw man, kids on bicycle etc. There is also one on Jimmy Choo, the famous shoe designer (formerly worked for Princess Diana) as he started out his apprenticeship in Penang. My uncle drew 5 murals which are the:

1. Win Win Situation located on Muntri Street

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2. Narrowest Five Foot Wayon Stewart Street

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3. Property on Victoria Street (In 1800s, shops and godowns were built at the seafront)

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4. Man Street on Chulia Street now known as the “Backpackers” Main Street (One of the main streets laid out by Captain Francis Light)

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5. No More Red Tape on Transfer Street (Picture not inserted)

Below are the other wrought-iron caricatures drawn by other artists.

 

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Kung fu girl by Ernest Zacharevic

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Jimmy Choo!

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Temple Day on Muda Street

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Double Role on Chulia Street (Up till 1909, police doubled as George Town’s firefighters)

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Ballerina pose

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Skippy on Armenian Street (To create awareness of animal protection and to get people to foster love for pets)

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One Leg Kicks All on Muntri Street (Household chores)

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“Yeoh” Only on Chulia Street

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Lefty Julian, my artistic uncle:P

 

  • Name: Natasha Kam
  • Age: 23
  • Studying: Pharmacy MPharm
  • Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Ambitions: I would love to set up my own pharmaceutical company.

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