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View Full Version : Alright. I really need to understand this.



Ghost
28-04-2004, 20:56
I know there will probably be smart ass replies to this, but I really need to understand why it happens. I'm sitting here in my office in Warsaw (yes, I'm not in Moscow at the moment) and while I'm finishing the day's work, the cleaning lady comes in. She empties the trash, waters the plant and leaves. Just then I am assaulted with a horrible BO stench that almost knocks me out.

This happens a lot in Eastern European countries. Hell, not always Eastern either (ever been to Paris in the summer?). My maid in Moscow has this issue, as well as lots of other Metro traveling business folk. Is there some sort of cultural thing I'm not aware of that makes people want to smell like this? I'm really not trying to be a jerk here, I swear. But why do people simply refuse to partake in deodorant?

Why, God? Whyyyyyyyyy?

-Ghost

Nagant Guy
28-04-2004, 21:43
Not just one answer to this.

Many people in Eastern Europe don't have a regular supply of hot water. That means taking cold baths/showers. In colder climates that isn't really an inviting prosprect. In humid places like St. Petersburg when clothes are washed they are hung inside the flat to dry. May take several days. A lot of people only have 2 or 3 sets of clothes. So washing every day is not practical. Adding deodorant on top of a smelly body and smelly clothes doesn't really help.

Then there are some people who are allergic to deoderants. Not much choice in the matter.

Some are just ignorant and don't understand the need.

As for the French, they must think that their bodies, like their movies, policital and military advice are perfect like they are and you should accept them no matter how much they stink.

pengwn9
29-04-2004, 00:05
Yes, I think we've all noticed this phenomenon. I think part of it has to do with diet. Eating raw onions pickled with dill and garlic may be a culprit.

And sometimes I think they just don't feel like taking a bath.

We went on a 3 day bus tour with all Russians. Had a great time. But I noticed that some of them hadn't bathed, even though we all stayed in the same hotel, and everyone had a private bathroom.

Place had wonderful big old-fashioned tubs. I spent half the morning floating around in ours.

Maybe it's just not their habit to get scrubbed up every day.

natalia_apple
29-04-2004, 01:10
Originally posted by Nagant Guy
Not just one answer to this.

Many people in Eastern Europe don't have a regular supply of hot water. That means taking cold baths/showers.

maybe you at least will not picture people in Eastern Europe as dirty pigs?

Did it occur to you that its possible to install a special heater into your pipes so you dont depend on hot water shortages? Or at least heat up water in a big pot, pour it on yourself and washthis way? Or go to a banya/sauna/sports complex where you can take a shower, we're not from the caves, after all!

mitam77
29-04-2004, 02:00
Dear Natalia
I thought Ghost is talking about maids in Moscow /warsaw!!
These maids going to banya/sports complex/sauna for a shower before going on cleaning jobs?? on the salary they earn??

DaveUKagain
29-04-2004, 02:28
I remember sitting on a Metro train on my second day in Moscow with my face in a babushka`s armpit thinking, "Hm"....... :D I think that a lot of people in Moscow / Russia get simply crushed by their salaries, their difficult lives and hum drum jobs and either stop caring....... or have more important things to worry about.

natalia_apple
29-04-2004, 02:41
Originally posted by mitam77
Dear Natalia
I thought Ghost is talking about maids in Moscow /warsaw!!
These maids going to banya/sports complex/sauna for a shower before going on cleaning jobs?? on the salary they earn??

its possible to heat up water in a big pot, pour it on yourself and wash this way?

sorry I get repetitive

Nagant Guy
29-04-2004, 02:47
Natalia, Heating up water on the stove and washing will do a minimal job of getting clean. It doesn't really work well. A lot of people don't have the money for extra water heaters. Many can just barely earn enough to live on. Going to public facilities isn't always practical or desireable. Maybe you live in a different reality than most people.

natalia_apple
29-04-2004, 02:49
you seem so much into the subject, keep it up!

