Last Sunday in Mantin

I took a break today after fasting for nearly a week. It was a good thing too as I went to see the doctor today to diagnose my swollen eye and he prescribed some tablets to reduce the swelling. The best thing was that the Dining Hall served pancake, half-boiled egg, and roti bom with curry for breakfast, YAY! All my three favourite breakfast food in school in one go! Not that the food was really THAT delicious, but given the duration of six and a half years I’ve been here the menu is basically the same thing (with little tweaks here and there) over and over again, it was something to look forward to on a great Sunday morning. And my last Sunday too.

My eye seemed to be in perpetual wink as my left eye became swollen due to an unidentified cause. On the first day, I brushed it off as a strategic mosquito bite. The second day (I went to see the Matron) the Matron gave two tiny pills (to reduce the inflammation) and reckoned it was an ant bite. The third day (today), I went to the Medical Centre (a different Matron on duty) and when I showed the Matron on duty my eye, her instant reaction was “Go and see the doctor”. It reminded me of the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. Instead of “Off with her head!” it was “Off to the doctor, off to the doctor!” Her urgency was that as if I would lose my eye had eye not see the doctor immediately. The swell did not hurt, it was a faint pink and was not obstructing my vision. And as far as I am concern, we do have  a visiting physician after school on weekdays, so there was no rush. A few minutes later, another girl came in. The only problem I could see was that the skin near the outer edge of the eye looked flaky which the doctor later pointed out was due to her sensitive skin (too much sun, perhaps?). Off with the Matron with “Off to the doctor, off to the doctor!”

The girl and I was made to wait nearly half an hour whilst she called another Matron to bring us to a clinic in Mantin town. Thank goodness the other Matron was obliging and kind enough to willingly bring us to the clinic. I have not showered or even washed my face then (I woke up and headed for the Dining Hall like a zombie, in my t-shirt and shorts). So did the other Matron. In fact, she just finished her breakfast and was catching up with the other Matrons in the Dining Hall when the “Off to the doctor!” Matron called her. Even she hasn’t showered yet. Its okay really, she assured me. There were many other people in town who don’t shower, or even brush their teeth in the morning. There were even those who do their marketing or go to the coffee shop in their pajamas.

It was not yet 10am in the morning and there were already a considerable number of people waiting for their turn to see the doctor. There was an old Chinese man with a whole lower arm in cast and an ancient Chinese man with huge plasters everywhere. The walls were covered with health and pharmaceutical product posters, a few which I found rather revolting. Those were the ones with a close up of a child’s lips covered with chickenpox (a chickenpox vaccine advert) and another depicting a (I presumed) forty year old man with hairy chests and hairy abdomens with the message of ‘elevating manhood’, ‘reduce waistline’, and ‘rediscover life at 40’. The drug advertised was Andropause or something. The best poster goes to ‘Symptoms of Hyperglycemia’ where there were cartoon descriptions of a boy having headaches, sugar cravings, irritated, fatigue, etc. I was apprehensive of the toilet. You have to go to the back of the clinic and up the stairs to use the loo (thank goodness I didn’t need it at the time) but even at the door, I refused to let go of my hand pinching my nose closed or open my mouth in fear of inhaling unidentified micro-organisms which might be lurking inside.

The nurses were pleasant. The doctor was a Chinese, probably in his late thirties was dressed smartly. I described the symptoms of my swollen eyelid to him, and he proceeded to check my eye. He washed his hands afterwards. His office looked clean and smelled of antiseptic. I was wondering, if he could keep his workplace clean and dress nicely, why can’t he do something of the toilet? Anyway, he said that the swelling was most probably caused by a blocked hair follicle, and prescribed a topical treatment and two types of pills to reduce the inflammation and allergy.

On returning to school, there were about a dozen girls waiting to see the Matron in the Medical Centre. The Matron who chauffeured the other girl and I to town to see the doctor was like, “Oh no, so many girls!” Just as she dreaded, there were more students to be sent to the doctor.

The afternoon was spent in the Surau with Kak Syahirah, and acquaintance of a friend of mine who was having an Usrah (group discussion ) about Islam. I love to join in these activities (although I don’t go for every discussion, I always seem to have an excuse to skip but it wasn’t compulsory anyway) and contribute my bombastic ideas to the group (I nearly always seem to have an unusual explanation of my understanding of the Quran verses – I was a literature student for SPM, and the way I analyse things is a bit different from my peers, but it is still in line with the As-Sunnah). Today they discussed about Muhasabah Diri as they say it in Malay, or Self-Reflect.

I was reminded again today how important is it to self-reflect, not just to become a better Muslim but also for my general well-being. This will prove very important once I go to further my studies abroad. Self-reflection allows you to understand yourself for who you really are. If you don’t have a firm sense of your identity you will drown in all the influence surrounding which will be abundant when you leave your homeland.

Thank you for reading my blog. Til the next update, Au Revoir!

P.S: My supper, peanut butter and Nutella courtesy of avid Hobnob lover, the Imperturbable Schtick Tan xD

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