My wife Aura is a very determined woman. When she makes up her mind to do something, you can bet a million dollars she is going to do it no matter what. I’ve learned a lot from her over the twenty-nine years we have been married.
Approximately five years ago, she decided to stay healthy by walking around the neighborhood an hour a day. She has missed very few days, when she was sick and too weak to walk. Otherwise, she is up at 04:00 a.m. when the roosters are singing and on the go. She is pretty famous at El Bosque for her walking determination.
Walking constantly wear rubber shoes at a dramatic rate, as you well know. On November 28th. Aura found out her shoes were fading under her feet. It was time for an urgent replacement so we went to Albrook Mall to buy a good pair of walking shoes. She was after the New Balance brand which are quite popular in the walking community in Panama.
We found a store called Sports Factory, S.A. owned by a Jewish businessman from Chiriquí which carried the New Balance brand. The store manager was Claudio Chávez, also from the Province of Chiriquí. You already know that I was also born in Chiriquí.
The customer service of Mr. Chávez (not to be mistaken with the Hugo Chávez of Venezuela) was over the moon. He did everything possible to select the best sneakers for Aura, after knowing that she had flat feet. The first thing he did, was to make Aura walk on a conveyor belt—barefoot—to determine her walking strides. A special computer attached to the belt would select the shoe model that best suited Aura’s walking needs. It turned out to be 570 ABZRB whatever those codes mean. To further ease her walking activities, he suggested a NB flat foot innersole. It fitted the shoes like a glove.
With the new shoes on, she walked again on the conveyor belt and the computer concluded that the shoes were suitable. So we bought them. This is how much we paid:
- One NB Women’s Athletic Shoe: $69.95
- One NB Flat Foot Rubber Innersole: $26.95
- One NB Sports Cap: Free
- Special 15 Percent Discount: ($14.54)
- Sales Tax: $4.12
- Total Cost: $86.48
While I was waiting at the store, I noticed a large robot suspended in the air and running like an athlete. He was dressed in sports clothes, and of course, wearing New Balance sneakers. He looked very human, with human-looking hair, and dark eye glasses. His movement were exactly the same as a man running, only in mid-air. I couldn’t resist the temptation of taking a photograph of this athletic robot or whatever this thing is called.
After being at the store for about an hour, I paid with my Clave Debit Card and crawled to our car. I was absolutely exhausted after walking more than three miles inside this gigantic mall. The kids and Aura were in a similar situation. My shoes were not meant for walking, that’s for sure.
Below are a couple of pictures of this high technology shopping experience. Here we go.
Equipped with this new pair of shoes, Johnny Walker better watch out. Aura is out there to catch you. Good Day.