Something horrible happened last week. It was a very, very terrible, sad day.
I did something that I promised myself I would never, ever do. Yes, I bought a pair of Crocs — well an off brand that has no name, but still. I am now one of them.
I did this because my clogs finally died. After five long glorious years of wearing them everyday and never worrying about their integrity, they finally gave out. The heel on my right shoe is no more. And I knew India had some infrastructure problems before (all the roving black outs and roads I’ve been on that resemble a coral reef more than concrete told me that), but I had no idea it was also keeping the civilized shoe option: clogs, out of the country.
A few weeks ago I contacted the great people at Dansko asking where if anywhere I could buy their products in India. They responded to me that they currently have no distribution here. While I found this tragic — and my feet now find it far worse than that — I have come to understand why this is. The shoe options here go from horrendously awful to I would behave like Odepius and stab my eyes out if I had to wear those abominations. Sadly, clogs would be seen as far too upmarket an option I think.
Seriously, my choices: the dreaded Crocs, Sneakers/Trainers in the most ungodly garish color schemes that just typing this has me wishing I were color blind, or sandals of the open toe variety. Um… yeah, because I think it would be a masterstroke of an idea to walk around the filthy streets of India with my toes exposed. I mean I did get a Tetanus shot before coming here, but why chance it? Oh yeah, I could have also gone with Flip-flops, you know because dancing in open sewage is also high up on my things to do list…
It amazes me that people in the states wear flip-flops out in the wild (read non beach/non pool areas). My head explodes that many people also feel this is a good idea here — the random pools of bubbling sewage, the piles of trash with festering god knows what everywhere, and the piles of random animal dung everywhere makes the open toe option seem just a tad high on the “are you fucking kidding me” scale. But it seems more than half the travelers here have opted for such footwear.
I have to say this seems likely due to the lack of clog availably….
So, India you have won, you have made me look like an asshole as I wander your streets and sample your wares. An asshole in Crocs…
And really if this was it I would be okay with it. I would wear my Crocs with my head hung in shame till I get to my next stop and find real shoe options (if you want to pray with me that Thailand has proper clogs, now is the time to bend a knee…). But see I also ran out of deodorant at the same time my clogs failed. No big deal I thought. I’ll just go pick some up at the general store. Only to find Axe style body spray as my only option. Were you aware that both Nike and Addidas have a body spray line. Yep. Don’t worry, I shook my head too.
So, India, not only do you want me to look like an asshole, but you would like me to smell like one too. No thank you. Shoes were a must, but I will stink before I opt to wear date rape in a can style deodorant.
I did manage to find one solid deodorant. Only it was Brut. And it was for over $5. This is more than double the god awful not quite shoes cost me. I opted to go without, quite sensibly I think.
But seriously India, if you want to be a proper world power you really are going to have to upgrade your deodorant options, as date rape in a can style is wholly inappropriate.
I am hoping that when I get back to Delhi next week, where it currently is 35C+, that I can find proper deodorant or I am going to offend many a people until I get to Thailand.
India, there are enough real assholes in the world as it is, please do not help make a whole new caste of them wholesale.