September 07, 2014

On a Shoe, and Not Much Else

One of the tiny waterfalls
When I was pregnant with my son, I didn’t know what name to give him. And then I went for a walk on the beach with a Lebanese couple and their children. They had a son named Adrian, about 11 years old. And he was playing in the surf. With his new basketball shoes, brought in from the States by his dad who had been on a business trip. The dad must have warned the child a hundred times about those shoes. ‘Be careful, those are expensive shoes. Be careful, those are new shoes. Be careful, those shoes are from the States, you cannot get them here. Be careful, the water will ruin them.’  Well, water didn’t ruin them, it just made one disappear. Suddenly, the boy had only one shoe. The dad went ballistic. "I warned you and warned you and warned you. Look what you have done now. You will go to school tomorrow with one shoe." And Adrian replied stoically "Fine, one shoe will do." I was thinking, “Man, get a life, it is only a shoe.” And I named my son Adrian.
Waterfall at 3 levels (difficult to see though)
Fast forward some 20 years. I went up to the mountains to escape the oppressive heat. I said I would not ever again complain about the heat in Lebanon, after a particularly cold and wet August in Holland, and so I won't, but I wonder how people without AC survive this. It is manageable during the day; you try to stay out of the sun, find some type of wind flow, any wind flow (can't call it a breeze), relax, and just hope it will be October soon, when the temperatures drop. But at night, it is unbearable.
The shoes were both still there in this picture (up, in red)
Anyway, to escape the heat, I took my daughter and a friend up to a waterfall in the mountains. Waterfall may be a little misleading. It is a waterfall in wintertime. In summer time it is a small stream of water trickling down the mountain with little puddles at intervals. It's difficult to find natural places with water in summer (apart from the beach), but this river always runs. It is difficult to reach by car, so relatively clean. People still have a tendency to go out and have a full-scale picnic, and then get up and leave. Plastic plates, plastic cups, aluminum foil, chips bags, Pepsi cans and tissue paper, everything gets left behind. But this place is pretty clean.
and then it was gone
The kids played in the water for a while, until it was noticed that one of my daughter's shoes was missing. One of the dogs had apparently dropped it down the waterfall into the next pool. And then it was gone. We poked around a bit, but no trace of the shoe. Apart from the fact that hiking down the mountain with one shoe was going to be difficult, I was going to let it go. Okay, so we lost a shoe. Big deal. After all, I had named my son after a child that lost his shoe.
Terrible monsters live at the bottom of the pool
And we sat some more. But somehow it didn’t sit well with me. After all, they were relatively new, those shoes. And she still fit them. Having a daughter who goes through a pair of new shoes every three months, a good pair of shoes that still fits is a commodity. It also dawned on me that this was one shoe of a 120,000 LBP pair of shoes. It’s not like it’s a $10 slipper. Darn, these shoes are expensive! For a Dutchie, at least. I wanted that shoe back!
Yeah, and then there were two
But the plunge pool was a lot deeper than I expected, and the imaginary water monsters at the bottom of the puddle a lot bigger, and so we spent the rest of the afternoon poking around in the pool, trying to retrieve a shoe. With success, I might add. The end result is not that great though; the prolonged presence in the water sort of unglued the shoe. Will need to pass by the shoemaker to get it back in shape.
Hard to wear wet shoes on dry land, and so she wore them in the water
And you are now thinking, “Get a life, it is only a shoe.”

1 comment:

Elijah said...

What a wonderful report on your weekend excursion!!! Keep up your postings. It is a lovely inspiration for me. Thanks.