112 gripes

    46. "You ride on the subway and the smell almost knocks you out, Garlic, sweat -- and perfume!"

     French subways today are overcrowded, hot, untidy, and smell bad. The subways are carrying all the traffic too that used to be carried on buses.

     You smell garlic because the French, who are superb. cooks, use more of it than we do.

     You smell sweat because the French must use a very poor ersatz soap - and don't get enough of that.

     You smell perfume because French women would rather smell of perfume than of an unwashedness which they dislike as much as you do. When you have no soap, perfume comes in mighty handy. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in the United States as in other countries, perfumes and *eau de cologne* were used to give a pleasant scent where an unpleasant one might otherwise be.

     Incidentally, the Chinese will confess to you, if you're a friend, that the scent of white people, no matter how well scrubbed they are, is unpleasant to the Chinese. Body odor is closely related to diet. Change the food people eat and you change the way they smell.