Monday, February 16, 2009

City of People: Knife Sharpening Man



One of the convenience of living in Bandung (and in Indonesia or other developing countries, for that matter, I think) is that you have different sorts of services available at your door steps whenever you need them. Everyday (well, nearly everyday), different sorts of tradesmen pass by my house touting their services. They offer services such as shoe or sofa repair, knife-sharpening, pruning out and weeding your garden, etc. All I need to do is call them in and they will happily give you the service you need for a small fee. This man passed by my house one Sunday when I was working on my front yard garden. He was touting knife-sharpening service, which I conveniently happened to need. The machete and garden scissors I was using were getting too dull for the pruning work I was doing. So, I called him in and voila, a few minutes later I had a sharp machete and scissors.

8 comments:

Dina said...

Wonderful picture of life on your street, Eki. What a good system, the traveling tradesmen. I wish we had it.
It was not until age 50 that I learned to use a machete (at Heifer Ranch in USA www.heifer.org). I had a "cut and carry" forage demonstration project with the donkeys. It was to promote zero-grazing units for goats, especially in developing countries. We often worked with visiting work-campers. I always worried that if our machetes were sharpened too well, the young people might slash their leg by mistake.
I miss my machete . . .

chanpheng said...

I like the photo, especially the blur of his hand as he's turning the wheel. Mobile markets and services are great in Asia!

asf said...

It surely was easy for him what was hard work for you...great photo.

Bohol Today~

the donG said...

it's really amazing when you get to see innovations like that. innovations in a natural way i mean.

ramblingwoods.com said...

Wow..I like the colors and the way you could the speed of the wheel...

Catherine said...

I like the way he is completely occupied by its work. As a snapshot of day-to-day life.

You get a garden !
I was wondering what you could cut in your kitchen with a knife like that. Now, I understand : )

Here, we've lost all these kinds of home services. At the end of the 60's, the grinder was still shouting in the street, proposing its services. Nowadays, we're in a consummer society, and we throw what doesn't work anymore....Unfortunately.

Jessica said...

Very interesting....this actually happens here in Rome as well! There are people who come around to sharpen your knives and call out "Arrotino!" so you know he's in the area. It's actually a bike with a sharpening instrument on the top. There is an old man who passes through the neighborhood I work in and it's always nice to hear his musical voice shouting "Arrotino!" I actually found a video on YouTube that someone shot of a man sharpening knives hear Bari in Southern Italy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii9r3xehck4

JimmyV said...

Knife sharpening isn't a typical business on busy metropolitan streets, but might sure be hard-hitting on villages near camping areas.

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