A random chapter

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I've been engaged mostly in NaNoWriMo writing, along with some attendant procrastination and husbanding of migraines, and have not had a lot of energy to observe the world around me for retelling here. So I will share with you the world inside that pours out onto the virtual pages of my word processor.

Below you'll find words 7367 through 8259 of the 17,014 I have written so far. (I am woefully behind--will I make 50,000 by the end of the month? I do not know.) Please recall as you read that this is not written for quality but for quantity. I will go back and qualify it after November 30th.

Ginza: shopping for shoes

Kimberly looked around, amazed at the crowds on the sidewalks. Five o’clock on a Friday afternoon and there was barely enough room to walk. So many men in suits. Women dressed to the nines in skirt suits and dresses with jackets. Half the women wore hats. And Kimberly hadn’t seen this many women in high heels in a long time. Hardly anyone wore flat shoes with skirts and definitely no sneakers. She was glad she’d packed her ankle books in her carry on. This was not a place for Pumas.

They passed a subway entrance and a big display of candy on a table. Kimberly paused to have a look. Little cardboard signs gave the prices. 100 yen for an oversized plastic syringe filled with goopy blue candy; candy necklaces for 250 yen; bags of pastel candies that looked like miniature mines for 300 yen. Tiny trays of candy sushi for 550 yen.

Keiko smiled. “We go more further. A little bit.”

A little bit turned out to be quite a long walk for Kimberly. They passed dozens of shops that she longed to duck into just for a minute: Sony, Hermes, Coach, and several big department stores with intriguing window displays. They turned the corner opposite Mitsukoshi and Wako.

“Just there,” Keiko said, indicating a big building down the block.

“Washington. It’s in English!” Kimberly said, delighted. This was going to be easier than she thought.

They walked through the glass doors into a wonderland of shoes. “Oh! How cute!” Kimberly exclaimed, rushing over to a pair of powder blue pumps with a silver flower buckle. “These are perfect for an outfit I have at home.”

Keiko picked up one of the shoes and examined it. “Buy it?” she queried.

“No, I need just one pair for tomorrow. My outfit is emerald green and turquoise with gold embroidery. These don’t match.”

“What size?”

“I’m an eight and a half in heels.”

Keiko looked confused. That was an American size. What did it convert to? She was famliar with the European shoes sizes since they imported them. But American sizes always confused her.

“Please wait.” She looked around to find a saleslady. One was already hovering nearby, so it wasn’t difficult.

“Excuse me, my friend is looking for a shoe for a wedding party. Her size is 8 1/2 American. Do you know what that is in our sizes?”

The saleslady pulled a chart from her vest pocket. “That’s a 26, ma’am. Our large size ladies shoes are on the 5th floor. Please go upstairs to see a range of lovely shoes for bigger feet.”

Keiko turned around to tell Kimberly, but she had wandered off to the other side of the shop and was looking at a pair of kitten heel mules. She held two other shoes in her hand-- gold sling backs and rhinestone trimmed turquoise blue pumps.

“Which do you think is better?” she asked, setting aside the mules and holding out the other shoes.

“Go upstairs for L size.” Keiko struggled a bit for the words to explain the situation. “Here only small shoes.”

“Oh, OK,” Kimberly agreed cheerfully, though she found it a little strange that the shop arranged shoes by size. But she had shopped sale racks where the shoes were divided by size, so maybe that’s how it worked in Japan. “What floor?”

Keiko indicated to the escalator. “Five floor.”

“Wow, that’s a lot of shoes,” Kimberly thought. “How big is this place, anyway?”

But as they rode the escalator to the fifth floor, she realized her mistake. They alighted to in front of a display of moderate black pumps and sling backs. Perfect for business, but not suitable for a party. Turning the corner to the main sales floor, Kimberly saw row after row of sensible shoes in black and brown leather: low heels, boots, walking shoes, loafers, and clogs. On the back wall stood a series of shiny white shoes for dying. Where were the cute styles she’d seen downstairs?

“Oh! Where are the dress shoes?” she wondered in dismay. She walked off to look at the bridal shoes. Maybe she could get something dyed quickly.

Keiko spied some high heels in the corner. They weren’t as glamorous as the ones downstairs, but they might be acceptable. “Kimu, elegance shoes here,” she called.

Kiimberly examined the offerings. Of the two dozen shoes in the Elegance collection, only one pair looked like it might work. It was a dull metallic gold slingback with a contrasting shiny gold section and a dangly opalescent sequin flower. Everything else was too plain or the wrong color.

“Let me try these on,” she indicated to the salesman who stood nearby. “Size eight and a half.”

“Size 26, please.” Keiko told him.

He returned a few minutes later with a box and fitted Kimberly for her new shoes.

“These will do, though I would rather have something a little smarter. If my lost shoes arrive tomorrow morning, I think I’ll wear the emerald pumps instead.”

“She’ll take them,” Keiko said.

“How much are then, anyway?” Kimberly thought to ask.

“Twenty-six thousand, eight hundred yen,” Keiko answered.

“I’ll put them on my credit card,” Kimberly said, blanching at the price of a pair of shoes she didn’t like all that much and hoped never to wear.

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