Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Monday, April 16, 2007


In a fit of temporary (I hope) insanity, no doubt influenced by the ghastly weather, I left my trusty trekking sandals at home when I came to Lausanne. True, they were three years old, battered and smelly, and my girlfriend did threaten to withdraw sexual favors if she happened to see me in them, but they were no ordinary sandals. They had history. In them, I had traipsed about in the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean, Siberia, Mongolia, China, Australia and a couple of other places. They welcomed my feet, caressed them, and when I was too tired they used to take my steps for me. Maybe I should have washed them more often.

Anyway, the point is not to wax poetical about a pair of sandals, but that I do not have any now that the weather is warm enough (24 degrees Centigrade!). Which is why I sat aside my manliness and went shopping on Saturday. Oh Woe! Problem is, I do not want any old pair of Sandals, I want one that will hold together another three years, one that will not let me steep in my own sweat, one sturdy enough to let me use them on mountains and cliffs, etc., etc.

I am prepared to pay for them quite handsomely, as I paid about a 100 Euro for my last pair. Unfortunately, you can't find Sandals like this in any old shoe or sport equipment store. They are only sold in little, out-of-the-way holes in the wall, known only to the initiated whose location is a jealously guarded secret. So all I did find on Saturday was Intersport and their ilk, which have sub-quality imitations of the real thing (with plastic soles. I mean, come on, where is the point in wearing sandals if the sole of your foot is sitting on a recycled soda bottle? All the rest of my gear, jacket, trousers, backpack is already made of dead and fossilized dinosaurs, I want something on my feet that died recently!), but with high enough prices that you would think a whole heard of plastic cows had to be hunted down and killed for each pair.

So I did not find any sandals. Life can be harsh. But today I cornered a well known swiss Sherpa, and after an hour of interrogation concerning the location of his secret equipment stores he gave up and me the answer: "J'utilise Google, mon pote!"

And he was right. Google furnished me with the address of two such stores, and I have high hopes for today's evening.

The photo, by the way, is of the shores of Lac Leman, sunset on Saturday.

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