Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jack of all Trades. Master of Some?

I've always been good with my hands (don't get any funny ideas.) Ever since I was a lot younger, I've always enjoyed fixing stuff. I've always enjoyed the complexity of how things work. I remember when I was a child, my dad used to work overseas. He works in the oil industry, so he'd be away for weeks stationed in places like the Middle East or other parts of Northern Asia. I remember how my younger brother and I would miss his presence. Every time he was back home in Singapore, he'd take the whole family out almost every other day. And every time he came back to Singapore , he'd buy us the most amazing toys and presents. My brother used to be crazy about toy guns and such. Me, I liked those built it yourself gizmos. Sometimes, when I got bored with all those toys, I'd find anything else I could take apart just to see the insides. Even if it was my brother's toys. Slowly I got bored of that too. I then found other things to dismantle. I remember taking my moms old radio set and opening it with my mediocre set of tools. Oh yes I also remember the whacking I got from her as well. But she forgave me when I managed to put it together. Later on, a little older, I moved to bigger things. The TV, HiFi set, I even opened the fridge once. I had this dining table then, and I remember making it into my makeshift play house. I would wrap the sides with a big blanket just to make it look enclosed to the outside world. I had a knack for wires and such then, so I rigged the underside with light bulbs and tape. I had an old remote control car that didn't work anymore. I fixed it as best as I could and it was alright for a while. But a few weeks later it died on me. I knew it was gone for good then. So I opened it up as I knew there were a few things in there I'd be able to salvage. I used the little motor in it to rig up a small fan for my playhouse. It worked fine. Slowly, bit by bit, my playhouse got more high tech. Even my neighbourhood friends wanted to hang out in there. That's when I got bored with it. So I took it apart. Besides my mom ' convinced ' me. (The rattan came out lah). Today my family is happy to let me take things apart. Every time something gets broken down in the house, they don't need to call the repairman. They call me. They are happy cos they save money, and I'm happy to get to take it apart. Of course there are times when I can't fix it. Then we call the professionals with the right tools. Or we just buy a replacement. ( I just repaired my moms blender earlier this evening.) Sometimes even my relatives call me over to help them fix something. They don't pay but I demand a hot cup of good chai. ( I mean seriously, what is life without good tea?) I am not a technician by training, but I know I can just about fix almost anything. Don't mean to sound like I'm blowing my own horn, but I am proud of the fact. Being inquisitive has made me understand how things work. And I can therefore apply it to my various hobbies. Whether I'm doing my gardening or fishing or even when I'm cooking, I understand the 'machinery' involved. I do a lot of camping and tracking as well and there are moments when situations become tricky, dangerous even. During times like this, you need to be able to think on your feet, literally. Sometimes you'd have to make things out of whatever is around you or even use what nature provides. These are the times ( and believe me I've had plenty) that I feel thankful to have that little bit extra knowledge that helps me through just one more day.

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