Monday, July 23, 2007

Take Off Your Shoes at Restaurants



When being treated food at some restaurants in Korea, what puts non-Korean, mostly Westerners, in a difficult situation would be taking off their shoes to get to the table. The life style in Korea has been Westernised in many ways, but there are still lots of traditional forms we maintain, for instance, preference for sitting style.

These are pairs of shoes at a restaurant where I stopped for lunch. Which one do you think is mine?

9 comments:

Fénix (Bostonscapes DP) said...

Do all Korean restaurants impose this?

Lilly said...

i like this tradition. only not sure about the smell.
are your shoes next to the last?

Rambling Round said...

As long as everybody's feet are clean, I wouldn't mind! We usually take our shoes off as soon as we come in the door at my house anyway.

iBlowfish said...

Interesting post, does ever any complained that someone missing their shoes or someone took them? Just curious.

Annie said...

Are you the strappy high heel sandal type? They look like shoes for a young vibrant woman.

In our house here in the U.S. we always leave out shoes at the door outside. But at restaurants here there is a "no shoes, no service" rule.

don said...

hummm i love to walk without shoes. But here in holland people look strange if you enter a supermarket our shops without shoes. I don't think people will let you in there restaurant without shoes. So i'm happy to see that in your country it still is normal at some places.

Anonymous said...

I spent a year at Kunsan Air Base when I was in the Air Force. Funny that none of the bars or restaurants in A-Town requested that we remove our shoes. Maybe they were afraid that guys would have a few drinks and forget about them. Or worse yet, use said shoes as a weapon in a bar brawl!

Sunkyoung said...

Fénix - No, they don't. I said 'some' restaurants sp don't be worried.:)

Lilly - That's right. Some smell gets a person him/herself making that smell and people around them embarrassed. And you guessed my shoes correctly. Well done.

RR - When I was little, what impressed me from American TV dramas was people wearing their shoes in their house and even sitting and/or lying on their beds. But now I know not all Westerners always do that way.

iblowfish - Your curisoity raised a good point. Occasionally it does happen that some people intentionally or mistakenly take someone else's shoes. So there is a warning sign written by shop owners, 'we are not responsible for missing shoes', or some restaurants give plastic bags to their customers so that they put their shoes in the bags and put the bags next to themselves until finishing their food.

Annie - I'm sorry but mine is the next one to the strappy sandals. I like this style too but just didn't wear them that day. You said some restaurants do not allow people not wearing shoes to enter the sites, then they should be sort of dress shoes? No sandals, no flipflops?

Don - Anyone with no shoes will look strange when entering those indoor places. But it is quite normal we take off our shoes when entering formal types of rooms.

Anonymous - It's good to read what you wrote, who lived in Korea. I guess the reason why those places didn't ask you guys to remove your shoes would be that they well knew about the life style of Westerners or they didn't want to take the responsibility of sorting out the same looking military shoes. Or, simply they didn't have rooms there.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I would love to go to a restuarant where you remove your shoes.

I was in Japan for two months, but I did not go to any of the fancy restuarants where you do that.