I go shopping with my daughter. First we visit the tailor, just down ul Dworkowa. She has a bag of clothes for mending, and I have my winter coat. It needs to be taken up a peg or two, so I don’t trip ignominiously over it on the stairs. We go to the first floor up a winding staircase, and sit waiting for our turn. Three women move around, finding repaired items, and recording new orders. The workroom is empty for the time being.
Then we head off to see about my laptop, dead since arrival. The man who offers computer service isn’t there, and “won’t be back till after 12.” Last time I called he wasn’t there either. So local computer repair is perhaps off my agenda. One more try maybe.
Our third visit is to the bootmaker. This is complicated. First we press a button to gain entrance. The instructions on the wall outside say “downstairs”. We only have the option of upstairs so we wind around corridors until we come to stairs leading down. We twist and turn around more corridors, following a sign my daughter can’t translate. We finally reach a ruddy-faced, round-headed man at a table scattered with shoes. I pull out my Keen’s sandals, which have walked me all over Eastern Europe. He scrutinises and measures and prods, as a doctor does a patient, and takes a phone number to let us know when they’re repaired.
Then I drift into a second hand shop. I’m not usually a good shopper in second hand shops but this morning I find a pillar-box red dressing-gown, plush and soft like the twins’ jackets with their ears and pom-poms, and in my size. I take it to the counter and the man puts it on the scales and charges me for it by weight.
My last shopping for the day is at the National Museum. It’s Ola’s 70th birthday, and I’m stumped for a gift. I have high hopes of the museum shop, and they are not disappointed. I find a bamboo fan, beautifully packaged in a long box, and opening to show a gentle image of cranes. Ola hates hot weather, so maybe I have found the perfect gift, even when the temperature is 7°C.
It never pays to gloat over a satisfactory Friday. On Saturday morning I go shopping again, find the perfect wrapping paper for Ola’s gift, and lose my keys to the apartment. Irretrievably.