Therapy Room



Kuala Lumpur Diary: 13 – 16 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.


What would you call your cafe / coffee shop / bakery if you owned one? I have been impressed by imaginative names such as Flour (by Joanne Chang in Boston), Dusty Knuckle (Dalston, London) and SCOFF (the British bakery in Seoul). Last week in Kuala Lumpur I had tea at Plump and this weekend I visited the newly opened Contour (think of those beautiful layers of puff pastry).


Contour’s croissants, scones, shop sign and one last piece of almond and fig cake, which was bagged by another customer before we reached the front of the queue


I have never really entertained the idea of opening my own cafe / cake shop, despite my great love of baking, because I am quite realistic about the downsides of running a business. But thinking about how much I needed cake and coffee / tea after a workout with my mother, I came up with the idea of calling my hypothetical cafe Therapy Room.

The reason for this is also because my mother has been having some therapy, both physical and musical. Let me explain.

In previous sessions, the physiotherapist showed us how to do particular exercises with my mother. These exercises help her overcome her fear of e.g. bending forward (essential for getting up from a chair). There are also arm stretching and sitting up straight exercises.

All this sounds fine on paper but how do you execute these instructions? If we were in the Mandarin Oriental’s buffet restaurant I could task my mother with repeatedly filling a small plate with lovely things to eat. That would make her walk the few steps here and there, and to reach out to pick out some food. But we are stuck in a bedroom where one day morphs into another, and before you know it another week has passed.

In order to make things fun I turn to Spotify and put on some nursery rhymes. You may laugh but it was a very good idea. Most of these rhymes come with repeated actions. Here is my mother’s exercise playlist:
1) Row, Row, Row your Boat helps with bending forwards. You need to face each other, touch knees and hold hands to row backwards and forwards
2) Incy Wincy Spider, Three Little Monkeys, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Wind the Bobbin Up, The Wheels on the Bus are all good for different arm movements
3) Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes is a bit faster but it does make my mother engage with parts of her body, with the exception of the toes.

Sometimes my mother looks like she wants to cry when going through the walking and arm exercises. I persevere with her because I can always rely on cake and tea therapy. Today I had a blueberry muffin and matcha latte at Broom, whose name does not seem baking related, but they have a very good selection of breads and pastries.



All the croissants and bread you can eat at Broom


My original plan was to stay one month in Kuala Lumpur but I have just extended my stay for the second time. I quite like seeing things through and feel I still have something to contribute to my mother’s wellbeing and recovery. I don’t know where I am headed after I return to London, but writing about SCOFF I am reminded of previous trips to Seoul. It may be some time before I get to visit again.



If you are headed that way then visit SCOFF at:

Buam-dong Main Branch : 149 Changuimun-ro, Jongno-gu / 부암본점:종로구 창의문로 149


Samgak-dong Branch : 45-17, Hangang-daero 62-gil, Yongsan-gu / 삼각지점:용산구 한강대로 62길 45-17