Wednesday, November 27, 2013

No Shoes = Service

When you walk into certain places here in Baker Lake, you will often be met with a pile of shoes near the doorway. Not so much in the summertime, but once it starts getting muddy and then winter hits, you will absolutely see them. The schools, health center and hotels/restaurants all have signs that ask you to remove your shoes before entering so as not to trek mud and snow through their hallways. People who are in these establishments all day tend to have a pair of indoor-shoes to walk around in all day, but not everyone does it. So it's no big deal to see everyone walking around in socked or even bare feet.

Taking our boots off when we weren't at home was definitely something new to get used to. We just weren't used to walking around, or having lunch without our shoes on. I've taken to carrying a pair of fold-up flats (those are SO handy) in my jacket pocket for when we find ourselves in situations where we have to take our shoes off. They may not be the most supportive shoe, but it makes me feel more comfortable.

Just one of those quirks of being here, I guess. Different communities have different "rules" - a woman I was talking to recently was amazed that she had to take off her shoes in another community's arena since we don't do that here. I mentioned that we don't have to take our shoes off in public anywhere we go, no matter the time of year, and she was shocked by that too. So...roll with the punches, I guess! If you're not comfortable with the thought, have a pair of shoes handy and you're always ready no matter where you end up. :)



  1. Ah the memories! You're actually the first Nunavut blogger I've encountered that has blogged about this topic. I'm actually surprised I never did a post about this now that I think of it but I suppose that having lived in a couple of the smaller communities removing my shoes at the door just became ingrained. The only places I recall not having to do this was in Iqaluit of course but also Rankin Inlet. I remember having to remove my footwear in both of Resolute Bay's hotels whenever I passed through there. Definitely the only two hotels I've ever had to do that in all the places I've traveled.

  2. Our hotels set up a little shoe rack just inside the door for guests to take off their shoes. The restaurant attached has a tiny mat, and the rest go in a pile where you can find space.

    I'm still not really used to it after a year+ here, but I try to roll with it! :)