A Barefoot Texan in Egypt

Barefoot Life

» A Guest Contribution by fellow barefooter Randal Lane from Hardcore Mind

Barefoot Moe kindly ask me to do a guest post on his blog and I’m honored to do so.

A small bit of background…..

I’m a Texan who has been working primarily internationally for about 20 years. The last 5 years I have been in Egypt working as the HSSE Manager/Director (Health, Safety, Security and Environmental) at petrochemical companies. This is my second project here and I’m working for an Egyptian corporation now but with a lot of the same old faces from my previous job in Egypt.

Egyptians, like nationals in a lot of other countries that I have worked in, view Americans as being somewhat, well, weird because of what they see on TV of Americans. And perhaps in my case, I lived up to their expectations.

With almost full sleeve tattoos, pierced ears and being barefoot most of the time, they view me with a bit of humor and I learned what “crazy” means in Arabic and have heard it used more than once in reference to me. The first time by my secretary.

It is ironic how in a country that is 90% Muslim, I’m freer here than in the USA. Politics aside, people here just don’t feel that they have some right to tell you what you can and cannot do. Driving is chaos, there is very little order anywhere, or at least there doesn’t seem to be until you get used to it, then it starts to make sense….kind of. And your life is pretty much your own to do as you wish.

I have never been turned away at a business because I did not have shoes on and have had nothing but curious questions and comments, politely made I might add.

Contrast that to the USA with their “No shoes, no service” signs in store windows and more than once, I have had some stranger make rude remarks about my barefeet. Don’t get me wrong, business owners have the right to choose who they do and don’t want to serve, just as I have the right not to do business with them. It is just this attitude in the US of everyone has some right to mess in your business that I just don’t see here in Egypt.

Traveling back and forth between Houston and Cairo, there has been more than once that I left my apartment in Egypt and walked out of the airport in Houston, sans shoes. A few questions but again, nothing rude, just curious. I do keep a pair of shoes in my carryon bags. My desire to remain barefoot is not worth the loss of getting on a flight but I have never had to use them.

Even at my work, I’m barefoot a good part of the day. Since I’m the HSSE manager and my department has our own building, I have made our building “shoes optional”.

I have been doing the barefoot thing for about 4 years now and can honestly say that I have never felt better. Being barefoot is not the only reason, I have made many lifestyle changes in the last several years but being barefoot is the one change that I have enjoyed the most. I’m 58 years old, have very few physical problems (the ones I do have are my own fault from years of self-abuse, like running), I take no medications and seem to have an immunity system that could kill small animals by itself.

I will continued to be barefoot as much as possible and will continue to reap the benefits from doing so. I have currently become fascinated with the concept of earthing and I believe that there is something to it, being barefoot is part of being “earthed” or “grounded” but that is the topic of another post.

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