Thursday, May 04, 2006

Barefoot On The Far Side Of The World

I have discovered that personal space is directly related to geography. We all have our own personal comfort zone where we need some space between us and those we are talking to. Other cultures are used to having a very tight sense of stand nose to nose and have a conversation is no big deal. We all have issues about our zone of comfort....that is where Altoids makes the big money.
For me...I like to have my shoes on. I have this thing about shoes...if I have them on I feel ready to face whatever the World throws at me. With my shoes on I can Fight, Flee or Walk. I was never a barefoot kid (I had a bad experience when I was 10, walking 6 blocks to 7/11 barefoot...I still have nightmares about that one).
The U.S. is one of the only cultures I have experienced where we keep our shoes on inside the house. Even there we have found pockets of exception: Wilmar, Minnesota was our first exposure to leaving our shoes at the door. It almost ruined my dinner to be in just socks at the dinner was like that dream where you show up for school in your underwear. I don't know if it was the fact that I was shoeless in front of everyone...or the fact that all these old people had their thin little socks on and there was no vapor barrier between their toes and my nose. In any case...for me, the dinner was a loss.

Our Neighbor's Door

We have found in Turkey that everyone dumps their shoes at the door. The gas guy came yesterday and took off his sandals to bring our gas bottle in. The handyman takes his shoes off before coming into our apartment. In this culture it is unusual to have shoes on indoors.
So, today as I passed our neighbor's apartment I wanted to pass this picture onto you. Yes, we are adapting and I am becoming more comfortable with my shoes off. I just know that one day....when I least expect it...there will be a moment in time where I will need those shoes. For now I will keep them in my lap.

Lunch Stop

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Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World