I recently visited a new friend’s home for the first time for an evening of playing games with several other people. They have a “shoes off” policy at their house, which I immediately deduced by the several pairs of shoes on the front porch, the rack of shoes by the front door, and everyone in socks inside. I took my shoes off just inside the front door and put them next to the shoe rack.
My friend’s wife is Chinese (I think actually born and raised there). I know that in some Asian cultures not wearing shoes in the home is standard. I had not met her before, and as the evening went on, I did not like her.
When I went to leave, I couldn’t find my shoes. I asked, and the wife said she had put them outside. So I was then annoyed about what seemed like an obvious lack of hospitality, and about having to put on cold shoes.
Now, I may have been the only guest who took off his shoes inside. Was I wrong to do so? Is there a culture in which that was a presumptuous or gauche move? I’ve been to several other houses where shoes are not worn inside, but they’re still kept inside.
It seems to me that keeping someone’s outerwear inside where it’s warm is pretty basic hospitality, but maybe my reaction is colored by my general dislike.