Thursday, August 31, 2006

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to... Azerbaijan!

Azerbaijan Page in Wikipedia

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Portal

Azerbaijan International

This week's National Etiquette Award goes to Azerbaijan, as it is cutomary there to remove shoes when entering homes.

Not all of these etiquette posts are easy to write like Sweden and Turkey. I must admit I do not actually know that much about Azerbaijan.

Let me go through what I know without consulting Wikipedia. It is a former Soviet republic. It is a Muslim country. It's people speak a Turkic language. It had a nasty war with Armenia some years ago. It has oil. Radio plays a vital role in spreading the Gospel in that country. And of course people there remove their shoes in homes.

I remember when I was 13 I used to read a magazine called 'Combat and Survival' (I had a fascination with military stuff back then). There was an article in one issue about the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The site meter indicates that we have been privileged to have been visited by at least on visitor from Azerbaijan. This blog welcomes this person if he or she is reading it now. Perhaps if this person is here, he or she might like to share something about their country. Such a comment would be very welcome.

May God bless Azerbaijan and save sinners there!

Shoes at the Door

My parents are on holiday in France. Hence, I am alone in the house for the next ten days.

I decided, that as it is my house while they are away, that I will leave my shoes by the door instead of putting them in the closet.

My parents hate the sight of shoes being left by the door. They think it is really messy. However I think the sight of shoes sitting by the door is beautiful. It is the sign of people who care about keeping their home clean. Of respectful guests. Of people who take care.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Airport Security: Wow!

My sister just phoned. Her boyfriend treeated her to a surprise holiday to Dublin, Ireland for her birthday.

I was surprised to hear that she and other passengers were required to remove their shoes when going through passport control. I thought this measure was only operative on flights to America. I would not have expected this for a flight to Dublin. But then I suppose they have all the passengers going throught the same passport control place.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It has not yet gone away

We had a major flood here in June after a period of widespread heavy rain. The river system could not handle the rain. The building in which I work was flooded almost to the ceiling of the ground floor. The leaves on the trees outside still carry a layer of river mud on them, indicating just how high the water came. That river mud was deposited everywhere the river touched. The river is filthy and contaminated with any number of unhealthy elements. Even now, almost two months after the flood, the subsequent rainfall has not been enough to wash the mud deposits from many places along the riverbank. The parking lot at work still has river mud on it, which means that I get contaminated river particles on my shoes every day. The disaster may have passed, but the health hazard is still present on the ground. I do not want that in my home, so I remove my shoes at the door and ask my guests to do the same.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Very Wet Day

It was raining very heavily today. As a consequence of the heavy rain, there was a deposit of wet grit and soil outside our house. Not nice.

Removing shoes at the door is essential in wet weather. But don't forget; when it is dry the dirt is still there, just a bit drier.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to... Singapore!

Singapore Page in Wikipedia

Uniquely Singapore- Tourist site

Singapore Infomap

Singapore Government Information

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Singapore, as it is customary in that country to remove shoes when entering homes.

There are three main ethnic groups in Singapore, Chinese, Malays and Indians. In all three cultures it is generally the custom to remove shoes in homes.

If I go out as a missionary to Japan with the particular agency I am in discussions with, I will be required to spend a month in Singapore. All of their missionaries to East Asia are required to do this in order to give them an introduction to East Asia. A lady at work who had visited Singapore and Thailand helped me to see why this was necessary, pointing out that Singapore is far more westernized than other Asian countries, thus providing a gentle introduction to Asian life.

The particular mission agency apparently has few British workers in Japan, but a large number of Singaporeans. There are a large number of Singaporean missionaries out there; there are many Christians in Singapore. They are sadly predominantly of Chinese origin, Christians among the Malays are rare, being a Muslim people. There are restrictions on evangelism.

The Jehovah's Witnesses have experienced some persecution in Singapore; I understand this is mainly because of their resistance to military service.

I have recently had some lively discussions about Free Grace with a blogger called Jenson. He is a Singaporean living in London. You can visit his blog:

Jenson's Blog

His theology is firmly Reformed Baptist and he adheres to the Baptist Confession of Faith (1689).

Saturday, August 12, 2006

37 Reasons for Having a Shoes-Off Policy in Your Home


I have not run out of new posts, I am just posting this again because it is important. It so is important.

