I have an obsession with my feet....no not a foot fetish...but a real anxiety about the state of my feet.
Before I came to Turkey my feet were OK...not beautiful..but pretty good. I used to enjoy buying shoes...I had quite a collection at one time. Not any more.
On my first holiday to Turkey I, like most holidaymakers, spent a lot of time barefooted, as you do. Somehow I picked up an infection in my big toe. It was very sore and swollen, and I got some lotion and dressings from the chemist which seemed to clear it up.
All was fine with my feet until I moved out here to live. I developed some kind of fungal infection under the toenails. It started with the big toe that was previously infected and gradually spread to the other nails. I had a course of treatment which cured the infection but left my nails yellow and crumbly. I've seen several doctors but although the infection is long gone,my nails have never been the same since.
After I'd been here a few years, the skin on my heels started to crack. They were particularly bad during the harsh winters in Cappadocia and I had to have antibiotics and various creams for them. But in spite of my taking a great deal of care of my feet...they still look awful. I get embarrassed when buying shoes...usually in the UK ...and I now opt for comfort rather than fashion. M & S footgloves are the most comfortable.
It is part of Turkish culture to remove ones shoes when entering someone's home, and I used to hate doing this because I didn't want anyone to see my feet.
However, over the years I have noticed that the vast majority of Turks have bad feet. Similar problems to mine in fact. It's not something that I feel comfortable about bringing up in conversation. For example, I was invited in for tea at my neighbours house this morning, and I noticed that her feet were very bad. Well I could hardly say to this woman that I don't know very well "Oh your feet are worse than mine..Why do you think that is?"
No-one mentions it or what causes it. I think the dry and dusty roads and humid atmosphere probably contribute. But also the removal of shoes when entering homes must spread infection? Some people have spare slippers for their guests to use....I do...and I wash them after people have used them, but I'm not sure others do the same. I'm happiest in winter because I can just remove my boots and keep my socks on.
Interestingly, on my trips back to the UK, even if only for a week, the state of my feet improves but never quite enough.
I'd really love to have a pedicure but sadly I just can't pluck up enough courage to expose my very unhappy feet.
(Edited to add: I can't imagine what possessed me to write a post about my feet...I was just about to delete it due to embarrassment...but then thought...oh what the hell...let it stay!)