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Where your shoes Gone, Wheres Mark Rabys Shoes Gone?

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View Overland debacle on beatski's travel map.

Tallin, Estonia 16th September 2011

Since I ditched my huge hiking Beetle Crushers in Cologne, I have been donning Mark Raby’s 7 year old ‘nearly’ Nike trainers. I have since been plagued with an odour emanating from my bag which I had initially put down to just my general deterioration in hygiene and all the dirty laundry I had amassed. The holes in the soles of these shoes were not a new Adidas torsion design, rather a symptom of Raymond Ledgio dragging his feet aimlessly around Cologne for the last however many years. The fact that they were a little snug on my feet given that they were one size too small was arbitrary, my toes were too long and needed something to stunt their growth. The problem was that these damn trainers had an amazing ability to absorb water which, when that water began to evaporate managed to carry this odour to distances I didn’t think possible.

And so I needed to find myself a pair of shoes that:

a) Were light enough to carry
b) Didn’t have holes in
c) Didn’t stink to high heaven

It seemed a simple task. But walking shoes in the Baltics is like Mark Raby’s fashion sense, none exists.

Poland had none, Lithuania had none, Latvia had one pair of Clarks shoes but were 110€, I wanted some crap Karrimor that you can walk into any ‘Sports Direct.com@St James’ Park’ and come out with for £20. But it was beginning to get desperate; I was feeling sorry for all the other crusties that were sharing a room with me. I had a pair of sandles and I was beginning to wear them a bit too much, with socks I may add. I was beginning to look like my Dad. Even when I was wearing them without it was a disgusting sight, both my big toe nails are black from all the running and toe poking football style I was used to playing. So I went to a Russian Market in the Russian Suburbs in Riga, and I bought myself some grey winkle pickers. Anything so that I could ditch those stinking trainers.

On this journey by this time I think I had spent the equivalent of almost 36 hours on the road, whether it be on train or bus. The only other significant loss to my life, aside from the 2 hour walking tour, was the hours I had spent trawling through Russian shops, even western shops, looking for suitable trainers. But then I struck gold, I had to, there was no way that I was going to be able to purchase decent clod hoppers in Russia, I found a shop in Tallinn, Estonia. I paid 100€ for a pair of shoes that if I had of went to ‘Sports Direct.com@St James’ Park’ would have been significantly less. Nevermind, the hunt was over.



Stinking Bastard Nike 'Trendy Trainers'


Naughty Russian Winkle Pickers


Shocking Fashion Sense ere


Mark, bad news, I've put your ‘Nearly Nike’ in the bin, but they have company, I ditched those Russian made winkle pickers as well.


Article By David Beattie of Rounton Coffee

Posted by beatski 10:28 Archived in Estonia Tagged shoes russian winkle pickers sandles

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