I was waiting for my train and typing an e-mail on my smartphone this afternoon when someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was an elderly gentleman who simply said “Excuse me, your shoes are untied. Please tie them and watch out when walking.” while passing by. I thanked him for his thoughtful remark and continued writing.
I heard the same remark often, almost every time just a few seconds before or after my shoes come untied which made me wonder…
1) if it’s part of the German culture I was not so much aware of until now
2) if people stare at my feet and as soon as they see a sign of my shoelaces getting loose they immediately let me know
3) if I tie my shoes correctly
While any or all of these could be true, the last item is the only I can do something about. And believe it or not I found a TED talk about the skill of tying shoes (Terry Moore: How to tie your shoes). I don’t know if it will help me improve my shoe tying skills, but it was definitely one of the witties short talks I’ve seen lately. Three minutes well spent.
One question remains, though. Why do people tend to make others aware of untied shoes more often than of anything else (which is potentially more essential)?