I have granted several important people in my life the right to smack me in the gob if I ever mention getting another pair of shoes. Ever.
I bought a pair of Birkenstocks when in Europe and find them extremely comfortable and easy to slip on and off which immediately had me thinking that another pair would be a great idea. Because you can’t have too much of a good thing, right? So I already started to browse the internet for different models and think of a suitable mule to bring them over.
But it is not to be.
The magnitude of my shoe issue was revealed today.
I have a handy shoe rack outside my apartment where I keep most of my shoes, easy to reach and grab on the go. While I was away, two months’ worth of dust and dead insect have settled on them; the rack is of the woven rattan variety and therefore exposed to all elements of Cambodia including dust from nearby building sites.
My shoes deserve better and so today I decided to clean my footwear and I refuse to call this procrastination. It may well be, though.
I resisted to count how many pairs of flip flops, slip-ons, Mary-Janes, Crocs (sorry, Fashion Police, but they have moved on and developed models that actually look good and you can wear them in the mud when it actually DOES rain here…), trainers, boots and other shoes I have. It’s too daunting to admit that once I came with a backpack of essentials and some years down the line I have so much $**t that I could easily fill a container… A rough guess would be around 25 pairs. I wear maybe 5 at most and only one pair at a time. Mind you, not always. I have been known to stumble out of my apartment early in the morning and one glance at my feet pumping the pedals of my bicycle two blocks from my house showed my right foot in a pink Havaiana and my left was clad in a green flip flop of the same make and fit. Easy mistake in dim light. Such a trend setter….
At least I got my left and right right, right?
My issue doesn’t stop with shoes. Handbags are fairly high on the list and I blame Sakura (the second hand store just around the corner from my house). I also blame Sakura for my wardrobe bursting in seams and my recent trip to Czech could also have something to do with it. I purged and gave away two bags of things, even from the kitchen cabinets just recently, trying to offload on the material stuff and breathe easier, but the next day I went to Sakura… again. I confessed once and I will do it again - I am a Sakuraholic.
But who is there to judge us how much stuff we should surround ourselves with (or in)? Compared to the standards of the “village elders” aka my parents I live a very simplistic lifestyle. They are mostly surrounded by books and while there is nothing wrong with that, on the contrary actually, their issue is with space alone - not a single book can be moved out of place as the whole structure would be destroyed and nothing would ever fit again. Thanks to this “system” I can, even after decades of leaving home, safely find my favourite books which are still in their same old place.
I often work from home and find that disorder and too much “busy” space around me leaves me unable to concentrate. So I clean and tidy up and procrastinate. When working from an office I can deal with “creative mess” no problem. So there is a clear divide between personal and working life.
The internet and other media bombard us with conflicting information - how to reduce clutter in our lives, how to master this Japanese art of keeping your space “clean” and the next thing you read is about embracing all your clutter and loving it the way it deserves. Bottom line - we are all different and if you are happy in your environment, why change it, why conform, why follow some trend when it’s in conflict with your inner peace?
My fridge is the leading example of minimalism. I should change that but we have power cuts.
I collect earrings. And jewellery in general.
I have very few books because they exist in non paper form.
I have TV but never watch it so that should be the next thing out of the door.
I have a soft spot for cups and mugs, specially with dots, but the cat breaks them so I steer clear.
I rotate my wardrobe and unworn items find their way to donation bins.
I have two feet and around 25 pairs of shoes. So what?
I am a (reluctant) slave of technology - but about that…. some other time.
anna bella betts
Never still, always on the move, looking for the perfect capture... Cambodia is currently my home, presenting endless opportunities....
In this blog you will find no profound wisdom.
Just accounts of daily life, sometimes about photography, often about wine, occasionally about travel adventures and sometimes about nothing at all.