This Elective Module is some kind of an observational study. My 'job' was only to see and observe the doctors. Considering that I'm still a student, so examining the patients is off-limits for me.. or at least frowned upon. OCU let us choose whatever department we are interested in, so I chose Ophthalmology (Eye) Department. In Japanese, it's called 'Ganka'. Funny though, I've always felt insecure about my eyes. I can even shed a damn eye drops into my eye and the thought of people touching their eyeballs to put contact lenses is weirdly tickling for me. So I don't know exactly why I have an interest in Ganka. Maybe I was more interested in the gears they're using to examine the patients? Or maybe my subconsciousness is telling me to grow the f up and learn to touch other people's eyeballs? Lol. Aside from observing patients' check-ups and eye examinations, I got to see laser treatments, some operations like cataract surgery and vitrectomy, which were kinda cool. The patients were of course speaking in Japanese, but the doctors always explained to me about the patients' conditions after that.
|With Yamamoto-sensei after a vitrectomy surgery|
At first, the thought of living in Japan was a bit frustrating. The living cost and the language barrier were the ones me and my other 5 friends worrying about the most. And also, living in a one-season country (I refuse to consider Indonesia -Surabaya to be exact- to have 2 seasons, because it's practically hot weather all year long), my body wasn't designed for winter. I had to prepare a bunch of coats, long-johns, sweaters, scarfs, gloves, you name it. But it turned out, it's not as 'bad' as we imagined. The living cost IS still expensive, though, but not like what we originally thought. The whole atmosphere was cold-ish, but it's still in a tolerable amount, at least for me. But damn, those winds were killers. As for language, there are many students who have a great English, so they've been a HUGE help for us to survive in this country. Communicating with the Japanese people wasn't so bad either. We could still understand each other for most of the times. I actually felt a short earthquake at the middle of the night. My apartment was on the 6th floor, so I could really feel the shake. My bed was moving really hard, I thought it was a ghost lol.
|With Prof. Shiraki, head of Ophthalmology Department|
But of course I didn't go to Japan only for studying. Me and my friends also went shopping and sightseeing around Osaka. We went shopping at this humongous shopping arcade street of Shinsaibashi; we went to Universal Studios; we went to one of the largest aquariums in Japan, Kaiyukan; we visited the great Osaka Castle; we ate sushi and Osaka's traditional Takoyaki and Okonomayaki and we visited Nara, where I saw snow for the first time in my life haha. Even if this was my second time visiting Japan, I still can't get over the fact that this is an amazing country. Japanese people might not have a strict firm to one type of religion (they said so themselves), but it amazes me that most of the people I met here are extremely polite and good-mannered. They might uphold individuality but at the same time they have this mentality to not be 'an inconvenience to others'. It's hard to explain this, but they also really practical in their daily life. I could go on and on and on about this country, but it would take a whole day, and I'm still not going to be finished by then.
In short, I had an INCREDIBLE time in Osaka. I learned a lot, I walked a lot, went to lots of cool places, met great people, students and doctors, experienced things I wouldn't have imagined before, and many many more. Again, I have to thank Professor Shiraki as the head of Ganka Department for letting me observe there. Yoshida-sensei, Ueno-sensei, Tsuboi-sensei, Yamamoto-sensei, and all the gang from this department for an amazing experience. I feel extremely grateful and honored to be in Ganka Department. Thank you for everything! Last but not least, Happy New Year, dear readers. Wish you all the best of luck in 2014!
|PS: I will post movie reviews just after New Year, when I get back to Indonesia. Until then.... enjoy your holiday!|