The hunt for red october

Day 69 – Xi’an

Not really – but the hunt for actual anti-perspirant is just as elusive! We are in Xi’an and I am just about to run out of my Russian bought Lady Speed Stick. Deodorant has never been more scarce and therefore never more important. Most corner shops and convenience stores sell toothpaste yes, and they sell personal hygiene products and skin whitening pastes and shampoos. All manner of toiletries. But nothing that might fight the evil that is body odour.

Today, on our quest to find some underarmour, we stopped in no less than fifteen corner stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets, each time trying in vain to find the liquid gold ourselves but rarely managing to avoid having to mime swiping on deodorant with our arms up in the air, to the delight and giggles of the staff. On about our 10th stop, I stopped messing around, didn’t even glance at the shelves, and walked straight up to the saleslady. Arm up in the air, swiping motion under the armpit. She nodded. She nodded! She knew what I was talking about! Making a confident ‘mm’ sound, she led me purposefully towards a counter at the back. Hallelujah! I thought. She has what I’m looking for.

And then she handed me a thermometer.

I guess it is the second most obvious use for an armpit.

The enigma we still have yet to answer: do Chinese people not sweat, or do they sweat but not smell bad? What is their secret!?

After a couple more stops with friendly salespeople trying to google anything that might help, I managed to find some kind of clear liquid in a spray from a nice pharmacist, a liquid which apparently is for the armpits but appears to be medically related. I have yet to try it, but if anyone reads Mandarin and can let me know what the box says, that would be amazing.


The hunt continues!


5 thoughts on “The hunt for red october

  1. Liliane says:

    My dear Emilieeeee…we sweat but 95% ppl don’t smell bad…lolol~~~~
    Here is the translation you need for your amazing photo: Methenamine Solution, trade name Xi Shi Lan Xia Lu. For hand, foot and sweat and underarm odor (body odor) treatment.
    But you can easily find dove, nivea or other well know brands’ deodorant in any shopping mall. If you can find watsons – 屈臣氏 store, it’s kind of Chinese pharmaprix, you will find anything, my dear!!! 🙂


    • Emilie Rehel says:

      Thank you Liliane!! I was hoping you would translate! I looked up some online ‘deodorant’ chat forums for China (they exist believe it or not!).They recommended online shopping or Watsons (which we did find in the end). They had a few roll-on varieties – phew!


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