Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fashion and the Fisherman, Santiago style. With bonus mention of obscure animals!

And now, a little fluff! Everyone likes fluff, right?

I can't wait to wear my fishing pants. You see, in my miniscule closet, next to the dress pants I never wear, the courdoroys I'm trying to retire into the far reaches and the jeans I wear most days are a set of pants called fishing pants. Oh sure, you may know them as capris, those I'm not pants and I'm not shorts pants that come somewhere to the mid shin. I promise, mine are not white, nor do they have kittens on them, as some of you may think these pants are for the truly fashion impaired. In fact, I have a number of pairs, in all kinds of colors, ranging from khaki to brown.

Pescadores (or capri pants, formerly known as clamdiggers in the United States) are one of those words that I love, because I intuitively knew what it meant, without having someone explain it to me. Simple, see? It's a garment of clothing that fishermen could wear, and it's plural. And like that, synapse A sent a small charge to synapse B and I figured it out. Clickety click went the little wheels inside my head.

Now, I don't love pescadores only because I was able to figure out what they were. I also intuited that jardineras, in addition to being corn, carrot and pea succotash (this I could not figure out on my own) were overalls, because of their relationship to the word for gardener, and you will not catch me wearing overalls any time this century, despite having figured that out. And if you do, you are welcome to look at me, cock your head to the side and say, "really? overalls?" in the language of your choice, and hopefully one that I speak, otherwise I will wonder and be confused and have to ask google and all my other friends to figure out what it was.

So my love for pescadores is not purely linguistic, although if you compare then to another word I really like, ornitorrinco, you'll see how good pescadores are. If you speak even just a tiny bit of Spanish, you can break the word down, figure out it means fishermen, and then think about what they could wear. Ornitorrinco? Whatcha got there? Friends, believe it or not, that is a duck-billed platypus, not to be confused with an otorrino, which is an ear-nose-and-throat doctor, try not to get these confused, though context would be a handy tool.

Pescadores are my beloved pants because they signal the arrival of spring, something that has been slow in coming in this hemisphere, despite the rapid-fire four-in-a-row sneezes of late. Two nights ago I had to cover my face (not my eyes, silly) with a scarf on my way home from Las Condes on my bike, and even wear wind-proof gloves. I'm getting ready to do my monthly cactus watering, and thinking about how this time last month, I thought that by this time this month I'd have to step up the watering because it would be so warm. (side note: see? I can take care of things! (provided they do not require much care)).

Not yet, says the universe, and so my pescadores hang in the closet, there is nary an ornitorrinco in sight and I pull on wool socks every morning before going out. It's still too cold to drink iced coffee, to cold to leave the windows open in the evening, and too cold to bare my shins to the world. Or maybe it's just mother nature's way of telling me I have not one iota of fashion sense.

SerĂ¡ (oh well).

4 comments:

Bystander said...

Ah, my son is a devotee of pescadores! They are getting harder to find for guys. Yes, men have fashion trends too. I have been handed an old torn pair and asked to get them copied in "the same material". Men have fashion trends but no idea of the basics involved.
So I will be off to Independencia soon.
Roll on Spring!

Eileen said...

haha bystander, let's call it the curse of having lived in Chile. It's just that pescadores area always okay to wear, even when shorts aren't. Have fun buying the material! I have some extra material lying around, but unless his pescadores were made of sunflowers, I don't think it would work! Hope you guys are well, btw!

Annje said...

I am a fan of capris-pescadores myself, (and not jardineras--what is up with those?) though with my short little legs, they sometimes look like highwaters. I like that you can wear them in contexts where shorts are not appropriate (like to work). I am not sure how much I like capris on men though, they would def. have to be called pescadores, but even the name might not change my opinion.

Otorrinolaringologo was one of the hardest words for my Nursing students when I was teaching Span for healthcare professionals. They wanted to say Ey-ene-te.

Fly Girl said...

Any why aren't we treated to a photo of your beloved pescadores? I like capris too but I really want to see what your look like and if they make you look Chilean!