In Search of Flip Flops

11 01 2011

Selling flip-flops doesn't have to be serious work.

At dusk, with some regret, I head back to the town of Hengchun. With the weather turning warm, I want to purchase some flip-flops to wear to the beach the next day. So I head to the Kenting night market in search of a snack and a little retail therapy. My friend Kristine selects a pair of pink flip flops, and I go with a bright orange pair.

Later I pass by a stall selling little wooden animals and select a cricket that makes a chirping sound when you stroke its ridged back with a small wooden stick. As a sound collector, I’m always on the lookout for unique or unusual sounds. For now, I’m satisfied with this folksy sound I can actually create on my own. In the coming days, I’d discover music and sounds like no other I’d encountered in my ten years in radio.

With the day drawing to a close, we pick up some beers and head down to a stretch of beach not far from the night market. Finally: temperate weather, no rain, and a long stretch of empty sand.

Kristine observes with some satisfaction the large funnels breaking along the shoreline, and I move in closer to record the din on my handheld recorder. The ocean inhales, growing silent at intervals before exhaling, pounding the shoreline with a tremendous force.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be the perfect day at the beach.

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