Thursday, December 18, 2003

I've taken to a bit of rock climbing recently as there is a gym sort of close to our house. It's pretty fun except that there aren't any shoes in japan that fit me. I have tried the ones that they rent at the climbing gym but they more or less crush my toes while i have them on. Last time i went i brought along some athletic tape and stuck my toes into the shoe and taped the rest on. I tried climbing barefoot, but that's pretty painful.
I really wanted some shoes which led me to try to make a pair of my own. I figured, "How hard can it be?" And so i went to the store, bought some athletic tape, a pair of socks, some glue and an innertube for the rubber. It seemed like a simple type of thing right? All i had to do was to wrap the sock with athletic tape to support it and then simply glue on the innertube to the bottom like the sticky rubber climbing soles that most shoes have on them. No Problem.
I realized about one and a half rolls of athletic tape and 1 innnertube later that it is actually more difficult than i had originally surmised. Things did not go according to plan, shall we say, and i was left with a ruined and strange looking pair of socks.
This led me to search for some shoes online. I always hate buying shoes online. I've really had nothing but bad luck. If it weren't for the fact that there are no shoes in the country that fit me here, it's kind of difficult to do anything but order online. I've had to get 3 new pairs of shoes and 2 new pairs of slippers (well had to is strong for the shoes but i really wanted them) since coming here and all had to be imported, usually through the kindness of my parents.
At any rate, i bought a pair of climbing shoes online and had them shipped last week. They arrived really fast, which was super, but unfortunately they (a pair of Mad Rock Hookers, sz 13) were decidedly too small for me. Climbing shoes are supposed to be tight, but these were excruciating. They bent my toes downwards so sharply that my toe-knuckles turned white and developed little rings from the shoe material. It looked kind of as though i had been toe wrestling with an octopus or something, cool but not practical.
SInce they don't fit, not only did i waste my time but a valuable shipping expense as well. It costs about $35 for the dudes to send me the shoes and it will cost at least $15 to send them back and i still have no climbing shoes. The only convenient thing about the whole deal is that Japanese post offices always have a 24hour window for mailing things. I don't exactly know why, but it sure is convenient when you work late.

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