Back in the States, I'm very concerned with health and safety. Maybe borderline obsessive on some things. I had Amir's carseat checked at the health department for correct installation (twice), we don't use any chemicals for cleaning instead choosing vinegar and baking soda, we use all-natural, biodegradable laundry detergent, and Burt's Bees and California Baby products. I tend to shy away from anything antibacterial. Here, however, there is no use worrying about parabens, BPA, and phytlates. Instead there is worrying about salmonella, hepatitis, tuberculosis, asthma, lung cancer, getting run over. No use worrying about the chemicals in Clorox when the vegetables could make you very, very sick.
I feel like I'm doing damage control all day long, attempting to avoid the ever-present cigarette smoke and reckless drivers. I've realized that triclosan has its place, and that place is in your hand soap when the lady next to you walking by the metro is coughing up blood. I've become quite attached to my hand sanitizer, and it has a permanent, very accessible place in our backpack. Would it be rude to require people to use a little before they touch all over my little baby with their grimy hands? The best ones are the butchers, go straight from touching raw meat to grabbing my baby's cheeks. Mmmm. E-coli.
I think it's ironic that they are very protective of their babies, they are all wrapped up in blankets when they are out to protect them from the sun, but you see toddlers hanging out of car windows as their parents go zooming down the street. The other night we had to take a taxi to get to the Carrefour, and I thought I might have a panic attack as we sped down the highway with my baby completely unrestrained in the backseat. I'm a nervous wreck here.