Last year DH and I were back in the States visiting a local zoo. 'Ooh Look, we can feed the birds!' I pointed to some wooden poles with little containers attached to them where kids and grown-ups were sticking their hands out.
But when we got closer I knew this was a 'You're not in Sweden any more moment.'
There was no birdfood - this was the Purell Antibacterial hand sanitizer stand. What these kids were doing was sanitizing their hands. I was disappointed. I wanted to feed the birds.
And this is how it goes - in the States - the sanitizer is king.
Here the Sanitizer is 'poison,' gross, a destroyer of all things good in the world (ie. leading to the proliferation of bad bad bacteria as opposed to the good stuff) and perhaps most damning of all - it is completely unnecessary.
Sure there are moments when I wish I have a little hand sanitizer on me. You know when you realize that thing you just touched was someone else's chewing gum. Or if I'm changing a diaper on the fly. To that end I have a small bottle of cleaning alcohol that I rinse over my hands and let air dry.
But Purell hasn't caught on here. And the human race endures. There must be something to that good old fashioned soap and water trick. Which is what most people use.
A few years back some kids were hospitalized for eating the hand sanitizer from a portopotty (or bajamaja as they say in Sweden). There was a rumor going around that hand sanitizer was made of GHB and would get you high. Not so true. Mostly it made them puke.