Inspired by and written in the spirit of the popular blog and book by Christian Landers, Stuff White People Like. No Peace Corps volunteers have been harmed in the making of this post.
4. Wearing bandannas
Bandannas were originally made from leftover scraps of fabric and designed to keep sweat on one’s brow from dripping down into one’s eyes. They were popularized by cowboys with flasks of whiskey in hand who ran multi-day cattle drives under the searing Texan sun.
Bandannas are now made in myriad colors and patterns carefully chosen to evoke the Old West and designed to create the illusion that the wearer does the type of work which generates sweat. They are popularized by Peace Corps volunteers with Nalgene bottles in hand who have multi-day explosive diarrhea under the big spiders in their latrines.
Peace Corps volunteers love these things. You will not find a Peace Corps volunteer leaving his or her house without wearing one bandanna and stowing two more in different colors in his or her dusty backpack in case of emergencies, like copious amounts of sweat or an outfit change. They are the ultimate Peace Corps Chic accessorizing tool.
The reason why bandannas are not omnipresent in America is because it is difficult to convincingly sell the perception that you are doing hard, sweat-inducing labor while brewing overpriced soy lattes made from organic, fair-trade coffee beans grown in [your Peace Corps volunteer’s host country]. Which is what all bandanna-wearing Peace Corps volunteers were doing after they graduated college with their expensive liberal arts degrees.
If a Peace Corps volunteer takes the additional step of fashioning a bandanna out of a local [your Peace Corps volunteer’s host country] fabric, he is serious about his textiles and was probably the type of person to measure the leg openings of his tapered-leg chinos back when he wore chinos.