Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bad Smells and Self-dialing Cell phones

In a lot of countries, it is impolite not to remove one’s shoes when entering a home. However, in my opinion, it is not always a good idea. Now, what happens if people’s foot hygiene is not up to par and their feet exude an unpleasant aroma? Isn’t it better to let them keep their footwear on rather than for you to be sitting there, wrinkling one’s nose and wondering how to let the guest know that his feet smell without hurting his feelings?

Frankly, I don’t know how people deal with that problem.

Talking about bad smells and sweat: if you move to a hot and humid place like Thailand and start working there, and are coming from a cold, dry country, your body will react by perspiring so profusely that there will be rivers of sweat running down your back because in many offices there, there is no air conditioning, plus, even if there is, you will arrive wet from the outside and you will again be emitting a smell different from what a local smells. You will them notice that your co-workers will be avoiding you.

The way to solve it: wear a good tank top/undergarment to absorb the sweat and use plenty of anti-perspirant. Also, you can bring in a change of clothes with you and get dressed in the company bathroom before you go to work. A cumbersome thing to do, but it should work.

The words:” smelly Arabs” most probably does not apply to Gulf Arabs. These not only wash every day, but several times a day because they need to perform their ablutions before prayer. And other Arabs and Muslims do the same. Most do not smell at all except of the very fragrant, oil-based perfumes that they use daily. Also, they do not use toilet paper but rather, a certain sprinkler to remove the impurities left after the evacuation of wastes from the organism. They are circumcised and extremely clean people. They also wear sandals, so their feet do not get sweaty and infected with various bacteria causing odors. Public flatulence is seen as some of the worst social offense one can commit. Women’s genital hygiene is also superb as they remove access pubic hair and thus, their crotches are never fetid. Personally, I do not know where they got the idea that Arabs stank; they do not stink at all. They are most possibly some of the cleanest people on the planet.


If you do not lock the dial of your cell phone and just put it in a pocket, it can start dialing all by itself; usually numbers that are listed under A and B, and the most recently dialed ones. In some countries ( and even in your home country), you can really disturb some people and even get a warning from the local phone company and even harassment threats.

I inadvertently dialed my boss, then AAA (Arab Automotive Association) and all the people in my phonebook that have Arab names which very often start with an A: Ali, Abdullah, Ahmed, Abdurahman, Asad, Alizadeh, etc. Luckily, they knew me and figured out my phone was acting up. But my boss was not pleased. Be careful with those. Get one of those clam-like phones or set an automatic keyboard lock to some 30 seconds, otherwise, there will be trouble.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

An Algerian joke:

A man farted in the public square and fled the town in shame. Only after many years did he dare return. On the outskirts of town he approached a boy in hopes of determining if he was still infamous.

"Hello, young man," he began, "What is the name of this road?"

The youth replied, "Hello, sir. You are on The Road by which the Farter Fled."