Toothpaste With Chinese Characteristics

Recently I needed some toothpaste, so I headed across the street to the Hypermarket.  Now I normally try to avoid any store or enterprise that has the name “hyper” in it, but it is so convenient that it’s hard not to go there.  Being someone who was raised on Crest toothpaste, I’m happy that they keep it in stock.  The problem, however, is that there are many choices of flavors, and that particular day I didn’t feel like trying to decipher all the subtle distinctions between this tube and that tube.  I can read Chinese characters, but I must confess that I’m not up on my dental vocabulary, so I grabbed the prettiest box and headed to the cash register.

Like a good girl, I dutifully brushed my teeth before bed. Hmmmm.  The toothpaste had a very strange taste, but I couldn’t identify it. Spearmint? No.  Wintergreen? No. Cinnamon? Nope.  Neither my brain nor my tastebuds could identify the flavor. Well, finally on the third day of using the mystery toothpaste, my tastebuds and brain finally did what they were created to do and identified the flavor:  GREEN TEA! I grabbed the tube and looked at it, and sure enough there were the characters for green tea.

It is siad that the former “Great Helmsman” of this nation used to brush his teeth with tea.  I guess that means this is a toothpaste he would even have endorsed.

Speaking of the Great Helmsman, I’m currently reading the new biography of him, by the author of "Wild Swans."  Yikes!