Jan 21, 2011   //   by peretz   //   Uncategorized  //  1 Comment

Behold a typ­i­cal Afghan shoe.

Typical Pair of Shoes

It’s a dress shoe, because that’s the pre­ferred style. And it’s bent in the back because they wear them like slip ons. This is con­ve­nient. Afghans take them on and off so many times a day. They take them off to pray 5 times a day. They take them off when­ev­er they enter some­ones house for tea, etc. etc. And this is prob­a­bly true across most of Cen­tral Asia and many oth­er coun­tries in the “rug belt”.

What I don’t under­stand, is why no one has seized on this huge mar­ket oppor­tu­ni­ty of mak­ing a fan­cy dress shoe, with­out a back, a dress shoe nat­ur­al slip on? (Maybe some­one has, and this is your oppor­tu­ni­ty to mar­ket their wares in the comments.)

Anoth­er inter­est­ing con­se­quence of this, is that there is so much more work for shoe shin­ers. When you take off your shoes in the restau­rant, they walk up and make their offers.

Shoe Shine

This is a much more nat­ur­al way to do this than what I have seen in the West. I just could­n’t ever imag­ine myself sit­ting down to have some­one kneel in front of me to shine my shoes, while I made myself look busy with a news­pa­per. To bad, I have noth­ing to shine here. Can you guess why?

Guess which ones are mine?

I got some army boots from the Bush Mar­ket the oth­er day, and while I smelled weed when we walked into the shop, I did­n’t expect the shop­keep­er to take a mini break to toke on a apple core bong in the process:

Shoe dealer hitting an apple bong