The Dilemma

Before we got married, I made it clear to my husband that I intended to work. I had no plans of becoming a housewife. I chose to be in Medicine so I could have more control over my work hours, as opposed to someone working in an office job. But circumstances change. When my first child was born, I did not want to delegate the important task of raising my son to a nanny. I felt that, even if we’re lucky to get a good nanny, no stranger could raise him better than us, his parents. Add to that the numerous horror stories of children being harmed and abused by their caregivers. So we decided that I would put my practice on hold and be a full-time mother. It wasn’t a chauvinistic decision, it was a practical one. My husband’s practice was doing better, so he went on working. If it were the other way around, then he would have been the one to stay at home. Of course the decision to have only one breadwinner had consequences. But the financial consideration was not as important as our child’s well-being.

When the kids were a little bigger and our second child was already in school, I resumed my practice part-time. I was still a full-time mom to our children and a doctor for one shift a week. For those 4 hours that I am at work, my patients have my full and undivided attention. That is the reason why I didn’t work more hours. I did not want to be at work but constantly thinking about my family. For those 4 hours, I do not worry about my children. My patients are my only concern.

I would like to believe that my being a parent has helped me become a better doctor. I am more tolerant, more understanding, more caring towards my patients, because I am a mother.  And I would like to think that my patients, especially the long-standing ones, understand and appreciate this.

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Craving for Xiao Long Bao

The four of us have different tastes in food. There are only quite a few dishes that all of us enjoy. One of them is Xiao Long Bao. During our trip to Taiwan, we ordered Xiao Long Bao in every restaurant we ate in – from a small “hole in the wall” eatery to more upscale restaurants in Yongkang Street and Taipei 101. Everywhere we went, the Xiao Long Bao was great. So we made it our mission to look for good Xiao Long Bao closer to home.

We decided to celebrate Father’s Day in Shi Lin at the Podium. It looks small when viewed from the entrance, but there is a bigger dining area inside. We ordered pretty much the same things we liked in Taipei – Xiao Long Bao, dimsum, pork chop and fried chicken.

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The Xiao Long Bao was good. The wrapper was a little thicker compared to the ones in Taipei, but the difference was minor. The soup inside was flavorful. We initially ordered 10 pieces, but we ended up ordering another 10  🙂

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For dimsum, we ordered the shrimp and pork shaomai. Chino usually does not like siomai, but he enjoyed eating this one.

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The fried rice with pork chop and egg was also good. The pork chop was flavorful and tender. Serving size for the rice was quite big. The server said that it was good for 1 – 2 people. Actually, for us, it was more like good for 3 people. The chicken chop was a little bit dry (only Chino liked it).

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Just like in Din Tai Fung, they also had an open kitchen where you can watch them make dumplings.

All in all, we loved the food in Shi Lin. We’re glad to have found a solution to our Xiao Long Bao craving nearby.

Entering High School

My eldest son starts high school tomorrow. He has never been this excited to go back to school after summer vacation. He says he’s ready, but I don’t think I am. I share his excitement, that’s for sure, but I also dread what this stage means – that he’s growing up, he’s going out into the world and soon he’ll spread his wings and fly. Gone is the little boy who thought I was the smartest girl ever because I taught him how to add. In his place is a young man taller than me, excited at the prospect of having female classmates for the first time.

Foodcourt Adventures

We are in the mall a lot. It has become almost like a second home to us. We go to work there, we hear Mass there, the kids have their summer activities there. Inevitably, we eat a lot there too. In the past, we all tended to gravitate towards our own personal favorites, despite the myriad of choices offered in the huge foodcourt – the adults favored the grilled food and the kids, well, being kids, often chose fried chicken. This summer, in anticipation of the many meals we would have in the mall, we embarked on an experiment. Each time that all of us would eat together, we would take turns choosing one food stall and everyone had to order from that stall. No choosing past favorites. We were going to try food from as many stalls as possible.

There were hits and misses, for sure. Fortunately for us, there were more hits. Trixi discovered a new favorite in Mr. Kimbob’s Bibimbap. Chino now chooses to have beef kaldereta over fried chicken. They are both more adventurous now with regards to their food choices. They have not asked for the usual fast-food fried chicken in a long time. And I will be trying out some new recipes at home, based on the new dishes we discovered this summer.