a different side of Israel

A Flip-Flopping Nation

Flip FlopsAlas! Summer’s almost gone, and soon these little toes that got so used to sweet freedom of movement and fresh air will have to find themselves suffocating once again in closed shoes and boots.

Hey, let’s play Spot the Tourists: they wear shoes (not to mention – socks!).

Israeli man and woman walk together. He: Bluetooth headset on ear, luxurious watch on wrist, buttoned-down shirt, 3/4 pants — dark green crocs. She: elegant dress, matching earring-necklace-ring set, expensive handbag — plain white beach flip-flops. Clearly not unaware of their looks. But clearly not going to the beach. So why this extreme contrast? I wonder if this is some sort of a fashion statement – nu, you’re in Israel, take it easy. We do what we want, and we don’t care. Plus, it’s hot outside and there’s no way in hell we’re going to wear suits, ties or “shoes.”

Presently, I’m getting prepared to go to a work-related meeting (don’t get too excited there, my friend, Alice is still officially unemployed). As nicely dressed that I am, I don’t have much choice but to wear my shabby flip-flops, for my feet are entertaining quite a few band-aids as a punishment for walking with uncomfortable shoes to some other job interview. “Is it too conspicuous?” I ask a friend, to which he answers off-handily, “Nah, don’t be silly – it is summer here, you know?” At the office, feeling pretty self-conscious about flipping and flopping into the room, I notice that 4 out the 5 other participants know too that it’s still summer, and simply wear flip-flops.

(Photograph courtesy of

1 Comment

  1. People make too much of the heat. Sandals
    also unsanitary and leave feet open to
    being injured – very easily.

    Having been raised in the heat I am
    comfortable wearing closed shoes.

    I think it is more fashion and trying to
    be “trendy” that is driving the sandal
    trend not only in Israel but places such
    as New York City.

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