Monday, March 8, 2010

On Feet

I’ve never really been one for feet. In fact, most of my life, the size of mine have caused me considerable embarrassment. In my younger days, before they started making a few shoes in larger sizes, I was regularly subjected to the downward stare of disapproving shoe sellers. Centuries of foot binders past echoed in their derisive,
“ I’m terribly sorry Madame but we don’t cater for those sizes.”
Or later, once the manufacturers twigged and started issuing one pair of sizes nine, ten and occasionally eleven to a few stores.
“Oh I’m terribly sorry madam but we sell out of those sizes at the beginning of the season.” Like the only way for hefty feet to be shod is if they line up on opening day and trample all the other ample footers for the limited edition concessions to their deformity.

Not that I am foot phobic like some people I know. Baby’s feet are cute; especially the way they do that little rabbit pawing thing at your belly when they are on the breast. And I do like rubbing feet with my lover when we are wrapped up close in each other, to connect from lip to toe. But mostly, feet and I have never really had much to say to each other.

Until moving to Bali that is. Until the only way for me to get around is on the back of a motorbike in this madness they call traffic. Lately my feet have a whole lot to say! Apart from insisting that I wear my heaviest sandals before I walk out the door, they have developed a knack of sucking all the blood away from my ankles for the duration of any ride. To be fair, I guess they have been indoctrinated by the boots and leather safety set back home, but I left all those trappings behind, knowing how ridiculously hot it would be over here. And I suppose there are rabid dogs, pot holes and maniac drivers around every bend, so I can’t discount their convulsions as completely irrational. But no amount of pointing out sarong wearing, side saddled, thong flapping pillions would convince my feet to either release the blood back into my ankles ( a particularly uncomfortable sensation I have to say ) or to uncurl their toes from the foetal positions they had taken up at the end of my sandals. What to do?

As with many things, time has managed to minimise the trauma to an occasional, "only when under direct threat" affair, and to be honest, the rest of my body is similarly contorted at those times. So we have come to a bit of a truce on the whole motor biking thing. And, the other day, now that they have been lulled out their hyper vigilant, red alert rigidity, I actually managed to sneak out the door in my thongs, and get on the bike before they noticed.

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