Monday, 31 March 2008

Sanpei Shoes

Another rainy day in Tokyo has prompted me to buy some new shoes. Both pairs I have from Australia have developed leaks that make my socks all soggy and uncomfortable.

I could go get the best pair of shoes that money can buy, or instead opt for the discount option. Yes, that's right, "el cheapo" wins again!

My choice was simple. I went to the chinese discount store, Sanpei in Shinjuku, where I got my backpack about six months ago.

While the backpack's not falling apart yet, it has seen better days and looks like the inside wants out. I didn't pay too much for it and it has served me well so far.

I said to a young assistant I wanted to try the shoes on, and he just looked into the distance because he had no idea whatsoever what I asked.

I had more luck with an older man that couldn't speak much more but he understood what shoe size meant. I'm about a 7.5/8 in Australia so here I'm about a size 25 in Japan.

I tried two pairs, one with a buckle and a slip-on pair. They didn't look too bad. I shelved the buckle option and paced for ages in the slip-ons trying to ascertain if this pair were not going to kill my feet in the long run.

I must've annoyed the shopkeeper as he said something I didn't understand, but the look on his face and tone of his voice made it pretty clear. I DID swap one of the shoes for one from the other box (same size though). Maybe that's why.

While I paced he helped another guy buy some 700 yen shirts. Rob, I think that was his name, was from Melbourne and was bar-tendering in Roppongi. He said he didn't have a visa and just goes over to Korea or Taiwan to continue on a tourist visa. Sneaky, but looks like he's pulled it off so far.

Finally I bought the pair of slip-ons for 1030 yen. Only time will tell if it's worth no more than that or even less than what I paid. As long as it's waterproof and stays comfortable, I'll be happy.

Before the shoes I went to Yamaya once more and picked up another four cartons of Don Simon, as well as Wonka chocolate, peanut butter and guacamole dip.

The dip's not exactly what I'm still searching for, but I'm ecstatic to find a product with the word "dip" on it in Japan. Damn hard to find round these parts.

My new year schedule starts tomorrow. I'm a little sad there is no more Shinjuku classes. I'll really miss this place.

Officially ten months in Japan today.