Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How long should a pair of shoes last

I'm talking about semi decent work shoes, black, leather, with rubber sole, not the fancy dress shoes. They are not even the crappy cheap $29 ones! I know it depends how you wear them. Thanks. So, here is what I think. If I spend $150 dollars on a pair of shoes, I expect them to last for at least a year when I only wear them on weekdays and walk only to and from the train station , altogether 20 minutes a day. Is it too much? It certainly seems so.

After the sole got cracked of my old shoes I went to Myer and said to myself: I rather spend a bit more but then I will have quality shoes which will last longer. It's worth the extra money. After 5 months of wearing my fancy new more expensive shoes, I was really disappointed to see that the sole got loose from the top part ... So I took it back. The guy who I bought it from said that they can send it away to repair it. I said what? C'mon, you can't be serious... This company makes bigger profit each year than I can imagine, and yet you are about to send my shoe probably downstairs to Mister Minit on ground floor of the shopping centre to have it repaired instead of replacing it? They're not even 5 months old and I used it moderately. Sorry, said the guy, it is worn off, I can't replace it. 'Yes, it is worn off because I used to walk in them. ' 'And you should have looked after them better anyway ' , he said. Like what, pour some glue between the sole and the leather every week or what? Obviously I couldn't deal with this guy, so I tried to find someone else, of course no manager in store, and if I want to talk to her I have to come back another day. Yes, it is the 21st century and phones don't exist yet. Neither good customer service. So I left the shoe there, then went back home and wrote a letter to the store manager and explained my concern. No response for days, then I received back my shoes repaired which lasted for another 3 days. So took it back and found the manager who apologised and gave me my money back. So the company cleared itself but I still not convinced that more money gives you better quality.

So my next pair of shoes came from the little corner store. And it wasn't even $50 after some discount and it looked just as good as the expensive one. Also leather and everything. And guess what , the sole came off after 4 months. Maybe there is something wrong with the way I walk, yes that must be it. This time I didn't argue whether I used the shoe extensively, I just simply left it there. In 2 hours time I got an sms from the shop, shoes cannot be repaired please go back to the store for replacement. Great. That's what I call customer service. But the shoe model is discontinued, no similar model, only ugly ones , and thanks to the change of the season only boots are available and a few cheap looking work shoes, but of course no money back, only store credit ... So this time I ended up with a shoe for $100, and time starts now.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

At the library

Today my workteam gathered at the library - instead of the office - to plan the next 6 months at work. The library offers nice meeting rooms for free and it has a good atmosphere to open your minds. Or so they say. Breakfast was included , thanks to the BigBoss,. Whohoo, free breakfast therefore I skipped the breakfast at home and I decided to pop in for a blood test, which I should have done 6 months ago .

I turned up at the library cafe early to wait for the rest of my team. Because I'm a big kid when it comes to needles, I still had my ugly cotton ball under a band-aid on my arm hiding under my jumper. I reckon those cotton balls are out of fashion because they always stick into the wound for 3 days and why don't they just use some good band-aids, I can't comprehend. Anyhow, they are still in use. So there I am, sitting at the corner of the cafeteria, trying to administer my daily multivitamin from my little alufoil sachet. My so called band-aid is forming a white cross so huge that even a Apache could land on my arm. Then suddenly I realised I looked exactly like the guy I've seen one day on the train who tried to hike high giving himself a shot and sipping some transparent fluid from the cup of a bottle. I expected the security guard to turn up next to me at any time with teasers and take me to the basement of the library, smash me into pulps then hand me over to the cops.

As no guard appeared, once everything settled down in my mind I took out my Kindle ereader and started to read. I like gadgets and I like my kindle.
Honestly, if you asked me 2 years ago how many books I have read since I can read, I would have said: eight. And this would include all the books we had to read during the vacations at school. The whole "loving and enjoying reading" started probably 2 years ago when my new colleague disappeared for lunch every day with a book in his arm and I started to get a bit jealous about it. He could be spending his lunch time in a totally different world, flying spaceships to worlds what I couldn't even imagine before, meet with creatures with incredible skills, etc. My wife in fact was reading all the time too, but for some reason I didn't catch it from her. So I got my first sci-fi book from this guy and I enjoyed it. Enjoyed it so much, I started to borrow my wife's books . I most probably was the last person on the face of the Earth to read the Da Vinci Code from Dan Brown... And I quite liked the experience. So, now I like reading and it is all good.

So, back to the library. That morning, I took out my kindle, then I came to the realisation that what I'm doing is not quite right, or is it? Library is like a sacred place, you have to be quiet, walk slowly, and not throwing books around, just take a book from the shelf and read it or take it home to read.

And here I am, reading on my gadget, which was similar to walking into a church and start listening to the Bible on my MP3 player...

Or maybe I'm just scared of places I don't attend too often and mystify them too much... I shall try the MP3 player experience in the church one day to see if it is just me or it has become perfectly okay to keep up with the technology...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's my life, it's now or never ...

I think you can hear the tunes from Bon Jovi as you read the title. And if you think about these two lines, they are so true . We live only once, or at least some of us think that, until we reincarnate in an IKEA Billy bookcase and realize that no need to rush, just wait for your turn and you will see everything you need to see. I believe you need to do whatever you feel like doing otherwise you will never have a chance to do it. Just a note, I'm talking about doing something creative and don't propose to do thing what the society doesn't tolerate. So, be sensible.

Growing up in Hungary and learning English only in school, we never understood the lyrics of pop songs, when we were kids, but we always tried to sing them , trying to guess the words by copying the sounds we heard. I remember, I quite liked this song when I was a kid but never quite knew what it was about. So when I picked the title of my blog, I was thinking: What am I going to write about? Maybe about my life as so many of us do it these days. Nowadays, we have the urge to leave something behind for our kids, for the people around us, some sort of a legacy, leave a mark in the history, to yell out to the world: 'Hey, I'm here' , or ' I was here ' . When I was a kid, there were the treearvings on school trips in the woods, saying 'I was here' , then the who loves who carved in a heart, which looked like nothing like a heart because it was so hard to make round lines with a swiss army knife. What do we have today? The most obvious example would be the grafitti all around us, or the modern days' online graffiti: YouTube. Why do we do that? Why do we need to emphasize our existence? Is it just a natural human behaviour to stand out in the crowd or only a few people feel like they have to leave marks to the world before they go away forever or for awhile - depending on your belief. I'll google it tomorrow.

I wrote a 3-page short story once, I like to call it a novel but it was so far away from a novel. Then I started to do some paintings and occasionally I still do it. So what else can I leave behind? A few piece of furniture I made, ticked. Maybe a memoir, a book, that would be awesome. Let's start it here. Welcome to my world, it's my life...