Friday, April 24, 2009

Beets and Boots

I am a hypochondriac. You should know this about me.

My latest ailment, real or imagined, is that my liver is not right. Well, let me rephrase: sometimes I think I am aware of my liver. As an organ.

Hence the spate of online "Am I an Alcoholic?" tests.

Okay, it seems I am not an alcoholic by anyone's definition, although I do look forward to it and am willing to start by myself.*

*I should clarify also that no one else thinks I am either. It's not like I have been taking convoluted routes home so as to avoid interventions or something. And all the expat types I have floated the idea to just laughed and laughed.

What I stumbled upon, though, while googling ways to improve my liver's happiness is the one food that seems to come up tops on everyone's list of Things to Eat for a Healthy Liver.


Yeah. You read that right.


Isn't that an interesting little bit of culinary trivia?

In a complete change of topic, I figured out something else the other day.

The Spouse has a shoe that needs to be fixed. It's a sewing thing, not a gluing thing or else I and my tube of Handy-Dandy Super Glue would have already come to the rescue.

But he needs something to wear while his shoes go off to some yet-to-be-determined shoe repair place.

He was going to buy himself a new pair of shoes on Monday while he was in Bratislava because he knew where to go. There's a nice, big Bat'a shoe store right by the Tesco in the center of town, and he could just blow in there and buy himself a pair of dress shoes.

Except he didn't. He ran out of time or something.

Oh, and he also broke his shoe lace.

So on Wednesday, the girls and I were on our way to his office (a shirt emergency had arisen). Coincidentally, the street we were on, Nikol'skaya ulitsa, which is just off Red Square and which he walks down every day on his way to the office, is lined with shoe shops.

And shoe repair kiosks.

Which sell shoe accessories.

Like shoe laces.

I found myself standing in front of one such kiosk. The shoe-related items were all displayed on the outside of the structure, which is a small, telephone-booth-sized affair. With a sliding door. While I was selecting my shoe laces (they only come in two lengths, shoe-length and boot-length, although you can choose from a wide assortment of colors), I was aware of the shoe-repair guy (cobbler? shoe smith?) inside his little booth, pounding away at the sole of someone's shoe. It was a sunny day, but cold. He had his door shut.

He realized I was prepared to make my purchase and slid open his door to collect my money (30 rubles for a pair of the shorter, shoe-length laces, in case you are pricing the market).

That was when I realized that the shoe he was fixing belonged to a woman who was sitting, knee-to-knee, in the tiny booth with him.

AH HA! This is how it works!

You don't need a back-up pair of shoes. You go to the shoe repair guy, you sit there in his little booth, making chit-chat, perhaps having a cup of tea or instant coffee, while he fixes your shoe right then and there.

I cannot, for one moment, imagine all 6'6" of The Spouse, folded up in a telephone booth, knees practically to his ears, while he makes idle chit-chat with the nice Tajik shoe repair guy.

The mind reels.

I'll close with a little Paolo Nutini because I've been humming this song lately, and he's just so damned cute.


hka said...

this has been one of the funniests yet
so are you eating lots of beets then?

Jen said...

That boy is adorable!

valentina said...

HA Beets for the people! I wonder if the beet/vodka combo is a national pastime?

And I had never heard of Paolo Nutini before so that was fun!

Maybe you are feeling gall bladder pains from all of that foie gras?

Sympathetic response?

Anyhow there are liver/gall bladder cleanses you can do...My friend BK does them. He was describing it to me the other day...sounded dreadful. You drink apple juice for 24 hours and then take epsom salts and then you undergo crampy awful expulsion of every thing inside you...Aaarrrggghhh...I told you it sounds dreadful. He claims it saved his gall bladder...avoided having it removed. Quelle horreur!

Anyhow I hope you feel better, that Da gets his shoe repaired and that you all are finally enjoying spring! xov

Rob said...

It seems rare anymore that you find shoes built to be repaired. Most shoes now are made to be disposable.

A former boss and much-respected colleague of mine has a classic (a.k.a. very well-worn) pair of leather dress oxfords that he's nursed along for decades (literally!) precisely because they're constructed so well that they can be re-soled and continue on.

hexe said...

If you manage to get husband to shoe guy, you must take photos and post them for our amusement.

And the only way to eat beets is with goat cheese - but I am guessing that won't help your liver.

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