It’s surprisingly hard to buy a pair of socks in an airport.
This was a new problem for me to encounter on my travels. I don’t normally buy clothes in the airport, but last week the elastic in my socks chose to die somewhere between Taipei and the customs counter. Several conveyor belts now separated me from my luggage, and the faulty socks would mock me mercilessly over 17 hours of international flights.
You can buy a lot of things in duty free shops … belts, whiskey, perfume, whiskey, purses, backpacks, whiskey, ties, whiskey, hats, whiskey and postcards. Sometimes the whiskey comes with a free backpack, with a embroidered logo for the whiskey.
Whiskey doesn’t come with free socks. Trust me, I checked. In fact, socks aren’t on the typical duty free menu. A uncomfortable walk across Terminal 1 seemed hopeless, unless I could manage to knit a pair of socks from those designer scarves next to the fragrance counter.
Then, mere moments before my flight was scheduled to board, I saw a sign … specifically, a Nike sign. Amongst the dry weave fabrics and basketball-themed baseball caps I found a minuscule selection of “performance footwear” on a rack barely large enough to carry a small selection of duty free whiskey backpacks. Ladies and gentlemen, comfortable socks from a reputable vendor of athletic wear.
Several dollars later I was walking to the gate in sweat-wicking comfort, remembering that travel means you need to be prepared for everything. That doesn’t mean I will keep an entire wardrobe in my carry-on, but I will know where to by things that aren’t duty free alcohol.