On Slippers:

I think the combination of these two things is kind of funny:

A) The Japanese don't wear outdoor shoes in schools, like we do.
This kind of makes sense-- it's probably a lot easier to clean the school that way.

But here's the weird part:

B) They freak out when I walk around in my socks in the schools.
"OMG! Where are your slippers?!"

I just don't get it.
I mean, isn't the floor pretty clean, thanks to the "no outdoor shoes inside" rule?

If I happen to slip out of my birkies while sitting at my desk and then pad over to the coffee stand in my socks, what's so strange about that?

Also, why do I have to change into slippers when I come into my schools ... but when I go to the yakuba next door, I can just walk in. Who makes these decisions?

While we're on that topic, who mandates the kind of slippers the poor JHS kids have to wear? They're indescribably bad-looking. The good side of this, I suppose is that on bad days, you can look out at a sea of puce-colored rubber booties-gone-bad and feel really good about yourself.

My wicked confession of course is that on some mornings, when I'm really stressed and get to my car, only to realize that I've forgotten yet another thing in my house (laptop, keys, sweatrag, you name it) ... I usually thumb my nose at the "no shoes" rule. The neighbors can think what they want. At times like that, I really don't care.

Unlike many people, I don't really like shoes and don't understand the need to own lots of them. So I especially resented having to relinquish a big chunk of packing space to them. Before Japan, I never owned more than 3 pairs of shoes at one time. Now, things are different.

(L-R, from top: New birkies for work, indoor athletic shoes, outdoor general shoes, indoor formal shoes, grungy outdoor sandals, outdoor running shoes, outdoor hiking boots, outdoor formal shoes.)