phew. so i'm back in the beautiful Cape Town and finally in sync with my new time zone. the 15 hour flight threw me and the public displays of affection shown by the elderly couple sitting next to me just didn't make the flight any easier either.
nearly all my conversations since getting back in town have begun with, "So how amazing was Asia?" for most i've gone into great detail about my experiences, my observations, my loves and my hates. however, there is one observation i haven't really shared.
i honestly don't mean to be the stereotype and go into a shallow OTT story about my ups and downs of shoe shopping but this has some depth, i promise. as most will know, Hongkies is considered Asia's shopping haven. they have more brands than China, are cheaper than Japan and happily welcome the consumerist culture. there's a generous choice when it comes to high end shoes. Hong Kongers are more than familiar with Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks - they are available in nearly every main shopping precinct and of course there's always Lane Crawford & On Pedder. on the other extreme, the city's saturated with stores selling dirt cheap shoes imported from China, going at around R70/£5 a pop. these stores can usually be identified by the nasty smell rising from the footwear which is made completely of synthetic material. what they don't have is something for the middle market. mid-price range shoes are difficult to come by. it's either Christian Louboutins or Marv Jacods.
it's not really the type of observation that people are interested in hearing about when they ask about my time abroad. unless, i guess, if you work in the shoe industry... but i found it rather fascinating. especially since everyone in Hong Kong was downplaying the shopping experience in Singapore.
however, when i got to Singapore it was just a whole different ball game. there was so much choice in terms of middle market i might have gone a little wild... and got a little obsessive with the "black is back" trend. i usually have a sister or a friend standing behind me, whispering firmly, "But, don't you already have something like that?" this time however i was a lone ranger. the consequence is above.