The search for that perfect pair of shoes

When I started school, my father bought me a pair of blue canvas shoes. S was the other guy with a pair of blue canvas shoes. The rest were in their standard whites. The teacher Mr I and  the Heamaster did not mind.  There were many without any, barefooted.  It was my only pair. I used them for school,  I used them to play tops and to play football. I used them to my cousins wedding, I used them to accompany grandma to town.   ( The 2 mile  walk along the   NORTH-South artery is unthinkable now for a 6 year old)  

Subsequently, the teachers must have enforced that all whites shoes regulation. I had a pair of white Fung Keong. The FUNG KEONG was $ 1 a pair. I never liked fung keong. Uncomfortable, because it had gaps and free spaces  not like the body hugging of present day Nike or addidas.  I did not like them because Fridays and Saturdays were shoe cleaning days.  A rainy weekend meant,  a wet pair on Sunday. I prefer the blue canvas. 

Then there were the Badminton Masters, the standard wear for the All England multiple  winners, tan aik Huang, the Boon bee and the yee khan. A pair was $ 4.90.  The lucky ones  would be the envy of the rest. I do not think i had one, not until my secondary school days.

During eid, there was this ocassion when i still did not have a pair even on the first day. I could still visualize me sitting on the front step,  the walk in the green pair of sleepers, the walk to the simpang , catching a bus to BP with my sister to get my pair. Remembering those moments moved me emotionally. For that  I am forever grateful to her.

Bang Ngah was the other person who would always buy me a pair. He was a postman and yet he had  the time and could spare his meagre income for me.  I would always have a sleek pair of Essex at the end of the third term holiday. The ESSEX was a fine piece of footwear. Was it BATA?  I think so, and the store was the Batu 10 store along Pasir Panjang.

At Eaton of the East, for the first time I had four pairs of footwear. One for formal wear, one for games, one for my malay dress and one flipflops. I remember I lost my johnson boots, while on transit in KL. Even when I was in the Navy, I did not have as many.

Today, I bought a pair of Ferragamo. They were my fifth pair  this year.  I bought a pair of XX in London, a pair of casual SF in Istanbul, a TL before going to Taman negara, a jungle trekker made in jerantut for RM4.50, a Nike in SP and I knew  I would end up with another pair when i opened the door to  that  Store in KLCC today.

Having had a shoe-deprived childhood , I tend to overindulge now. Or was it my training in that school? Naaaay……..I am just searching for that elusive pair that could serve my formal as well as my casual needs, for working  and for walking and jogging,  a pair that is multifunctional, maintenanace free. I am still searching, errr…….something like that pair of blue canvas.

4 Responses to The search for that perfect pair of shoes

  1. azie says:

    Talking about how much one is forever grateful to someone……I do feel this gratefulness can come in any form.
    I have this uncle whom when I was a kid would always like to treat me for a dollar or two.That was more than 30 years back and one dolllar or two for a kid was indeed luxury. Then as I grew up to become a teenager and even until my verge of getting married,his usual trait still prolonged.
    On his visit to London during my student days in Manchester, sometimes 17 years ago, he called me one morning asking me to join him there.Well..a bit penniless at that time as student..I couldnt simply think of easily hopping into a train to London without much saving beforehand.I was contemplating..coz I only had about 25 pounds left with me.Only enough for the tickets to and fro. For my spendings there???
    Naaahh….thinking he would not, as my uncle leave me unattended..I decided to go…wishing on my good lucks there…
    As I reached London at late nite and made my way towards the apartments where he was, I could clearly remember the look of his face as I saw him near the window pants waiting for me anxiously.It had been for two years now since we last saw each other.I was truly excited plus damn hungry. As if listening to my grumbling stomach, he said “Lets go for dinner at Oxford Street.I’m hungry too.I bring you to where I used to stay during my student days.”
    I jumped onto this idea with no split-thinking and so we strolled down the street, late nite, in London, only me and him, wheezing through the nite cool breeze of London. He briefed me of what happenings in Bagan and KL…about this cousin and that cousin..about grandma..grandpa..about Busu and the kids…while I listened and longed to meet them one day.He treated me to a Kebab which I enjoyed so much…while he talked..and talked…reminiscing his London days.We only walked home after tired of sitting in that little restaurant.It was nearly two in the morning..yet London nite was still a life which I personally cherished with him.
    I slept with him in a room of that one-room apartment he rented…while his friend who came along from Malaysia got to sleep in the living room.I felt uncomfortable initially but the two separate single beds were comforting enough.Before we slept, we continued talking like long lost buddies until one was soundly asleep to announce time to sleep.
    The next day and the rest….I was following him throughout…all expenses paid for…breakfast..lunch..dinner..a pair of Belly shoes and one thing I could fondly remember till now when he took out 100 pounds from his pocket and said..” Take this..for you to spend” as if not enough for all the the treats on me.
    Then two years later, as I had returned home for good for a week, I visited him and family in PJ and the same trait as he was before..”Take this..for you to spend”..as he gave me RM150 out from his pocket for me to spend on.
    This is my uncle as fondly related to my first ever Belly shoes..the London days…the PJ pocket.money …and the childhood duit jajan..as I would cherish forever…

  2. inspigoblog says:

    lucky you!!! tapi jangan terperangkap dengan politik duit.

  3. mooke says:

    wow lucky you.
    i want my first bally shoes too. how do i earn it?

  4. Azie says:

    Is this lucky after all? Naaah…this is what we called REZEKI dari TUHAN untuk umat yang selalu sabar.Terperangkap dengan politik duit?Well…My definition is… the giver yang selalu memerangkap dan kalau tersalah perangkap dia yang kena lokap kerana yang menerima tu selalunya agen BPR in disguise………………..hah..hah..hah…

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