I like socks. I might even love socks. Socks might be one of my top 20 favorite inventions of all time. Yet here in Thailand, they present somewhat of a conundrum.
I guess I should start with why I like socks so much. For me, feet are extremely personal. I don’t like showing my feet if not completely necessary. Maybe it’s because I think I have ugly feet. Or maybe it’s because I grew up around people that never really wore flip flops. As far as I can remember all of my friends growing up were really into tennis shoes. We looked forward to the newest styles that were coming out and made plans to either save our meager pennies to try and buy them or beg our parents until they relented and bought them for us.
I can remember my mom absolutely refusing to by me a pair of Reebok Blacktops.
Looking at them now, I admit, they are kind of ugly, but back then they were all I could ever want in a shoe! And it had an option for a pump! (Supposedly, pumping air in your shoe would help you jump higher, and of course every wanna be basketball player like myself wanted to jump higher.)
It is with this background that I enter into Thailand where I would guess that 99 percent of the population grew up not wearing tennis shoes but flip flops. So why not just wear shoes here? Well, you can, it just becomes more difficult to do so because every house, church, and small country business, it is customary to take ones shoes off. Taking your shoes on and off several times a day is actually kind of annoying. Back home, I might take my shoes on and off about 3 times a day. Here in Thailand, you might do that many times in one hour. Now that your shoes are off, you just went from one of the only people wearing tennis shoes to the only person wearing socks inside of the establishment that you are in.
Obviously socks and flip flops don’t work well together. I could wear the sandal that you can wear a sock with, but then I am still the only one wearing socks!
Looks like I’m stuck between a rock (or a sock) and a hard place.