Flashback to Taungyi, Burma 1984: after seeing EVERYBODY dressed in longyis, traditional tube skirts, I take a plunge. At the local market I buy 8 feet of brown checkered cotton cloth (men wear checkered, women plain or flowers). A guy with sewing machine turns it into a tube, there I have my first longyi, or SKIRT if you want it out loud. In the evening the local girls at the hotel have good laughs as I practice tying the contraption, something the locals do apparently without thinking while walking around carrying things in their hands.
That two-dollar skirt served me well at home for ten years as a bathrobe replacement and as a general towel/wraparound/blanket on trips to the tropics. Then I had to replace it.
With a blue version.
It looked so nice, that I could not resist to wear it to a banker friend's birthday party the next evening. With a white dress shirt and a blue tie, of course, Burmese upper class style. Part of the party crowd knew me and just smiled, the other part (other bankers) looked a bit strange, at first. Later in the evening we talked about my travels and the background story came out. It was a nice and informal evening. With a tendency to get raw skin on my groin from wearing tight underwear for days, or even weeks on end on some of my expeditions, I can easily see the benefit of wearing a loose skirt at least from time to time. When I came across the Macabi Skirt site, I first had my wife order one for herself, then I ordered three more. Two for our female friends, and you guessed it, one for myself. And I like it. I wear it at our summer house (it has been a tropical summer even here in Finland), at home, on canoeing trips. Not to a bistro yet, but maybe that time comes sooner or later, maybe. After seeing me wearing it, my firstborn son wants to borrow it and wear it to school at the start of his senior high school year. Be prepared to a rush of new orders from Finland...
Petri Kaipiainen, photographer
See Petri's expedition to Tibet, featured in "Into the Forgotten Valley" documentary by National Geographic channels and Adventure One.