Friday, 16 June 2017

Getting a pair of shoes fixed

Today I left home at around midday to go for my walk and it was still quite cold, the sky overcast and nacreous with lighter and darker bands of cloud visible toward the horizon. I went down under the Pyrmont Bridge onto the promenade and there were quite a few people about despite the uncomfortable weather. A man in his 50s wearing shorts and a white singlet jogged briskly along in my direction and passed me. He was wearing a sun visor although it wasn't sunny. There are always a few joggers around in the area because there's no automobile traffic to contend with and today was no exception.

A group of Chinese men in dark coats was gathered around the war memorial at Liverpool Street, each of them holding up a smartphone taking pictures of Dixon Street and its flanking buildings. Up at the corner of Quay Street and Broadway a man with bare feet stood holding a red-coloured slushie facing the heavy foot traffic. He was talking incessantly at noone in particular but I didn't catch what he was saying. Behind him, in the shelter provided by the Rendezvous Hotel, another rough sleeper sat on a pile of blankets with suitcases positioned on the pavement about him.

In the shopping centre I made my way up to the Mister Minit counter and showed the staffer the shoes I had brought from home in a grey plastic singlet bag. The liners had slipped but were glued in place, making walking uncomfortable. He took me around to the side of the stall where some items were hanging on display and picked a new pair of liners in a plastic bag off the hook. He then ripped the existing liners out of my brown shoes with his hands and inserted the new ones. I paid and left, heading upstairs to the salad bar. After eating I made my way out of the building to the street.

A man wearing fluoro work clothes and a hard hat was walking ahead of me smoking a cigarette. Behind him walked a woman in a dark coat carrying two Aldi shopping bags and a teal coloured bucket. I made my way across Wentworth Park. Dozens of small children were climbing on the climbing frame beside the footpath. A completely bald man wearing blue shorts and a blue T-shirt was making slow kicks and punches in the air as he stood next to the permanent training equipment to one side of the park. In Miller Street a young man wearing an orange fluoro singlet was pushing a trolley supporting a large couch covered in a dark blue padded blanket. I bought a coffee and came home; I had been gone just over two hours.

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