Saturday, 7 March 2009

My Kingdom For A Thong

Mine is not a delicate foot. Nor it is in Ang Mo terms an overly large one.
I like to think of it as an appendage befitting my yeoman ancestry - sturdy and well proportioned.

This perception makes not a jot of difference when it comes to buying shoes in Singapore. My shoe size is 45 which translates to 10 1/2 in New Zealand terms.

Almost without exception every make and model of footwear in Robinsons and nearby stores stops at size 44. The salesgirls smile politely and suggest squeezing into their largest size, a scene reminiscent of one an Ugly Sister trying on the glass slipper in Cinderella.

Occasionally I do find something that fits and a nice pair of Florsheims are a recent purchase. My problem in recent times has been finding a pair of rubber jandals (or flip-flops or thongs depending on your country of origin).

My wife carried a paper cut out traced from the sole of my jandals in her handbag for several months, on the off chance that she might stumble across something suitable. Alas she did not and I have resorted in recent times to cloth slippers of the Japanese variety, purloined from various hotels I have stayed at.

Today however I was in luck which just shows that perseverance pays.

On one of the higher levels in Centrepoint mall I came across a temporary stall that was retailing warehouse overruns. Rising like a periscope out of a pile of odds and sods was a biliously coloured pair of what seemed to be rubber jandals.

A closer inspection revealed that this was so and I had hit the jackpot - two pairs of size 45's for a mere $5. Being the Hang Ten brand they are reasonably well constructed.

There is of course always a drawback with such bargains. The jandals are remnants of the last soccer world cup purchased by patriotic Spaniards (the red and yellow design) and Englishman (the embellished Union Jack design). There is further challenge with the British version as the flag in question is red, pink and blue - rather than the official red, white and blue.

One can only summise that the dye ran during manufacture which probably goes a long way to explaining why few of them sold. No self respecting British soccer fan would be seen dead in jandals of this hue.

Beggars cannot be choosers and at least I can now shuffle around our condo in my new footwear muttering "Ole!" or singing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" -I am a rugby follower - depending on how the mood takes me.

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