Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sandal Scandal

I just want to share this experience I had several years ago, when i first visited Singapore. I actually delivered this as one of my speech projects in Toastmasters International some years back.

I was going to Singapore for a very short vacation!

Visiting this country for the first time really excited me. I couldn't wait to see the famous places that Singapore is known for. I really took time in preparing the clothes and footwear I would be needing in anticipation of the hectic itinerary of tours and shopping. I even had a checklist to make sure I won’t miss a detail. I was so prepared!

On the day of departure, everything went smoothly. I got to the airport early. Check-in counter was not busy and I breezed through immigration. Perfect. Then I waited for my flight at the lounge.

When the boarding call came, I immediately stood up but a strange sound came from my right sandals. I looked down and saw the sole of my sandal widely smiling at me! I pretended that nothing happened. Concealed behind my calm composure was my turbulent mind searching for solutions: mighty bond, epoxy, masking tape, bubble gum, band aid ... anything to keep my sandal intact. But where? I asked from several people: customer service clerk, janitor, utility man, store clerk, security personnel and even some passengers. No luck!

The final call for boarding made my heart beat faster. I thought of just following a TV commercial - simply peel off the soles and walk away in style. When I examined the other sandal, the sole would not budge a bit. I had to choose: peel the sole and walk with a two-inch limp or take a chance on my smiling sole and pray that what the shoe man put together let no step put asunder. Reluctantly, I boarded the plane in my most unusual gait – half dragging my beleaguered sandal, half walking with flair trying to pretend that there was no problem.

The sole of my sandal dutifully hanged-on in each of the 167 steps I needed to get to my seat. The plane took off. Food and drinks were then served but I had no appetite. I watched a movie but I could not focus on the story. I listened to the music but the melody gave me a disturbing sense of false security and peace. I checked the Newspaper but the creepy headlines were too much to add to my creeping state of panic. I flipped through the Lifestyle Section and I almost flipped when I saw different kinds of sandals being featured. Sandals, sandals everywhere but not one pair to wear! I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.

Hours later, I was already walking in the terminal when someone tapped my shoulder. “Excuse me miss, you left the sole of your sandal behind.” In horror, I still managed to answer proudly, "I beg your pardon, that is not mine!" Then I walked away as fast as I could but a security personnel chased me and said “You will be fined 500 dollars for littering in this country.” At that instant I felt a light tap on my shoulderand a melodious voice saying “Excuse me, ma’am, please straighten up your seat. We shall be landing shortly.” I was very glad I was roused from that bad dream before I could pay the fine!

When the plane touched down, I knew my ordeal has resumed. As I stood and started to deplane, I was consumed with fear and anxiety of that bad dream turning into a reality. As I emerged from the tube, I was greeted by a mile long corridor leading to, I'm sure, another long stretched labyrinth of more passages. But seeing the mobile walkways, I almost shouted Halleluiah! At that moment, I really thanked God for the lazy people who inspired the wonderful invention of mobile walkways. Standing poised as I rode to the exit, I suddenly remembered I had spare sandals in my checked-in luggage.

After the brief immigration check, I rushed to claim my luggage. I never realized that the happiest reunion in my entire life would be with a pair of sandals!

The vacation went well as I expected. I had a great time. I experienced so many memorable moments in Singapore but my sandal scandal was the most unforgettable of all. Both my smiling sandal and I survived it all.
The sandals in the picture were not the ones I wore during the trip


Anonymous said...

This made me smile this morning. Thank goodness you had another pair in your luggage!

Ron said...

Great story SS!
I love the dream paragrage. Very well written.

I don't think I've ever been in such a situation, especially not sandals, but I think I can some what relate to what you went through.

So, do you carry two sandals at all times now?

SearchingSoul said...

Hi Ron. Yes, I always carry a pair of footwear with me every time I travel. For long hauls, I make sure that the extra pair is in my handcarried bag.

Never again. LOL!

Hello Carol,

I'm glad I made your pretty angelic face smile. Enjoy your "vacation". I also need one.

Granny Annie said...

You should have titled this one "SearchingSole". LOL I can relate to this trauma and the dream stage was funny.

SearchingSoul said...

You are right, Granny annie. That would be the best title!