Saturday, 27 March 2010

Work and Weird British Food Names

Hi!!! I just had a 1 day work in the pharmacy. Not gonna tell you which pharmacy though. Hehe. It was fun, and I learnt a lot from it. However, it was a rather slow Saturday for them, so I didn't get to experience the rush hour. It's probably better because then the pharmacist could take the time to teach me all the stuff. And also I won't get in the staff's way.

I learnt about methadone dispensing, needle exchange, selling stuff, emergency supply, CPUS, morning after pill. I mean I've learnt all these stuff in uni, but now that I've actually seen it done in the pharmacy, it's much clearer now. She really went through all the procedures with me. I'm really glad I managed to get this 1 day job. Really made me understand so much more. Students that have jobs in pharmacies have sooo much more advantages over those who don't. There's a 2nd year student there too. She knows way more than me. And I think she's way ahead of her year because she knows things that we've only learnt in 3rd year. So PP2 and PP3 will be a breeze for her. She was the one who took me through working at the till and the needle exhange programme.

Then Fiona also explained to me everything she was doing, and let me help her. So I learnt quite a lot from her as well. I do owe her a huge thank you. So,


The thing they do the most is methadone dispensing. There was like a constant flow of
patients coming in. They were pretty ok though. I mean, you might expect them to be rowdy, causing havoc and scaring other patients and stuff since they're addicts, but they were ok. Pretty friendly some of them. They always say thank you and stuff like that. Though what I noticed was that most of them smelled of cigarette smoke. And they had this kind of look, like, kind of tired, or pale kind of thing. You would think like, oh, maybe they're addicts, and they are. Not all of them of course, but most of them. It's quite amazing that there are so many addicts here in Glasgow. It's not something that I would expect.

Well, that was what I did most of the time today. There's this machine that scans
their fingerprint and the dose that they need just comes up. Then I just put a cup under the dispenser and it just dispenses how much I need to give them. Really simple. Sort of like a water dispenser, but you don't need to press anything. Then while the cup is filling up, I just fill in the installment slip and inform them if they need a new prescription on Monday. Then pass the cup to them once it's filled. And when they're taking it, I prepare their take home dose (because the pharmacy is closed on Sunday), cap it, label it, and then bag it. Methadone solution is dark green btw. And smells rather icky. To me anyw. I know 1 of them didn't like the taste. They normally wash it down with water. Not sure if it's because of the taste or because of the sugar. To give them more privacy, there's like a screened sitting area for them to sit and take their dose. Sort of like in restaurants, where you have booths. There's just 2 since the pharmacy's not huge. So we put a jug of water on the table for them. I quite liked dispensing methadone. So simple. Hehe. Nothing to do with me liking methadone ok? I'm not an addict.

I did make 1 mistake though. I didn't notice that the tank was almost empty, so tha amount that came out was not right. The patient did ask me if it was the correct amount and I said yes. I did wonder how come it looked rather little, but didn't realise the tank could run out. Silly me. The take home dose I gave him/her was wrong as well. But it was fixed in the end. So no worries. Luckily both the pharmacist and the patient wasn't mad at me. Pharmacist was because it's the 1st day I'm using and doing this. The patient, just because he/she was nice.

I hope I don't get caught or something for sharing these information. But I don't think they're confidential. I mean, you can't tell who the patients are from what I wrote right? I didn't reveal any information about them, just about the procedures to dispense to them. Any thing related to them are in general. No way can you deduce from what I wrote who they are. So I think I'm safe. Hehe.

For lunch I bought 2 sausage rolls from Greggs. It's a bakery that's practically everywhere in Scotland. Seriously. Like every street there's at least 1. And the smell that comes from there, OMG!!! Normally I don't buy from there, but they were having this offer, 2 sausage rolls for 99p. I was on my lunch break, so I though why not? After all, what else can you get for 99p that can make you as full as 2 sausage rolls? Then I went to McD, jst because I wanted a place to sit. I could actually go back to the pharmacy and eat upstairs, but it's cold up there!!! Plus I don't normally eat out, so I though just today would be fine. I bought a McFlurry there. The limited edition Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry. It had pieces of crushed easter egg, swirled with orange fondant sauce. Kinda nice. But I was in a rush so I was practically shoving the ice cream down. I threw a little of it away. Wasteful I know, but I was already slightly late, and it was only a little. I only ate 1 of the sausage roll because it was quite filling.

