Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fictional People (Stereotypes?) Part 4


Pekka is an hydraulic engineer from Finland, but he lives and works in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is single and rents an apartment in Aberdeen.

Pekka has lived in the UK for two years and finds it an interesting place. He finds the Scots rather noisy and a little odd, but is proud to demonstrate that Finns can drink more than any Scotsman.

Like many in his country, Pekka is very fond of heavy metal, and being patriotic loves Finnish bands like Finntroll and Turisas. Pekka also loves ice hockey, the Finnish national game and is baffled by the British preference for soccer, a game he finds rather dull.

Pekka has a no-shoes rule in his apartment.

All his life, Pekka had removed his shoes when entering homes. That was until he came to Britain. He was shocked when he discovered that Scots and English often keep their shoes on in homes. He had imagined that in other countries people took their shoes off, just like in Finland. He had seen people in American sitcoms wear shoes in homes, but had just thought this was just a convention.

When a few visitors came into his apartment with their shoes on, he was strongly tempted to try out some hand-to-hand combat techniques he had picked up during his military service, but thought better of it. Now he just asks for shoes-off in short, sweet, Finnish style.


Martha is the mother of four children and lives in Hampshire, England, with her husband, who is a doctor.

Martha and her husband are devout evangelical Christians. They left their previous Baptist church, believing it to be too worldly and now host a small fellowship of Christians in their home. They feel that the intimacy of a church meeting in a home is much deeper than the usual experience of a congregation.

Martha does not work, but has taken on the responsiblity of home schooling her four children. She believes that much of the teaching in the public school system is built on an evolutionary and humanistic philosophy. She wants her children to learn biblical ways of thinking.

Martha has a shoes-off policy in her home. She wants to protect her children from the dirt and filth outside the home. Just as she would not allow horror films or rock music into the home, she would not allow anybody to defile it with dirt from their shoes.

Martha make considerable use of their house. Four families worship their at the house church meeting and sometimes a few others attend. The tiny congregation appreciate the hospitality of Martha and her husband in openning up their home for church meetings and are happy to respect their wish for shoes-off at the door.

Martha also offers tuition in maths and science for other home-schoolers and naturally asks her pupils and their parents to remove their shoes when attending.

Martha seeks to use her home for the service of God and feels that by looking after the carpets and floors, she is making it last longer and better able to accomodate guests.


richyrich said...

Would Martha provide slippers for visitors to her home or do they just stay in their stockinged feet whilst they are there?

Celestial Fundy said...

Given she has quite a lot of visitors, she might have to provide an awful lot of slippers.

If I was her (or her husband) I would not.

As you know, I differ from a lot of shoes-off advocates in not recommending the loan of slippers.

A good deal of the blogs and websites that support shoes-off take a different view.

I say that what works in Asia and eastern Europe may not work so well in the UK.

richyrich said...

I actually had my carpets cleaned professionally the other day. The man who did them did not take his shoes off when he came but he did cover them with plastic covers and he left quite a few of them with me. With any visitors I have who are uneasy about taking their shoes off, I may lend them to them. This would avoid the need to provide slippers, solve the problem for people who don't want to be just in their stockinged feet whilst at the same time keeping the carpets clean. Potentially a "win-win" solution!

Celestial Fundy said...

I understand the covers do wear out and they are not suitable for use with high-heeled shoes.

While I can accept workmen needing shoe covers, I would not want people coming in my home with covered shoes. It would make the place feel like a crime scene.

My home is not a crime scene!

I imagine a lot of people would feel less silly in stocking feet than they would wearing funny plastic shoe covers.

Very few people have a problem with having stocking feet and most people are even okay going barefoot.

richyrich said...

The covers are disposables and can be thrown away after being used just once.

most people are even okay going barefoot

You need to bear in mind that bare feet give out oil which can be almost as damaging to carpets as some of the things we pick up on our shoes

Celestial Fundy said...

The thing about oil on feet just sounds like propoganda from the shoes-on crowd. I am not convinced.

The finest carpets in the world are from the middle east, where people often go barefoot inside.

richyrich said...

Fair point, although personally, I tend to be either in stocking feet or slippers when I walk on the carpets. When I have no socks I'll usually put slippers on

Celestial Fundy said...

I am wearing socks more often than I did last winter. Either its a lot colder or I have got a lot older over the course of one year.

Some women have the issue of wearing socks under boots with a skirt. I did notice a girl taking off the socks she was wearing over her tights after removing boots off in somebody's house.

richyrich said...

Maybe she thoughts that going around showing her socks looked more tacky than tights. Perhaos she felt that showing off her tights looked more "feminine"

Celestial Fundy said...


Bob said...

My wife always wears socks with her boots and tights/pantyhose. The reason for this, according to her is quite simple...firstly it keeps her feet warmer and secondly it helps prevent snags in her tights/pantyhose. When the boots come off so do the socks and on go the slippers that she has in her purse

Celestial Fundy said...

Yes, a lot of women wear socks with boots.

Unfortunately some of them use this as a ridiculose objection to removing shoes in homes.

Bob said...

what does wearing socks with boots have to do with taking them off?

Celestial Fundy said...

If asked to remove their boots, they will be seen to be wearing socks with a skirt; considered to be a really bad fashion faux pas.

Bob said...

good point...I guess that is why my wife wears tights/pantyhose. Also my wife always expects to remove her shoes/boots in a home. If people have a shoeless home they should inform new guests in advance to avoid akward situation

victoriap said...

Hi there, when I visit friends i always take my slippers with me. Also at home we change from shoes to slippers at the door. Its been a while since I commented, but my mother was Canadian, living in the UK, and she absolutely insisted on all shoes coming off at the door,and then slippers on.Also when I visited my friends or family my shoes always came off at the door.
I have my own family now and its shoes off slippers on both at home and when we visit.I can totally relate to Bobs comment about his wife taking her boots, socks off and slippers on.
keep the flag flying Matt.

Celestial Fundy said...

Nice to hear from you, Victoria.