Crazy Discovery of the Day: 黑鬼油

Today I was wandering about, just working on getting some errands done — bought some fruit and other groceries, had another facial at 98 HKD (my skin needs help as it adjusts to this hot and humid and pollution-filled weather), and even bought my first clothing items here in HK (some really cute items for under $9 each — and saw something that really made my pause: 黑鬼油.  Yes, for those who can read Chinese — that, as google translator terms it, is Chinese for “n*gger oil”.

I did not call it that, people! I did not even translate it thusly.  As some of you may know, the Chinese are not exactly all that politically correct, and have historically been rather xenophobic.  It is part of their ordinary language to basically call all foreigners 鬼老, which roughly means “old ghost.”

I guess you can say the Chinese or rather racist, since it is a part of their regular vocabulary, but truly, there isn’t necessarily anything hateful implied.  In any case, 黑鬼油 still blew my mind.  (I happened to be going to the pharmacy to look for the famous cure-all white flower oil, incidentally.)

I was too embarassed to ask the store clerk what 黑鬼油 was for, but then looked it up with the powers of google when I got home.

It’s tanning lotion! It allegedly helps you to get dark, and also has some other typical Chinese medicinal properties, like anti-bacterial, cooling, etc.  It has no known SPF protection, however, but supposedly will work to get you dark as well, a black person.

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