Friday, November 21, 2014

A Visit to Orthopaedic Surgery at Tan Tock Seng Hospital


My appointment with Tan Tock Seng Hospital's(TTSH) Orthopaedic Surgery finally arrived. A doctor from Marine Parade Polyclinic saw me on 12 August and referred me to TTSH. I had gone to the same polyclinic in April 2013 to see my backache problems. The lady doctor said I was fine. Well, the pain got worse.

I used to go to Singapore General Hospital's(SGH) Orthopaedic Surgery. My medical reports were with them. When I requested for my appointment to be at SGH, it was turned down. Family members were surprised that I was going to TTSH, they have bad experiences there. They think SGH has better medical professionals.

I arrived at B1A half an hour early for my appointment. I was seen by the doctor at Room 22 an hour later. After an examination, he asked me to go for an x-ray. His nurse told me to follow the yellow foot sticker on the floor to go to the x-ray department. Cute. No maze to play, it leads straight to x-ray....., a short wait and x-ray was done. I like the efficient and courteous radiologist and her male assistant.

The waiting area of the x-ray department has a beverage corner where visitors can help themselves to cups of hot Milo. I had one.

Then it was back to Room 22. Two patients later, my name was called.

Doctor studied my x-rays before telling me both the good news and the bad news. No slipped disc. Yayyyy! Bad news is I have degenerative disc disease,,,,,, getting old.... *sob sob*. It is a term used to describe the normal changes in my spinal discs as I age. This is a disease no one can escape as one ages.

The doctor prescribed physiotherapy sessions and B12 vitamin supplements.


After making my payment for my consultation and x-rays, I was directed to a counter to pre-order my medicine as the pharmacy was one level down and also to avoid a long waiting time. I was given a note which has a map to the pharmacy.

Once I reached the pharmacy, a girl scanned my ID and I just wait for my name to be called. It was fast as everything was computerised and a robotic claw handed my order to a pharmacist.

I wanted the images of my x-rays so I followed the orange foot stickers to the main x-ray department and paid S$30 for a CD-rom copy.

Not a bad experience at Tan Tock Seng Hospital for this appointment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chaozhou traditional snacks (Part II)

chaozhou snacks2

My one day trip in Chaozhou ...... it was eat, eat, eat. I wish I had 7 stomachs. hahaha....

There were so many eateries and food stalls selling Chaozhou traditional snacks within the ancient city walls. I tasted some and had to forego many because my stomach couldn't take it.

Chaozhou snacks

Some of the sweet snacks I tasted : crystal dumplings, assorted sweet dumplings, chive dumplings and braised potato-yam. To me, these food were either too salty or too sweet.
tng chang popia

Teochew tng chang popia (RMB 5) - a traditional snack from Chaoshan. I bought one to taste and OMGosh! This one has coriander leaves and black sesame in its filling. Initially I thought it was going to taste weird ..... but it turned out to be so fragrant and delicious. I regretted only buying one, now I am thinking of it day and night. ish.

Chaozhou oyster

Chaozhou oyster omelette - must try! Dinner on the second day of my Chaoshan Trip was at my own expense. Together with 3 tour members, we found a tiny eatery and ordered a plate of crispy fried oyster omelette, a bowl of pork ball soup and a fish dumpling soup. The bill was RMB40 (S$8 nia) !! We were served oyster omelette twice in restaurants, this one by the street hawker was much more delicious because it was crispy.

OK.... someone said it was delicious because it was fried with gutter oil. Joke, right? hahaha..... *feeling uneasy*


After dinner, we had desserts at a clean and trendy one-man-operated eatery. The young owner created some pretty desserts which was quite expensive.  It was a warm night, the chilled desserts were refreshing.

Couldn't resist a strawberry sundae from golden M, a treat from a sweet tour member. *happy*

Teochew olive

Green olives...., my late grandmother's favourite snack. They are easily available as you find pedlars selling them on the streets.

I have never like green olives because of their yucky taste.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln Wood Firing Festival Preparation 2014


Paid a visit to Thow Kwang Dragon Kiln on a weekend to see the packing for the coming wood firing on Friday night. The impressive dragon kiln is only lit twice a year, and they are having a ceremony this weekend.

21 Nov 2014  7.30pm till late
Official Opening and Firing of the Dragon Kiln
(Free entry to opening night. Register with

22 Nov and 23   10am until late
Local craft bazaar, Food market, Dragon tour and firing

23 Nov    10am - 5pm
Local craft bazaar, Food market, Dragon tour and firing
5 pm - 5.30pm   Water Battle and Closing of Festival


Built in 1944 by Mr Tan Kin Seh, Thow Kwang dragon kiln measures approximately 130 feet (40m) long and 16 feet (5m ) wide. It contains 3 main parts - a front firing chamber, a main chamber where ceramic pieces to be fired are placed, and a chimney at the tall end where smoke is emitted. Along the sides of the kiln, there are small openings call stokes. The stokes along the body provides both oxygen and firewood into the kiln

A unique natural glaze on the pottery is created when ashes produced by the burning wood and salt added through the stoke holes to the kiln undergo a complex reaction with the minerals from the clay,

We walked into the "dragon's belly", the pottery are still in the process of being packed within the kiln for the firing. Each piece has to be carried into the kiln and carefully arranged to catch the passing flame. Packing the kiln is hard work! Packing the kiln is an art! The volunteers have to work hard to fill up that space in time for the wood firing. The entrances to the kiln is then sealed up during the firing.

hand-crafted pottery and manually powering the wheels 

It will take a couple of days to fire it and several more to cool it down.  The crews need to feed the fire around the clock for days. The firing will be amazing to witness.

We took a walk at the nearby Jurong Eco Park and took some pictures. Love the greenery and tranquillity.

                                                   Jurong Eco Park

If you’re like me, who attract mosquitoes like honey attract bees, spray yourselves down with insect repellent before you even exit the car. Jurong area where Thow Kwang is located, is frequently classified a dengue fever zone. Don't get ill.

85 Lorong Tawas Singapore 639823
Open daily, 9am to 5pm

Drive: Jalan Bahar Exit 36, keep left to Nanyang Ave, keep left to Clean Tech Loop

Public Transport: MRT to Boon Lay; then take Bus 199; Alight before Lorong Danau (Nanyang Ave)

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