Sunday, July 8, 2012
What girl doesn’t crave new shoes? Well, in Lae, that is not possible, EXCEPT, if you get VERY lucky and find a pair 2nd hand-shopping, that is: a) your size, b) a style you like, c) in an acceptable condition, d) doesn’t have the price written on them in permanent marker. I have never been so lucky. There are plastic
flip flops thongs of questionable quality available in the local supermarkets and work boots (usually only men’s sizes) at the local Dunlop store, but that is pretty much it. So needless to say I wear my heels out, and unlike all over the streets of Hanoi there are not people doing good repairs on shoes. Fortunately I was the lucky recipient of a kick-ass pair of heels from Natasha last winter. Sure, they are 4-inch, and a tad bit tight, but I LOVE them, and wear them nearly every weekend. I want to find a pair while traveling and to avoid lugging them everywhere I decide to do this in Hanoi. Hanoi has streets dedicated solely to foot-wear, it just might not be what you are looking for. However, after looking at the over-priced 9-West shoes (seriously 3x what you’d pay in the states), it couldn’t hurt just to see what gems might be hidden in the street stalls. I didn’t find anything I loved, but bought a pair of ‘Tom’s’ – so not heels and failing all else, found a pair of nude, low-heeled Aldos, at the actual Aldo store so at least I wouldn’t return home empty-handed.
My last chance at shopping will be the Singapore airport and I know I don’t have long there but have a few things I hope to buy… this being my LAST chance for months. My flight leaving Hanoi is delayed and as I watch the time tick by I see myself with less and less shopping time…and soon I’m worried I may not even make check-in, in time. Nothing seems to go my way, our plane is slowed down further by traffic around the airport, luggage is slow in arriving, then the shuttle bus sits without moving for another 15 minutes…I arrive at the check-in gate, slightly out of breathe, no other passengers so my first though it that it’s closed. So, I’m relieved when they still take me, phew. The gate is open, now…shoot, no shopping time! Well, I’m sure I have time for duty-free alcohol, that’s a necessity (we still have a liquor ban in Lae for another 6 months!).
I buy my two bottle of liquor (Kahlua and Tequila in case you are wondering)…and then figure I’d better rush to my gate. But, what is that? a shoe store? In my price range? Um, I will regret missing my flight, the next one is in two days…but, I will also, really, really regret not at least browsing, just for a second, at least. So many cute pairs, way better than what I saw today…I’ll just try on one pair. BINGO, they fit (and as the sales girls inform me, they’ll call my name if they start boarding and I’m not there so I could even try on more…). I better not press my luck.
I sure hope they feed us on the flight, didn’t have time to buy food in the airport, and I was really hungry for some satay…shoes took priority though – no questions asked. I only regret not trying on that second pair….
Hanoi had other shoe stores but it seemed that every pair I liked came only as large as a 38…and ran small…