The story of one shoe

2008, May 25

The plane landed at Ezeiza on the morning, and on the afternoon I went for shoes. Tango8, Lavalle 3101 was the first shop on my list, being the nearest from my place. I was after the elusive *pair of shoes* , both comfortable and good-looking. Up to then I had two pairs of comfortable shoes -but ugly – and maybe four pairs of elegant shoes – but painful to wear – and even a few ones that were ugly *and* uncomfortable, namely the CIF and the Sansha ones.

They had none of the cool pairs shown on their website but I still found something I liked, and I even wore them a few hours later at Viejo Correo. Yes, the nearest milonga from my place. There I did not dance but still I noticed that the right-foot shoe had a strange behaviour. I could either tighten the shoelaces like the left shoe, a bit loose, but then my heel was given to escaping from the shoe, or tighten more but then my foot was squeezed. Nothing much, but unpleasant.

Back home I had a closer look and discovered that there was a slight difference in the building of the shoes. There was a place (See arrow on the picture) where I could only place the little finger for the left shoe but where I had room for the thumb for the right shoe. And because of that, the same lacing wasn’t resulting into the same containment of the foot into the shoe.

Two days later I returned at Lavalle 3101.

I bought this two days ago here, the two shoes are not the same, the left one is ok, I’d like a new right one.
This was a very sensible request, I thought, and I had even brought some money, because the shoe had been worn, even if for only a few hours. And also I had not kept the bill. Yet the concept proved too difficult for the salesman. First he thought I was complaining about the sizes. Then when I showed him where the difference was he failed to see anything wrong.

And anyway you tried them when you bought them

Yes and I actually felt a difference but I thought it was coming from a different lacing. Checking that the right shoe is the exact mirror image of the left shoe is not something you have to worry about in any shop of the world. Outside Argentina.

While he was looking for my bill from two days ago in his comp, a girl came out from the store room and they had a little conversation in spanish.

“- What does he want?

– See the shoes on the desk? The fool, he says they are not the same and he wants to exchange one of them. I proved him wrong, they’re the same.

– They’re different, she said after scanning my shoes for one minute. They’re made of the same parts but the sewing is different.

She returned into to the store room and came back to me after a while.

” – Sorry, this pair that you brought is the only one that we have in this size, she told me (in english). There is no possibility for an exchange.

– I see. Well the left one is ok, I’m keeping it. You can have the other one.

– What you say? I don’t understand.

– Just keep the shoe. I have no use for it.

And I left. Who knows, maybe next year when I’ll be back they’ll have the shoe that will match mine.