Monday, March 15, 2010

Waxing Poetically ...

Since we’ve been in Kurdistan, I confess that I’ve felt my Canadian-ism rather keenly – a sentiment which is, under normal conditions, almost completely lacking from my genetic makeup – and it’s all because of Erbil’s grocery stores. It began with the discovery of a couple of choice Canadian products - products I wouldn’t normally expect to see outside of Canada, let alone in Iraq. There was that first sighting of (albeit dusty) tins of Brunswick sardines which made me quite misty, followed closely by frosty packages of McCain’s Deep'n Delicious chocolate cake which just left me feeling puzzled. And more recently it was the jaunty display case of Nitro Canada Hair Wax. Nitro Canada Hair Wax? you ask.


It would seem that pretty much every neighbourhood market has a fairly extensive selection of Nitro Canada Hair Wax. With grammatically challenged easy to follow directions, the Nitro Canada purports to “enhance lustrous chine (sic) and ideal for sleekly (sic) look and goood (sic) scent easy to apply and wash off.” I'm going to have to start paying closer attention to the Kurds' hair - is it the chine truly lustrous? The scent especially goood?

On top of its sleekly-ness, Nitro Canada Wax comes in fragrances that every fashionista wants - nay craves - to have wafting up from his or her head under a blistering Iraqi sun. Many of these are fruity - and dare I say mundane? - fragrances, but Nitro Canada Hair Wax's ability in identifying the needs of the wax-wearing public clearly came to a head with the development of their snake oil- and (my personal favourite) garlic-scented hair wax. Pure genius, that. Hats off to you.

Of course,
a closer examination of the Canuck wax only served to dry up that trickle of patriotism dribbling through my veins: I am relieved sad to say that Nitro Canada Hair Wax is not Canadian. It’s manufactured in the People’s Republic of China – specifically (should you care about these things) in Guangdong. Given the PRC’s proven track record of providing quality consumer products, it’s probably a very good thing that doting Chinese mothers don’t (to the best of my knowledge) slick down their toddler’s hair with hair wax. Or was the problem only with chemical-laced toothpaste, tainted pet food, dried apples preserved with cancer-causing chemicals, frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics, scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria, mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides? Oh - and the milk.

Then again, they do claim - and I quote - that "'customer first' has always been our pursuit of the best product and we are ready to return customer.” Return customer? Where to? To the atmosphere? Is the nitro component some sort of oily, colourless explosive suitable for all hair styles? Is this why it's popular in Iraq? And where do they get off suggesting that their product is Canadian? This just isn't good form - I mean, everyone knows that products made in Canada are of the highest calibre only.

Well, at least McCain’s Deep' n Delicious chocolate cakes – whose wholesome ingredients include hydrogenated palm kernel oil, glucose solids, glycol mono fatty acid esters, mono- and digylcerides, artificial flavour, beef gelatin (every vegetarian's dream), polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, xanthan gum, silicon dioxide, sodium aluminum phosphate and shellac - is purely and proudly Canadian. I feel better already.


Miss Footloose said...

I'm just catching up, and can't wait to hear more about your new life in Erbil. I have not been able to ascertain from your earlier missives, why you moved to Kurdistan, but perhaps this is none of my business.

About the food, yes, I've found the most unlikely food items from my home country (the Netherlands)in the most unlikely corners of the globe. usually the most un-nutritious ones that are shot full of preservatives etc. so they'll withstand time and tropical heat on distant shelves.

Okay, now I'm going to read the rest of your posts.

This Cat's Abroad said...

Hi Miss Footloose - we came to Erbil because we were dissatisfied with our last employer and we had a great offer here. Besides, doesn't everyone want to come to Iraq?

Miss Footloose said...

Doesn't anyone want to come to Iraq? Well, of course! It's where the fun is! Duh! What was I thinking!

Enjoy! It should be very interesting and I'm looking forward to hearing more.