As a smug expat, I will freely admit that there are many things superior about Europe: the free healthcare, the more progressive politics, the higher incidence of atheism, the peaceful integration of many cultures and languages (for the most part), the refusal to bow down to a “customer is always right” mentality (the customer is not always right, and deserves to be shown the door every now and then), and the endless travel opportunities. It is wonderful here. So I mean no disrespect to Europeans.
That said, they tend to wear socks with sandals, which is fairly horrifying. This is not to imply I did not witness the phenomenon in the US. I did. But there it seemed to be a more fringe fashion decision among hippies, the elderly, and…European tourists. In Europe, it appears to be mainstream. I don’t understand it. Is it a conscious fashion decision? Is it a deliberate attempt to say “fuck you” to the obsessed fashionistas of the world? Is it just to protect the leather and prolong the life of the sandal? Who knows?
Just know that if you move here or even visit, you must grow accustomed to it. You have to make peace with it. You shouldn’t stare. Or laugh. Or try to take pictures surreptitiously to post to your blog. You will not be able to change the minds of those determined to commit this faux pas.
I have learned that, and must now let it go and move on.