The men of the UAE wear these blindingly white man dresses, most of the time referred to as kanduras but sometimes called dishdashas or thobes. I was immediately curious as to what was worn underneath. Boxers or briefs? And admit it; you are too. Otherwise you would have quit reading by now.
Thankfully, I fell into friendship with a British woman who was also curious and who made it her quest to find out. It only took about three weeks until she relayed her findings.
“Hey Lorraine.” I just never could get in to the British “cheers” greeting.
Lorraine pulled her chair up to the table and whispered dramatically, “Well, I know.”
“What’s under those dresses?”
“No. You didn’t. What’d you do?” I don’t know if I was more shocked that she knew or that she must have actually had physical contact with one of these unattainable white-robed men.
“Oh, yes I did. I found out.”
“Well, they don’t wear boxers.” She paused and winked at me, then continued, “And they don’t wear briefs.”
“What? Nothing? You’re joking?”
“Nope. Nada. Nothing. Commando.” She emphatically shook her head back and forth with every word.
“Holy crap. How’d you find out? Never mind, I don’t want to know,” I laughed. “But really. How do you know?”
“So, you remember Khalid from the other night?” She looked around as if we were on a covert mission and relaying highly dangerous information.
“The Emirati who was buying beer for all of us?”
“Yes, that one. Turns out he wanted to have a little fun.”
“Oh, my gosh. I don’t want to hear this,” I mockingly covered my ears.
But she continued, “Oh, I’ll spare you the details.”
“Just tell me about the kandura.”
“Well, when the long dress is off, there is actually another cloth under there.”
“Yeah, it’s just wrapped around their waist.”
“Like a skirt?”
“Yeah, like a wraparound skirt.”
“Well, that makes sense, because you can see a second layer under there that usually stops around their shins,” not that I had really checked it out. Ok, I had.
“Yup, and then when they unwrap that….nothing.”
Upon further reading, I knew what Lorraine said was accurate. The lower garment that is typically worn wrapped underneath the starch-white kandura is called an izaar. And under that, not a lot. Ends up, I learned several things about the Emirati men through Lorraine’s many escapades.