Coming for Repair Kopitiam all the way from MacPherson!

Jurong West is a bit of a trek from MacPherson, lying at opposite ends of Singapore. Particularly if you are travelling with a chair and two rice cookers. But that didn’t stop retirees Jenny Wee and Gerald Jalleh from indulging in the spirit of repair.

Having read about Repair Kopitiam in the newspaper, Jenny and Gerald heading out to Jurong West on a bright Sunday morning. They brought along a chair with a torn seat, two rice cookers with blown bulbs and a laptop which had ceased to function. They both consider themselves handy persons – regularly repainting their house and their furniture. But the attention the chair, rice cookers and laptop required were slightly beyond their capabilities; however, it was within Repair Kopitiam’s.

First, the chair. The seat was loose and the underlining torn. The Home Improvement station outlined what needed to be done: remove the torn underlining, replace it with a new one, then tightening the seat in place. The Fabric Repair station was called in to fashion a new underlining from spare cloth, which Gerald then stapled in place with a staple gun – a gadget that he considers quite handy to have around the house and was thinking of purchasing one. Within ten minutes, the seat was done and ready to be screwed back in place. Hey presto! A chair as good as new again!

The other items proved a bit trickier. The rice cookers still worked, except the bulbs indicating that they were in operation had blown. As the appliances were wedding presents, they held sentimental value to Jenny and Gerald, having been with them for over 40 years. Replacing the bulb would be an easy task, except that neither the Electrical Appliance team nor the nearby hardware store had the correct bulbs on hand. Nonetheless, the team showed Jenny and Gerald how to disassemble the rice cookers and how to replace the bulb – a task that the couple agreed was not intimidating at all – as well as the contact of a shop in Sim Lim Square that sold the required bulbs. The rice cookers were on their way to optimal working condition again.

The laptop was a challenge, as the motherboard had ceased to function and therefore was beyond the capabilities of the Electrical Appliance team. They did, however, manage to salvage the hard disk drive for Jenny and Gerald. Along the way, the couple also learnt about the various components that make up a laptop motherboard – the CPU, the RAM, the cooling fan – and what components could also be salvaged.

“When we walk around our neighbourhood,” says Jenny, “we often see items in perfectly good condition thrown away. It is pure wastage. With a little initiative and guidance, they could easily be repaired and put to use for another five years. We could have easily thrown our rice cookers away when the bulbs stopped working a few years ago, but we kept them because they could still be used. And even if you want to get a newer model, why throw the old one away? It could easily be donated. I think Repair Kopitiam is a fantastic concept and it is one that should be encouraged.”

We are glad we could be of service to you too, Jenny and Gerald!