Big Foot and Godzilla

Shoes? Yes please!!! I’ve always been crazy for shoes…they are forgiving if you gain a few pounds, a quick and easy way to update your wardrobe and seriously I totally got the feminine “girl-who-loves-shoes” gene in spades…

Although my biggest love in the shoe world is boots, I will not turn down the spike heel, the sandal or the open toe pump.

Loving shoes as I do, there’s just one tiny problem. I have big feet. Not huge exactly…but one size away from Peggy Hill feet… (if you’re not a fan of “King of the Hill” I’ll give you a hint, she wears size 11 )

I won’t lie, having a size 10 is a challenge,  goddess having passed me over for the dainty, teeny-tiny size 5 or 6 I wished I had. But I did make peace with it early on, one reason being  I was not passed over for height. I’m 5’9″, and I have good legs…so I look to that as a plus. And I figured if I had teeny-tiny feet I’d fall over, so all in all I made peace and considered myself structurally sound.

But even though I made peace with it, obviously the stores had not..all the greatest shoe styles seem to sometimes stop around size 9…somehow the size 10 look just a little more serviceable, a little more “old lady” than sexy vamp persona I feel more comfortable inhabiting. Although with the rise of the internet things have gotten way better lately, and I no longer have to shop where the tranny’s shop for the sexy boots and heels I deserve and covet…

However in 1986 it was different, much different, especially considering where I was at the time. Japan.

Yes Japan…the land of tiny feet. Really tiny feet. (A historical precedence of binding feet that when outlined in some of the research books I read before my trip really just made my hair stand on end!) But beyond feet, Japan was really land of tiny everything!

I lived there for 6 months playing in a band at the Yakuza clubs (and isn’t THAT a story for later!?..) and being so tall, everything seemed small and claustrophobic there to me.  The bathrooms were like airplane bathrooms, the ceilings were lower, the rooms were probably a quarter the size of what I was used to…and walking down the street? I could see over the head of EVERYONE. Yep I felt like a giant.

So one afternoon on my day off, I went window shopping…for what else? Shoes. Saw an adorable little shoe store, spent a few minutes gazing in the window and saw them, a beautiful pair of gold pumps that were perfect and looked like they would fit!  So even though my ability with the Japanese language was almost non-existent, I was knowledgeable enough to be able to say “How much are those fabulous gold shoes in the window?” or at least in reality “how much that?”, enough to get the point across anyway.

When I went in and talked to the clerk, he was very quiet for a minute, well more than a minute actually. Then he politely looked me in the eye and the his gaze went slowly down, to my feet for a long moment, then he looked back up at me, then back down to my feet, this went on for about 2 minutes…then the torrent came…

He started to talk very quickly and very urgently…nothing was happening “ringing the shoes up” wise so I gestured to him to follow me outside (in case there was any doubt I wanted those fabulous shoes!) as I pointed out the shoes and pointed to my feet…he continued (all in Japanese of course) talking and gesturing at the same rate and urgency, while we were standing on the sidewalk. Then a lady who also worked in the store came out to the sidewalk…and she and the man started to talk just as urgently, with him gesturing still, surreptitiously pointing at my feet. And then another employee came out, and another and then someone walking by joined the conversation which was getting louder and more urgent by the minute…pretty soon there were like 10 people, all talking and gesturing, although now, no longer at me…I took that moment to quietly, slowly slink down the sidewalk, leaving…to this day…I’m not sure what. Were my feet just too big? were they commenting on my fashion decision? Was my japanese that bad?  I’ll never know…

Although later that week when I was at the Japanese Hollywood equivalent, I took great pleasure in standing on the Godzilla set, getting my picture taken next to the tiny, tiny buildings, with one foot raised…take that Tokyo!

About Elle Crash

At one point it was New York, L.A., Tokyo, Istanbul, Venice, Curacao, Now it's here in Cincinnati... I make rock, food, marketing, magic and cats purr... If you'd like a copy of my cookbook "Rock and Rolls" contact me.
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5 Responses to Big Foot and Godzilla

  1. wulanadian says:

    Seize the market! You can start your own shoe business, for big-footed ladies like you… 😀 I know what you mean by Japan being tiny everything… In Indonesia, my clothes size is L, but when in UK or Canada, my size is XS. Just shows the size distribution between the countries.
    (I really need to learn about shoe terms -pumps, platforms, stilettos, etc. I should post about this.)

  2. Reading this post makes me feel like I’m right there with you in front of that Tokyo shop window. As for your experiences playing in the Yakuza clubs being a story for later, yes! I would love to read an entire book about your rock ‘n’ rolls travels. Actually, I’d love to read a book about anything you felt like writing about.

  3. Reading this post makes me feel like I’m right there with you in front of that Tokyo shop window. As for your experiences playing in the Yakuza clubs being a story for later, yes! I would love to read an entire book about your rock ‘n’ roll travels. Actually, I’d love to read a book about anything you felt like writing about.

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