I am someone who wears a watch. During the day I like to know what time it is. (Once G goes to bed that is another story. I believe one thing that factors into feeling tired is the mental notion of how much sleep you have gotten. If you don't know how much sleep you have gotten then you take out that factor.)
Every school morning I make sure both my watch and the clock on the wall in my room match 'school time'. (Our clocks are independent and operate by battery - not like what any of you in the States have, I am sure.) When the 8 a.m. bell rings I check them both.
Last Saturday my watch was behind by a couple of minutes. I reset it without giving it too much thought, sometimes they tweak 'school time' over the weekend. In the afternoon I realized I was nearly five minutes late to pick my students up from their special. Why? My watch was wrong. Hmmm, I started paying attention. Sure enough, my watch was not keeping good time. Probably needed a new battery.
When you move to a new city there are many things you realize you need to figure out. Where the grocery store is. How to get to school. The location of the nearest pharmacy. Where you can find the best produce. Mobile phone service, propane for the stove, and a good household helper are all on my initial list of 'to do's. I eventually find a dry cleaner, a good falafel shop, and a taxi driver I can trust.
What I forget, every single time, is that I also need to know where to get a watch battery replaced. Realize that watch repair shops are always small and tucked away somewhere. They are not the kind of place you just happen to see. Most of the time I have to go looking, specifically, for one. Thankfully there are always people who have lived there longer and have had to have their watch battery replaced as well.
Yesterday we went to find the 'watch guy'. He was right where we were told he would be, in his hole in the wall shop (literally). Luckily watch batteries can usually be replaced without common language skills, but it can be interesting. (My indiglo hasn't worked for years because of the 'watch guy' in Amman 'fixing' it when he replaced my battery.)
Watching him yesterday I saw him do things I hadn't seen before. He actually used a battery meter to be sure the new battery was at full juice. I looked at my husband, raising my eyebrows. "That was nice", I commented softly. After the new battery was in he pulled out a device that magnified the ticking of my watch to see if it was keeping good time. Another appreciated bit of attention to detail. I ended up buying a phone card from the guy as well. I wanted to support this man who gave me back my time.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/trainorphans/3233818645/">turtlemoon</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>