These Shoes WEREN'T Made for Walking

Audrey Glas
September 21, 2021

Today I learned a few lessons. Don’t buy cheap shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and always double check how far the restaurant is. Maybe you can guess what happened from these details. This weekend I went shopping for some clothes, and I came across a nice pair of heels that were too good of a deal to pass up, or so I thought. The salesman was very kind and even gave me a discount. Then my friends made plans for someone’s birthday dinner, and we all picked out outfits, mine based around my cute new pink heels. I didn’t fully understand just how far the restaurant was, and I thought I could manage with the shoes. What I didn’t know was exactly how I would fare in the shoes once it started raining. I realized I had forgotten my jackets in the US, and I was walking on tiny little rocks in the streets of Madrid in brand new cheap shoes.

It was my new friend’s birthday, and she chose the restaurant for her dinner. She chose a restaurant called Ojalá which has a cool basement with a lounge area and a floor covered in sand. It was far. Before this, we had visited mostly restaurants in walking distance from either our housing or its nearest metro stop. This one, however, required a walk to a bus stop, several stops on the bus, and a LONG walk from the bus to the restaurant turning around what seemed like every possible corner.

Not until we were off the bus on our long walk did I discover just how chaotic my night would be with shoes that were angled so that my calves and thighs were burning and my feet slid out, and it started pouring. Thankfully, in my first few weeks I had made friends so kind and gracious as to lend me a jacket and lend me an arm to lean on while we trekked through a pouring Madrid to dinner. As it rained harder, my shoes filled up with water and got even more slippery and my ankles began to buckle so I resorted to a not so ideal solution which was walking barefoot.

Skip some wobbling around on sore feet to the restaurant, and we made it. We all arrived soaking wet from walking through the pouring rain. Smelling like wet dogs and dripping with rainwater, we sat down at our reserved tables. Now we need a callback to my description of Ojalá. It’s covered in sand. My shoes were soaked by the rain. Thus, wet sandy shoes. If you’ve ever walked in wet sandy flip flops on the way back from the beach, you know exactly what I was dreading for the walk home. How did I handle this dread? If you guessed I took my shoes off on the way home, you would be absolutely correct. But we ran into yet another problem. This time, a different one. The busses weren’t running anymore for the evening. We would have to take the metro meaning I would absolutely not be walking barefoot in the underground metro system of the capital city of Spain. As we navigated the metro we originally walked slowly, but then we heard the train coming in fast and I learned that I can, in fact, run down metro stairs in wet sandy unstable cheap stilettos and jump onto the last running train of the night just before the doors closed.

Don’t get me wrong, dinner was wonderful, and I had a great time with my friends; but I definitely learned some lessons and made a promise to myself and them that I would strive for more practical outfits and footwear for our next outing (i.e. no more cheap shoes). Thankfully, I also learned how kind and patient my new friends are and I’m so grateful to have the ability to continue to go on adventures in Spain with them!

a pair of pink sandals

Audrey Glas

<p>I am a student at Gettysburg College '22 studying Political Science, Spanish, and Peace and Justice Studies. Studying abroad in the Madrid - Language and Area Studies Program Fall 2021 is my first real experience abroad and I am excited to engage with the cultural experience I will have access to exploring Spain! In my free time I enjoy baking, cooking, listening to every genre of music, hiking, and other outside activities. I'm so excited to take a break from my small historical battlefield college town and move to a big capital city in a new country with a whole different history!</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Gettysburg College
Harrisburg, PA
Political Science
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