Nagant Guy
29-04-2004, 02:52
Originally posted by natalia_apple
its possible to heat up water in a big pot, pour it on yourself and wash this way?

sorry I get repetitive

I have done what you suggest in Russia. Didn't really get clean. Just couldn't take it after 3 days and gave it a try. Eventually the hot water came back and I got a real shower. Clothes washed in cold water don't really get clean. Eventually the smell builds up.

Now, why it up with Russian shower curtains? About as thin as Saran Wrap. They try to cling to you instead of just hanging down.

natalia_apple
29-04-2004, 02:56
Originally posted by Nagant Guy
Clothes washed in cold water don't really get clean. Eventually the smell builds up.

Now, why it up with Russian shower curtains? About as thin as Saran Wrap. They try to cling to you instead of just hanging down.

Heat up the water!!!!!
Dont be lazy when rubbing yourself!!!!

Most important thing of all,

USE SOAP!!!!!

As to getting stuck in the curtains, sorry mate, cant really help with this problem, better ask Dr Limitchik!

polly
29-04-2004, 03:18
i think, natalia, that the people posting in this thread have less problem with BO than do the people they are surrounded by (stanky Russians). That is not to say that all Russians are stanky.

Ghost: do you think your maid would react well if you gave her a "present" of some Rexona or Secret deoderant? I don't know if you were in Moscow when this one ad was being shown, but there was this really lame commercial when someone got deoderant for a present from a friend and was nearly euphoric. Perhaps this bodes well.

DaveUKagain
29-04-2004, 03:52
Perfume`ll do the trick. :D May do the trick TOO well, Ghost, and you`ll be fighting the maid off for months. ;-))))))))

polly
29-04-2004, 04:12
perfume? oh god, please excuse me while i vehemently disagree!
bowl-you-over BO mixed with perfume is NOT better.

am4rw
29-04-2004, 05:37
Originally posted by polly
perfume? oh god, please excuse me while i vehemently disagree!
bowl-you-over BO mixed with perfume is NOT better.

Welcome to the French court, circa 1780, when it was considered unhealthy to bathe and everyone doused themselves with perfume. Historians believe that, especially in winter, the smell would have killed a pig. But humans are more flexible ...

As to Nat, I agree. Stinking has more to do with self respect than hot or cold water. I don't know what the problem is with the "unwashed masses" you've encountered. Russians I know, friends and family, shower at least once a day, sometimes more. Walk in my M-in-L house in the middle of summer and she hands you a towel and points to the bathroom. Volgograd, like St. Pete, is a humid swamp in summer.

Sadie
29-04-2004, 07:04
Nagant Guy, what u say sounds strange to me. 2-3 sets of clothes? Drying clothes outside? In St. Pete? Nu, ne znaju.. I would say it used to be so MAYBE 100 yrs ago.

Ghost, as you are the boss, as we all now know, I can’t c any problem here – fire her – and daz it. Tens of the best minds of the website are deeply thinking on your thread while the solution if amazingly easy!! And !!! I would probably work out a special form of resume for the applicants to your office – containing a special question bugging the boss - how the hell often you, bastards, take the shower and wash your cloTHes. Also you could pay them the salary in deodorants ;)

Here is a check-hamster for you ;) :)

Nagant Guy
29-04-2004, 08:28
Sadie, Your comment sounds like something the nobility would say just before the revolution. Life outside Moscow or outside of the center city in St. Pete is still very hard for an average person. Maybe we just don't know the same people.

sevan
29-04-2004, 09:31
I heard a theory that it is often not the person but the clothes that smell. If the cleaning person has a separate outfit for cleaning duty that gets left at work....that could be the problem.

wwwoland
29-04-2004, 09:38
Must say things have improved drastically since soviet times when deo just wasn't to be had. Ghost -- similar to your cleaning lady bit, I remember one time interviewing a secretary for our company in small-town Belarus. Young, relatively attractive girl. But the minute she took off her coat, our eyes started to water and we were gasping for breath. Took about 3 hours and open windows to relieve the situation. Obviously we didn't hire her, but I regret at least not following up with some advice -- don't show up for job interviews with knock-out BO!

