Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Stupid, Patronizing and Probably Offensive Article about Czechs

Prague Post: Worst foot forward

This peculiar shoe-removing custom catches newcomers by surprise: You are finally invited for dinner at the home of your Czech boss, colleague or friend. You wash and shave meticulously, wear a nice suit and bring an impressive bouquet of flowers or a good bottle of wine. You join Czech friends also attending the dinner and ring the bell. Then, as the door opens, something surreal happens: Your Czech friends hand over the flowers and wine, and then, without any prompt from the host or other apparent reason, they proceed to take off their shoes, leave them at the entrance and accept, with gratitude, shoes from their host. Old, frayed, stained and smelly home-shoes quickly replace the dress or high-heeled shoes under the suits and evening dresses.

Thankfully, a number of the comments recognise the stupidity of this article.


Moderate Mouse said...

If what the author said is true about the "home shoes" used in Czech, as far as their unwashability and there not always being enough to go around, should I ever visit the Czech Republic, are there any CZECH etiquette rules preventing me from bringing a pair of my OWN slippers or "home shoes" to change into (or in any other slipper-providing country for that matter)? Does anyone know? I figure with my own "home shoes", 1) the only "germs" in them are mine, which I can keep to myself (although the white satin slippers I'm wearing now CAN be machine washed--which they have been twice, including today--but they have to be air-dried), 2) I have a better chance of whatever pair "I" bring over coordinating with whatever else I'm wearing rather than a pair I borrow from someone else and 3) I won't have to risk being stuck in my socks/stockings (if applicable at the time) on account of not enough slippers/home shoes available for everyone. (While I don't plan on giving up ever wearing shoes in my home again anytime soon, I do limit it to when I anticipate going somewhere in a short while or am about to do something where not wearing shoes would do more harm than good, or if I just got home and haven't been in a position to switch to my slippers. I figure if I limit my wearing of real shoes in my own home, it might be less of a shock if the "shoes off" thing should ever come up in someone else's home.)

As far as the idea that shoe removal increases chances of procreation, all I can say is "Um, o-kay. Whatever." *shakes head*

Celestial Fundy said...

That is why I don't think providing slippers is the best idea, whatever daft 'etiquette experts' say.

MM, if you came to my place and brought your blue flip flops, I would already know that you wear them outside sometimes.