Doug Bruns

A bifurcated garment.

In Travel on April 18, 2012 at 6:00 am

David and Julie Eisenhower fishing, 1971

Image and definition from Wikipedia:

Shorts are a bifurcated garment worn by both men and women over their pelvic area, circling the waist, and covering the upper part of the legs, sometimes extending down to or even below the knee, but not covering the entire length of the leg. They are called “shorts” because they are a shortened version of trousers, which cover the entire leg. Shorts are typically worn in warm weather or in an environment where comfort and airflow are more important than the protection of the legs.

Yesterday, here in Maine, we experienced temperatures in the seventies. Today the same. I put on shorts this morning. Shorts make me self-conscious.

I observed early in my international travels that men in other countries do not wear shorts. Can you picture a Frenchmen in shorts? I thought not. How about the man living in Bangkok or Beijing? Nope. In my travels to five continents the only men wearing shorts would also be sporting baseball caps and tee shirts which read, I heart New York, or, If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. A fanny pack often topped off the ensemble.

I hope I do not sound mean-spirited. I’m simply reporting an observation.

As I said, the weather here is superb. Our winters are long and gray; a whiff of summer sends us to the closet in search of the buried flip-flops and shorts.

This would not even be worthy of comment if not for a trip I am taking next month. I am packing for three weeks in Nepal. My time there, all but three days, will be spent in the mountains, trekking the Annapurna Circuit, with son and nephew. And yes, I will have shorts in my pack. No, I will not have a fanny-pack nor a tee-shirt with a St. Barnard on it.

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  1. Self-tanning lotion is recommended for those first-day-to wear-shorts-after-long-winter-in-Maine days. Though probably won’t fit in your backpack for Nepal.ss

    And I share your observation about European men and shorts. However, I noticed European men wearing 3/4 length pants (affectionately called ‘manpris”) years ago and they are difficult to find in the US.

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