We were due in town for an appointment this morning; an early appointment.
Despite many years as corporate wage slaves we have adapted, far too easily, to a gentler life here so early starts hit hard. Apologies to those readers who have morning commutes. We’re out of practice, ok?
We were in town before 8am, having left home not much after 7am, only to discover that the plans of the guy we were meeting had changed. Could we re-schedule for 11am and he’d try to see us then? Hmmm no choice on our part really, it was a “take it or leave it” sort of offer. So, we headed off to run some errands and tried again at 11am. ”Sorry, something else has come up. Try 1pm.” In the end we got 10 minutes with him a little after 1 o’clock. Had we known that’d happen the day would have been very different, but no matter.
Meanwhile having been in the centre of town in time for the first, delayed, appointment we had time to kill. But we also had a list of errands that could be done should such a thing happen. When the meeting was shifted back to 1pm we dug deeper into the list and knocked off a whole host of other small jobs.
We go into the weekend with a fridge full of fruit and veg, an empty postbox, a tour of famous local church under our belts, a first catch-up with a friend post-surgery, our once-a-year long and lazy Starbucks coffee fix satiated and a clean car.
We also took the chance to drop into a sportswear store in town and do the annual stocking up on trainers – runners or sneakers to our North American readers.
Long experience has shown that, for both of us, Reebok are the best choice. The fit is good for us both and there are enough styles to be able to find sturdy enough soles to cope with the off-track walking that we do regularly. The rough ground and vegetation that we typically walk over and through, known colloquially as bondu, can be fierce on both clothing and footwear. Having a good thick running or walking shoe goes some way to offsetting that.
But buying running shoes? Well, that’s somewhere near the bottom 10% of enjoyable jobs during the year. It’s a necessary, and usually, expensive evil. Who’d do that by choice?
But today we were round the corner from one of the more useful stores and we had time to kill and, frankly, the job was so overdue that existing trainers were starting to look rather tired. So, we headed inside and started searching.
45 minutes later we walked out with two brand new pairs of Reeboks each. Total cost? 125€ ($165, £110) at current exchange rates. In the UK we’d expect to spend really quite a bit more than than; perhaps two or three pairs of trainers for that price. To get four pairs seemed a bargain.
Once more, some things are much more expensive than the UK. With some careful shopping some things are not, and perhaps not always the expected things.