All the above within a week… all Buddies-related.
As it had always been for the past few years, every December I’d be busy taking children of my clients out shopping for their schooling needs. Initially I used to take out one family at a time (easier to handle), but year after year, I kept getting more and more schooling children assigned to me, and so taking them out one family at a time wasn’t practical anymore. I simply didn’t have enough time to bring all the families out separately.
So, since the past 2 years, I decided to take them out one group at a time. I fix one day for the group from Larut Matang area, one day for the group from Perak Tengah and so on.
I started off on Wednesday with the group from Kampar district. 5 children from 2 families. 3 girls and 2 boys.
Shopping for the group from Larut Matang district had been scheduled for Saturday. However, one family asked if theirs could be done on another day since they had a close relative’s kenduri they needed to attend on Saturday. Since I was on clinic duty in Taiping on Thursday, I told them to meet me at the departmental store in Taiping at 2pm on Thursday. So yes, round 2 was for this family of 2 children. 1 girl and 1 boy.
Round 3 was on Friday, for the group from northern part of Ipoh. 9 children from 4 families. 7 boys and 2 girls. The supermarket we went to for this one gave free calendars – one free calendar for a certain amount spent. And while each of my clients got to bring home a few calendars each, I got to bring home the bulk of them. The cashier had to give me a plastic bag just to put in the calendars!
Round 4 was today, Saturday, for 14 children from 6 families. 10 girls and 4 boys.
So yep, covered 30 children within a week. About RM7K spent so far. And I’m not done yet. 3 more rounds of shopping scheduled for next week.
For someone who doesn’t like shopping, that’s quite an achievement.
Anyway, after today’s shopping, I headed home for my zuhr prayer first, then immediately went out again, this time to attend the wedding of Lin’s daughter. Remember Lin? Ex-wife of Mr Darling? Her 3rd daughter got married today (3rd daughter but first wedding in the family).
When Lin sent me the SMS inviting me to the kenduri, I had already planned for the back-to-school shopping in Taiping. So I told her I’d be late for the wedding. Which was a good thing actually. When I got to her house, it was almost 3pm, and while the family of the groom was still there, at least it was no longer peak period and so Lin and her children weren’t too busy.
Lin’s eldest daughter gave me a big smile when she saw me. “Lamanya tak nampak!” she said. True enough, it had been quite a while since I last went to visit them. My style is to visit my clients frequently when they need help the most, and subsequently reduce my visits when I see them becoming more and more independent. And Lin’s family has definitely become independent now.
Her eldest daughter is working, the 2nd daughter just completed her degree in medicine, the 3rd daughter (who is also already working) just got married today. Her 4th and 5th, both boys, didn’t do well academically, but are both now working to at least be independent enough not to rely too much on their mother. Only one more, the youngest girl, who is still schooling. She will be sitting for her SPM next year. I hope she will follow in her sisters’ footsteps and further her studies after SPM.
And oh, yes, Mr Darling was there at the kenduri today.