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Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Satisfied Longing

I am so excited. After a year of longing, I have them.

It all started when one day while looking for a flat I noticed an unusual pair of boots that a woman was wearing. I told her that I liked them. “These are quite special,” said the woman with the cool boots. She then launched into a story about a man who wasn’t overly social in Bregenzerwald, who had one day started making these “special boots” by hand. The demand for the boots became such that he had to expand and move to manufacturing plant.

“And look, they are wood.”

Anyone who knows me is aware of my shoe, and in particular my boot “thing” so all of this was making me even more enthusiastic about the boots. “They are so comfortable and the cow skin makes them warm,” she added.

Cool boots with a story – could it get any better?

I wanted these boots like I have never wanted boots before. So I Googled. Dropped not so subtle hints to my Austrian friends – but still these darn boots evaded me. Beyond knowing I had to go to Bregenzerwald, I had no clue where to find them.

But finally, my not so subtle mention of the boots I so wanted fell upon the right ears. Friday evening I made my way to the town of Bezau, a teeny ski town nestled in beautiful Bregenzerwald and within it was the shop I had longed to visit.

As much as I try to be as emotionally restrained as the average Vorarlberger, I simply can’t hide what I feel. Most of the time I manage to dull it down a little, but when I entered this boot shop – all sense of restraint was lost. Surrounded by so many cool boots, the shop full of customers was soon amused by my childlike glee.

I saw my companions laughing with the other shoppers, but I didn’t care. So excited and in the moment I could not remember any German, my English was so quick that no one understood that either – but that was okay, it was pretty clear that I was having a super cool moment.

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