I noticed something in Vietnam. Something insidious. Something pervasive. Something that I have dubbed “World Pants.”
And what are “World Pants?” I guarantee you’ve seen them before—probably as you scrolled wistfully through your Instagram feed—loose, billowy fabric printed with elephants and geometric shapes sitting low on the hips of a willowy backpacker as the latter stares pensively into the middle distance of some exotic landscape.
After careful study, I have come up with a theory. The lower the crotch on these billowy pants, the more worldly the traveler wearing them.
I arrived at this conclusion after observing “World Pants” ™ in their natural habitat of Southeast Asia. While these pants are incredibly easy to find, I noticed that none of the locals seemed inclined to wear them. In fact, the overwhelming majority of “World Pants” wearers were very obviously tourists, though I have a feeling they wouldn’t like to be lumped into the same category as Hawaiian-shirt-clad pensioners who wear socks with sandals.
For they are not mere tourists. They are wanderers. They are feeding their restless souls, in search of meaning and enlightenment. Never mind that they partied ‘til they puked at that hostel in Thailand. Or that they tried to fund their travels by setting up a GoFundMe page before they left.
But even among their own ranks, it’s important for them to establish where they are in the pecking order of worldliness. And this is where it gets interesting.
If you’ve only visited Thailand, the crotch of your “World Pants” may not hang more than 2-3 inches below your natural crotch. If, however, you’ve been to Thailand AND Laos, then you are allowed an additional 2 inches. Thailand, Laos, AND Bali would subsequently result in an even lower crotch. The absolute lowest “World Pants” crotch I’ve seen belonged to a blond, dreadlocked individual who had visited Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Bali, AND Cambodia.
But dear reader, lest you think I’m scorning the free-thinking explorers who wear their elephant-printed worldliness with pride, I leave you with a confession.
Those “World Pants?”
They’re damn comfortable.