2 sausage rolls and a Cabury creme egg McFlurry

Sausage rolls. It's wrapped in pastry, and not buns

See? Inside looks and tastes like luncheon meat

Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry - Easter special

Btw, sausage here doesn't mean the sausage in Malaysia. That kind of sausage is called hot dog or frankfurter here. Sausage here tastes kind of like luncheon meat. It's mostly made of beef and pork, so my Malay friends, do watch out. There are halal butchers here so you don't have to worry about that if you buy from them, but not many around my area though. Anyw, back to sausages, it's the kind that you find in Italian shops and stuff as well. It's those that are like an English version of lap cheong, except that it's soft.

I saw on TV how people make sausages. It's like a machine where you put the ground meat into it at the top, place the casing (which really looks like a condom, and putting it on is really the same as putting a condom on. Hahaha) at the outlet, and then just turn the wheel. Then you have to keep squeezing the sausage to create a uniform shape and size. Grabbed this picture from Wikepedia. Haha. Hope it makes it clearer.

The meat goes into the place where the hands are covering, and the casing's put onto the white tube where the meat squeezes out, and you and see the person is shaping the sausage.

I saw the sausage making on Come Dine With Me. It's where a few strangers get together, and take turns hosting a dinner for the rest of that group of strangers. After the dinner, the guests rate them and the 1 with the best score wins some money. So sausage making was the fun activity in 1 of their dinners. Haha. 1 of the guests was saying that it was kind of erotic because it was like squeezing a dick. Hahaha.

Then here, they are called "bangers" because they often explode while cooking. Yes, it sounds wrong. Bangers and mash, that's sausages and mashed potatoes. It's quite a common dish here.

Talking about Scottish food, I've tried their Haggis. It's actually really yummy. Although if you know what it's made of you probably would be relunctant to try. Well, I did anyw. It was during Ching Yee's birthday housemates celebration. Ching Yee, Melissa, Brigitte and I went to Junction Bar to have dinner. So for starters we ordered Haggis, Tatties and Neeps. The British really have all sorts of weird names for food. I'll talk more on that later. Haggis is actually minced sheep windpipe, intestine and all those yucky internal organs, and then mixed with oatmeal and some beef suet (fat), and then placed inside a sheep's stomach. Sounds disgusting? Ya, I know. But it tastes good!!! Honestly!!! Tatties is mashed potatoes while Neeps is mashed swede (swedish turnip). The dish was honestly really yummy. See?

This is what we ate at Junction Bar. Delicious!!!

Ok, so weird British food names. Toad in a hole. Honestly, would you eat that if you didn't know what it was? It's actually just sausage baked in yorkshire pudding. So the "toad" is the sausage, in the "hole" which is the yorkshire pudding. Hahaha. Which it's not really a pudding because it's just made out of flour, eggs and milk.

Toad in a hole

Then there's Spotted Dick. Hahaha. Seriously!!! It's a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit (usually raisins) served with custard or butter and brown sugar.

Spotted dick

Even Heinz produces it

Black pudding, another famous Scottish food. It's sheep's blood sausage. I really don't get why they keep calling stuff that's not pudding, pudding. It's clearly not pudding but a kind of sausage. So why can't they just call it black sausage? Weirdos.

Cut black pudding. It's normally served like that, with some side dishes.

Black pudding, before cutting

Another rather offensive food name is faggot. It's actually just meatballs. Hahaha. Though obviously made with all those disgusting parts.

Faggots. Looks rather nice, doesn't it?

Bubble and Squeak cakes. I actually tried making this. Hahaha. It turned out ok, but not that yummy to me. It sounds easy to make, but is actually quite hard if you don't have the right applicances. I had a picture for it, but because of all sorts of bloody mistakes, I kept deleting pictures and having to put them back on is such a pain because you have to drag it down. Arrgh!!! So go google it yourself. BBC Food has a nice picture of it.

