Thursday, August 30, 2007

BO or Mildew?

One of the things you experience in this country is BO, on other people. And you know how people say that Westerners smell different? They're right - there's a specific pungency with tourists/expats that is difficult to pinpoint. Reminds one of college, when vegetarians on campus would claim the meat eaters were stinking up the joint. They were right too, and most would have agreed with the chubby vegans, if not for the cloud of patchouli that permeated the air.

As mentioned earlier in this blog, one of our wisest purchases since getting here was an electric clothes dryer. Sure, it doesn't help the energy crunch that this country experiences, but, like most people, we're selfish like that. This past week I mistakenly did some laundry and left the house for a half a day prior to sticking it in the dryer.

So the clothes were washed, spun dry and sat around in the laundry tub on the balcony of the apartment for 8 hours. That night I dumped it in the dryer. It came out smelling a tad mildewy, I guess, but I thought I could live with it.

Next day, I wore a pair of pants that were from that load of laundry. Man, it kinda smelled like spilt milk all day. So perhaps there's not so much BO in Hanoi and the wafting scents are caused more by the line drying that most everyone does here. With the humidity, it takes at best a few days to line dry something.

But to be safe, all you Hanoians should wear some deodorant anyhow. The local selection is really weak, unless you like roll-on stuff. I actually loaded up on stick deodorant while visiting Singapore and elsewhere, but found the above stock of aluminum chloride delivery devices in a shop along West Lake.

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