150Afs vs !30 Dirhams: shoes as economic indicators.
We are in Dubai. This is a place that makes me feel uneasy. There is just too much money, and everywhere it is apparent that people believe that money, enough money, can solve every problem, mend every sorrow, enliven every heart. They makes islands in the sea in the shape of palm trees, they create cities out of the sand of the desert, they live absolutely contrary to the conditions and limits imposed by their environment. It is a place that defies itself.
We leave tomorrow for a different place, but while we are here it suddenly became obvious to Julie and I that our kids look somewhat like urchins. Well, we do most of our clothes shopping at the Bush Bazaar in Kabul. It is affordable, certainly. And I take pleasure in recycling for our use what others have discarded. Right now, the shirt I am wearing came from a Kabul second hand clothes bazaar, as do the excellent trousers.
But maybe kids clothes just don’t recycle so well. Elijah has been stamping around in second-hand Bush Bazaar sneakers that I got him several months ago. He was so touchingly delighted with them, even though they were stained, torn, several sizes too big (we had to stuff them with felt, and even then he had to wear two pairs of socks every time) and had the name “Cal G” written on the sides. But those shoes are now just completely worn out. So today at Festival Mall, we spent roughly 15 times as much on a new pair of sneakers for him. The irony is that they were probably made in the same factory in China. Though admittedly the Bush Bazaar ones have already travelled quite some distance on some other kids’ feet.
I doubt you can find anything second hand in Dubai.