Besocked and confused

In Japan, as you might know, it’s customary to remove your shoes when entering a house, including your own. Actually, customary is the wrong word: “an immutable law” or “one of the worst customs you could possibly break” would be much more accurate.

An “outside shoe” airlock called a genkan is provided for this very purpose.   It kind of makes sense actually – why track in all the stuff you’ve been walking through outside?  Now I positively cringe when walking in houses wearing shoes, such has the custom been ingrained into me.

Being small, Tokyo apartments are not often used for parties but when they are, you can bet it’s going to noisy and crowded.  At least you can survey the number of de-shoed people already inside from the genkan:

Tips for Japan: make sure you buy a somewhat unique pair of shoes and make sure your socks are always in good repair.  The owners of these shoes were in a single room the size of a moderately sized bedroom – there wasn’t even enough room for everyone to sit on the floor.

Bonus question: which shoes are mine?  Fifty Internet Points for a correct guess!


8 thoughts on “Besocked and confused

  1. Mmm… it is like choosing the True Grail. I am guessing the caramel brown leather pair in the upper right quadrant.

    Great amount of info when you arrive. Should you be single you can immediately determine how many members of the opposite sex are present(with a crossdressing factor in your calculations.. variable depending on party type, of course.) and if it is worth even going any further.

    • “Ah yes, surely these must be the shoes of Christ. Chris. I mean the shoes of Chris.” Unfortunately, as you put them on, your flesh melts off your face in a kind of 80’s claymation style. You pop a band aid on it and are welcome to try again.

      In restaurants, they’re sneaky about this kind of party intel sometimes. They have special shoe cabinets with the current attendees’ shoes out of sight, so you can’t run away if you spy the shoes of that guy in accounting who likes to trap you by putting his arm around your shoulders as he explains his soul-crushing theories on what’s wrong with the world.

  2. I’m guessing none of the shoes that are under other shoes (unless you took this picture on the way out… oh cruel possibilities!)

    Hrm, ok I’m gonna guess at the brown sneaker-type shoes with the blue laces centre-right, just above the high-heels.

    • Ding ding! Nice deduction work MDB. Actually, I took this at some point during this party when someone said “Hey, that’s a lot of shoes!” and I said “Yes, that sure is a lot of shoes. I should take a photo of all those shoes.”

      I’m faxing you your points now, which entitle you to look at one (1) Internet.

      • Hazzah! I’m viewing my internet now!

        Are they by any chance really old shoes? As soon as I saw them my brain tagged them as yours.

        I love how my brain fills up with utterly useless crap (although I _do_ now have 50 internet points) while the location of my keys and important dates get actively deleted….

  3. I’m guessing back left, white laces.

    I could tell you about how this post reminds me of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) losing a hideously expensive pair of manolo blahnik’s in similar circumstances, but I suspect you’d have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about!! (Sharing it anyway for any other female readers…)

    • I believe that as I guy, I am legally obliged to say that I have no idea what you are talking about. If they were to set Sex and the City to the Top Gun soundtrack, there’s a chance I would watch it.

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