Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wearing Shoes in the House

In Hawaii it is customary to leave your shoes outside the door. Not only at your own house, but when you visit other friends' houses as well. Most people wear "slippers" (chanclas)(flipflops) and literally flip them off before entering a residence. It may have been influenced by the Japanese population there. Half of Hawaii is Japanese-American and the influence is noticeable in foods and lifestyle behaviors. We lived for ten years in a coffee shack, and learned that by taking your shoes off at the door you leave the dirt outside. The floors are cleaner because no one is dragging around mud or twigs or other flotsam.

In Mérida you are required to leave your shoes on in the house. The floors are cement tiles and very hard on your feet and body. Plus, the Yucatecans are very superstitious about bare feet. Evidently illness creeps up through a humid floor, a cold floor, or a hot floor...well, I guess any floor. Pablo insists I have something on my feet at all times. As far as leaving the dirt outside, here that is simply impossible. This is a dusty place. Since we haven't gotten our rains, it is even dustier than usual. The amount of dirt that collects on these floors is surprising. The winds blow all kinds of dirt and dust and even leaves into my house.

Here's a good reason to wear your shoes in the house. Today Moka was announcing the results of her morning hunt and I turned around and saw a giant centipede on the floor. Without thinking I grabbed my shoe, conveniently located on my foot, and "FLWOP!!!!!!!!!!!" It is a dead centipede.

When this happened to me in Hawaii I would be scrambling around looking for a shoe or a book or something to whack the monster. They may be small but they are powerful and they must die. Today the concept of keeping one's shoes on one's feet really hit home. As I was making certain the centipede could no longer hurt me, memories of bug hell passed through my mind. I could write a book about bug hell. Maybe I will.

Meanwhile back at the hacienda, this is how Mokito came home. Moka stepped in front of me as I snapped this photo, so you are looking at camouflage Mokito through the whiskers of his Mom.

It is funny, at first. These are some super sticky weeds. All the cats came home with them but Mokito was covered, branches and all. I've been slowly working them out of his fur for three days now. Knowing Mokito, as soon as he is cleaned up he will find a new batch of trouble.

1 comment:

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for bringing up this subject.

I have an whole blog about removing shoes in homes: Shoes Off at the Door, Please You might like to take a look.