Shoes. Just shoes. I always had maybe two pair of shoes a year, and they were for indoor and outdoor. I can't remember any slippers. To this day, I don't have slippers, but I do have flip flops for outside.
I love being bare foot, walking in the house that way and walking on the grass to the post office. I don't like shoes. But, I've come to appreciate them. The outdoor platform shoes that I had in Japan were very comfortable. Barefoot inside, and special slippers for the toilet. So, shoes for different rooms which had different functions. You can almost always tell an oriental house because outside shoes pile up and stay outside.
This shoe behavior establishes a routine that allows for maintaining a clean house.
To this day, I remove my outside shoes leaving them at the door and then walk barefoot. I maintain a lot of space. Also an inherited habit. I'll get more into that, space, in another blog.
I was living in Japan in 1972. I was in a small farming village outside of Tokyo. I had a nice little apartment not far from our after school office. It was a delight to pick up fresh flowers every Friday for myself and my landlady. It was such a safe neighborhood that I never had to lock my door. Coming from New Brunswick, NJ, this was quite an improvement. My neighborhood in NJ near the college, was very unsafe, with robberies a constant.
One day, there was a commotion outside my door. It was early in the morning and I had no idea what was going on. I opened the door and just below the stairs, the landlady and the garbage man were having a lively discussion, and from what I could tell, about me. I didn't know Japanese, but it became clear what the upset was all about. I hadn't separated my garbage. Coming from the States, at that time, we didn't do recycling or separating our garbage.
So, I was shown how to separate my garbage, and had to apologize to the garbage man for having disturbed his routine. What a lesson! To this day, I can visualize the whole thing. I can't imagine this ever happening here in the States. We now have recycling and separation of types of garbage. We still don't have this kind of respect for people's job, or for people who may be considered of a lower status. The Japanese are unique in the world: the way they look at life and the solutions they find for life's situations.
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