What lies be­neath in the tem­ples of Myan­mar

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

The last time my feet were given an air­ing in this col­umn was in our Oc­to­ber 10-11 is­sue last year, propped up at a Mi­ami Beach, tan­ning nicely.

Now they are back, in Myan­mar’s his­tory-rich Ba­gan, on a tem­ple floor worn smooth by the tread of Bud­dhist pil­grims. I love that the tiles are mis­matched, some are miss­ing and have been re­placed with blank pieces, or added to with ran­dom de­signs. The fact the pat­tern is all a bit crazy makes it all the more de­light­ful.

Pic­tures of bare toes may seem bor­ing, or even dis­taste­ful, but the world of In­sta­gram is full of happy feet, many posted on ded­i­cated feeds, such as @parisian­floors (one-guy one-city one-per­spec­tive). This French chap, pho­tog­ra­pher Se­bas­tian Er­ras, does wear shoes, and they’re rather pricey-look­ing pairs; the floors he chooses are divine, all tiled and mostly mo­saic, from ho­tels to great civic in­sti­tu­tions. I look for­ward to his daily posts and imag­ine my own feet placed in these ex­otic sur­rounds, prefer­ably in Bruno Magli peep-toe pumps.

I reckon such “foot­sies” are far more in­ter­est­ing than self­ies, as most of us are not fab­u­lously pho­to­genic and who wants to fol­low some­one who posts cheesy van­ity snaps by the buck­et­load, un­less they are your bestie friends or fam­ily mem­bers. I fol­low a hand­ful of celebri­ties, mostly chefs and a few sports stars such as @izzy­fo­lau. They don’t put up many pic­tures but just enough to make you feel con­nected.

Back to happy feet and ju­di­cious place­ment of same. They should be edg­ing into the pic­ture, not tak­ing it over, and proof the pho­tog­ra­pher has been there, even if fleet­ingly, look­ing down and paus­ing awhile. In this there is the no­tion that we should ap­pre­ci­ate more of­ten what lies be­neath. We are pro­grammed to look out and up when trav­el­ling, which is fine. But at places of wor­ship, footwear is of­ten not al­lowed, so let’s revel in the el­e­men­tal feel of flesh on cool floors. In Ja­pan, white slip-on socks are of­ten pro­vided in win­ter at tem­ples and shrines, but I have not en­coun­tered such a nicety else­where. So, “sock­sies”? Well, maybe.

Mean­time, for those who think it riv­et­ing to travel the world tak­ing pic­tures with a selfie stick, I re­ally wish you’d just stay at home, kiss­ing your mir­ror.

Fol­low on In­sta­gram: @su­sankuro­sawa

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