Sunstorm
29-04-2004, 10:33
I noticed the elderly women tend to *smell* more often than the young ones... my guess is that a) they don't shower as often as young ones; b) women with the menopause sweat more intencely and deodorant might not help here... but actually young ones smell too... dunno...

Gosh..... and why the hell they PISS IN THE LIFTS!?!?!!

cultural thing, non-cultural thing... let's be honest... what do you think??

Fa-Q!
29-04-2004, 10:50
Old people stink in any country.

Ghost
29-04-2004, 11:02
Nagant, Sadie's just throwing a few private jokes in my face, that's all :)

I don't want to fire someone for just stinking, and I'm too scared to give someone a present of deodorant like Polly suggested. Maybe I can just set off a Lysol bomb in my office when the maid comes in.

pengwn9
29-04-2004, 11:18
Originally posted by Fa-Q!
Old people stink in any country.

Wow dude, that's an ugly sentiment.
Doesn't sound like you.....

Ghost
29-04-2004, 11:29
Actually, that's vintage Fa-Q.

Aprill
29-04-2004, 21:49
probably we could be more tolerant to ppl who serve us?
if we consider ourselves to be civilized ppl, certainly.

Moscow Wolf
30-04-2004, 05:19
The only right thing to do is to tell the person that they smell. If you don't wish to it yourself, then get your HR Manager to do it. Most folks don't realise they have a BO problem like they don't realise they have bad breath. You have to be cruel to be kind sometimes. The Maid would probably rather suffer the indignation of being told the truth than losing her income.

I have to agree Apple, you can wash your self quite adequately from a pan of boiling water a flannel and a jug or a cup. A lot of us have to do it for a month at a time in summer when the supply is off.

The use of synthetic nylon blouses by women, especially in summer do not help the situation, without the use of a deoderant they will start to hum after a couple of hours. The plus side is that they'll keep the flies off your ice cream!

Pi$$ing in the lifts - I don't know why folks do that and why do they stick their chewing gum up in the grills over the lift doors, I'd just like to catch somebody doing it just one time!

Sheepy
30-04-2004, 07:58
Yes that is a mystery.

But even more puzzling is that in our lift someone smashes up to half a dozen raw eggs against the mirror on a daily basis :confused: Perhaps they just don't like what they see :eek:

yankee@moscow
30-04-2004, 08:54
I don't want to answer your question, but I do want to thank you for making my day. I can just picture that sour face at the end of a long day!:p

BTW, your oreos should be here by the 15th. They're probably crushed to pieces, but they'll mix well with milk!

Braders
30-04-2004, 13:26
Originally posted by Nagant Guy
Many people in Eastern Europe don't have a regular supply of hot water. That means taking cold baths/showers.

What a load of hogwash.

When i arrived in 93 i lived in a student hostel for a few months with friends from the Casino, i was in the casino one day and noticed this attractive girl who lived in the hostel dealing BJ, i went for a closer look, like ya do.... and man did she hum!, put me off for life right there and then, she had clean clothes, she was well presented and from what i could see generally looked after herself, yet she had a serious BO problem, even though the showers in the hostel weren't always working i can safely say i didn't smell like her ;)

100's of times across the years i have had to personally speak to staff who stink, there is no round about way of dealing with it, you just have to get straight to the point.

Many have told me they have had a bath/shower only a few hours ago, all i could do was recommend a decent deodorant.

Some though do have medical reasons for this.

fleurt
30-04-2004, 17:34
I think the problem of BO is caused by not using anti-perspirant. Deoderant just masks the smell of sweat (masks in theory!). You have to use anti-p. to stop the sweating, but sometimes even that doesn't work.
When I first met my husband, he thought nothing of wearing the same shirt 3 days in a row. I wondered why, but he only had about 3 decent shirts and no washing machine. When I moved in with him and took over this delightful task- washing grimy shirts by hand- I began to understand. Hand-washing was such a pain in the arse. It's definitely much easier to stink!

