Standing in line for Zone B, waiting to get on plane, I had on a pair of broken down flats from Target with inserts in the bottom to prevent total foot collapse. Inside of my carry on luggage, I had a pair of slippers. Every woman in front of me, and everyong woman behind me, had on strappy, sky high, runway shoes with labels I hadn't even heard of before.
Which, in my opinion, was more than a little odd.
Then I arrived to find that 97% of Korean women are always dressed to kill from the ankle down. It's incredible! I mean, it's been rainy and humid every day since I got here, which means slippery sidewalks and puddles galore. Now to me, that's rain boot weather. But when I stepped out onto tho the street with my rainboots, every single woman I passed looked at me.
Teacher Ghey (my only friend at the moment) burst into laughter when she saw them.
"You look very safe," she said, "You are wearing safety boots."
Of course by 'safety' she means 'ugly'.
This is, sadly, not the first time we had that particular conversation. The first time was when I wore gym shoes to school. Ok, so I didn't wear gym shoes in school, I know better than that. But I wore them to walk back and forth, because the walk is about a mile.
When Teacher Ghey saw them, she put on a polite a face as possible and said, "Those shoes? With your dress?"
I have not worn those shoes out again.
My sense of practicality is viscerally offense to other people. If I am wearing ugly shoes, people stare at me, eyes saying: "WHERE IS YOUR PRIDE AS A WOMAN?"
It's pretty intense.
I've switched my gym shoes for my converse, and try to resist the boots unless it's pooring. Which is pretty often.
I am going to need more shoes.