I have been continuing barefooting over the past week and am still enjoying it. There have been some very hot days but I have not yet been forced to concede and put on some shoes. I have decided though that walking any real distance on gravel is really unpleasant - I took a shortcut through a park last week and walked a couple hundred meters on loose gravel and my feet were distinctly unhappy about it. I had my first negative encounter regarding barefooting with an official person today at Elli's school. I was expecting to have issues with stores or malls and such and was quite prepared to have a fight with them but I was not especially prepared for people at the school to inform me that bare feet are not allowed.
The tricky thing here is consequences. If I get in a fight with a merchant the worst that can happen is I don't go to that store again, and even that much is exceedingly unlikely; the negative consequences are just miniscule. However, if I get in a big fight at Elli's school it could make things more difficult for Wendy and Elli and I simply have to deal with the school for another 10 years or so - I can't just go to another vendor! I have no trouble with causing myself some inconvenience in the name of forwarding a project but I don't much like making other people's lives rough, particularly since the people at Elli's school have been fantastic throughout her time there.
I guess this leaves me wondering what exactly I hope to accomplish by refusing to wear shoes. Part of it is simply to understand the physical experience, part of it is to test the reactions of others and see how people perceive actions that are outside the norm and part of it is to see how others react to logic showing that their heuristics are off. I think I understand the physical experience and I have seen a good set of reactions and had some great conversations provoked by my actions, so how long should the experiment continue? I don't have good answers to these questions at the moment.