I have fallen in love.
With flip flops.
I always used to avoid them for anything other than the beach, but even then I favoured my beloved crocs for all the ‘casual’ occasions, well all right ALL the occasions as I barely had them off my feet, but alas and alack I failed to pack any of them for our sojourn in Macau, which is ridiculous when you think of all the shoes I did manage to pack and have had absolutely no occasion to wear (you never know I might get to wear the new ‘going out’ heels and a posh frock somewhere at some point. I may just take to wearing them around the apartment and pretend I’m going out). But flip flops were consigned to genre of ‘beachwear’, and have never really been something I have been comfortable with.
But oh how times have changed. Macau has impacted on many aspects of my life and one of the positives that has emerged is the general wellbeing of my feet.
I have never known them to be in such good shape and it’s all down to the humble flip flop.
My love affair came about through necessity as I was in danger of developing a severe case of trench foot if I carried on in trainers (sneakers for those of you across the pond). Due to the combined effects of intense heat, many miles walked and sudden and torrential rainfall my feet seemed almost constantly damp, and it seems appropriate here to mention that the smell at the end of the day was not particularly pleasing either. One super hot/super rainy day my poor feet could take the squelching no longer and I dashed into the supermarket for a pair of ‘emergency flips’.
The conversion was instant. My feet felt like they had been reborn.
It was also then I noticed just how many other people were wearing them. It’s like when you get a new car and you suddenly realize just how many of the same model or colour there are on the road. At least 75% of locals favour the flip flop over any other type of footwear, (there is sometimes not a lot else to do when waiting for Moo to conclude one of her many visits to the park so I will stand by my statistical findings and challenge anyone who disagrees), and as a recent convert I can absolutely understand why. When it is hot your feet stay cool and when the typhoon rains pour from the heavens they get a good wash and you don’t have to wander round in soggy shoes for the rest of the day. The hard skin on my toes is a thing of the past and there will be little for the fishies to nibble on when I take AJ for a fish spa in the next week or so.
They also seem to have dealt with the pain I used to get in my foot. My wonderful trainee osteopath, not to mention my best, friend explained that the pain I got in my heel was related to the time I broke my big toe. It was a much more complex and anatomical explanation than I could possibly remember, but she must have been right as after she had wiggled my foot bones around for a while it was much better. Sadly my wonderful friend lives hundreds of miles away and when the pain returned several months later I just had to live with it. But since I began my affair with the humble flip flop it seems to have vanished.
As with any relationship though there are ups and downs and it is often outside influences beyond your control that bring a note of disharmony. In this case the villain of the piece is paint. To be more precise the kind of paint that is used here for zebra crossings. Bearing in mind the amount of rain that falls in this part of the world you would have thought that it may have been sensible to use a type of paint that is slightly less slippery than an ice rink when wet, but the civic authorities have obviously decided that pedestrians need an extra challenge, aside form the seemingly homicidal motorists, when crossing a busy road.
Last week during a particularly sudden and violent rainstorm we were dashing across the road trying to avoid the kamikaze moped which was bearing down with alarming speed, when my flip flops connected with a freshly painted white stripe and slid from under me and folded my toes neatly into the tarmac. I then had 2 choices. Either I stopped and unfolded my toes and risked being hit or I scrapped my foot along the tarmac to the safety of the pavement. Safety and crunched tootsies won out.
But aside form a little bruising all is well and the love affair is back in full bloom.
Another joy of this footwear is the variety and price. I can wear shoes that match every single item of clothing I own without having to win the lottery or sell a kidney. And you can even get sparkly ones too. And to appease my big sister who is no doubt about to accuse me of betraying the ‘sisterhood of Choo’ I may even get a pair of designer wedge heel flips too.
I’m sure when we return to less tropical climes the flip flops will be once more consigned to the beachwear wardrobe, I can’t imagine they would be so pleasurable to wear on the city streets of London or Paris, or in the winter snow of home for that matter. And if I ever do get to wear the posh frock it will defiantly be with the posh heels, but for now my heart and sole belong only to them.