Friday, April 9, 2010


You can love 'em or hate 'em but I've been thinking about them a lot since my move.  I'm not even sure how to organize my thoughts, so here's a bit of stream of consciousness.

What shoes are they wearing? One of the immediate questions that goes through my head. It's instinctive and don't always realize I'm doing it. But I always notice fairly quickly what shoes people wear and I'll remember them.  I've been intrigued by what I find in Singapore.

I see all kinds, even boots here in the tropics.  But mostly instead of seeing shoes, I see feet.  Toes, feet, heels, everywhere.  It's warm, so socks don't really exist and the less shoe you have the more comfortable I suppose.  Not sure how much I agree with that thought, but I must assume that's the rationale. 

One of the first things I ever keyed in on was women's toenails.  It's not every female on the island, but so often I see toenails that are longer than my fingernails (which can be long sometimes).  It grosses me out to no end.  How can they get so long?? Well, if you're wearing sandals and flip-flops year-round, then I guess you can grow 'em that long.  Or could they be fake? Like women's fingernails in the U.S.?  I heard someone say it's isolated to a certain "stereotype" of women here, but I don't see it.  I notice it on older women, younger women, ones who appear married and single, professionals and non-professionals alike, trashy and really not so trashy.  I have detected no pattern, but that doesn't mean one doesn't exist.  Still creeps me out.

**I have delayed this post almost four months waiting for a pic of crazy toenails.  Finally, in stealth mode with the blackberry camera....I got one, two actually.  Not the best shot, but hopefully you can begin to see what I mean.

The second thing I noticed is that no one wears socks - even when the shoe is fully enclosing your foot! Think of the sweat and disgustingness.  But the weather doesn't allow pants, which means no socks at least not with dress shoes.  And it's too warm for pantyhose for women (yes, no hose worn even in the professional world).  I have grabbed a hold of the no sock/pantyhose theme, but have had to completely reconsider my footwear.  My shoes have to be open now, but not too strappy-casual for work.  So I have peep toe and heel/toe only coverage. I still only have two pairs of heels that work (*found one more when I went home*), which severely limits my wardrobe.  I need to let my feet breathe can you not??  Maybe Singaporeans have adjusted to the climate such that their feet don't sweat (doubtful since the other body parts clearly still sweat).  Someone did tell me their answer was to take off their shoes while at your desk.  That's when my feet aren't sweating...the problem is when I walk, and I can't really take them off then.

The third most important foot consideration is the conditioning of your feet.  I am walking so much more, which is great for my weight/health but I hope not to damage my feet too much (because most of this walking is during the week in my heels).  If you look at the old ladies' feet, yes they still wear sandals so you can easily observe them, they are mangled.  I had foot pain a couple years ago and was told it was bunions due to my pointy shoes/heels.  I had to get rid of those and opt for more "old lady" shoes as my sister would call them ;).  But I've been without pain.  And still am ..... so far.  I don't want to take home mangled feet though as a souvenier of my 3 year assignment in Singapore.  The next concern in conditioning my feet is blisters.  Walking so much in sometimes new or seldom worn shoes can cause issues.  But I found my magic wand.  Band-Aid Friction Block is awesome!! It's smaller than a travel size deodorant stick and fits nicely in my purse.  I always have it with me and can easily rub it on my foot if I could feel some bad, blister-creating friction.  Much better than trying to keep actual band-aids in place (although blister band-aids work really well if you already have a blister). I am not being paid, but it really is a mini miracle.  As sandal weather is starting back home - all you ladies need to get you one!


  1. Haha! I love this post! I have not seen this stuff before, but I better find some! Thanks for the tip! And I will always laugh thinking of you taking your stealthy pictures of different things around Singapore :)

  2. Love it! Long toe nails are GROSS! Ew, ew, ew! If my toenails grow just a bit they cause pain in shoes. I guess since they're not wearing real shoes/socks there they don't notice as much, but I just think of that as a FEEDING ground for bacteria under there! Bleck! The shoes you captured in "stealth mode" are really cute, though!!

  3. Finally you found a place where you can wear sandals to work. If you tell me that guys get to wear sandals too then I am there. I have found that even in florida you have to wear shoes to work. How lame