It was around 10pm and we were taking a walk after enjoying a lovely dinner at the “Yummy Yummy” Restaurant when we happened upon this Afghani businessman who had set up shop on the sidewalk right outside another restaurant. He is a delightful lifelong shoe repairman in a turban. With a large flattened cardboard box underneath him to designate his business space, he has everything he needs to perform his magic and repair shoes on the spot. All his tools, supplies, and wares are easily within his reach. My husband’s toe thongs were getting a little loose, so we stopped to have this elderly craftsman repair them. Initially we had to wait a few minutes for the man to finish a job for a waiting customer. Then as the senior citizen expertly tightened the thongs on both sandals, my husband asked how much this job would cost him. The man smiled and replied in Arabic, “Whatever you can give me is fine.” My hubby, always the jokester, told the man that he only had two riyals left (that’s 50 cents US). “That’s fine,” said the elderly craftsman. When the job was done about 10 minutes later, my hubby paid the happy worker 20 riyals ($5 US) and we were on our way. There was more work to be done – the busy repairman had two more customers waiting. Speedy same day service with a smile. Skilled experienced craftsman. Low competitive prices. Great professional service. Busy walk-by traffic location. No overhead costs. No taxes. Honest and reliable. What more could you ask for in a shoe repairman?
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