Donnerstag, 23. August 2012
It felt a little, as if Mother Nature wanted to atone for my being stung yesterday, by that hidden thorn in the grass. The grass I walked over before work felt nicely soft, cool and moist underfoot on a mild morning. During the office day, I was able to keep my flip-flops off most of the time, too. And on my way home, after work, I did not only spot another male barefooter, but also was the target of fascination and admiration coming from two teenage girls, sitting opposite to me in the tram.
They were taking close looks at my feet, and then decided to start the conversation about walking barefoot with a very typical, but rather unexpected question: "Isn't that too cold?" I raised an eyebrow at this, since I was quite surprised to hear that on a sunny day, with temperatures around 25°C (77°F). It was their turn to be surprised, when I told them, that I walk barefoot, as soon as temperatures rise above frost level - which means: in winter, too.
They were both quite fast in agreeing, that it's actually healthy to walk barefoot and then continued looking at the details about my feet, fascinated about the toe rings ("don't these hurt?"), the glittering nail polish on my big toes ("I thought, that was only for women to wear") and my foot tattoo ("Did it hurt much, getting that?"). One of the two girls slipped off her slippers, wiggling her bare toes, saying "I'm gonna try walking barefoot now..." and took a few steps on the tram, quite loudly, since she was heel-striking. I advised them to try and put their weight onto the whole foot, and then roll towards the toes, since that would reduce both the noise as well as the impact on the uncushioned heel bone. She didn't dare to keep those slippers off, though, and when they got off the tram, both were shod. But it might be, that I inspired them to try it out.
One of their questions about my reasons for walking barefoot really was funny, since the girl who wiggled her toes asked, if I were barefoot because I couldn't get any shoes in my size... OK, obviously, I have quite large feet, and wide ones, too. But I assured them, that I still can get shoes in my size (a Europan 46, US 11.5, wide fit), but that these aren't really necessary unless it's frosty outdoors.
It's always nice to get reactions other than the typical giggling from what I normally would call teenage fashion victims, when they encounter my natural, yet unexpected bare feet... I might have made two teenage girls break the cycle of peer pressure and fashion indoctrination by losing their fashionable shoes and wiggle their toes freely.