On my trip away I noticed something very interesting about the holiday shopper. The holiday shopper is different from the regular shopper as the regular shopper shops with purpose. Be it that it is for a particular item (a dress they need for a wedding, a new pair of glasses, shoes etc) or just for retail therapy, the run of the mill shopper knows exactly what he or she wants. The holiday shopper on the other hand… well, just think back yourselves over the random shit that you have either bought while away or received from a friend who got back from holiday and thought “why the hell did I buy that?!” so decided to unload it on to you!
As we waddled back to the hotel from our first meal in Eilat, heavy with a meaty belly, I noticed all the little stalls along the boulevard, selling the same old shit; the same hippy bags, floaty skirts, piece of shit jewellery and shoes. I always notice shoes when I go to Eilat. The thing you have to remember about shopping in Eilat is that it is tax free, so particularly dangerous for the phantom holiday shopper. Whenever I know I am going to Eilat I think about the shoes I need and when I am in Eilat I go shoe crazy! However this time I was not really in a shoe place, well all I am wearing at the moment are flip flops and all they seem to be selling in the shops are the revolting wedge cork healed things that I do not wish to have anywhere near my feet.
However this did not stop my friend ogling the Birkenstock shoes that were selling in the stalls for 60 shekels. We stopped at one stall where a guy with two hair braids out of his chin was working it… when I mean working it I mean working the charm to get a sale… he was just working it on the wrong girl! So as my friend was trying on her shoes I leaned against the wall trying to stay awake as our heavy meal weighed down my eyelids:
Hair braid beard: You ok? You don’t want to buy any shoes? (in Hebrew)
Me: אני עייפה (meaning I am tired)
Hair braid beard: לא לא- את יפיפייה (no no – you are very beautiful/ extremely pretty/ very attractive)
Me: er… ok… thanks… yawn.
And this is when the guy with weird facial hair decided to pinch my cheek and say “cooch cooch”… hmmmmm
Not being one for baby talk I decided to make a speedy exit and decided that 60 shek Birkenstocks were not the way to go. Maybe I should buy some trainers instead and start walking off all the food we have eaten!
But then the next day, at the pool, one of the girls who were also staying at the hotel showed me her new Crocs shoes. Now for those of you who have no idea what these are, let me give you a simple definition: Crocs shoes are without a doubt the ugliest looking shoes every invented! Yet everyday I see people walking the streets in Tel Aviv sporting a pair.. usually in bright orange of all colours! Seriously, forget what I said earlier about the cork healed shoes, these things are just plain revolting! But when she made me try on her flip flop version of the shoes I suddenly realised what everyone had been going on about. What they lack in style they certainly do make up for in comfort… not to sound like a cliché, but it truly is like walking on air! And the flip flop version really is not that bad, although their choice of colours is pretty dire! I mean you have luminous pink, orange, yellow, and purple to name a few, to choose from. Being someone who prefers to be flamboyant in my personality and not reflect that in my dress I managed to find a black pair with a cream soul… People I have not taken them off since! I am seriously thinking about whether or not I can go to the gym in them tonight as they are much more comfortable than my trainers… So despite the curse of holiday shopping being that you buy things you would not be seen dead in when you return to the real world, I think I managed to come away from the weekend unscathed in that respect! Don’t get me wrong, the shoes are still revolting, but the flip flops… now that is a must buy!
My little sister just told me that she has ordered a pair of the Crocs shoes in yellow! I throw my hands up! Does no one listen to me anymore???