Museum Musings: the crowds poured in from Patagonia, Siberia and India

If you wonder why I haven’t posted much recently it’s because we are having one of the busiest summer seasons at the Museum, and I come home too exhausted to write.

I served:

  •  a beautiful young woman whose Visa card told me her name was  Priya. It’s the second time I’ve served someone with that name.  I have a blogging buddy called Priya who lives in India, and after I served the young woman and wondered about the coincidence, a blonde four-year-old American girl called India came to my register. Wow!
  • a family from Patagonia. After I told them it was the first time I’ve seen a credit card from the Bank of Patagonia they showed me their driver’s license.
  • a Russian family from the Siberian town of Salekhard  [population of 42,494 according to Wikipedia]. They didn’t speak much English but with the help of their sister who lives in L.A. they told me it’s the only town in the world in the Polar circle [Coordinates of 66°32′N 66°36′E],  agreed it’s awfully cold in Siberia, Los Angeles is a wonderful place, and showed me their passport.
  •  I watched a woman sitting on the bench opposite me taking off one shoe at a time, rubbing each aching foot, putting the shoe back on to rub the other foot… I smiled at her and said, “Make yourself comfortable and take off both shoes,”  but she didn’t understand English, so I tried using sign language, but she thought I was telling her she wasn’t permitted to take off her shoes and immediately put them both back on.  Oh man…  I managed to explain that I sympathized with her sore feet, so she gratefully took off both shoes and tried to tell me something, but I couldn’t understand her. She was from the Philippines. When her friends came to fetch her, she gave me the fruits (in the picture below) called jujubes. Thank you, very tasty.


  • When Wazir, the Security Guard, reminded the woman taking a picture to please not take pictures in the gallery she became indignant and said, “I”m not taking photos! This is my cell phone, not a bloody camera!”
  • A woman sitting on the bench opposite me lifted her arm and smelled her arm pit.
  • Problem with English:  Do you have a hearing aid? the young man asked me. [He meant “headphones” ].

Sue arrives at Madrid airport without shoes

Last week I overheard a Security Guard telling a woman to put shoes on her 18 month old baby.

“Why?” I asked.

“You aren’t allowed to be barefoot in the museum,” was the answer.

That sounded ridiculous to me.   I walked along the Camino with Sue Kenney who walked the route barefoot,  and I photographed her when she walked “sin zapatos” off the plane into Madrid airport.

Yesterday I was surprised and happy to see a woman walking barefoot past my Satellite Store into the galleries. I’m delighted to report that no one kicked her out.

About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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43 Responses to Museum Musings: the crowds poured in from Patagonia, Siberia and India

  1. Nice stories – reminded me of my January visit to Haugesund in Norway. It was cold and wet so I went inside the museum. I wasn’t expecting a great deal I have to say but it was something to do for an hour or so. It wasn’t very busy and a young museum attendant greeted me in Norwegian which meant nothing to me of course so I just said that I would like to visit the museum. ‘You speak English’ she asked, ‘I am English’ I replied and she gave me a quizzical look that asked what I was doing there so I felt obliged to offer an explanation about cheap flight opportunities and never been to Norway before etc. and she seemed genuinely pleased to see me and in perfect English explained about the museum and suggested that I might find it nicer to return in the summer.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Andrew,
      I love those little meetings. Were you the only tourist wondering around the wet cold streets?

      I met a woman from Norway at my cash register once and when I remarked how well she spoke English she said there are less than five million people in her country so in order to speak and be heard they learn English.

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Junie Moon says:

    Do you remember when we went everywhere barefoot? I hitchhiked around Europe without shoes in 1970. We’d walk along hot sidewalks sans footwear. What happened to that spirit? My feet are still here, only bright blue rubber between them and the floor… No, wait, now they’re bare! Thanks for this, Rosie. The world comes to you via the museum.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Junie Moon,
      What a pleasure to welcome you back to my blog. Thank you for you taking the time to share your memories with me.

      I think that glimmers of that free-spirit are beginning to pop up. I noticed the woman walking barefoot in the museum, because of the outfit she was wearing and the friendly expression on her face…

      When Mr F and I traveled around Europe in 1972 we wore shoes. I know I know how boring of us, but in my defense I think it had a lot to do with the weather: we weren’t there in the summer. We traveled when the sidewalks were freezing cold!

  3. I was in a convention center once where the air conditioning was so cold I had to go outside, take off my shoes and warm my feet on the hot pavement.

  4. Val says:

    How ridiculous not to be allowed to be barefoot there! Is it an actual rule or have you just got a ‘more than my job’s worth’ security guard?

    Oh and an armpit sniffer! 😉

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Val,
      I don’t know whether it’s an actual rule or the security guard’s dislike of bare feet.

      I’ve seen many people picking their noses on the bench opposite me but it’s the first time I’ve seen an armpit sniffer. 🙂

  5. Boris says:

    Most bare feet are beautiful ; I wonder what the feet of those Mexican tribes-people look like -They’re famous for winning all terrain, super long-distance foot races…nice post!

  6. sybil says:

    What an interesting job you have.

  7. Your museum posts are just my favorite. So much life in there!! I know it’s not the most fascinating job to you, but you do make it fascinating to us readers!! xooxox b

  8. I’m sure you must be very busy! I love to hear the stories of the patrons. I am quite confident the whole world passes in front of you on a regular basis! That’s so funny about the shoes, Rosie…on a baby? Hope you get some rest soon…Debra

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Debra,
      In all the busy crowds I keep looking up expecting you at my cash register…:-) Come early if you do. The Museum parking lot was full by 11 yesterday.