Now if he'd worn his underpants 3 days in a row...well, that would be a different story!!
Fleurt

tamibliss
30-04-2004, 17:42
Originally posted by Fa-Q!
Old people stink in any country.


Originally posted by pengwn9
Wow dude, that's an ugly sentiment.
Doesn't sound like you.....

wait, till he is old
uff, don't wanna be the one standing nearby

Penguin Snacks
30-04-2004, 21:09
In the West (and America in particular) we seem to have the reverse phenomenon - Everyone is overly obsessed with cleanliless and everything becomes very artificial.

trackhat
01-05-2004, 08:03
Is anyone else dreading the few weeks in the summer when we don't get showers? I might just leave the country then. Why don't people just get gas column heaters? I had one and they're wonderful. A bit ugly, though. If people are so poor that they can't afford not to stink, they should be made to feel ashamed of themselves, and maybe the state could offer suicide counseling (pro-suicide, that is). I guess you can't really do that in a country where the people are dying off, but just a little of it in Africa/India/China could help; I'm all for purifying those countries.

I sometimes wear shirts three days in a row, but I wear undershirts, always put on deodorant, and don't really perspire that much. What about rotting teeth? Anyone else want to tell those people they're better off dead?

Sheepy
01-05-2004, 09:26
Fancy a snog? :D

Sheepy
01-05-2004, 09:33
Call me 'snobbish' but as far as hygiene goes this is where I really have to draw the line!!! :eek:

polly
01-05-2004, 10:00
fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!
fuuuu fuuuu fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!

koba65
01-05-2004, 10:29
I don't think I'd judge a cleaning lady on her "odors" while she was on the job. What would be the motivation for smelling (and looking) your best while cleaning up someone else's gunk. Some jobs just cause you to smell badly - I worked at a chicken farm when I was 14 and man did I REEK until I showered for about an hour.

As far as "smelly" cultures are concerned - do you think that every nationality, culture, etc., just might have "aromas" that are unique to them. These "aromas" may be diet related? I lived in the UK for three years (Yorkshire) and thought that some of the people there were a bit odoriferous - of course, most of my neighbors were farmers, so that might explain it. Sometimes the dirt/stench gets deep into your pores and takes a while to "exit the body."

I've noticed that while over here, I smell "different" than I do in the States. Try this for an experiment - next time you travel home don't unpack your suitcase for a couple of days. Let yourself become acquainted with the "smell of home" and then open up your suitcase. No matter how "clean" your clothes are, you'll notice there is a bit of Moscow left in them (the air here isn't that clean you know).

As far as the "unwashed masses" here are concerned - I don't notice a huge problem in Moscow and St. Pete. Sure, on the metro, but ALL metros are smelly experiences, regardless of location. I find Russians to be pretty damn clean people - showering often, washing hands probably more than most cultures, and they take care of their appearance. Now, out in the "sticks" it's a different story - but who is to judge people in the provinces? It's not life out there, it's survival.

kukunder
01-05-2004, 10:31
Yeh, I'm sort of embarrased to agree with this, but being among a bunch of Russians on a summer afternoon would require wearing a gas mask. That excludes night clubs, up town restaurants and other places unlikely to be visited by the pre-mid-class majority.

mitam77
01-05-2004, 11:48
I like Natalia's idea really.To heat up water and pour it over ones self and buy soap.No problem so far ...but who is going to scrub my back? Anybody to volunteer to scrub my back?
(Only ladies may apply)

Bez Ulik
01-05-2004, 14:31
Originally posted by natalia_apple
maybe you at least will not picture people in Eastern Europe as dirty pigs?

Zephyr
04-05-2004, 19:11
Hmmm I am thinking of Rhodesia when I was there Wheeew and then again NYC revolting. Go figure