Most sneakers are worn around the house, for a walk around the block or if they are lucky, a trip to the gym a couple of times a week. Not my sneakers – I made mine work.
I remember exactly where I bought them. I was on my lunch break and I had just joined a gym in Japan and I needed some sneakers to wear. I had a 40 minute break between teaching classes and I headed over to the Kuzuha Mall and debated between these sneakers and another pair of more classic style running shoes. I liked the silver sparkles so I chose the Skechers.
The sneakers were broken in walking from my apartment in Neyagawa to the gym. They got comfy as I ran with them on the treadmill and walked around the gym avoiding people who wanted free English lessons. I wore them on the weekends as I walked around Osaka: along the Dotonbori river looking up at the Glico running man, around Osaka Castle, and in AmericaMura where I would go to buy CDs from Tower Records. No matter what the weather was, when I wasn’t working the sneakers were always on my feet and worn with blue jeans and a random Japanese-English t-shirt.
Their first trip overseas was to Thailand where they experienced ancient ruins and sandy beaches. The next trip was to China which was full of concrete and steps. After that I thought, why not try some snow? Together we walked an incredible number of miles through Moscow. They carried me to Lenin’s tomb, to the Kremlin and to the most amazing golden churches. They kept my feet warm as I walked around St Petersburg in a slushy mess. They were with me as I paced from Russia to Mongolia to China on the Trans-Mongolian Express. They were on my feet when I was almost thrown off the train in Siberia.
The sneakers, a little worn in but still comfortable, stayed with me until I left Japan but don’t worry, I didn’t leave them there. They traveled with me on a more important journey: backpacking around the world from my old home to my new home. Together we saw ancient temples in Cambodia and they helped me hike to see the sun rise over the Himalayas in Nepal. They filled with sand as I saw Egyptian pyramids and with water when it rained in Venice. They were on my feet when I handed over my immigration packet when I entered my new home – the USA.
Once I had settled into my new life I decided to let the worn down, faded and now not so sparkly silver lined black Sketchers have the ultimate rest. I got a little sad when I threw them away as together we had done so much but I reminded myself shoes can’t talk. Shoes help us get to where we need to be to collect our stories. Thank you Skechers. You helped me collect some amazing ones.
ABOUT SUSAN FUJIKI/KUNGFU PUSSY
Things that you should know about Susan:
While at University, she once spent a morning looking for the remains of her 30 something boss after he left a heartbroken suicide note in the video store that she worked in. He turned a few hours later alive, well, oblivious to the distress he’d caused and stoned with his 16 year old stoned girlfriend who had been the reason for the non-suicide.
She really does know how to do Kung Fu. She has also studied Tai Chi and Yoga but most people aren’t as impressed by these skills hence why she didn’t call herself Tai Chi Pussy.
For More Kung Fu Pussy
Read her blog The Tatami Mat 4.0 here.
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