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The Odd Sock Man

Updated on May 5, 2011

There is a guy who I know as the Odd Sock Man. He did tell me his real name once but I have long forgotten it. Everybody I know refers to him as the Odd Sock Man or words to that effect. You really only have to hear the word 'Sock' to know whom they are referring to. Many people talk to him and everybody knows him. Conversation rarely requires a name.

The Odd Sock Man is not crazy, he is not odd, he is just perhaps a little eccentric. He has a beautiful girlfriend, a brummy accent and many friends. He is not an especially good raconteur or particularly wealthy. He is however inspired.

Apart from in the mountains I would never wear a shoe let alone a sock in the sticky heat of Thailand. He does. Every day he leaves his room. Shorts, sandals and odd socks. The majority of the socks are colourful. The oddity cannot be overlooked. It is the feet you see first. Eyes travel up the body to his broad grin. Eyes meet eyes. You smile. That's the clincher.

Odd Socks

Photo by:
Photo by:

Invisible Travels

Through much of my travels I have been invisible. It is sometimes an age thing, sometimes cultural. Invisibility is at times a blessing.

Within the UK I have passed through affray like a ghost. If I were younger I would probably get a kicking for just being. Only I wouldn't because I am streetwise enough to see conflict coming and give it a wide berth. In some UK cities, especially in the North, I am more visible than in others. In London I am scarcely noticeable. Strangely I am visible to lost Northerners. Perhaps somehow people can pick up on kinship.

In Singapore I am invisible. Invisible in Malaysia too apart from Sabah. In Indonesia everyone sees me. The same too in much, but not all, parts of Thailand. In Cambodia I am seen by some and in Vietnam seen by all. In the Philippines I must glow like a beacon for all to behold. In Hong Kong I become a Ghost yet again.

Be Aware of Invisibility

Photo by:
Photo by:

Bandage Magic

A few weeks ago I had the second of two recent biopsies done on my face. It would not stop bleeding and necessitated the application of a large white pressure bandage. One would have thought that such a dressing would have made me less worthy of a glance, but far from it.

The eyes are the key, the smile the reward. This is almost basic training within the world of zoos. In the first day of this bandage being applied I met and talked with more strangers than I had in weeks. I even picked up a beautiful young woman at a bus stop (sadly she was on a different bus to me).

I changed the dressing. I did not need to replace it but I did. I spoke to more, met more. I removed the dressing and instant invisibility returned.

Smiling Addiction

The Odd Sock Man has his way of going about it. Some people dye or streak their hair, have an unusual tattoo or mode of dress. If you want to make friends you have to do something different. This though is just the bait, the cue. The eyes must meet and then the smiled reward.

The smile is the clincher.

Perhaps I should apply a bandage.


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    • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Dickinson 

      8 years ago from South East Asia

      Thank you Duchess.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      8 years ago

      Peter, what a wonderful way to say how important a smile is. You are not invisible here! I see you.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Enjoyable video.

    • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Dickinson 

      8 years ago from South East Asia

      ellinor - I have had the word applied to me more than a time or two. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Odd is good, a good hub I enjoyed it.

    • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Dickinson 

      8 years ago from South East Asia

      Thank you franciaonline - Glad to have given the weekend a shake....actually you reminded me it was the weekend. Thanks for reading.

    • franciaonline profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      Wow! This hub took the weekend sluggishness out of me. The odd sock man is just an entry point for other oddities! Yes, sometimes we've got to be odd to be visible and be back to our natural selves to be invisible again! Great idea!

    • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Dickinson 

      8 years ago from South East Asia

      justom - thank you. The world would be a worse place without the characters.

    • justom profile image


      8 years ago from 41042

      Loved reading this hub. In my life I've had "Turn Around" who would take two steps and spin around and another guy we called "Woo-Woo" because of his speech. Just two of the many fun folks I've had the pleasure of knowing through the years. Your insight about your travels is most interesting. Peace!!

    • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Dickinson 

      8 years ago from South East Asia

      MrVoodoo and Hello, hello - Thank you both. You are right beards do attract attention in places.

      The idea for this hub sprang into my head this morning, no doubt conjured up by my need to make an extremely rare purchase of socks.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an interesting, funny, thoughtful and well written hub to read.

    • Mrvoodoo profile image


      8 years ago from ?

      I realy enjoyed this. Beautifully written, funny and insightful. Thanks for writing it.

      * Long scraggly beards seem to draw comments from Thais as well, perhaps because Thais can't grow big beards? Or perhaps just a sales technique. But I certainly remember an above average amount of people (compared to England) coming over to say something along the lines of "Very handsome beard.' :)

      Thanks again.


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