March 28, 2013

Waste not...

I come from a pretty wasteful country.  Admit it, Americans can be pretty wasteful at times.  The neighborhood I lived in in Arizona didn't recycle even though the city did.  In fact, we had recycle bins for cardboard and cans that were removed.  I ended up taking plastics, cans and glass to Fresh & Easy.

I once took a poll asking how many people fix their torn clothes instead of throwing them out.  Aside from those who said that rips were cool, very few raised their hands.  This reminds me of the adage citizens of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World are taught: "Ending is better than mending" (which is taught to promote consumerism).  It really freaks me out when old sci-fi novels predict aspects of the future.

Anyway, this long-winded narrative is a precursor to my boots.  My beloved boots which I bought over the summer and wore them so much, I wore the heels off.  They began making a funny noise which made me sound like a pirate with a pegleg.  I wish I had a before picture so I could show you what I did to them.

Regardless there are shoe repair shops all over Tokyo; you can usually find them in them in all major train stations.  Now this is something I have been putting off due to language.  Then my friend told me how to ask the cobbler (I can't believe I'm actually using this word in a sentence) to fix my shoes.  I still didn't go.  Finally, on my day off, I went to the shoe repair place in my neighborhood.  The cobbler was incredibly nice and he told me 10分 (ten minutes).  So I was free to walk around the store.

Ten minutes later, my shoes were fixed and now I no longer sound like Percy Pegleg.

Here's how they turned out:

Very nice work!  I'm glad there are cobblers in Japan.  It's something hardly seen anymore in the States which is not surprising considering most people use vehicles as their primary mode of transportation and not their feet.

Anyway, the cobbler was friendly and asked me questions (in Japanese) and said my Japanese was very good. As I was leaving he even gave me a free box of tissues.  Thank you friendly neighborhood cobbler!