Off to Germany (A Little Story)
A few years ago, I traveled over the ocean to spend a year living in Berlin. Of course, along with a few shirts and pairs of pants, the baggage I carried with me included all my many habits from the old country, including my daily use of bar soap.
Now, you wouldn't think bar soap would be a big deal. I mean, it's just soap, not white gym shoes or khaki shorts. Why would anyone notice?
I don't know, but notice they did.
I can say this because two of my German friends quickly realized that I used bar soap and asked, Um, why do you use bar soap?" (said in German with some distate, if I can recall)
My response: "Um, because it's cheap and effective and smells just fine."
Their response: "But, don't you think it makes you smell like an old Turkish woman?"
My response: "Um, no. Also, I don't know what an old Turkish woman smells like."
Their response: "Bar soap, obviously."
Ach du lieber!
If the only people in Deutschland using bar soap were the old (and smart) Turkish women, what was the rest of Germany using to get themselves clean?
Body wash, according to my friends.
What? Germans using body wash? Why? It's so wasteful and expensive, and Germans are usually so eco-friendly!
Well, as much as I wanted to fit in while I was living in Germany, I definitely wasn't going to start using body wash. So I wore scarves and funky shoes and spoke German 24/7 (some people said I barely had an accent), but still used soap in solid form. Yep, I continued to use it despite what my friends thought. I mean, anything else is just silly!
Back in the United States and Saving Money
A few years later, I'm back in the U.S. now and still using bar soap. I'm on to my current favorite brand, Kiss My Face, which I love because it lasts FOREVER. I started using the bar I have now (pictured right) in the beginning of November and it's not nearly gone yet. I paid about $3.00 for it, which means I'll probably end up spending about $6.00 on soap this year.
And Smelling Good
My bar soap leaves me smelling really nice, which makes sense because most bar soap smells great. Also, it comes in a huge variety of scents, everything from light and flowery to strong and masculine.
And Creating Less Waste
Not only does bar soap smell good, you can find it with very little packaging, which obviously means it creates less garbage to send to the landfill.
So if it saves you money, smells good, and is better for the environment, where did Germans get the idea that body wash is better than soap? Is body wash, called Duschgel in German, really so prevelent? Warum? Any Germans out there who can provide some enlightenment?