Monday, July 11, 2005

Guinea pigging for easy quids...

You might wonder how do people like me survive the neck-strangling exchange rate of GBP £ here, which is almost 7 fold compared to RM 1. Seriously, even if you are a millionaire's son, you may not be considered a millionaire here yet and you have to work seven fold harder for that GREAT one pound, no thanks to our Ringgit peg and other economic factors. International students are allowed to work 20 hours per week here. I have read about news and articles about how our born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-their-mouths students are willing to get their hands dirty here to earn some extra cash. It is quite straight forward that the money is just too good! So, it is not uncommon to see students sweeping the floor or cleaning the toilets here or some better-off working at fastfood restaurants. Nope, I'm not doing all that previously and currently-what do you think? PhD student very senang-goyang kaki one har! all the time and got that much of time to work hah! There is a misconception that there is a long summer holiday for PhD students and doing a PhD is quite free as in that you don't need to come in everyday to work on your project. Not in the case for me. Or else I am enjoying Bak Kut Teh in Klang now loh!

To earn extra pocket money not to the extent of supporting my daily expenses, I have been experimenting myself lately and previously as paid subjects for research studies. Nope-I'm not talking about donating my broth of taddies to the taddy bank, which is very good-paying indeed and you get to do the 'guy's hobby' with free 'artsy films' in a booth all by yourself. It is not that easy actually where they have to screen for your background and do all necessary counts first and I doubt those parents would want to see any 'Cina-beng sepet' sensintrovert features on their future child(ren) later.

Here is a list of 'guinea-piggings' that I have done so far, which was quite interesting actually (don't worry I'm still safe and sound here or else I won't be blogging this already!):
1. A hand-wash study
All I had to do was to wash my hand with an alcohol gel and do some bacterial culture repeatedly for 4 weeks and £££ kept coming in! HA! HA!

2. A MRI-study of the heart
This was the most interesting so far. I stripped to my boxers and then strapped to a machine, while they operate on my brain while being scanned by the MRI! Nah-just joking! I was only injected with a fast-metabolised harmless chemical which upregulated blood flow to the heart and they did a MRI scan of my heart. I got to listen to Shania Twain's songs (one was with the dialogue-"So you're Brad Pitt-that doesn't impress me much") when the scan was done!

Are you enjoying Shania Twain's songs, boy?

3. Beer and chocolate psychological test and chocolate for free-NOT! It was actually some packaging evaluation study of beer and chocolate products.

4. A website portal survey.
Pretty straight forward of a study by asking you to do a task on the website and then they video-taped you for what you were doing at the website. It was not a porn website; sorry to disappoint you all.

5. A spy.
I am not suppossed to disclose much information about this but generally, I had to complete a given task and complete a questionnaire. Sounds like James Bond- without the better pay, gadgets and blonde bombshells on my right and left of course!

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