Banner design by Helena, portrait by Eva


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Inside the Ear is Love

My adult students respond to my ear- cleaning article.

One young woman describes the act in detail: "About twice a month, I lie my head down on my sister's lap, under a light. She peers into my ear, small spoon in hand. It's an act of affection and I can't see into my own ears to clean them.

When she finds a big piece of earwax, she gets excited, ohh, I found something good!" The other students shake their heads in amusement. They've experienced this. One guy says his ex girlfriend used to do a thorough cleaning of his belly button.

Many use the spoon after a bath, and claim using something as ineffective as a Q-tip would leave them feeling unclean. I guess when you've had the spoon, you don't go back.

One woman says she now uses a Q-tip, because the spoon presents a possible danger, but the others stay loyal. When I admit I've only ever used a cotton swab, concern washes over the classroom! They must think I have a small colony of Western plants growing in there.

They say if I date a Korean guy, he can clean my ears for me. I tell them that's quite alright.


Unknown said...

Good stuff

iirc, in the great Korean film, Memories of Murder (by the director of Host), there is a scene where Song Kang-ho has his ears cleaned by his wife or girlfriend.

Guano Island

Unknown said...

In an anthropology class in college, I learned that Asians (and Native Americans) have crumbly, dry ear wax. Europeans have oily ear wax.

I suppose that is why they use a little tiny spoon to clean their ears. Q-tips wouldn't work.

(also, this oily ear wax is also linked to smellier body oder... something I learned later).

MUD said...

In Vietnam the barbers would clean your ears with a brush like device that reminded me of the tool a chimney sweep would use. Most of the time I would not let them use it but on occasion I would have it done. It is funny to me the different things people do in different cultures. Most US people wouldn't do business with a cobbler in a shack and you mention that is common. MUD

Eva Karrin McKinnon said...

I heard about that ear-cleaning movie scene ;)

Apparently my students have "waxy" ear wax, as well as the dry kind. They said long shapes form.

Also, Asians do sweat less but I have some pretty smelly boys in my classes!

They clean the trimmed hairs out of your ears, or clean your ears for the sake of cleaning your ears, Mud?

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Anonymous said...

I want to have my ears cleaned