I have to admit: I love the rain. I really truly do. I could handle as many days of rain in a row as you can throw at me. In fact, too many sunny days and I go a little crazy. I love the sound of it, the feel of it, the smell of it, the way it changes the world around me and washes the sky. I love misting rain, torrential downpour, constant drizzle and big puddles. What I don’t like is the need to stay clean inspite of it.
In Kyrgyzstan shoes are a very important part of your ensemble. In almost every home as you walk through the door there is a shoe horn and there is a shoe brush as well as black and brown polish available for a guest to use. You will be taking off your shoes as you walk in the door, since we never ever wear shoes in the house. But, it is of utmost importance that you wear nice shoes (i.e. the kind you can polish, not tennis shoes) and that they look good as you walk in the door and as you walk out the door. This is a problem in a country that is made up of a majority of dirt roads. Because dirt roads turn into mud when it rains. And mud gets everywhere.
If I had my way, I would put up with the mud and wear golashes everywhere I go and not worry about how I look or how my feet look. But, that isn’t ok here. It is far more important that I respect the customs and wear shoes that bring honor to the home that I enter. So, on days when it is really muddy, I wear my hardy boots, carrying my nice shoes in a plastic bag and before I enter a home or an office, I change my shoes and make myself presentable. And I still hope it will rain with a great display of thunder and lightning topped off by a rainbow tomorrow.