How to admire your own shoes in public: lower your gaze and knit a pensive brow. People will think you are full of deep thoughts, maybe even ramping up to genius. Walk with purpose so that your soles have a chance to sing. Pumps go well with the acoustics of the underground parkade and leather-soled shoes ring like a parade of angels in a room of marble. Admire your purse with a light swing into your peripheral view, or let it perch on the table next to your notebook and soak in its slouching acquiescence. But try to admire your own backpack, and the task becomes trickier. The sideways glance at reflective store windows only provides a bulky profile view, and let’s be honest, the ever-so-slight giraffing that tends to happen to your neck when toting a pack full of books or groceries. Convincing someone else to carry your bag for awhile is a good way to sneak a quality peek, though there’s always a touch of guilt that goes along with the favour, which taints the admiration just a little bit.
I had the fortune of encountering my aunts & uncles bag on the back of a woman in Salzburg the other day, which was such a delight I would have followed her if we hadn’t already been heading the same direction. The great thing about this approach to admiration is that as long as you are careful to not be seen, you can ogle guilt-free, sans giraffe, for as long as you’d like. This is exactly what I did on the bridge approaching Linzergasse, on the tail of the slim, leather pack with the push button clasps hidden so cleverly under its old school buckles.
As I tucked my phone/camera back into my pocket and let the unassuming model wander her own way, I thought about whether I’ve got any photos of my bag. Well, it turns out there are several, since it’s been my constant companion through the Icelandic and Canadian forts, and can be spotted a few places on this site, here and here. As for the shoes, I’m still sporting those ultra-practical black boots, and haven’t adopted the fake-genius posture in awhile, admiring others instead, and the ever-delightful array of their well-crafted accessories.