      I still can’t understand why the Security Guard insisted on the shoes.

  9. shoreacres says:

    Well, I’m not much for barefootin’ it, unless I’m at home or on a beach. Nice, soft grass is good for bare feet, too, but there isn’t much of that in Texas! Even on my boats, I rarely go barefooted when I’m working. There’s too much opportunity to break a toe.

    I don’t think shod people are less free-spirited, at all – and I’ll defend the rights of the bare-footed to the end!

    I enjoyed reading about the polar circle. I didn’t know about that – very interesting.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Linda,
      Oh my word I’m sure you aren’t able to walk about barefoot when you’re working on boats. Can you wear soft boat shoes, or must they be hard working-person’s boots?

      Very happy I could share something you didn’t know.

      • shoreacres says:

        Boat shoes! I have a whole wardrobe of Sperrys, including a pair of Sperry sandals. I haven’t had a pair of heels on in….ummm…. a while! Another benefit of my job!

      • dearrosie says:

        As I understand it your job has so many benefits i.e. working outdoors, in hours that suit you and wearing comfortable Sperrys.

  10. Fun and interesting stories. It’s always fascinating to meet other people from other countries. We learn something new everytime. Have a great weekend.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi IT,
      At this time of the year I’m always surprised when the person I’m serving tells me they’re from L.A. because this is the month when Europeans travel and everyone at my cash register seems to comes from somewhere else.

      I really enjoy guessing where they come from just by listening to their conversations.

  11. bronxboy55 says:

    “I’m not taking photos! This is my cell phone, not a bloody camera!” There should be some kind of Congressional medal for anyone who works directly with the public.

    I wonder if there are people who don’t wear shoes because it’s against their religion. If that situation hasn’t happened yet, it will soon.

    I love these Museum posts, Rosie.

    • dearrosie says:

      Don’t you just love the
      “I’m not taking photos! This is my cell phone, not a bloody camera!”
      quote Charles?
      I think if I ever take your advice and publish a book on these Museum Musings that should be the title of the book.

  12. Priya says:

    There is so much one can learn about people and the world from these posts of yours, Rosie.

    You shine simply by displaying that you are making the best of a job that is very difficult even on the best days. A big hug.

  13. Arindam says:

    Rosie auntie, every time you write something about the museum, it always leaves a smile on my face. I will say it again that, you have the best job in this world. 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Arindam,
      It feels good to know that simply reading one of my Museum Musings leaves you with a smile on your face.
      When you say I have the best job in the world, I wonder whether you think you could do it?

      • Arindam says:

        I would have love to do it, but not sure how good I would be at it. Still I would never mind, supplying a hearing aid in form of a headphone to someone. 🙂 May be in my next birth I will able to get such a job.

      • dearrosie says:

        Do you ever go to Art Museums? I’d love to hear about it…

      • Arindam says:

        No, Never. I am not even sure, if there is one anywhere near to my place.

      • dearrosie says:

        I don’t know how to respond to that. I had no idea that there were people like yourself – I believe you’re university educated – who have never ever been to a Museum.

        I don’t know where you live, are you near a big town like Bombay or Calcutta or Delhi which I “assume” should all have museums?

      • Arindam says:

        No I do not live in north India. I live in a city of South India although I belong to east India. I have to visit a museum as soon as possible. As you say, it does not look nice for an Engineering graduate never visiting a museum. 🙂

      • dearrosie says:

        You’re living in South India now but grew up in the east? When you say the east do you mean Calcutta?

        Yes an Engineering graduate should definitely make his way to a Museum. In this country children go to Museums with their schools. I’m surprised you didn’t go on a school outing to a museum.

        When you look up museums near you remember that there are museums with art on the walls and museums with reproductions of dinosaurs or explorations of the moon or fish swimming in tanks, and Museums which chart the History of India and so on…

        I look forward to hearing about it.

  14. souldipper says:

    Rosie, thank you for your humanness. Sore feet, bare feet – there are times when rules, built for some other obscure reason, just turn life into hardship. I’m so glad the Filipino woman took both shoes off. It’s those things in life that create heroes. You were one that day.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Amy,
      Thank you for recognizing my humanness. I like to treat people the way I’d like them to treat me. If my feet were sore after walking around in a museum and I wanted to take off my shoes I’d get pissed off if some busy-body sitting behind a cash register told me to put my bloody shoes back on.

  15. Reggie says:

    As so often, I find your snippets of museum life fascinating, Rosie. And walking barefoot feels sooo good, particularly after a day of squashing your feet into socks-and-shoes. I love wearing sandals, because it’s the closest compromise to going barefoot.

    • dearrosie says:

      Welcome back Reggie. Always a pleasure to know you’ve popped in.
      I’m really delighted to know you enjoy reading my little snippets of museum life.

      I used to love going barefoot on the beach, but since my daughter visited us earlier this year and got tar on feet walking on the beach in Malibu I don’t find the sand so inviting. We had the hardest time getting the tar off. I can’t remember what we used… something strange.

      • Reggie says:

        Thank you, Rosie.

        Tar on your feet? That sounds horrid.

        I’ve become wary of walking barefoot on the beach – all too often, there are glass shards or fishing hooks buried in the sand, never mind the more natural things, like jagged-edged sea-sheels and stinging blue-bottles… – I prefer walking on the beach in sandals now, unless it’s a really pristine beach in a protected nature reserve or something like that, and then it’s heavenly! 🙂

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