Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blue Cakes- A German Tradition:Guest Slippers

Blue Cakes- A German Tradition:Guest Slippers

'It’s customary when you go over to someone’s house in Germany to remove your shoes at the door. Being the neat freak that I am, I LOVE this tradition, and in the mess of winter with all the snow and slush, I think it’s particularly wonderful. Simply put, outdoor and dirty shoes just don’t belong on clean floors.

That said, although removing one’s shoes does do it’s job in keeping the house cleaner, it also conjures up a new problem: cold feet- and that’s no fun!

Many German homes have combated this problem with charm, practicality and an entirely new tradition: guest slippers. Just inside that entrance to one of these homes, you will be greeted a basket, drawer or shelf filled with your choice of various slippers that are made available to guests who visit.'



I have suggested here before that guest slippers would not necessarily be the best approach here in the UK. I think most British people are fine with taking their shoes off, but would find borrowing slippers a bit weird.

19 comments:

Leyla said...

I think carpets and, if affordable, floor-heating are the best solutions against cold feet. You don't have to put on one's slippers which wouldn't match your outfit. Match your stockings/socks to your clothes, that's it. Enjoy the nce touch of soft carpets. I'm a stockinged feet person!

Sandro said...

It is worth mentioning the writer says about shoes off customary in Hanover, which is Western Germany, but not Eastern, usually considered Germany's no-shoes-at-home zone.

Matthew Celestis said...

Indeed, Sandro.

Matthew Celestis said...

Leyla, carpets have lost a lot of their popularity in recent years. A lot of modern homes have several rooms with laminate or wood flooring. The ease of cleaning makes them very popular, though of course these kinds of flooring can be damaged by shoes.

Eldar said...

I am with Leyla on this one. Indeed, stockinged feet look better than in slippers. Besides, there are the familiar dilemmas associated with the use of the slippers: what do you do if you organise a party or a dinner at your place, and guests arrive dressed up? and what do you do in summer? it is doubtful that many people will want to wear slippers on their bare feet. So, stockinged or bare feet are a better solution.

Matthew Celestis said...

Yes. If people want to bring their own slippers they can always do that.

Sharing slippers seems to have a 'yuck' factor with a lot of people.

Nice to see you again.

richyrich said...

I agree with Leyla, I'm a stockinged feet person too, it feels really relaxing to have them rubbing against nice plush carpets!

Karen said...

Yeah - I'm another stockinged feet person.

(BTW why do people make such a big deal about working in stockinged feet - several of us do it in our office).

Karen.

richyrich said...

What kind of an organisation do you work for Karen if you don't mind me asking?

Karen said...

It's an insurance brokers.

Just hate wearing shoes indoors as they hurt my feet. Have given up trying to find a pair I can wear all day!!

richyrich said...

Karen, do clients of your company visit your office and are you and your colleagues shoeless when they're around? And if so have any clients ever commented on that?
I take it that you never wear shoes at home.

Karen said...

Occasionally clients visit, and I try to slip my heels back on then, but have been "caught out" a few times - just explain that shoes hurt my feet. Think I must have extra sensitive feet!!

I work in an old town house which has been completely reonovated with plush carpets.

My 2 colleagues do it a fair bit, but must confess I take mine off as soon as I arrive and leave them off all day. Hope this does'nt sound too bad?

No I never wear shoes at home.

Sneakerman said...

I wouldn't work in my socks, I find it embarrassing and I would not want to inflict the sight or smell of my feet onto my co-workers. Maybe if nobody else was in sight which is where a desk comes in handy.

After a visit to my podiatrist yesterday where I needed advice from a previous bunion operation I was advised not to wear soft soled shoes. The surgeon had fused the bones together making walking in anything other than hard soled footwear painful. Thankfully tho she advised of an op that will allow free movement again so I will eventually have this sorted out.

I wonder tho, how will shoeless households react to folks who can't be without shoes such as those with diabetes, folks with orthotics or those who have had certain operations?

Sandro said...

Karen, are you from UK?
I think working without shoes in many cases is very sensible for some reasons. First, you don't bring mud and dirt into your office, so I don't have to breath in all toxins shoes bring on. Second, floor covering stays safe, which preserves the nice appearance of the office environment. Third, it saves money spent for regular cleaning, which needs to be done less frequently in a shoe-free office.
Fourth, working shoeless is more comfortable; your shoes don't bother you, and you save more energy for your work!
So, Karen, I fully support you, and would definitely offer to remove my shoes if I visited your office )
Karen, do you support the idea of removing shoes when coming to people's homes?

Sandro said...

Sneakerman
Exceptions can always be allowed, and compromises reached for visitors with medical reasons.

Moderate Mouse said...

For the most part, stocking feet aren't really something I generally associate with chores around the house or even anything done at home in connection to my job search(both of which I usually do in slippers, either the ballet flat kind or a pair of blue flip-flops worn only at home) let alone work in a place of business outside the home, but that's just me. I guess I'm the type of person who associates bare or stocking feet more with being relaxed and lounging around than for those "Let's take care of xyz, shall we?" moments, around the home, such as housework or any kind of "serious" sit down task, such as paying bills or filling out paperwork of any kind, or in my case especially, work behind the computer (such as writing a resume or some other major document). (I'll understand if some of you think that I'm insane for having this mindset.)

On an unrelated note, I guess carpets have lost their popularity. I know my mom and stepdad, for instance opted to do away with almost all of the carpet in their home (where I also live and which they bought rougly six years ago). There is one room in the house (known currently as the "music room" where my stepdad keeps his drums and where the band he's in practices when the rehearsal is at our house) where the carpet was replaced, but in the rest of the home, it's pretty much all hard flooring.

icnu said...

I prefer to be barefoot and I don't have slippers to offer to my guests, it's fine if others do but they shouldn't force slippers upon their guests if those prefer to remain barefoot.

Matthew Celestis said...

Quite so. I think a lot of people would rather be barefoot than borrow slippers.

RS GP said...

I agree with Leyla, , it feels really relaxing to have them rubbing against nice plush carpets!

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