When I moved to India for my postdoc, a lot of people have issues with my hygine, much more so than in America. Back in United States there may be were 5 major incidents regarding my hygine within the past 8 years. But now that I started a post doc in physics, in India, I only been here for 3 months and a half, and I got A LOT of comments. The number one issue is that I don't take a shower. A chair of theoretical physics group once came to my office and said he just wanted to talk to me. First of all I didn't even know he was a chair. He looked very young, like a student. He also was in the next door from my professor, so I totally assumed he wanted to talk to me because of that. Anyway, I then asked him what does he want to talk to me about. His first response was "are you okay"? Well I AM okay, so if I am just fine the way I am, what the **** does HE care whether I am okay or not? Then he told me that one of my office mates complained I don't take a shower. Well, she was the one super friendly with me, and yet she complained BEHIND MY BACK about my shower (as they say "great minds and hearts talk about ideas and feelings, average minds and hearts talk about weather and events, small minds and hearts talk about other people and CRITICIZE THEM BEHIND THEIR BACKS"). Anyway, he went far beyond telling me to take a shower. Also, a woman who invited me to do a postdoc here (the one next door to him I mentioned earlier) asked me if may be I can call my mom more often so she can remind me to take a shower. Well, this is ridiculous since, if I forget to take a shower, I will forget to call my mom, too. Or, on the other hand, if I call my mom in order for her to remind me to take a shower , I have already remembered the shower thing, so why call? Anyway, I didn't say it in this way, I simply said I will try to manage it myself without calling her. So then she contacted the person in the USA who used to be my ph.d. thesis advisor (they have overlapping research interests and they often collaborate, which is how I applied to this Institute to start with) and asked him to contact my mom and tell her to remind me to take a shower. Now, even though he was my thesis advisor, he was at Missisippi while I did my thesis in Michigan. I had two co-advisors, one from Michigan and the other from Missisippi. So the Missisippi guy whom the Indian woman have contacted, then contacted my advisor in Michigan asking him for my mom's contact information. After the Michigan guy gave my mom's email to Missisippi guy, the Missisippi guy actually emailed her to set up a time to talk on a phone. At the same time none of these three people ever mentioned anything to me, nor asked my permission to do any of this . Now it is EVEN much worse than that! The very woman who invited me to work with her as a post doc, avoids talking to me! And it is not like she is not talkative, she is very chatty with everyone BUT me. When i ask her something, on the other hand, she carefully phrases the answer to make sure it has as few words as possible, as if saying a single extra word is so hard to do. I finally have finished working in one of the projects that I want to post online, and I need someone to read and edit it. Obviously, the first person I asked to read it was NOT her. Instead I approached another professor who works not in my field but close to it. He was the guy who approached me first, back in mid august. Back then he just came back from some kind of event (I am not sure if it was sabbatical or a conference, or whatever) and he wanted to talk to me once he settles down. So I approached him and said "remember you told me you wanted to talk to me in end august or beginning of september, well now it is mid september". He responded "I didn't say I wanted to talk I was just saying hello". Then I asked him "I have some paper I would like feedback on before I post it is there any time we can meet", he just responded he is busy and doesn't have time. So then I went to that woman to ask her about my reputation. So I first walked into her office and closed the door behind me since I didn't want everyone on the floor listen to my whining. She said, in a very strict voice, "please open the door". I then opened it. Then she said "I really don't feel comfortable talking to you". I then told her that yes I remember what made her uncomfortable, namely when I just came to India I was asking the same questions over and over, such as about dangerous deseases in India, or how is it possible that there are different rules regulating post docs and grad students, etc. But right now I don't have any of these questions since its been few months and I seen that things been working just fine. In the past I kept asking the questions over and over because I weren't 100% sure on the answer, only 90%; but now I am 100% sure since I seen tihngs working, so I won't be asking. Anyway, she then asked me what do I want her to do. I said I want her to start tlaking to me again, since I won't be asking the kinds of questions I been asking in the past. Then she responded that there is another reason why she doesn't talk to me, which is a physical one, which is that I don't shower. She then went on to say a monologue on how I have been told over and over, for the past three months, to shower and how I still don't. She then said how "everyone on this floor" has that problem with my not showering. And how it is the last time she is saying it to me, but if in future I find that she doesn't talk to me it would be because of the shower. She then went on to say how she knows about my disability but I should not be using it as an excuse to do anything and everything. Now, all of it was one monologue, she didn't let me insert a single word in any of it. When I tried to interrupt her, she just said that "there is no excuses and no negotiations". Now, I never tried to "make excuses or negotiations" with anyone in the institute. So my only guess is that since the building is open, she probably heard my conversations with my ex at the gate over the phone when I tried to perswade my ex to get back together with me and was making "excuses" and "negotiations". But she didn't mention it, thats just my guess. Another favorite thing that people in India like to ask me is why is my index finger on the right hand constantly dirty. That is the finger that I was biting when I was little. Normally I would think of some ridiculous thing I am obsessed about (for example, how Socrates, while desperately trying to stay alive after being poisoned, would drink more of a poison to get trace vitamins to help his body, or that mark of the beast inspires a great spiritual experiences, or how an excommunication ceremony might sound so spiritual that it misleads ppl that they are doing a favor to the ppl they are excommunicating) and bite my right index finger while thinking these things in my head. Anyway, because I did that so often, my right finger is swolen permanently. For some reason, also it always accumulates dirt. I can only speculate that this dirt comes from the pens I am using to write. But I have no idea why it is specifically my right finger that accumulates that dirt. My only guess is that may be skin texture had changed due to the biting so that the dirt doesn't come off as easilly? Anyway, NO ONE IN USA EVER have asked me about my index finger! The ONLY hygine comments I got in USA was shower. But here in India the index finger is a favorite thing for them to bring up. What pisses me off is that people, INCLUDING SECURITY GUARDS, would put a fake smile on their face pretending to be friendly, ask me for my name as if they are just trying to get to know me, and then ask about my finger, as if it is one of the ways of getting to know me better. Even worse, within these three months probably 5 to 10 times I been stopped by a security guard on the street who wanted to know my name and where I am staying. When I ask why, he just says that he likes me and wants to get to know me better. WOW, as if I am so stupid that I would think that it is okay to ask someone where you are staying simply because you like them, or that security guards are in the business of striking leisurly conversations because they like people. A few days ago there was someone on a motorcycle who was much more honest and he said that he stopped because my clothes seem very dirty, and because I have a cut on my hand (I had knife in my backpack and when I tried getting something out I cut my hand by accident). I then told him that my clothes are dirty simply because there is no washing mashine at the hostel I am staying so I have to give my clothes to security guard over there to wash them which I often am not up to doing. His next question is what exact hostel am I staying. I then ask him is he security or something. He said no, he just wants to help me. I then told him that I don't need his help, but he still was repeatedly asking me am I sure that I don't need his help. Anyway, when I told my ex about it she told me that I should be showering more often. And she tried to make me understand people's reaction by asking me a rhetoric question "do YOU like to be around the bum". I was surprised when she referred to be as "bum" and I was like "how much do ppl have to IGNORE who I am in order to take me as just another bum". But then when I was overanalyzing the word "bum" in my head I saw something amusing. On the one hand, the word "bum" sounds like that person lying in the corner you barely notice. On the other hand, that word is so similar to the word boom, which means just the opposite to the above. So that brings the question posed in the title of the thread: "why is it such a boom to see a bum"? The answer: because people are so obsessed over the bum that they MAKE the boom around him, even though he, on his own, would never make a boom out of himself!