Thursday, 6 December 2007

Perfume and pain

My feet aren't exactly being my best friends on this trip.

First of all, they absolutely STINK.

Secondly, my left foot has developed some sort of biomechanical problem (translation: every now and then, it really hurts).

You'll recall my delight at my pre-departure purchase of these rather tasty little sandal thingies. Unfortunately, it's all gone a bit wrong. Let me elaborate:

I don't claim to enjoy a life of perfectly perfumed feet. Usually my socked and sneakered paws emit a charming musty smell - a bit like the aroma of a warm bed of straw after a veal calf has taken a short nap on it. But this... ABOMINABLE STENCH is ridiculously embarrassing.

It started a week or so into Mexico, by which time they had already developed a cheeky aroma not entirely dissimilar to salt and vinegar crisps. This has gradually fermented over the past few months into a full blown stinkbomb: think wet dog meets pickled badger. It's enough to bring tears to Debs' eyes: "It's not very nice for me, you know."

My once pristine sandals are now suspiciously blackened and slimy underfoot - this despite frequent. vigorous scrubbing with anti-bacterial soap.

And yes, I do wash my feet. It's just... they're sweating a lot what with all this excitement and heat, and with no socks to absorb it, the shoes (and people in the immediate vicinity) suffer.

The crippling pain in my left foot - a searing agony, shooting around the outer edge and underside of the foot - first occurred the day after our marathon walk up to the Rob Roy glacier in Wanaka, and has recurred sporadically over the past few weeks.

I had an x-ray done in Christchurch, NZ, which revealed nothing in particular, so today I visited my first ever podiatrist. He donned a pair of surgical gloves, assuring me he'd smelt worse, and basically told me there was nothing wrong with my feet bar high arches which tend to push my weight out onto the outer edge of the foot - isn't this fascinating? - and I'd probably just overexerted that bit of the foot on the walk. He told me to get some better shoes, with more padding.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that I have a new pair of sneakers/walking boots. 80 Australian Dollars bought me some Nike Takao from the outlet store on Smith Street.

And so today, I consign my malodorous, disabling sandals to the bin, and proceed with my fancy new footwear, all comfortable and pristine. Think I'll buy some socks and spray and stuff to prolong their box fresh aroma as long as possible...

Baz says "I'm like a man with an orthopaedic shoe - I stand corrected". Where does he gettem from, eh?



Tim said...

Hey you guys, I'm not much of a commenter, but just had to tell how much I love to read the posts. Always looking forward to a new Barber trial! And from the last pics: Love the Red sunglasses Ben! Enjoy Melbourne (and don't forget to go to that funky bar called Revolver)!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! How much longer are you in Melbourne? I'm popping over next week........arrive Monday, leave Friday. Going to see Caroline who is staying one hour north of the city. Ness xx

Anonymous said...

Bjorn says...hello..Once in awhile reading still reading this blog.. Keep the feet smell over there please.

Ben and Debs said...

@ Ness: We'll be around Wednesday evening and all day Thursday. Please bring Jacson and Carys with you, we miss them!

islandg*rl said...

*lol* Ben - Sorry to hear that the feet haven't been good to you. I went on a 14 day trek in Malaysia and when my parents came to pick me up from the train station they actually made a stop for me to stop and throw out the sandals I was wearing when they found out it was the source of the *smell*.
Good luck with the new pair.. I suggest a really good pair of sport socks that allow your feet to breath :)