You can always find our dependable cobbler busily giving new souls (soles) to our favourite shoes. They do not need fancy shop lots within air-conditioned shopping complexes where they have to pay exorbitant rental. They occupy a little space along almost any side walks. All they need for the job is a stool, a metallic shoe-like horn, their tools and an extra pair of slippers.
Why the extra pair of slippers? He offers direct emergency services and it's for his customers to slip into when he is repairing their shoes. Many a times, I have limped my way to the reliable cobbler for a quick "fix-my-heel-up as the bottom rubber of my stilleto falls out with my heavy walking. Graceful I am not. It only costs RM3 (US$1) to get new stilleto rubber soles.
Sometimes it's a bigger job, something my mother calls a "Crocodile's mouth," that is when the front of my sneekers becomes undone from the bottom sole to show a hungry crocodile about to attack. He just glues it back together or switches them back. The cobbler is definite a neccesity in my life and someone I cannot do without. I hope he passes his precious trade on as he has been a part of Malaysian life for as long as I can remember.