A Stitch in Time

On a recent two-week break in Vietnam we visited Hoi An, a town famous for its tailors. By reputation they can make anything - from a three-piece suit to a possum G-string. Twelve checked shirts with double cuffs later I was convinced that I had found a shop that really knew its stuff. OK I said, handing over my Supertankers - make a pair of these. No problem, they assured me - come back in 24 hours. Upon my return the shopkeeper looked downcast. This had never happened before he pleased, but to make the Supertankers was impossible. The problem was the three dimensional crotch, which apparently required a piece of software from NASA and a computerised cutting machine. To avoid embarrassment I had a pair made anyway - with a 'normal' crotch, but you know they're just not the same... on the bike - or even walking up the steps for that matter.

Greg Offer, Lyttleton