We can think of many locations in Shanghai, and certainly China at large, where hand sanitizer dispensers would be quite useful. Plaza 66, where we spotted this one this morning, is not one of them. We’ve never seen a hand sanitizer dispenser like this before … anywhere. People tell us that some hospitals in the US have them now, and come to think of it, Plaza 66 does give off a similarly sterile vibe. It is nice to know, however, we can finally browse our Louis Vuitton and Bvlgari bacteria free. The dispensers would probably serve more purpose outside Plaza 66 — we saw a guy let loose an impressive snot rocket near Cartier yesterday. It’s scenes like that that make us wary of shaking hands.
The dispenser is interesting also because until recently hand sanitizer was impossible to find in China. We used to bring it into the country in bulk. Now, we think there a few locations in town that carry it. City Supermarket, we’re pretty sure. Watson’s, perhaps? We still have a stockpile of little bottles in our medicine cabinet, but we have stopped carrying them when we leave the house in Shanghai — not sure if it is because Shanghai is cleaner or we have built up immunities (used to get colds all the time our first year here) or maybe its just that we don’t care anymore. But hand sanitizer is a must-pack item when traveling in China, especially by train or bus.
Nothing beats good ol’ soap and water, though. Hand washing is a habit that “requires minimal training,” too, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Photo by Shanghai Diaries.