Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The flexibility of flip-flops
There's something about flip-flops in Indonesia. They don't seem to belong to anyone in particular. If you don't guard yours with care, they may disappear. You enter a house, leave your sandals at the door and may find them gone. This doesn't happen out of evil intentions, your sandals are just public property.
It has surprised me several times to see a male colleague wearing the pink fake diamond embroidered flip-flops he came across. When it's warm, you want to take off your sneakers and slip into a sandal. That makes sense. But to wear someone else's? Yes, you can! Apparently, sandals also have a tendency to disappear at mosques, someone quickly slips into them for doing wudhu (ritual washing) and misplace them.
I've learned a few things this past year: 1) expect a 2 euro flip-flop from the supermarket to disappear if you place them anywhere but under you desk, 2) when you leave your sandals at someone's doorstep, place them strategically on the side. This way people will not step on them. 3) wear shoes that are too out of the ordinary to be worn by someone else.
For the past weeks, I've been taking pictures of the flip-flips lying around. Plenty of choice it seems.