Shoes are considered the lowest part of the body in Thailand and it is a huge disrespect to wear any shoe within a school, church, or personal residence. Many salons and shops also require bare feet. Talk about a contrast to “no shoes, no service.”
In a way, taking ones shoes off is very freeing. Shoes are protective against many elements: sharp glass, hot pavement, dirt, and several infections. But shoes can also be restrictive. Shoes were made by man for man. And for Barbies. They are decorative. They are collectable. They are practical. When worn all the time, though, feet become dependent on them. It becomes painful and hard to adapt when not wearing shoes.
Every day in Thailand, I wash my feet before I go to bed. I can think back on where I’ve been during the day. For instance, today:
-I went to the restaurant next door for lunch for kao putt gai.
-I went to the tea shop twice because Thai tea is addictive, arroy (delicious), and cheap.
-I went to the laundromat to run a load of laundry.
-I’ve stayed inside the Zone, skipping, running, and dancing barefoot.
Maybe I’m not making any sense. Or maybe you’ll think I’m a hippie. But when you put your feet to the floor, you have more of a connection with your path. Every step is more meaningful. You can feel the vibrations in the soles of your feet. You are constantly conscious of every place you set your feet.
Perhaps not everyone is enjoying taking their shoes off everywhere. But I find a beauty in every step, in every destination, and every time I clean away the dirt of a day.
Also, P’Ball says I should blog about him right now. So here’s a shout-out to P’Ball.