Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Hiking Trip

Yes, I’m really tired. This morning, I called the clinic six or seven times. Though there was no answer, the busy tone I heard in two of my calls made me optimistic to think the clinic was open today. I decided to try my luck.

I took Bus 16 to Paterson Road and then, from Orchard Boulevard, 174 to go to Bukit Timah Road. Because I wasn’t sure at which stop I should get off, I did so after the 174 passed a supermarket in my very old neighborhood. From the bus stop, there was quite a distance to the clinic. When I finally reached there, it was only to find a “closed” sign. I wrote a message and slipped it inside from under the door, requesting to inform me when it would reopen.

I thought that my first neighborhood doctor and the one, who originally referred me to the clinic, Dr. Goh, might be available and somehow could help me. Then I decided to walk back the way I came from, but at the same time I was thinking that I would be too late for his morning consultation. There I was, standing in front of the door of his clinic, which was shut. But it was the disappointment I had expected. With my head down, I was leaving the place to cross Farrer Road when I found myself between the shuttered door and the doctor sitting on a bench, talking on his phone.


I explained all about the closed clinic and told him I had run out of pills. He asked, “Oh, maybe she went on a holiday. But why are you here? You think I…” He opened the shutter and quickly made a prescription note for Cymbalta so I could bring it to a pharmacy.

A relatively near and large medical institution where I might get it is Gleneagles. I tried two pharmacies in the hospital and neither had it. I asked for an equivalent or even something “similar.” But they said, “No. It must be this particular one.” Exhausted, I rested myself on a sofa at the hospital (and finished “Orientalism” there). Or they had. Dr. Goh spelled “Cymbalta” as “Simbalta.” And the spelling I thought might be correct was “Symbalta.” Should I try tomorrow again or just hope that the clinic opens very soon?

From Gleneagles, I walked to Isetan to get rice, which also ran out a few days ago, and some other food stuff and then the Orchard MRT station to add value to my EZLink Card because the value was below $0. I finally took Bus 123 at the Lucky Plaza to come home. What a hiking all through drizzle, from Bukit Timah Road to the Lucky Plaza!

My pace to read “Orientalism” greatly quickened once the book entered the final chapter, “Orientalism Now,” which discusses the more recent decades. For some like me, who pathetically lacks the required knowledge of, for example, Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, it would be better for better comprehension to jump from “Preface” to “Afterward” and then start reading the first chapter.

[O]ne of the great advances in modern cultural theory is the realization, almost universally acknowledged, that cultures are hybrid and heterogeneous and, as I argued in Culture and Imperialism, that cultures and civilizations are so intertwined and interdependent as to beggar any unitary or simply delineated description of their individuality. (p. 347)

Much of the most compelling work on the new political and economic order has concerned what, in a recent article, Harry Magdoff has described as “globalization,” a system by which a small financial elite expanded its power over the whole globe, inflating commodity and service prices, redistributing wealth from lower income sectors (usually in the non-Western world) to the higher-income ones. (p. 349)

I have quoted a few parts from the work almost randomly. I’m hearing now the voice of Said that says “explain why you quoted this part but not that part.”

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