OPERASI MEMBAIKI MESIN TIK
Project restore typewriter
The Olympia Traveller de Luxe
When I’m back in my hometown in Penang, I always have a list of things to do. They almost always involve local food, contact lenses and dental check-ups – all the goods and services that are unattainable and expensive abroad.
Today is one of those successful ‘mission accomplished’ days. I restored Dad’s old typewriter, my old friend, whom I used to type fictitious letters with when I was 9. It is the Olympia Traveller de Luxe. Made in Yugoslavia – a country which doesn’t even exist today.
Before I left Manchester, I rang Dad to make sure it was still at home and he hadn’t thrown it out. I’d known for some time that the ink had run out, but always had it in my mind that typewriters were so obsolete that nobody knows what they are anymore.
So I set out today to find typewriter ribbons in Penang. I Googled, I YouTubed, I Facebooked. I asked Dad, I asked friends, Dad asked friends, but alas. I found them cheap as chips for RM4.60 (£1) in Young Ones, a local Chinese stationery shop just minutes from my house.
Typewriter ribbons on my lap
Thanks to this video on YouTube, I managed to replace the ribbon myself and now have a lovingly restored typewriter! On hindsight it was a bit of a no brainer, but who can say that when they thought the typewriter was an antique bad boy?
I shall be writing love notes, short stories, letters and Bible verses with dear ol’ Olympia de Luxe. Exciting times ahead.