Monday, December 4, 2017

One Man and his Dog

Monday was a coolish day (after Sunday's heatwave which had kept us all inside). I set off for a long walk along the river and met a man and his dog. The dog was 11 and the man - older than me. This dog lives the life of Riley. He is fed on fillet steak from Torre Butchers and doesn't like having a bath, so doesn't often get one!

His owner is a retired librarian like me. He worked in the State Library. When he reached 65 his boss called him into his office and asked when he planned to retire. He said: in 2 weeks time, and that was that! But there's a lot more to his story. He was brought up in the former Yugoslavia, now Slovenia. He was a lawyer and worked in Import/Export. He travelled abroad with his boss, apparently arranging dodgey deals in order to make money to supplement the poor salaries of the Communist regime. One such deal was to travel to London to make a gigantic purchase of razor blades, since it was impossible to get a decent shave with the local product. Their London contacts asked: how are you going to pay for this? A phone call was made to their bank in Vienna, which confirmed that there were enough funds to pay in US$. The transaction, via another bank in Berlin, cost an additional 60%, since it was impossible to get $ any other way! The two entrepreneurs then travelled to Glasgow to inspect the factory to see the razor blade production line and were amazed to see thin sheets of steel going in at one end and boxed-up razor blades coming out the other.

If I'd stayed talking, he would probably have told me his entire life story!

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