Ok, I'm too lazy to continue searching for funny names and pictures of it, so just go to this link. It has a few funny names with what they are. No pictures though. Go google them yourself!!! McVite's Hob nobs are really yummy btw. Hehe. Am muncing on one now.

Ok, I've spent waaaay too long on this. Be thankful people!!! Back to the report!!! Urghhh...

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Oh, dear. I know I am terribly behind time in my blog. Oops!!! Life here is hectic k? So stressed!!! I don't even know why I am writing a post now when I have:

1. DD3 report to do which I have not even finished half
2. Biopharm test to study for, and I've not started
3. Accommodation forms to fill

The deadline for all these is 1st of April!!! Stupid April Fool day. Why would they want to have a class test on April Fool day? I do hope the lecturers don't trick us. Like say, time's up? and then oops, April Fool!!! Or meaner stuff, like teling us at the start of the exam that we have an extra hour to do it, then 15mins before the actual finishing time, say, April Fool!!! You only have 15mins left. OMG!!! Hahaha. Though I doubt they are that awful. They are actually really nice and friendly.

Until now I can't find a Saturday job or a summer job in a pharmacy!!! I've looked, called, emailed, visited, and STILL no results. Aargh!!! Annoying!!! It's really important for me to get a job because I need to be on an employer's list to get mactched for Pre-registration. Even if I work at a place, it's not guaranteed that I will be on that list, and even if I AM on it, I won't know. OMG!!! Shit IMU should have helped us get some placement here. At least then we'll have some work experience. The students here all practically have work experience in pharmacies. If they don't have a pharmacy job right now, you can bet that they used to. Tons of them are working part time. Since Strathclyde is not the only uni that has pharmacy, we have to compete with students from other universities as well!!! The competition is so tough!!! We (MQs- IMU students) are at the losing end because we have no work experience so employers are more likely to go for local students. Plus we don't have cars so we have to depend on bus/train/our legs.

Then accommodation. Before coming here, I remembered that IMU gave us a sheet stating that we could pay the tuition fees and accommodation fees for 2 years in 1 go. It suggests that our accommodation in the hostels is guaranteed for the 2 years. But then now, we are only guaranteed a place in the hostels for this year. The next academic year will depend on our luck as it is by ballot. I thought IMU would arrange it for us? Then what about those people who paid for 2 years? Will they be guaranteed a room then? Though I don't actually know anyone who paid for the 2 years. It is all so confusing. This is the problem of being the 'guinea pig' batch. Horrible!!! Our juniors will have it a lot easier than us, as we would tell our mentees and they would come prepared. Unlike us!!! Unfair!!!

Research. I know that this is a field where you can potentially earn a lot of money and also become 'famous' in the healthcare world. But I HATE doing literature review and referencing. OMG!!! My head is going to explode just thinking about all this. Yucks!!! Finding references from journals only is going to make me insane. But the deadline is 1st of April!!! I don't have much time left and I'm still barely half finished. Urrghh!!! Kelvin is coming over tonight to do it with me and Ching Yee. Hope this group work thing will 'inspire' me to finish it once and for all. If not then at least to do 3/4 of it.

The only good thing about staying alone is that you will start to experiment with food more. I did rice pudding recently. Yummy!!! Did you know that the skin formed while baking milk tastes like the "fu chuk" in "fu chuk yi mai"? Damn yummy ok? Hahaha!!!

My rice pudding. Ya, it doesn't look yummy, but it is!!!

Then I did bread pudding, but it was not successful because I added too much milk!!! Then other things la, like some mushroom salad. Oh!!! I love the mushrooms here!!! So yummy!!! It's called closed cup mushrooms. Not sure if Malaysia sells them, I doubt so since they are from Scotland. It's white in colour and it's kinda firm. The colour changes to brown once its cooked. Yummy gila!!! Hehehe!!!

The super yummy Scottish closed cup mushrooms!!!

Just a pic of me today. No changes in how I look. Sorry for the weird pose.

Till next time. =)