Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

Socks and sandals

My new look at work. Tres sexy.

It’s not particularly cold during the day yet, but my office is a little nippy and my feet are usually always cold, no matter what country I’m in. While I do have trainers and hiking boots here (clearly I thought I was going to be a trifle more active than I actually am….) it’s always easier to just wear sandals, because of the ‘no shoes in the office rooms’ rule . So its always sandals, and now, socks and sandals.

There is an unspoken rule in the office about where you wear your shoes, and where you don’t. So the rooms with carpets are no-shoe-areas, while the concrete corridors are shoe-areas, and so are the stairs. But then there is a carpeted room down stairs that is a shoe-area. I never get it right in that room. Anyway, so to get from my (carpeted) room across a corridor (of say 3 strides) I put my shoes on as I leave my room, walk the required 3 strides, then take them off before I enter say the accounts room (which thinking about, isn’t carpeted, but does have a rather fetching linoleum, which is also deemed a no-shoe area). Then I put my shoes back on when I leave the accounts room, walk the 3 strides back to my office, and take them off again. This is easy with sandals. Slip on, slip off. But must more effort with trainers. I have experimented with no shoes for the shoe-areas, but this just resulted in very dirty feet.

Mostly I get the shoe/no-shoe rules right. But there are anomalies. For example, all houses here have concrete (or mud) floors. The inside of any house is always a no-shoe area. But the mini hospital, which also has a concrete floor, is a shoe-area. This one I don’t understand.

I am not the only one rocking the ‘socks and sandals’ look, plenty of the monks are doing it too. And I’ve also spied some funky orange hats amongst them too. Always orange, as monks only wear orange. I’ll do a Rangamati AW 2009-10 photo spread soon. But disappointingly, no goats in shorts and t-shirts will be featured. This appears to be a purely north-of-Dhaka fashion.



  Keith wrote @

Take a look at the S&S site, maybe you’ll join our ranks.

  Lorna wrote @

You are gonna need a period of aclimatisation (possibly spelt wrong?) on your return to the UK……socks and sandals is just wrong on every level… matter where you are!!

Maybe you could get some ballet pump style shoes which would be marginally better with socks!!!


  estellevisagie wrote @

Sure, let me go shopping for some ballet pumps here…a bit market for them… especially in a size 7! Dons, the rest of me looks like crap, so why would I start worrying about my footwear now? I’ve totally given up on all things appearance related out in my placement.

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