Monday, January 27, 2014

Albania or Bust: No Shoes Allowed

Albania or Bust: No Shoes Allowed

When we arrived in Albania, where everything is covered in a fine layer of dust, and found ourselves in a house with tile floors, our habit of going shoeless inside continued. (Because of the house is always cold we are apt to wear slippers instead of going barefoot). Both our nanny and our housekeeper showed up on their first day of work toting plastic "slippers" which they put on the minute they enter the house. I quickly noticed that these hard plastic sandals are all the rage amongst Albanian women who wear them with socks year around while inside. Fashionable they aren't but practical they are. In reality, Albania is a country where most people seem to not wear shoes indoors. We've never asked our guests to remove their shoes while visiting and certainly don't expect them to, but many do any way. We have however, been asked to remove our shoes when we have been guests in other people's homes. This request has always been followed with being provided with our own pair of ill-fitting slippers. The first time this happened I was slightly aghast at the prospect of wearing someone else's shoes; now I make sure to carry a clean pair of socks in my purse for just such occasions.


Bob said...

I wouldn't like the Albanian custom of being "obligated/forced" to wear slippers especially plastic ones. While I always wear socks my wife generally wears stockings so I guess if I were to visit we would bring my own.

Matthew Celestis said...

The obligation might not be that strong.

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