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Monday, 21 January 2013

Big foot attacks mens changerooms

My gym in Tokyo takes convenience to a whole new level. Every time I show up I get freshly washed gym wear, shoes, and socks. It really beats lugging a heavy gym bag on the crowded trains every day. There’s just one problem… my average sized Aussie feet are considered to be ridiculously large in Japan. With size 26.5 cm feet, I can’t fit into ladies shoes. What’s a Big Foot to do?

The answer is simple: wear mens shoes. But in reality, nothing is simple when you’re a totally conspicuous and communication-challenged foreigner like me.

At my gym the mens shoes are kept in an alcove outside the mens changeroom. The men can help themselves. It’s an honesty system and it actually works. Amazingly, no one steals the unsupervised brand-name shoes.

So, all I had to do was sneak into the mens alcove and grab the shoes…

The first time there was no problem. It was early in the morning and there weren’t many members around. I just walked straight in and took the shoes. When I finished my workout I put them back into the men’s return slot. No one saw anything. I survived a day in Japan without getting busted breaking any rules.

Unfortunately, the next time I went to the gym, there were more people hanging around. I managed to grab the shoes from the men’s alcove without getting caught, but when I went to put the shoes back, things got complicated. Just as I entered the men’s alcove, the changeroom door sprung open and a man came out. He looked very unimpressed when he saw me trespassing. He told me (in Japanese) that this was the men’s area, and that the ladies changeroom was on the other side.