Generally you can find anything you need for day-to-day life in most parts of the world. Toothpaste? Yup, even Colgate. Shampoo? We’ve found it everywhere. Lotion? Yup. Fleece sweaters. Check.
The one exception has been flip-flops for Justin in Bolivia. We each have a pair of super cheap rubber flops for showers and whatnot, and they tend to wear out about every eight to ten weeks. Justin’s had his current pair since we were in Puerto Varas, Chile way back in January, so he is WAY overdue for a new pair. Not only are they almost totally worn through, but the little prong between the toes keeps popping out of the sole causing him to stumble and hop around like a maniac at random interludes.
The problem is…he has gigantic feet. Justin is 6’2″, not including his curly mop of hair. His shoes size down here is a hefty 45. We had looked for replacements in Salta, Argentina, but he didn’t find any he liked and eventually we ran out of time and needed to head out to Bolivia.
It turns out, he should have just bought the ugly pair in Argentina because we didn’t stand a chance of finding what we needed in Bolivia. We searched for days. We walked into every store we saw that carried sandals, picked up a pair and asked “Tiene 45?” We’d point to Justin’s feet and the vendor, astonished, would invariable shake his or her head and reply. “No, el mas grande es 43.”
Defeated, we eventually gave up and continue to repair his sad little shoe with the duct tape we brought wound around a pen. I suspect we’ll run into the same problem in South East Asia, so we better stock up before we get there.