Have you ever lost something while travelling? The answer is almost certainly yes. On the way back from Turkey yesterday I managed to lose something that I actually cared about – you will laugh when you hear what – and now I feel a little bereft.
I lost my flip flops.
I was changing from flip flops to trainers on the coach to the airport and I just forgot them, I left them there. All alone. On my seat. I know, I know they’re just flip flops but they aren’t just any old flip flops. These are my beautiful Fat Face flip flops, a Christmas present about five years ago, that I’ve been wearing devotedly ever since. I’ve had them so long they are moulded to my feet better than my new specially fitted insoles. They were faded and a little beaten up, had a slight chunk missing where a friend accidentally put her chair leg down on my foot in the library in sixth form, but these flip flops had been places. And were still going strong. They’ve been to Sicily twice, Cyprus, they’ve walked me for five days around Berlin, they’ve been to Poland, they’ve been to Germany for a whole year, they came out to India and they finally met their untimely demise in Turkey.
Not only were they the best, most hard-wearing, comfiest flip flops I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing but they really felt like a part of me too; we were friends, life-partners even. Have you ever felt loss like this?
But I have a theory, stolen slightly from Never Let Me Go, that all lost things will wash up somewhere, together. Perhaps everything lost while travelling is carried to a beach somewhere and sits baking in the sun forever more, only to be retrieved by us heartbroken wanderers when we one day wash up on the same shore, bemused but pleased to be reunited again in this strange land. That is what I believe in my heart. Farewell Fat Face Flip Flops; know that you take a piece of me with you.
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