This is a travel blog for desktop travelers and other ramblers who want to know the world just a little bit better.

Right now I am living in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala where I'll be settled for a while. Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shopping for Bigfoot

I need socks! Right now I am on a four pair rotation. My shoes are already borderline stinky, and I am a few weeks away from being in rain forests at the equator.

We have an old house in Denver and almost all of my socks had holes in them from nail heads ever-so-slightly protruding from our 105 yr. old wood floor. I did manage to scrounge up what I thought were six pairs of hole-free socks only to discover too late that two pairs were also irreparably holey.

Sometimes buying something like socks, that would seem so simple at home, turns out to be quite a chore in another country. My height is just under 6’(180 cm), pretty average for the US. In Japan, I am considered tallish but not absurdly tall. There are plenty of >5’10” tall men around. My shoe size is 10 ½ (44 ½ in Europe; 28.5 in Japan), again pretty average in the US. But here my feet must be freaky big because I could not find socks in my size.

So one day my wife goes shopping. I ask her to check this chain clothing store that sells five pairs of good quality socks for ¥490 (about $5.50 US). Only their size L is 25-27 (7-9 US). An employee tells her that they do not carry larger sizes. He goes on to say that his friend also has a large foot and cannot wear their L-size either. This goliath-footed pal goes to a specialty shop where he undoubtedly pays giant prices. I don’t like paying a lot of money for socks.

Finally, after three more clothing stores, some good news. I find a package of size LL (not XL) for US Men's 8-10 for only about $5.50. Close enough! Now if only I could find some flip flops.

If you have a large foot you better bring your on Crocs. This small town department store only carries up to US Men’s size 10. I guess now the famous Boulder-based company is trying to compete with the Rokkee Maunten, JonBenét-chan, and Balloon Boy’s mother as what Japanese people associate with the state of Colorado.


  1. You don't like to pay a lot of money for anything!!! Shall I send you a care package?

  2. You are correct! And in Japan it is seems unavoidable. Our list of "we should have bought that in the States items is continually growing." And thanks for the sweet care package offer, but not yet. Though I am getting kind of low on Q-tips.