Bye bye Crocs (hopefully)

I am all for freedom of wearing whatever you want and being comfortable to be ‘who you are’. This is America after all. But crocs, those jelly/plastic/whatever they are “sandals” that has been worn by all kinds of people for the last couple of years are absolutely irritating. More than uggs worn by people in Arizona. Celebrities have been unsuccessful in making them look “cool”. Their colors remind me of hospitals, and I cannot phantom how such unattractive footwear are actually worn by millions around the country. And yes, millions- they sold over 100 million pairs in seven years. In 2006, shares were sold to the public, raising over $200 million in the largest stock offering in shoe history. Crocs marketed their $30 rubbers and made millions. Americans gave in.

And not just Americans- when I was in Dahab, Egypt, a small town on the Red Sea popular for European vacationers last March, I found fake crocs in bubble gum pink were sold in convenient stores. Crocs were so popular there were fakes made in China. And my friend bought a pair because she forgot flip flops. I was offended.

The good news- I just read in the Washington Post that last year the company lost $185.1 million and down in millions in debt. So now they have a surplus of shoes and debt that has to be paid by September which may predict will be impossible, especially given the current economic climate where consumers are snapping shut their wallets.

Crocs may be just another trend that comes and goes and we look back years later and can’t believe that people actually wore them. I have tried on a purple pair once but I was too mortified to see my feet look double its size to think about comfort. And those random holes are particularly irksome- and did you know that you can even buy charms to put around the holes? Crocs even replaced charm bracelets for elementary school girls. And the brand telling me that they can be washed in the dishwasher does not make me want to buy them because shoes stomped around the streets and plates I am about to eat off of cannot go together. I agree with the high-heeled New York women I see around my internship site everyday on 5th avenue- functionality does not mean wear-ability. Now if only I could fashion four inch heels like I sleep in them in this city.

To read more:

New York Daily News

Washington Post

A little rant on AUC’s commecialization

This will be brief-

– We have had camera crews all around campus for about a week now, where they have been stationing themselves around various parts of the campus filming something I don’t know. At first I thought that it was some class project- seeing as how most students here are far more wealthy than an average person can imagine, it won’t be surprising if everything is just done bigger and better here.

And then I learned today that actually, it was for a kind of soap opera called “Gamiat” or translated to, “college”- a new Egyptian television series being filmed on campus. So I will be seeing camera crews and hoards of people around AUC for a while now, filming something that looks like an imitation of Beverly Hills 90210 or something, Misri style.

It bothers me that this wealthy campus is actually accepting money for a television production. For being the best university in Egypt, let along the Middle East, I am sure it is not for exposure. Allowing this makes me feel like a desperate attempt for…I don’t know what. Money? Attention? Maybe, since charging about six times more than other colleges around the country is not enough. It all seems cheap to me. I am not sure how I will feel about going to a university for my degree where a television serial about teenage-esque drama is also being filmed. So I will just have to accept that my professors will believe me when I say I was late to class because the camera man would not let me pass through god forbid I ruin some action scene on the staires of Huss.

– Also for about a week or two, I have been seeing these booths by banks and insurance companies standing hand in hand with campus organizations and clubs. It looks like a scene I saw first year at Wellesley during orientation when local companies would com to help you get cell phones, bank accounts, etc. Fine. But then I see Coca Cola on campus with their little ad campaign, with banners and a photo booth, clearly trying to sell their product. And then I see other brands around. I am sure they had to pay some price to be allowed to stay in the heart of the AUC campus promoting their goods. How far are we going to let the corporate world come into campus?  Of course, at the end of the day, it is all business. But I just feel that these recent obserations are just a tad bit too much for what I am used to, and what I will remember when I recall the semester I studied abroad in Egypt when I am supposed to immerse myself in the culture of the college scene.

– Finally, with all this money that AUC takes from its students, study abroad students, and adertising and allowing a whole television to be filmed here, why is it that almost half of the tehcnological equipment is donated by USAID? In the newly built, multi0million dollar campus where parking lots are filled with cars not older than seven years old, USAID continues to donate computes, scanners, printers, etc. I of course do not know the entire story, but it seems just a bit ironic that students should complain in my political science classes about the lack of support the United States gives to developing nations when most of the technology you enjoy are from USAID. Especially since these equipments seem to be helping members from the cream of the crop in Egyptian society who are paying for designer sneakers with their pocket change.

And now I will resume to my homework, reading about how it is American media that has destroyed the youth of Middle Eastern society.