Life on the MRT 2018


The Dept. of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) always keeps up-to-date info on their website.


Passengers used fire extinguishers to subdue a seemingly crazy woman on the MRT who was “playing” with a fruit knife.


So that was why the train stopped…


Kudos to the trio of handsome foreign dudes who got off in Qizhang station. Dunno why but when I saw these 6 foot square shoulder guys, the Dukes of Hazard tune started playing in my head, followed by Sweet Home Alabama. Maybe it was the Metallica shirts. Anyways, before Green River started, I had gotten close enough to them to catch the unmistakable aroma of just got showered, with a soft hint of cologne. A most welcome relief after being trapped with the sweaty masses. Their minty freshness was with me as I trailed behind them a couple of blocks and they walked fast enough to avoid my stalking.


Good god. Us foreigners aren’t safe anywhere.


What is it with many non-Taiwanese (Europeans, Middle Easterners, and Other Asian) people wearing copious amounts of cologne.? Not a subtle hint (heck, I use underarm deodorant), but a scent so strong is as if they bathed in it.

P.S. Saw that knife incident on the news during my foot massage and commented, to much agreement, that people are getting crazier and crazier. And the vast damage to roads and homes in Kaohsiung and Tainan, so horrible. Just shows how little I watch the local news. Like some shop that WON’T sell their pastry to people under 140cm.


It is customary where I come from. Getting on the bus early in the morning is intoxicating. So many perfumes/colognes/deodorants competing. You could blame it on tropical weather. Then in the evening, it is the freshly bathed construction workers who provide much needed relief.

On a serious note, expect copycats to flourish. Knife copycats. We had a wannabe nutcase screaming about guns and stuff on our commute this evening. I have been next to women who look normal until they suddenly start screaming at the top of their lungs for no reason. Sad to say but we have gotten to that place where we can spot the unhinged person by simply noticing their eyes are not glued to their cellphone.


But why don’t most Taiwanese use deodorant? Especially since they bathe in the evening and have all night to get stinky. But TW (almost) always lack a smell, even after a sweaty day. I’m jealous.


Because deodorant costs money. That’s why they don’t use it.


I would love to know where I can find unscented deodorant in Taiwan. The whole point is to smell like nothing at all.

(No Costco card. Say, if I get a US Costco card, can i use it Taiwan?)


Yes. This is why I assume that cologne is what they are using. I have a few nice designer colognes but use them very selfomly in moderation. It’s a habit for teachers in preschool and elementary schools.


Tom’s of Maine makes a an unscented deodorant that I quite like. It’s available through iHerb and similar sites that ship to Taiwan. I’ve never seen it on the shelves here despite the fact that Tom’s is—if I recall correctly—currently owned by Colgate.



Watson, Cosmed, Tomods, Tokyo Medical, any mid sized pharmacy can provide you with unscented deodorant.

Now why do people do not use it? Dunno, but it is most noticeable with teenagers. My condolences to high school teachers.





Now I won’t make the subway smell dorky.


IME, a lot of older people here think deodorant is full of chemicals that will seep into your skin and give you cancer. Ditto for using too much non-medicated eye drops. Notice how a lot of people also tend to avoid OTC cold medicines even.


That Ban roll-on pictured above is not a simple unscented deodorant; it’s labelled as an anti-perspirant. Use at your own risk.



What we need is something to spray “fresh” aromas in the MRT cars. Might help improve people´s moods.


I’ll have the lavender sunshine.


According to conventional wisdom, “unscented deodorant” would be a contradiction in terms, since deodorants by definition basically layer on a stronger smell to mask the existing odor.
However, I see that recent developments have produced deodorants that kill the bacteria that interact with sweat to create body odor, so I guess an unscented deodorant would be technically possible.

More to the topic, I think you guys are all mental, I’ve never found a proliferation of body odor to be a problem here, even in the most crowded/hot/unventilated conditions, especially compared to similar situations with Western people.
In fact, as it turns out:

The High School Boy Stink is something else, it comes from them wearing damp unwashed clothes (their cheaply made unis) that develop mildew, resulting in them walking around smelling like an overused diaper bucket.

At any rate, all of that is way preferable to the recent phenom of every male over the age of 18 dousing himself with roughly a litre of Axe 3-in-1 using a high pressure car wash hose before leaving the house in the morning. I’ve actually hung back in traffic to avoid getting stuck beside these stink monkeys at a red light.