The Right Tools



Kuala Lumpur Diary: 06 – 12 October 2023

Reminder: I have decided to split my week into two Long Weekends, each three and four days long, as everyday is a work day for me. I was slightly derailed by events of the past week so this is two ‘weekends’ compressed into one post.


I am a bit hands-off when it comes to technology, preferring minimal intrusion into my personal time and space. Before my MacBook purchase, a laptop meant that warm cashmere shawl I placed over my thighs on long car or plane journeys.

Part of the problem is that if you are not surrounded by Tech Guys, how do you deal with those tech problems that always crop up at the most inconvenient of times? Worse, when I call Tech Guy No 1 (aka Mr Gochugaru) over for some help, the problem fixes itself within three seconds of his appearing.

But I am alone in KL where there are still some things to deal with which require some tech input. One is the decommissioning of a personal computer.

Although I am not terribly tech literate, I know enough to understand that the computer has a ‘brain’ which contains all sorts of sensitive and private information, and that the brain must not fall into the wrong hands. A YouTube video explained how to get to the hard drive, but in order to do so I needed the following: a butter knife, a PH2 screwdriver, another PH screwdriver and a Torx screwdriver.

I was quite pleased that I managed to get to the hard drive, as this is not something I would choose to do for fun.



I have spent the past five weeks encouraging my mother to try a bit harder with tasks she finds difficult, such as walking a little bit more than she wants to. Some days the effort is so much that my t-shirt is soaked with sweat (honestly, no lady should ever admit to this unless she were running a marathon).

Fortunately I have a healthy number of Lululemon t-shirts. They are all of the same design, suitably loose-fitting and come in different colours. The name of the style is called Back in Action and I am writing it down here because I kept on looking for Back to Basics in the search bar.

I wondered if I should admit to having so many of the same type of t-shirts, but then remembered that my dad had a few stacks of those white Crocodile or Pagoda brand t-shirts favoured by elderly Chinese grandpas all over the world.



Whether it is back to basics or back in action, both phrases describe what I need to do to help my mother walk more. What could I use? I tried a metal walking frame, a human walking frame (myself), gentle persuasion and some quiet but stern telling off. What was I missing?

Sometimes you need to pray for divine intervention, and sometimes you need to raid the cupboard. My mother loves handbags. What a perfect go-to tool to use for motivating my mother to walk.



Here is what I did: I hung the handbag on the door knob and said we were going to walk to the handbag. Prior to this, all I was saying was that we were walking to the wall, or walking to the arm chair. Why would my mother be interested in that? But with the handbag she renewed her interest somewhat and even perked up a little. It was a good start.



I also encouraged my mother to take hold of her favourite clutch bag in both hands and to lift her hands above her head repeatedly. Gripping onto something like this made the exercise more interesting. My mother has always detested flat shoes, so I told her she needed to flex her feet up and down if she wanted to get into some heeled shoes again.



The other things I did in the week: visit a cake shop called Plump by Tao Bakes Cakes (67-1 1st Floor, Jalan Bangkung, off Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur). Plump probably refers to the customers and not the size of the cakes. There was a hospital visit for my mother which took eight hours all in, making it a long and tiring day. There was a water cut for several days in the area of our family house, stretching the stored water supply as well as everyone’s patience.

Sadly at the end of the week KL Sister and I attended the wake of a long-standing family friend, whom I have known for 40 years. Uncle Lawrence, as we fondly called him, was very good to my parents. Latterly he and my dad, along with a few friends, would meet for lunch every Monday. When my dad passed away the Monday lunches slowed down to a halt. I guess they can resume now in some better place, and I am happy that my dad and uncle Lawrence were blessed with this bond over such an extended period of time.