Friday, March 23, 2012


March SOLC

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="">turtlemoon</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>


  1. It's such a pleasure when you run into people who truly take pride in their work. Lovely last line.

  2. That is a timely post. (Sorry. I couldn't resist.) How impressive his service was. How sweet of you to express your gratitude to remind me to give that kind of service in all that I do. That was inspiring.

  3. Taking time to take care of time. You described this craftsman well.

  4. I enjoyed reading your description of all that moving town entails - there is more involved than people realise

  5. "who gave me back my time"
    I love this phrase. Nice piece about getting to know your surroundings. It made me think back to our move here eight years ago. I had to find a cobbler, dry cleaner, and a clock repair shop.

  6. I totally hear you on trying find places for different things like getting your watch battery replaced overseas can be a challenge! I'm glad you were able to find the watch guy. It sounds like he knew what he was doing! Btw..I totally have such a difficult time when I forget to wear my watch. I always need to have a watch on...especially at school!

  7. I wanted to support this man who gave me back my time.
    I love the way you closed this slice - perfect. So many things to think about just to be able to get that time back!

  8. Wow, so interesting! I love that he put in extra effort to make sure you were ready to keep time again.

  9. I agree with Tara, I also love the way you ended this piece. I also like the way the "watch guy" did the little extras to be sure your watch was working properly. What a great story, and you told it so well!

  10. Lovely - I haven't worn a watch in 10 years, just because I could never make mine match the schools. At my old school the time was different in every classroom, so I gave up. Thanks for taking the time to write today.

  11. I swear, every clock in my life is different. I would have a very hard time keeping my watch and the school clocks together. None of them are the same.