Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Phew and Yuk

Oh dear. How predictable. A Queensland MP is in trouble for suggesting that migrants need to use deodorant. She must be seeking publicity.
 
So which immigrants smell? Well, I will go further than the QLD MP.

I am a frequent public transport user and I also work with people from all corners of the globe. It is not your Asian people who smell of stale body odour. They may smell of garlic, but not BO.

It is not your Euro immigrant who smell either, including England. The Mediterranean immigrants can also smell of garlic too, but not BO.

What about your Middle Eastern type?  No, they don't smell either.

I'm afraid it is Indians. Given the number of Indians I mix with, I know it is not the norm, but higher than any other race. The only immigrants who smell of stale body odour are Indians and while I would like to suggest it is the foreign students only, it isn't. Long term Australians of Indian birth are offenders too.

R's sister and her friend caught quite a few taxis while they were visiting here last year and they commented on the BO smell of taxi drivers, and when they went to Sydney. I asked, what nationality were they in the Sydney taxis? Asian was the reply. In their parlance, south Asian, Indian.

I have sat in this post for quite some time, but then just today on the bus, two separate young Indian males boarded the bus at different stops and as they passed by my seat, both smelt of BO. Interestingly it is rarely an Indian woman who smells, but males and mostly young ones.

Note: I really hate this post. I wrote it some time ago and while I stand by what I am saying, it is offensive to the many Indians who serve us in shops, who might be friends, who we might work with, who do not have BO, but never the less, I is sayin' it.




17 comments:

  1. Can of worms, mate. Wriggling badly

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    1. Yeah, I know Michael, but...

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  2. And just for fairness, Aussies of certain persuasions do smell during summer (not a tit-for-tat comment)
    Singapore do have a HUGE influx of foreign workers (be it malay/indian/chinese from china) and when they crowd into a very cold train with the aircon blasting, anchovies have nothing on them. Of course locals are guilty as well. I prefer to blame the smell, not the race.

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    1. Michael, my mother used to nag my brain injured brother, have you put deodorant on? It is down to the parents to teach hygiene.

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  3. Well here in Geneva it seems to be everyone, including myself! Let me explain further: deodorant here seems to cost twice the price yet be half as effective. I shower every day and always apply deodorant but it has "let me down" to use a quote from an athlete in an old Rexona advert. A few other expats I've dared raise the matter with say that it's the same for them. Why is this so?

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    1. I buy the crystal deodorant it works and lasts for years and I mean years...its clean and safe unlike many others which have aluminium in them

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    2. Kath, it is obvious to me. Stronger deodorant breaches the European Community's prescribed standards.

      MC, I used that for a while until I dropped the stick and it broke in half. It worked. I bought it at Kuranda.

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  4. I've noticed a heavy body odour among certain peoples too and not only/always Indians. In one case, years ago working in a factory, a certain new arrival was questioned by other members of the team and admitted to having a shower twice a week. Further discussion and education was held and that individual was much more pleasant to be near. Later, in another factory job, another individual, we discovered that he washed daily, but thought that was enough. No deodorant. Unfortunately, he also wore the same shirt every day, and that shirt was very offensive by the end of the week, more so in summer.
    I've noticed that many older and/or immigrant people do as my mum used to, wear their good clothes when going out, then if they are still clean, no spills etc, the clothes were hung back in the wardrobe for another wearing, and the 'house clothes' put back on. Like in the old days. I remember her lending me a cardigan one day and the underarm stink was so bad I couldn't put it on. I mentioned it and from then on she washed her things more often.
    So often, when body odour is detected it may just be the clothing, not the person.
    @Kath Lockett; is it possible for your mum to send you some Aussie deodorant? The Rexona clinical protection stick is excellent.

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    1. Quite true River. Yeah, that may well be the issue. The clothes, not the person. I sometimes hang up worn shirts for another wear. I better be cautious about doing that.

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    2. Two wearings is probably fine, I do it myself, but always sniff at the underarm section first just to check. And the second wearing is just around the house, not to go to the shops, unless the first wearing was less than half a day.

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  5. Spot on Andrew - was nearly sick one time on the drive home from the airport.. it was hot and he was driving with headphones on and talking away as if he was in a call center the whole trip - begged him to put the air con on but he never responded or even heard me - opened the window but he kept with his control putting it up again - bastard he was...but others smelled less - this one stunk to high heaven

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    1. MC, there are so many reportable offences there. They are obliged to have the air con on if a customer requests it.

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  6. Ha ha ha ha :) seriously smiling. There is something refreshing about offensiveness oops, honesty.

    A chap I worked with once had the job of distributing stacks of mail for sorting [by hand]. This involved leaning forward with open armpit about 10 to 12 inches from each sorter's nose.
    "Oh Fred", a mate said one night, "show us the sole of your right shoe..." Fred obligingly lifts said shoe for scrutiny of sole. "Nah," says me mate, "it must be the other one. Show us the sole of yer other shoe..." Fred obliged.
    "Nothing. Surprised me, mate, from the smell I really thought you must have stepped in some dog shit on the way to work!"
    Cruel? Maybe. Funny? Hilarious. This was a guy [not from Indian subcontinent] who had been counselled repeatedly about personal hygiene, but still insisted on wearing polyester shirts etc. It must have been a hankering for power that kept the supervisor appointing him to the distribution of mail task.

    At the other extreme, my parent's generation [anglo/irish]. Had a bath once a week whether they needed it or not. In two inches of pee soup, if that's all that was available.

    Ooh, I bet we could go on... and on...
    Fun post!

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    1. I remember a childhood of once-a-week baths. Not so bad in the summer when we spent every day at the beach in the water. And little kids don't have underarm odour anyway, until puberty hits.

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    2. Well FC, you inspired the post, oh so long ago.

      My grandfather bathed once a week, whether he needed to or not, and he never smelt. I think River has the key, the clothes.

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  7. I very rarely experience any objectionable b.o..

    Maybe that's because I'm so stinky myself I don't notice others.

    And it's true I rarely travel by train or bus when they are crowded.

    But I also think it is a question of what b.o. one should consider objectionable. Bodies smell. We tend not to notice the smell of bodies of people with diets similar to ours, which is one reason why other ethnic groups' bodies seem smellier. Westeners stink to Chinese, for example, which I have seen put down to westerners' consumption of relatively more meat and also dairy products.

    So I notice that some people have a body odour, but only rarely do I think of it as objectionable. After all, we become accustomed to most smells so as not even to notice them within a couple of minutes. Sweaty armpit smell is probably the worst, though I'd say I've noticed that more from conspicuously down at heel people than from any ethnic group.

    Deodorant strikes me as a product sold on people's anxieties and to require it of others seems in large part to be an extension of that.

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  8. Marcellous, food smells don't worry me much. It is the stale sweat smell where you know bacteria is multiplying in its thousands. I could avoid using deodorant by showering twice a day, but normally I only shower once a day unless I am going out in the evening. I only use deodorant in the warmer months.

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