As per our arrangement, I was going to vacate the premises at Casa Agua Azul during the Quicksilver Pro. Was glad to. It’s a scene man. The contest director, Gary Linden, stayed in my room. I bought a few extra nights in town so that I could watch the first couple two three rounds, but then had plans to leave town and head South to Santa Elena. That could only mean one thing. I needed shoes.
One guy I know laughed at the thought of finding my size here in Puerto Escondido. Another dude I know said, “Make sure you don’t get shoes with too much glue, AND always carry glue.” Anonymous said he always buys his shoes in Oaxaca. Somebody else suggested I ask Confucius because he goes through his share of tennis shoes. I knew it was going to be like this, but was in it to win it.
I hopped a Collectivo. The prices had gone up 1 peso since I was here this past winter. It’s now 5 pesos to get collected. I took it all the way to The Mercado. I had heard that there are a lot of Zapaterias up by The Mercado. There were. There are. Tons of em’. Every four or five shops sells shoes. I was barefoot and without a shirt. I had 400P in my pocket. It was on. I polished off a 32oz Jamaica. 10P.
So here’s how it goes down in the shops. What you see on the wall is what they have. There ain’t nothin’ in back. So I would go to the section of shoes that resembled some sort of athletic shoe, and then look for the biggest pair. Typically they were 9’s. A couple places had 10’s. During the squeeze in process, little plastic bags are used in place of socks. I just kept saying Necesito Mas Grande.
Here’s what else goes down in the shops. When they hand you the shoes, after getting them off the wall with one of those hook-poles, you have to do the rest. You have to remove the shoe stuffing. You have to refigure the lace set up. They just stand there and watch. I could typically size it up before having to put my foot in to determine whether or not it was going to fit. I went to a dozen or so shops.
And then it happened. The guy with the computer, tracking his inventory The guy that took Visa. The guy that had socks instead of bags. The guy with the 15 day guarantee. The guy that had shoes in the back. The same exact guy that sold me a pair of size 11US no-name skateboard shoes for 350P. Very little, if any glue. Stylish, Sturdy and Heavy Duty. Thick rubber soul. I did this. All by my lonesome.