My Trinidad Shoelace Saga


A shoelace Mini Skirt

It is difficult to imagine how this country will achieve our Vision 2020 when in 2010 nearly all shoe stores in Westmall and Grand Bazaar don’t sell shoelaces for any shoes except some replacement laces for those ugly, white sneaker forced onto high school teens experiencing puberty.  What was even worse was most of the shoe store owners, managers, sales clerks and/or account executives expressed indifference to my plight of having a broken shoe lace for a relatively new pair of shoes.  “Yuh does eat yuh lace or what” one sexually unattractive woman snickered. “Buy another shoe” a cute sales girl wearing a man-friendly short skirt, recommended. But my shoes are in almost good condition and being a man, I have to wait for the heel to fall out twice before I think about replacing them.

Nice Laces

The point isn’t about the state of my shoes or the fact they are one year old Hush Puppies from Colorado but the level of contempt the selling class have for the buying class. A shoe store not stocking shoe laces is similar to Bobby’s in Bamboo not stocking windscreens or a doubles man not having extra channa to fix a leaking doubles. But we, the pushover-ready customers, simply walk out the stores with a smile instead of smashing a shop window then raising bail like Ishmael Samad might have done to make a point.

Nice feet means nice head

The citizens of this country put up with too much nonsense from those who should provide the level of service we want but we are too shy to ask. In Trinidad and Tobago we don’t ever get what we want, we just gobble up with a smile whatever leftover crumbs store owners decide to throw in our pens.

p.s. I got replacement shoe laces from Amazon and I bought three pairs of black, waxed  Kiwi shoe laces at US$0.91 per pair plus US$4.90 shipping. They were shipped yesterday and should be in the country by the end of next week.

p.s The pictures included have nothing to do with male shoe laces but was provided as entertainment for men with, and without broken shoelaces.

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32 thoughts on “My Trinidad Shoelace Saga

  1. U don’t for such mundane things in so call “sophisticated” places like westmall & granbazaar. U can find shoe laces on Charlotte St & even Samaroo’s

      • I dont wear anything flat or anything lower than 4 1/2 inches for that matter but I had to resort to going to smelly Port of Spain to get a pair of white shoelace for my daughter. Charlotte Street did not have the size I wanted and the ones they had looked cream rather than white, :). That was over two months ago! I did not think Samaroo’s would sell something like that so I never check there. It’s sad to know that I may have to order some on the net too, I even promised myself not to buy school shoes with laces because of this.

        Thank god I always buy two pairs of shoes for her for school, one does not use laces. 🙂

        • I haven’t gone into Samaroo’s for years but boot laces might be a carnival thing – not too sure about dress shoe laces. When the laces arrive I will post a pic and the final cost. I hope they are the right ones 😉

  2. have you tried buying a brush to polish your shoes with recently? people sell the polish and nothing to apply it with. If Dad hadn’t stockpiled these things (one for each main colour) years ago, we’d be sunk. As I am now, in Guyana without access to the shoe-polishing-kit.

    It’s either lazy stocking, or all a gimmick to get you into the culture of REPLACING rather than taking care or refurbishing such items.

    Heck, there are probably some people reading this now who are wondering “polish shoes? what’s that?”

    • I almost stole one of those from a hotel in Colombia last year but chickened out at the last minute because I remembered they search everyone and their luggage at the airport. Maybe it could be found in Charlotte Street, as Michael recommended. I actually use cotton to shine shoes and it works well but not as good as a shoe brush.

  3. I think that last black number alone would have given you three pairs of laces for your shoe….you’d be set for life if you also had the one for the right foot!!

    • In this case I allowed my eye to be dug out but eased the guilt telling myself it was the Kiwi (shoe polish people) brand and waxed (whatever that means) 🙂

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  5. Dem is some REAL expensive laces boy especially after you add on the skybox shipping fee. Next time check any variety store. I revently bough a couple for my husband and son.

    My beef with store owners is the markup on their items. It’s as if they don’t know with the Internet we can tell the price of things. I made a real bad buy last week and now I am kicking myself for not buying it online. Local price was 3X the online price even with skybox charge and tax it would have been cheaper.

    My fav thing to do now is to go into store with overpriced item and exclaim loudly about how expensive an item is and announce to anyone in the store “Can you believe that price? I saw that at Amazon for only X amount. Wow Imagine that a %100.00 percent markup on an item. better I just buy it online and walk out!

    • Wizzy, keep it up and I do that too. I laughed at the price a computer store in Pt. Lisas was selling a certain monitor for in a loud, arrogant tone for everyone in the store to hear. The owner then quietly offered me a 20% discount which was good but what if I decided not to exert pressure. Mark ups are too high in most places in Trinidad and competition does not seem to have any effect on these cartels.

    • The skybox charges will be relatively high but hopefully it will be shipped in an envelope. I also pray that the customs people would have read this blog post with sympathy 😉

  6. You see why I’m so fond of shopping online? I save myself a lot of hassle, and not having to deal with sales clerks does wonders for my blood pressure.

    This reminded me of a speeching-off I got at age 11 or 12 from a shopkeeper. I’d had the temerity to go in there and ask for a pair of white shoe laces for my Bata school shoes. The woman carried ad nauseam about a big ‘convent girl’ like me asking for ‘laces’ when the word is ‘lace-ins’!

    My sister had a similar experience recently. I told her it was her fault for going in the people’s shop and speaking Standard English.

    My mother has been singing the praises of Charlotte Street all my life. Sorry, no deal. I prefer to pay through the wazoo for what I need than to spend a morning in Port of Spain dodging vagrants, holding my nose and skipping over trails of pee.

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