I have never had shoes re-soled or repaired before. It was more expensive than I thought it would be—$42—but it still beats buying a new pair for $100 (or more).
The thing that surprised me most, though, was my visit to drop off the shoes, and my first visit to such a shop. It was packed! There were 5 other customers in a shop the size of my living room. There was a girl ahead of me with a well-loved pair of boots. "Could you put a little rubber here," she said, indicating the sole between the toe and the ball of the foot. "And maybe here too?" She pointed to the worn heel. The proprietors spoke little English, but they didn't bat an eye. They took the shoes and handed her a pink claim ticket: "Be done Thursday."
There were laces and shoe-horns, and polishes and brushes, but also leather dyes and varnishes and glues and all sorts of things lining the walls of the shop. I was half-expecting the next customer to plop down a pair of hob-nailed boots and ask the proprietors to turn them into acrylic goldfish heels. What I'm saying is, apparently these people have some magic shoe elves hanging out in back, and one should not hesitate to ask for miracles.
In other equally prosaic news: if I am a bad person in this life, then when I die I will find myself in Whole Foods. I read the back of an envelope of organic guacamole seasoning that regaled the consumer with tales of wholesome, halcyon days regained through the contents of said envelope. I hate that place. It's filthy with yuppies, too (myself included). Strangely enough, though, they have the best prices on bulk foods (rice, flour, oats, beans, etc.). Many dry goods keep well enough that I'm sometimes tempted to consider resorting to this.