Re: "trying on shoes in a shoe shop"
"[...] and the small pair was made in Taiwan."
Reminds me of the Temple Street night market in Hong Kong on a trip in 1993. My UK size in shirts was "small" - possibly "medium". The market stall suitable offerings turned out to be marked as "XL".
My host had to import a bed long enough to accommodate his 6' (1.8m) length. In England his HK born wife had to go on a fattening diet if she wanted to wear the smallest size UK adult clothes. Her husband complained about being seen with an apparent 12 year old - but at least the children's sizes were vat free.
My holiday partner was delighted that for the first time in her life she could see over people's heads in crowds.
However - at dinner in the Imperial Hotel all the serving staff of both sexes were in the order of 6' (1.8m). Apparently always recruited from northern China.