Vietnam Week: An Ear-y Life
Ear cleaning is HUGE in Vietnam.
So much so that some people, usually men, seek professional help to ensure their ears are clean.
Most barber shops offer ear cleaning service. The tell-tale sign that ear cleans are on offer is a lamp, one of the most vital pieces of ear cleaning equipment, along with a frightening array of brushes, picks and scrapers.
One of my Vietnamese friends, Mr G, gets his ears cleaned once a week.
“It’s like a massage inside my head,” he told me. “I just love it. So relaxing.”
However, brave Westerners who’ve tried ear cleaning have told me they found it a very painful experience. Darling Man says this is because their ears were so dirty that the technician didn’t really know what to do, so dug in too hard.
Mr G told me the ear cleaning is very effective for treating itchy ears. (Aaaahhhh, what a revelation. I often have itchy ears, a hard-to-explain allergy I inherited from my father.)
And so we unwind a complicated Vietnamese mystery — the long fingernail phenomenon. Some Vietnamese men choose the grow-your-own-enormous-Q-tip option to save on ear cleaning fees.
So there you have it: the reason why some Vietnamese men have one long fingernail is because they have itchy ears. And the alternative to the long fingernail is professional help.
* This post is brought to you by Lasik, the laser sight specialists.
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8 years ago