hole in my shoe

Shoeless in Manchester

Today I left my home on the first leg of my trip to Cambodia. Just a quick train journey from Leeds to Manchester. I had my bags all packed and had made the decision to take my lightweight canvas desert boots instead of my heavy duty leather hiking boots, and that's where it all started to go wrong.

It was raining a little in Leeds as I left and as I walked across the City Centre with my bag on my back I felt a little damp in my left foot. Oh shucks maybe there is a hole in the sole of my shoe. Never mind I thought it's going to be hot and dry in Cambodia, I hope, so it wont be a problem.

By the time I reached the station my socks were soaked. After fighting for a seat on a busy commuter train I checked my boots. Oh no!!! The rubber soles had disintegrated and big chunks had been left on the pavements of Leeds.

Normally I would have some other shoes with me but as Cambodia is going to be hot, hot hot I just had some open toed sandals and some even more open Teva trekking sandals. Definitely not suitable for a wet and cold Northern England. With a bit of luck the train would arrive in Manchester before the shops shut.

Getting off the train in Manchester I realised quite how bad my boots were as I stepped out of the station onto the streets of Manchester, which unlike London are not paved with gold but rather big puddles from the dark rain clouds above. (If you know Manchester, England then apart from football the one thing it is really famous for is rain and lots of it.)

The station is about a mile from the shopping centre so with my bags on my back I trudged through puddles leaving big blacks of rubber in my wake.

Walking into the first shoe shop that I saw, with my feet now coming through the shoes, what was the first thing the sales assistant said? (Now this is in a shop called Schuh that not surprisingly only sells shoes.) "Are you looking for some shoes sir?"

I was so tempted to reply "No I thought I would buy a nice juicy steak, of course I want some shoes have you seen what I have, or don't have, on my feet."

As a child I was always told to start each new adventure by putting my best foot forward. I certainly did this time but perhaps not how I intended to.

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