Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cobbler, Cobbler, Mend My Shoes

Cobblers have been a regular sight in Chinatown, ever since when I could walk to the old open-air People's Park that was market by day and bazaar and restaurants by night. With changing time, and new buildings, they adjusted into new niches. No challenge to anyone, other than the newcomer Mr. Minit, these traditional cobblers sat in a group, chat and work. Customers were offer tiny stools to sit on while waiting for them to mend the shoe.

They are like the smaller microcosm of the total ecosystem of the marketplace. Someone might want to mend a shoe or two, although these days, tendencies of throwing them away are higher. While these cobblers are not going to be rich, they manage to survive.

If you were to imagine a screen behind these cobblers showing the old days of the stinky canal next to People's Park to the present day, many things changed but not the cobbler. Maybe, some white hair, some replacement of cobblers .. but this trade could well be a vanishing one. Would Ronald be the last to bid them goodbye?

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