Thursday, September 02, 2010


One of the reasons I like warmer weather is because I can wear my favorite footwear: flip flops. Also known as thongs or, as we said when we were youngsters in Japan, zoris. By the way, zoris is not grammatically correct, it should be zori. It's the same singular or plural. Like deer and deer. But I digress into etymology - bad habit.

So flip flops. I switch to them as early in the season as I can, and I try to stretch the summer as long as I can. I am never eager to put away the flip flops. This summer in Seattle has been unusually warm with some bizarrely cold days thrown in intermittently. Tuesday was rainy and cold - I don't think it got above 54 or so. Everyone wondered if summer had gone. No. It's still here. But my flip flops are not.

I fell down today and one of my flip flops broke. The toe thing ripped out. No way to repair it. I got on the bus, one foot properly shod, the other bare. On the way home I stopped at a Walgreens to buy another pair of flip flops, but they were out. It may still be in summer in Seattle, but in Walgreens the seasonal stuff is for October and Halloween. I bought a pair of slippers. The size said large, but I have big Hungarian peasant feet, and I could barely get them on. Still, I didn't have to walk around the city bare foot.

There used to be a time when I could wear any old flip flop, but as I get older, it's harder. My feet, like everything else, need more support. Last year I discovered the Adidas flip flop with arch support. They are fabulous. I can wear them all day without any foot pain. Tomorrow I have to go on the hunt for another pair, but as I rode the bus home I was remembering other flip flops and flip flop failures.

Those of you who know me will not be surprised to find out that this isn’t the first time I've fallen and broken this particular type of footwear. A few years ago in Florida I was shopping at the Wal-Mart while waiting for my cousin to finish her appointment. We had one of those days with torrential rain for about an hour, then sunny skies. As I walked across the Wal-Mart parking lot to my cousin's car, I tripped and fell forward into a giant puddle. I was wet from head to toe, and I broke one of my flip flops. So, I got up and went back into the store and bought another pair.

This falling and breaking flip flops could be attributed to my general clumsiness, but I blame it on one leg being slightly shorter than the other. It's not really shorter, but ever since I had knee surgery 30 years ago, it doesn't bend all the way, nor does it straighten all the way - effectively making it shorter. I like this theory better than the idea that I lack a certain grace.

When I was traveling in India with my friend Kellie, I had my favorite flip flops with me. (Flip flops are really the only footwear needed in India.) They were easily about 20 years old, but they were the type that had the thicker rainbow sole, except instead of rainbow mine went from bright orange to yellow, natch. They also had the super comfy woven thong part in yellow. I loved them. So comfy, so dependable, like a old friend they were. One evening we were on the train going from Mumbai to Arangabad - first class sleeper, very nice - and I took off my flip flops and put them under my sleeping platform thingy. About a half hour before our stop, the steward came by and woke us up. I went to put on my flip flops but there was only one there. Turns out that all down the length of the train the partitions between sleeping cubicles do not go all the way to the floor. Sometime in the night one of my flip flops evidently went skittering around the train. I got down on my hands and knees and looked for it to no avail. I couldn't really go into the other cubicles and look because they were occupied. So I put the single shoe into my backpack and pulled out my sneakers. The next day I bought a pair of Indian flip flops.

Indian flip flops. Definitely made of an inferior grade of foam rubber. In the end I bought several pair throughout our travels because they wore out so quickly. But they only cost about 10 or 20 rupees which is less than 50 cents at most. A couple of weeks later, maybe when we were in Pushkar or Jailselmer, Kellie asked me why I was still carrying around the one flip flop. I don't know why. I didn't want to part with it. Then I realized that what I was hoping was that as we continued our travels, the other flip flop would catch up with us, or, reappear on another train. How absurd. I tossed it. Adios favorite flip flops. India is magical, but it's not that magical.

Keep your fingers crossed that I'll find some great zori tomorrow!

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At 9:21 PM, Blogger Alan said...

I bought new flips at Value Village (Don't tell!) and they are mosr fabulous. i will show them to you dahling, ven I see you...

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Kellie said...



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