When the serious-looking lady at the shoe repair store asked me if it would be alright to pick up my boot tomorrow, I agreed as long as it would be ready in the morning. “Is 11:00 alright?” she asked. I agreed and trudged back home, if you remember.
So imagine this morning: I wake up at 9:45 with a class to teach at 1:25. This should be a nice relaxed morning. But somehow it’s too relaxed, and by the time I’m ready to go anywhere it’s 12:00. Great, I think, that’s just enough time for me to hop over to the shoe repair store, pick up my hopefully fixed boot, come back home, change my shoes, and go off to work. When I actually get to the store, it’s 12:25 and the window that has my boot is on break from 12:00-1:00.
Damn you, технологический перерыв! I’ll briefly explain: for most businesses it is common for specific windows (imagine at a bank) to have scheduled breaks during the working day. This is called, literally, “technological break” and is not connected to technology in any way or form (sometimes it’s called a technical break, but it’s the same thing). It’s just to give the workers a break I guess…but I don’t know. I’m wary of the whole concept. My previous experiences with the перерыв have been alternatively frustrating or entertaining: for example, standing in a line to buy train tickets and realizing that there are only 15 more minutes before the break starts and this window closes – will I make it or not? Same goes for the bank. Today, however, I was not amused.
I thought for a few minutes about my plan of attack. I quickly ruled out the option of going to work in my unlined autumn heels. After a ten-minute walk to the shoe store my feet were already frozen. I decided to go back home, get the things I needed for work and my other boot, and return to the store exactly at 1:00 to retrieve the broken boot, changing shoes at the shoe repair store and heading off to work. This is the kind of stuff that happens to me all the time: I mess up or don’t pay attention somehow, and then I end up having to make extra trips or waste little bits of time to make sure that everything works out.
So, after carefully trudging back home (no slips or falls! hooray!) and briefly warming up my feet and grabbing my teaching materials, I trudged back to the store and happily collected my boot, complete with a shiny new zipper. Although it was a little awkward to manage changing my shoes in the store – imagine me sitting in my sleeping-bag-coat managing zippers with frozen hands and not having any place for my massive purse – I was so happy when I stepped back outside in my true winter boots. You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, as Joni told us, and I definitely did not appreciate what a wonder my black boots are until they were ripped, however briefly, from my frozen little hands. They have traction! They have toasty lining! They prevent me from falling on my face all the time! They make winter livable. Here’s to you, boots. I am very happy to have you back.
PS: As one of my readers so aptly pointed out, I forgot to mention yesterday that the word for zipper in Russian “молния” literally means lightning. Gives a whole new meaning to “examine your zipper,” huh? Hehe.