The problem with only just breaking out my summer shoes is precisely that – they break. Having been kept dormant in the shoe cabinet for the past six months, soles come unstuck and sandals fall apart.
One fell apart just as I was leaving the ferry at Central and it made me suddenly realise what a long way I walk each day to reach civilisation. Imagine having to trudge up the overhead bridge and along the vast expanse of walkway on shoes that threaten to break your ankle every three steps.
It was way too early for any shops to be open and even if they'd been, the nearest place was IFC mall. I wasn't about to spend HK$500 on a pair of emergency Geox or something from Pedder Red.
To make things worse, this was a day of "special deployment", which meant the ferry docked at Pier 5 instead of the usual 6. So it was hoppity skip, hoppity skip to the Star Ferry pier... where I decided that if I wanted to get anywhere at least by noon, I was better off ditching the shoes and going barefoot.
It was a strange experience walking barefoot along the Stock Exchange and Jardine House, passing the suited or stilettoed office workers. Not something I'd want to repeat in a hurry.
I finally got my shoe fixed – temporarily – at the cobblers at Central MTR station.
But that experience set me thinking. Normally, if a shoe breaks, you can just turn round, grab a taxi and go home to change your shoe... but not if you're a ferry commuter.
So why don't they have emergency slipper vending machines at piers? And come to think of it, a couple dispensing umbrellas wouldn't go amiss either.
Or has the whole trauma of walking barefoot in Central addled my brains?