Hygienically Dumbfounded

I am hygienically dumbfounded!  You’re probably a bit confused by my proclamation, so here’s the background.

When we were preparing to come to Taiwan just over a year ago, I stockpiled basic hygiene products:  toothpaste, deodorant, soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, razors, etc.  I also loaded up on makeup, fingernail polish, hairspray and all that girly stuff.  I thought I had enough to last until the birth of my great-grandchildren, but apparently I was wrong.  I’m trying to think of a way to put this a little delicately, but here’s the smelly truth–last week I ran out of deodorant.

So using my best logic, I concluded: I live in a country with lots of people.  People wear deodorant.  So therefore, there must be deodorant for sale in this country full of people.  Apparently I was wrong.

I decided that I would go immediately to the source of all things purchasable–Costco.  No deodorant at Costco.  Then I checked the personal products section of my local grocery store.  No deodorant at the grocery store.  Then I checked a large chain called Watsons that carries all things body related.  And Success!  They had exactly six sticks of deodorant in their large store.  Relieved, I purchased one and happily applied it the next morning.  By the end of the day, I was pretty sure that what I had purchased and applied was actually placebo deodorant.  It had the same effect as applying air to one’s armpits.

So now my only option is to wear my husbands man-deodorant.  And in great pain I ask myself, Has it really come to this?  Have I really been reduced to wearing man-deodorant?  

This is something that women just don’t do!  We have our deodorant and men have their’s and never the twain shall meet.  This is a boundary that civilized women should never have to cross.  Yet here I am, admittedly wearing man-deodorant.  The shame of it!

So yes, I am hygienically dumbfounded.  Why can I not find deodorant in this country?  Is it possible that certain races of people have more bodily glands than others?  Do Anglo Saxons have glands that other races do not?  Are we the only people who need deodorant?  Am I the only person on the planet that did not know this?

And yes, I will be putting in a rather large order to Amazon.com today.

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5 comments

  1. Carrie C · January 17, 2012

    Note to all who do not live in Taiwan…. She does not exaggerate!! This is a dumbfounding phenomenon (really? Chinese people don’t sweat??) that I have been dealing with for years (although for the record, I have not yet had to submit to wearing my husband’s hygiene products!). Erin, while you wait for your Amazon shipment, drop into Wellman’s Market – they have at least 2 kinds of deodorant for women there – you might pay upwards of $10 US a stick, but hey, it is better than being a walking Axe commercial and having all the ladies wanting to sit extra close to you at school functions.

    • debbie · January 17, 2012

      Unbelievable!!! Loved your narrative on this big problem! 🙂 Thank goodness for online shopping!

  2. Matina · January 17, 2012

    Ha! This is an amusing and intriguing post. I too, have wondered about the absense of deodorant in Asia. A Chinese friend once told me that the Chinese don’t smell bad when they sweat because they don’t eat a lot of dairy products. Not sure how true that is…

  3. Holly · January 17, 2012

    Never thought deodorant could be such a funny topic!
    Thanks for the post, Erin!

  4. Lisa · January 19, 2012

    We had a Korean foreign exchange student for a couple of months who refused to launder his clothes. Finally a missionary from Korea told me that they do far less laundry because they don’t sweat. Like at all. He was incredibly particular about keeping his feet clean, however.

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