They say that for every two Israelis there are three opinions (or political parties, or religious beliefs), but from what I've observed there seems to be widespread agreement on footwear. Crocs, or knockoffs of these strapped plastic clogs, appear to be the colorful common denominator in this contentious if not sharply divided society. Nearly everyone - adults + children, men + women, Orthodox + atheist, Jew + Arab, scholars + salesmen, immigrants + oldtimers - wears these shoes practically all the time. Crocs are so ubiquitous that some entrepreneurs have created "Croc-cessories", colorful clips that can be inserted in the holes that aerate these clogs.
Wanting to acquire some cool footwear, yet still unable to fall in love with the Canadian Crocs, I've had my eye on Caligula, an Israeli brand with an off-putting (possibly market limiting?) name. Caligula's designs are funky, uncomplicated and colorful. After spotting them in a boutique up north back in March, I've been meaning to try some on for awhile. My first attempts failed - the smaller shops didn't carry my (large) size. Determined to find out if the shoes were as comfortable as they appeared, I overcame my aversion to shopping malls to seek out Caligula's largest store in Jerusalem. Maybe, just maybe, I'd find a pair. Spotting two styles I liked, I asked for them in my size and in a few colors. Astonishingly, they carried both in my size and in a choice of hues. I settled on two, adventurously choosing shoes that were neither black nor (for those familiar with my shoe collection) red!
Should I ever fall for Crocs, I can always find them at home.