Japanke

Fear of thongs

With the advent of spring, C and I are wearing our Australian national footwear – thongs (or flip flops, if you must).

We are now wandering the streets of Zagreb feeling cool and looking fab.

Looking cool in our thongs
Looking cool in our thongs

There’s just one small problem. Japanke*.

Basically, Croatians have an irrational fear of cold feet. Not the metaphorical kind, although that may also be a problem, but actual, physical cold feet. Thongs, leaving your feet open to the elements, are treated with suspicion and horror.

How Croatians see thongs
How Croatians see thongs

“Japanke!” we hear people whisper, as we walk down the street.

“Japanke!” says the old lady walking her dog, pointing at us openly.

“Japanke!” said the cashier in the Diona, who was so confounded by our footwear that she was unable to scan our items (by ‘items’ I mean beer).

Such consternation over us wearing our japankes!

***

* The Croatian word for thongs (flip flops) basically means ‘Japanese shoes’

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.

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