37 Reasons for having a shoes-off policy in your home:

1. Carpets are not easy to clean.
2. Carpets absorb dust and become breeding grounds for dust mites, causing the development of asthma and allergies.
3. If you do not have a carpet, the dust will not be absorbed and you are likely to breathe it in.
4. Shoes can leave marks on wood, PVC and marble floors.
5. Shoes can scratch wood flooring, especially if they have high heels.
6. Boots and high heeled shoes can cause wear and tear to carpets.
7. That goes for rugs as well.
8. Shoes pick up small particles of grit that cause wear and tear to carpets.
9. Shoes pick up traces of petrol fumes and industrial pollution.
10. Shoes can pick up pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals.
11. Shoes pick up traces of animal excrement.
12. Ever noticed how much chewing gum there is stuck to the streets?
13. In a square mile, there are more insects than people on the planet. How many do you think you have squashed on your shoes?
14. If you have a crawling baby, do you want him or her to be exposed to the dirt from people's shoes?
15. In rain or snow, you are less likely to get the floor wet.
16. If you live near a beach, you will bring less sand into the house.
17. If you have a crawling baby, you will do less damage if you accidently step on him or her.
18. If you get mad and kick the cat or dog, you will do less damage (apologies to animal lovers).
19. If your children play rough, they will do less damage.
20. It creates a less formal atmosphere.
21. It creates a greater sense of relaxation.
22. Your guests will become more like you by removing their shoes and will feel part of the family.
23. An oriental, Scandinavian or East European visitor will feel more at home.
24. It teaches children the importance of respecting and looking after things.
25. Psychologically, removing your shoes helps you to enter a frame of mind where you keep your everyday troubles outside your home.
26. It is more comfortable.
27. It is healthier for you feet to take your shoes off during the day.
28. Small children with growing feet should wear shoes only to the minimum.
29. If you wear high-heeled shoes, your feet badly need a break.
30. You can put your feet up on the sofa without taking your shoes off first (Dont tell me you put your feet on the sofa with shoes on?).
31. You can put your feet up on the coffee table without taking your shoes off first.
32. If you ever visit Japan, it will seem less weird.
33. If you are ever arrested and they confiscate your shoes, along with your belt and jewellery, it will seem less weird.
34. Your feet smell less if you do not wear them all day.
35. When you lovingly chastise your children, you will have a slipper to hand.
36. It was a Biblical custom (come on, did they wash their feet with shoes on?)
37. Do you really think the Saints in Glory are going to trample the sparkling, clean New Jerusalem with shoes on?

Friday, August 04, 2006

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to... Afghanistan!

Afghanistan Page in Wikipedia

Afghanistan Online

Afghansitan's Website

Afghanistan News.Net

I herby grant the National Etiquette Award to Afghanistan, as it is customary there to remove shoes when entering homes.

Well it must be said that not all shoes-off countries are places you would want to go on holiday to. Norway and Thailand are countries you might want to visit, but Afghanistan is not a great tourist destination.

Afghanistan is a country with a lot of problems. Civil war, a Soviet invasion, Islamic extremism and warlors. It is also the centre of the world's Heroin production and trafficking.

It was nice to see the Taliban being overthrown back in 2001, but it is a shame that the country is still so unstable and suffering from so much bloodshed. It seems almost hard to imagine U.S. and British troops being pulled out of the country.

The Taliban may have been overthrown, but the country is still under rigid Islamic domminance. No Christian witness is allowed whatsoever and Christians are under dire threat of persecution. The world's attention was nearly grabbed when a convert to Christianity from Islam was nearly put to death.

For more information on the persecution of Christian's worldwide, please visit:

Barnabas Fund

Open Doors International

Or Do You Prefer these Slippers?

WA Products- Medical and Custody Foam Slippers

Break the law and you might find yourself wearing these slippers.

ESCO Hotel Slippers

ESCO Hotel Slippers

A Turkish comapny that supplies slippers to hotels.

It would be great to stay in a hotel that provides slippers for guests.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

You are all so Quiet

I know from the site meter that there are a lot of you who are visiting and never leaving comments. It would be nice to hear from you guys.

This blog allows anonymous comments and non-registered users, so you there is no reason for you not to comment.

You are welcome to argue with us.

Maybe you agree with us? Well, we do like to be encouraged some times.