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No Shoe Zone?!


People around the House of Tea are usually not big fans of rules… Yet there is what became more of a usage or a tradition at the House of Tea, around our tea tables and in our cozy space: to leave the shoes at the edge of the zone. (some shoe boxes should conveniently help store them more or less neatly..)

This leaves some of our fellow hackers a bit puzzled. We can sometimes read on the faces of people looking at our space for the first time that it seems to provoke hesitation, if not reluctance… After all everyone has their own limits, boundaries… and the line of interaction between us and the ground is defeinitely an important one!

.. then why? Why no shoes at the House of Tea?

Well there are multiple reasons:

  • The first, obvious one is that it makes things “cleaner”… Even if many people associate the socks (or even bare feet!) with something “unclean” or “smelly”, it is in our minds, and in line with the oriental traditions (Shinto, etc.) actually not “dirty” as it is part of us, beautful Humans.. What is clearly dirty is the sole of shoes that were used to walk outside, on sidewalks in toilets, etc. If these were in contact with our fabric and deco materials (cushions, carpets, blankets, etc.) this would undubiously leave much more “dirty” traces than bare feet and socks.
  • Also, while shoes are generally rather hard, feet are softer, which makes it more comfortable for everyone when we are sitting in rounds on the floor and cushions, next to each other, around the tea tables… A foot touching a neighbors knee or foot inadvertently is much less unpleasant than a shoe.
  • Also we figured that this gentle questioning of people's boundaries when i comes to comfort and getting close to each other somehow was a useful consequence: People who may dare not take the first -shoe-less- step will feel empowered once they realize it's actually cozy, comfortable and fun, to sit at the House of Tea! ;) This questioning of the boundaries of the body and the mind, as with the sitting on the floor, in rounds, with other people instead of laptops, and to share the tea… is maybe part of what makes the House of Tea special?

(Please note: as with all usages and traditions that do not turn into blind and rigid rules, this one is indeed open to consensual exceptions! If you have some sort of medical condition, or a very good reason to not expose your feet without shoes, do not feel excluded! In that case maybe you could consider bringing a pair of special, clean shoes (or slippers) you could wear on our space? Or some protective caps on top of your shoes? Feel welcome in all cases, we will find a solution! <3)

Pro-tip: Feel free to bring a pair of extra-cozy woolen socks that you can use when at the House of Tea! ;)

no_shoe_zone.txt · Last modified: 2023/12/24 14:32 by 00l0ng