Hari Raya At 1 Utama 2010

Scarecrow in padi field at 1 Utama
Scarecrow in padi field at 1 Utama in conjunction with Ramadan and Aidil Fitri.

When it comes to décor for the major festivals in Malaysia, shopping malls usually go all out to deck their premises to the fullest to attract shoppers. It has become a tradition for most of the major malls to recreate a rustic atmosphere reminiscent of days gone by.

Padi field at 1 Utama
Padi field showcasing 4 stages of rice cultivation.

Wuan and I always look forward to the festive seasons at 1 Utama Shopping Centre with its no-expense spared décor. When we went there last weekend, we were not disappointed. The Oval was teeming with shoppers snapping away at the Ramadan and Aidil Fitri decorations.

Bubu - traditional fish trap made from bamboo
Bubu – traditional fish trap made from bamboo.

The area was transformed into a rustic scene resplendent with thatched roofed kampung huts offering a variety of traditional cookies and handicrafts. The centrepiece showcased the four stages of rice cultivation replete with live padi plants flourishing in a muddy field.

The Secret Garden of 1 Utama After The Rain

Lily magnolia bud at the Secret Garden of 1 Utama
Lily magnolia bud at the Secret Garden of 1 Utama

Last weekend, we got into the Secret Garden of 1 Utama just after it stopped raining. The plants and everything else were dripping wet. As we squeezed through narrow pathways, any light brush against the leaves would send a cascade of water droplets onto us. It was not that good an idea to be poking around the garden after all.

It has been seven months since we were there last. Nothing much has changed. Not many plants were in full bloom. Nevertheless, we were pleased to discover that one of the lily magnolia trees was flowering. A number of buds were about to unfurl their petals, too. The water droplets hugging on to the satiny deep red buds and the leaves made such an interesting subject for our cameras.

That must have been our briefest visit to the Secret Garden. We only spent about 40 minutes wandering among the greenery. I guess we will not be going there again any time soon, not at least until the weather turns hot and dry. That is the time when the flowers will start to bloom again.

Door Knob Turner For My Weak Grip

Turning a round door knob can be an impossible task for people with weak hand grip. That was how I got trapped twice in the same accessible toilet at the Penang International Airport a few years ago. Since then, I have a phobia of using toilets with such knobs affixed to the door.

Most of the doors in the house have round knobs, too. I should replace all the knobs with levers but never got around to doing it. That was why the bedroom doors were seldom closed. I was afraid I could not turn the knob to open them.

Door knob extender - door knob turner
Door knob extender for people with weak hand grip.

The other solution, short of replacing the knob, is to install adaptive devices called the door knob extender or door knob turner to the knob. These devices make it convenient for people with weak grips to turn the knob by way of a lever. They are difficult to find in Malaysia. A lot of online stores carry such items but they are rather expensive.

A few weeks ago, while I was browsing at the newly-opened Daiso at 1 Utama, I found a door knob extender for RM5 only. All items at Daiso are priced at RM5. What I like about this extender is that it is easy to attach and remove. All that is need to slot it into a knob and turn. My only gripe is that the lever is rather flimsy as it is hollow.

Door knob extender - door knob turner
Door knob turner for people with weak hand grip.

When I went to Daiso again, they had run out of that particular device but had another that was smaller. I bought one to see if I could actually use it because it looked a tad too small for a comfortable grip. After attaching it to the door, I found that it has a more solid feel to it and provided a better grip despite its size. This one is going into my wheelchair bag for those accessible public toilets that still use the round door knobs.