My number is G203. Currently they are serving G180 at DMV in San Francisco. As this is going to take a while, I’ll use the time to confess. I confess that I am barefoot. I have to confess because going barefoot is in cities of first world countries something that is, in the minds of the majority, reserved for homeless people and people at the beach.
Nobody seems to have noticed in the long, winding DMV line or at least the people that have noticed didn’t say something. At least not to me. Now I’m sitting here with my G203 waiting and waiting.
When I first started going barefoot, other than at home or at the beach, I felt weird, excited and nervous. I was already used to jogging barefoot but going barefoot on a daily basis was new to me. Would people look at me, stare at me, yell at me, kick me out of their shop or restaurant? I probably stared at people more than anyone else stared at me because I was expecting comments and questions. And yes, there where comments and questions.
The winning comment is ‘Where are your shoes?’, that’s what I hear most often. Directly followed by ‘Your feed must be cold!’.
One guy even said ‘You forgot your shoes!’. How would anyone forget to put on shoes and not realize it taking the first step outside, I wonder. Did this guy actually think going barefoot feels exactly like going shoed?
But none of those questions did hurt and the more questions I answered the more confident I felt.
Now serving G189 at window number 2…
In those past 9 month I was 99% barefoot. Exceptions where meetings with customers, the American and the German Embassy and a snowy day in Washington D.C. I go barefoot to the office, walk barefoot through the city, take flights barefoot, take the bus barefoot, go to shops and restaurants barefoot.
In the beginning I didn’t think much about how long this will be going on. I just wanted to try it, I liked it and now I don’t want to change it anymore.
So, now you know. You can expect to see me barefoot for a while.
Finally my G203 is next. An old Asian DMV employee takes all my papers, asks all necessary questions, makes copies, fills out more papers, gets my fingerprint and finally wants to take my picture for the new drivers license. We walk over to the photo station. ‘Stand behind the white line’ he says, ‘Where are your shoes?!’ and looks puzzled down at my feet. ‘I don’t wear shoes.’ I say and smile. This is important because I’m a friendly barefooter and not a crazy person. I hope he can see that. He turns to his colleague, a red haired woman and points at my feet, ‘She doesn’t wear shoes!!’ and turns back to ask me ‘NEVER?’. ‘Well, most of the time, I don’t wear shoes.’ He thinks a little bit about it and says ‘So you drive barefoot too?’. But the friendly red haired woman next to him laughs, ‘That is easy! I can drive barefoot too.’ He continues to mumble barefoot things while he finishes up the paperwork and then turns to another co-worker to tell him, ‘She doesn’t wear shoes. Haha!’. And I’m glad that he thinks it’s funny. As he is holding my temporary drivers license in his hand he can’t hold off of all his questions and lets some of them out like ‘Aren’t your feet getting dirty? How do you clean them? What do you do when it’s cold or hot?’. The last question asked in San Francisco is actually an unintended joke because here it never gets really cold or hot. But then he stops the overflow of questions by saying, ‘But that’s all your choice actually.’ That’s right, sir. He holds the temporary drivers license up and says ‘It has a restriction here… You have to wear corrective lenses… and I want to put another on… must not wear shoes’ and he bursts into laughter. ‘That would be fabulous if you could do that!’ I giggle.
So, now you know, being barefoot is not only for homeless people and people at the beach. It can be done anywhere, even at DMV (driving barefoot is not illegal by the way).
And now that I have officially confessed, there will be more blog posts coming about all things barefoot.