I’ve gotten used to the ubiquitousness of Crocs in Israel, the way these resin-made clogs have become the hottest shoe in Israel since Nimrod’s biblical sandals. They’re so popular, the company that imports them has been accused of instituting a Crocs cartel, and has convinced Israelis to pay approximately $17 more for them in these parts.
I myself resisted buying any Crocs for some time, but gave in last summer when I purchased their forgiving flip-flops for my fat, pregnant feet, and then the ‘Audrey Hepburn’ style for the colder months.
And then, today, I saw yellow Crocs emblazoned with the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team emblem displayed outside a local store. There they were, sitting next to the fleece-lined Crocs and the Mary Jane Crocs. I took a closer look, figuring they were fakes, but they actually sported the Crocs emblem, right next to the black and yellow Beitar menorah symbol. The shop owner told me that they were a special Crocs order, just being sold in Jerusalem for Beitar-crazed fans, and were available at his store, and other local shops selling Crocs.
The thing is, I can’t really picture Beitar Jerusalem fans wearing Crocs, given their penchant for storming the field whenever they’re upset with the results of a game, and where else would you wear your Beitar Crocs, except to a soccer game? And I was also surprised to see Beitar Crocs being sold at this particular sports store, which is situated in Baka, home to transplanted Americans and generally genteel, secular Israelis. Your average Beitar fan? Not so genteel. Not very Baka. But the shop owner was informative on that account as well, and said you’d be surprised who’s a Beitar fan…and that he had more than one American customer picking up a pair to bring home.