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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Exploring Singapore's Changi Airport

Had two hours to spare before boarding the airplane, so I went to walk around Changi Airport. Discovered the entertainment deck on Level 1 consisting of a movie theather, TV lounge, free gaming center (with XBox 360 and PS3 to boot), a spa (need to pay) amidst the cafes and duty-free shops.

Awaiting to board the plane
Oasis @ Terminal 2
View from above
Giant koi
Activity table for adults and children

My woodblock print made by rubbing a crayon over the carved surface

Has a rather ethnic feel to it - a good way of promoting local art to tourists
An outdoor sunflower garden (doubled up as a smoking area)

Free gaming room

Another interactive station promoting Baba & Nyoya designs

Embossing stamp

Phoenix from the stamp

Another ethnic motif

In terms of shopping, KLIA has a wider array of duty free goods but when it comes to cultural promotion Changi Airport has gotten it down to a pat! Waiting for my flight has never been more interesting.... I wasn't bored for a moment and was almost sorry to leave!

Monday, July 19, 2010


A swelling in the lower lip.

A mucocle is not to be confused with a cold sore from herpes simplex (Type 2) infection. The former is benign and painless while the latter implies that you've been naughty and have been putting things in your mouth that you should not.

A mucocele is a collection of saliva trapped within the soft tissue due to a ruptured minor salivary gland. If you run your tongue along the inner lining of your lips, you will feel small bumpy lumps that are meaty and nodular (that's the minor salivary gland). Do NOT under any circumstances bite or suck at it. Apparently, that's how I got this swelling (from chewing my lower lip) The end result is a round fluctuating nodule with a bluish tinge at the surface. You can't pop it like a pimple and it grows bigger if you keep worrying it.

If the darn thing grows bigger it is likely to be due to a blocked salivary duct and it's time to go for surgery. The procedure is to excise the salivary gland involved and send for biopsy (to rule out oral cancer). This costs RM400-450 done by an oral/dental surgeon. The minor operation takes less than 1/2 hour and recovery is expected within two days. However, a mucocele should be able to resolve spontaneously without intervention. Just leave it alone and it should  disappear by its own little self after 3-6 weeks.... which was what happened to mine after some reassurance from the good doctor.

Anyways, surgery is an invasive procedure and a mucocele is likely to recur after the initial surgery so it's best to adopt the wait and see approach. I couldn't live with it at first and wanted it out immediately. I'm glad the doctor advised against it - see now, that's why physicians can't heal themselves (plus they make the worst patients). Being in the sick role messes with objectivity and judgement.