Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Useless Soap in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 22, 2013


I mistakenly just tried to wash my hands with ‘soap’ in China. The net effect of several minutes of scrubbing with that pink ooze was that my hands are probably dirtier after ‘washing’ them, than before. This got me wondering, wtf is wrong with Chinese soap?

Is it just me, or could time be better spent smashing grass between our clenched fists then wasting our time using soap in this place?

Of course, I use the term ‘soap’ in the broadest sense of the word. after all, who really knows what is in this stuff anyway. In the book ‘Poorly Made in China’ the author explains how ingenious Chinese shampoo suppliers have done away with the active ingredients of shampoo, reducing them to ‘sham-goo’ a viscous liquid made with artificial color and little else.

To me this makes sense because dedicating one’s time to things such as hygiene is not a concept the Chinese embrace. They are too busy ‘studying, sleeping, or scamming their companies’ to actually focus on ‘funk reduction’.

Blame it on Mao who said that the Chinese should not follow ‘capitalist roaders’ and should bathe as little as possible. During that spell of ingenuity, he also claimed that brushing one’s teeth should be a fortnightly affair-done once or twice per month.

Mao love being what it is, the Chinese have heeded his words and a permanent state of ‘Pig Pen’ism’ is the result. But what about the soap?

Coming back to the point of my rant, I just have to wonder if I would be better off investing my time in not trying to touch things here, rather than cull the toxins my hands are sure to possess if I do not do this. Thoughts?

Pic of a Chinese guy ‘working’ at Ikea…

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