Thursday, June 11, 2009

China's Distinctive Scent

Doesn't matter where in the country they're from, people in Beijing seem to have the same habit -- wearing the same clothes several days in a row.
And if they have a new favourite shirt or dress, then they may even wear it two weeks straight -- even if it has a food stain.
This rule applies 365 days a year, during the bone-chilling winters to blazing hot summers.

There isn't much mutual understanding that after a hot day, perspiration accumulates on the said beloved clothes, creating a stink to put it mildly.

Which brings me to people wearing their favourite workout clothes at the gym.

This morning I was running on the treadmill, when a middle-aged man, probably in his late 30s got on the treadmill next to me. But before he started running, he opened the window in front of him for some fresh air which was a very good idea because the gym gets very stuffy without much air circulation.

After he figured out which TV show he wanted to watch on the personal screen hanging above him (a period drama), he proceeded to run quite fast, without much of a warm-up.

Then not long afterwards, I started to smell something bad on my left... like a shirt that had been through several workouts but still hadn't been washed...

If he hadn't opened the window I think I would have convulsed from the old sweat stench and gagged. The odorous perfume would have been so overpowering, we'd all have to evacuate the gym and wait several hours for the air to clear.

Of course I'm exaggerating, but he did smell bad and it was probably from the unwashed shirt.

Doesn't he realize he was creating a stink?

People don't seem to smell their clothes to make sure they are still relatively fresh before wearing it for the fifth time in a row. Nor do they seem to have a rule of washing an item of clothing after wearing it a few times.

Anti-perspirant sales aren't doing well here either.

Smell? What smell?


ks said...

Ignorance on personal hygiene is another "ills" of the Chinese. They hate shampooing their hair for fear of catching a head cold thus headaches. They don't clean the navel for fear of having stomach pain. At one instance I have seen a lady with a mushroom like lump growing from her belly button. It turned out to be a clump of dirt/mud. She never washed that part of her body as she was told by her mother not to do it.

ChopSuey said...

i noticed the same about mainland chinese/taiwanese that come to live in canada/states. they have to be taught how to use deodorant even if they are scrupulous about showering.