Cultural Adoption Fail: Pant-less in Chiang Mai

I like to blend in when traveling.  When in Europe, I am often mistaken for a local and asked for directions.  I was not disillusioned enough to think that would be the case in Southeast Asia, but I thought I would at least make an attempt.  That attempt came in the form of the ubiquitous Thai fisherman pants.  These pants are amazing, albeit cliche, and I sought them out immediately upon arriving and managed to score a few pair in Chiang Mai at the Night Market.

With a few pair in tow, I realized quickly that these pants were a bit more tricky than first imagined.  They are quite loose in waist and have two strings that come around from the back that are supposed to secure the pants in place somehow….somehow.  I tried a few different methods, not knowing the proper way to tie the pants, and finally settled on what I thought was a secure tie around.  Thought, being the operative term here.

Fast forward to the night market once again.  Picture it.  I’m standing on the corner near McDonald’s humming my “I am going to get run over” jingle waiting for the best moment to make a run for it. I see an opening eyeing a tuk tuk far in the distance and go for it.  And then, I got that feeling.  Yes, the “Sh*t, my pants” feeling…comma optional.

By the time I made to the other side of the street, I was holding on to my pants which were effectively mid-thigh.  I looked around to notice a few people amused at my snafu and immediately snatched up my trousers trying to replicate, to a higher degree of proficiency, my tie around.  Basically, I lost my pants in the streets of Chiang Mai; cant wait to tell the grandkids about that one.

I’m not easily embarrased and thanks to my trusty Under Armour shorts, I managed to save a bit of face. I made a quick tie and kept it moving, lol. I bought some fisherman pants with an elastic waistband on the way home.  Figured it better to start at the basic level of cultural adoption before putting my big girl pants on….



2 thoughts on “Cultural Adoption Fail: Pant-less in Chiang Mai

  1. Your accounts are truly facinanting… I’m very excited to read all about what you’re learning in this region and what you’re learning as it relates to your own identity…

    Love you,

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