Years ago, I was researching a story when I stumbled across a blog where people shared pictures of themselves from their backpacking days. Specifically, pictures they were embarrassed about, because they’d ‘gone native’. You know, corn-row braids in Bali, bright African prints (which look amazing on tall, regal African people) on scrawny, mousey English types, witty little scarves (of the type worn with such flair by French woman) worked back with faded Oktoberfest T-shirts.
I can’t remember the name of the site, and I’ve never again found it so I’m beginning to wonder if I made it up, but I remember thinking of a few pics of my own that I could add. Specifically featuring the Turkish eye and a shirt that could have doubled as a carpet.
I was reminded of this again today when I found myself lusting after gum boots. Not in a Kate-Moss-wellies-and-short-shorts fashionista moment. More like a Practical Pig, it’s raining and muddy, moment.
Something about being here, surrounded by lots of open space, grass and dairy farms, has put me in a gumboot mindset. Not that I have acres to stride across in my Wellington boots (as Paddington Bear would call them). Just the backyard of the Fibro. But, here, I want them.
I also want the jars pictured above. In which to make my rhubarb chutney
The only conclusion I can come to is that I’m ‘going native’. Who knows what my next crush will be? Will the next statement you hear from me be: “We like all kinds of music round here – Country AND Western”?
When I moved down here my brother – inner-city hipster that he is – told me he gave me three years before I lost my edge. I scoffed. But I feel it dulling. Gum boots and jam jars make it hard to deny.
But things could be worse. The week I arrived in Fibrotown, the one shoe shop in the place had given over its ENTIRE front window to a dazzling display of Crocs. Everywhere I went, people were wearing Crocs. One lady I saw – of a certain age – was wearing fluoro pink ankle socks with her fluoro pink Crocs. Crocs with Socks. It would be funny in Dr Seuss. Not so much in real life.
There are no Crocs on my crush list. I can say, in a very Scarlett O’Hara way, that there will never be Crocs on my crush list. The edge may not be as sharp as it was, but it’s still there. Or so I convince myself.