Oh boy, you’re thinking, he’s really lost it now.
I know: shoes with Velcro are not exciting. But in Uruguay, cheap shoes that fit me are exciting. And most of what’s available is size 45 or less. These are 48. And they fit. And they cost under USD 30.
The ones I wanted they had, surprisingly, in 46, 47, and 49, but no 48. They called another store a few blocks away (I thought I’d been in every one in Pando already), and told me someone would bring a pair in size 48. Which they did, though the only similarity to the others was the color.
I have a special disdain for Velcro shoes, our nemesis in our early days of doing school author presentations. Well, not the shoes in fact, but the combination of the shoes and the kindergarteners in the front row who couldn’t stop sticking them and loudly unsticking them. I sometimes felt like screaming at them, WHY DON’T YOU BRATS LEARN TO GODDAM TIE SHOES? But I didn’t.
My neighbor Manuel told me that going to Pando used to be the butt of jokes in Montevideo, since it was popular for its whiskerías (whorehouses) and hourly motels. It’s significant for us because they deliver for free (the stores, not the whores): Montevideo is farther, and through the toll booth.
While in Pando, I found a 20-tube solar water heater with a 3-year guarantee for USD 675. So maybe one day soon I’ll actually get to do a hot baking-soda-magnesium-oil soak in our expensive bathtub.
My excitement today in Uruguay: cheap Velcro shoes. No, really.