These Pumps Are NOT Made For Walkin'

Tips: read this while watching or listening to the Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ cover version, where Jessica Simpson is strutting around with sexy red boots….

In my attempt to conquer the granite city (a.k.a Aberdeen), I decided that last Thursday was a perfect day to walk around the city.

Now, as everybody knows, Indonesians are not used to walk. Yes, we could walk for hours while shopping in Plaza Senayan or even Mangga Dua, but that’s a totally different exercise. In Jakarta, while working at Jakarta Stock Exchange Building, just to go to Automall (which is, literally, practically, across the street and only takes 3 minutes walk), we sometimes opt for driving. While working in L’Oreal in Kuningan, mrk.mck couldn’t understand why I always insisted on driving my car to Cazbar for lunch, fighting the consistent traffic jam on the roundabout across Singaporean & The Netherlands Embassies, rather than walking, which perhaps, takes less time than driving.

The only time I embrace a ‘walking spirit’ would be when I travel to Singapore and Bali (and again, the spirit of walking gets a lot of boosts from shopping agenda). OK, I had to walk a lot when I was living in Sydney, but back then I was a student, dressed like one (sneakers, jeans, backpack), and it was 7 years ago! Somehow though, after 6 months I chose bus rather than walking, and then my classmate Tom, ABT (Australian born Taiwanese), was a spoilt rich boy who changed cars more often than changing his military green jacket, and he usually picked me up at my apartment before going to the uni.

I couldn’t put my walking around the project site as my walking CV. Although the project site is usually large (more than 1,000 sqm), and sometimes has more than 1 storey so I must use staircases, I was more standing a lot rather than walking. While walking, the pace was also very slowly, so it’s not really walking.

So it’s a safe assumption that I only walk on treadmill at gym….

Since I’m not a walking-friendly person, my shoes are considerably not walking-friendly shoes. Most of them are open toes sandals with 7cm heels or higher. The only flat shoes I have would be my flip-flops (for Bali) and my sneakers (for gym). I opt high heels sandals not just because they are sexy and make me stand straighter, but because it is necessary. Yeah, with 153 cm tall I consistently become the shortest among the group, so you see, 7 cm heels are necessary! Even though I almost killed myself, (Fall From Grace, July 2006), and embarrassed myself in Highland Gathering 2005 by wearing wedges in a muddy open field, I couldn’t, wouldn’t stop wearing high heels. Funnily enough, I get more tired wearing flip flops rather than dancing around with my 9cm heels jeweled sandals.

However 3 years ago I bought my first loafers for UK trip. I know I’d be walking along the huge airports, changing terminals and gates, dragging my luggage around on top of added shopping bags, and keeping my pace with mr.mckt’s. Not to mention that I must fly solo to Amsterdam, then took a train up to Hannover with my 20 kgs luggage (no porter!). My Hush Puppies were my saviour.

But now living in Aberdeen and having faced the facts that 1) I don’t know the bus route yet, 2) I must get a new driving license in order to be able to drive, and most importantly 3) I still get lost and constantly call my poor fiancé just to ask where the post office is, I have to walk. And I can’t wear my jeweled flat sandals all the time. Although my sandals make people turn their head to see them, they’re open-toes, and with fake-summer temperature in Aberdeen which is never warmer than 18 degrees (and that, my friend, is a winter time in Sydney!), I’d get frostbite very soon. I have no option but wearing shoes, real shoes!, not sandals.

But you see, none of my outfits match to my loafers. So when wandering around the mall, I determine to buy flat shoes that are sexy, cute, colourful, but also sensible. The option is something that other people are so used to, but to me is very new: ballerina pumps.

I read somewhere that ballerina pumps’ most famous brand is French Sole (forget Chanel, their pumps will cost more than USD 500). But after looking around the mall, I couldn’t find French Sole brand, but stumbled upon a cute pair of pumps on sale and they cost only 4 quids! (it’s around 80,000 rupiahs, so even for Indonesia, they are really, really cheap!). I feel confident with the brand as well, because I saw them in InStyle magazine too.

Feeling that I hit the jackpot, I bought those candy-colour pumps and were happy to wear that on last Thursday.

Sadly soon after wearing those for an hour, I got a tingling sensation on my toes, which indicated that they were hurt. Second hour passed, and both of my heels were now hurt too, and I was walking around slower. By the third hour I could see blisters on both of my heels, and my toes were getting more hurt in every minute.

When my fiancé called to arrange where to meet me after work, I begged him to bring my Hush Puppies loafers. When he met me at the Espresso Bar, I couldn’t hide the pain that showed on my face. My toes, my soles, my heels, all were hurt because of wearing those damn flats. When I told mr.mck about it, he replied flatly, “That’s what you get when wearing 4 quid shoes….”

Oh dear. I must say goodbye to my candy-colour ballet pumps, I cringe just thinking about wearing them again. Maybe I should stick to my 9cm heels jeweled sandals after all……..

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