It was the strangest thing. I'd subconsciously noticed it the last few times I'd been in Sydney but possibly been so self absorbed that it hadn't truly registered, and I'd carried on in my quest to conquer Sephora and Zara.
All of the chemists and supermarkets such as Coles are crammed full of young Chinese people frantically buying vitamins. I say frantic because, god damn it, it is FRANTIC!
Am I having some strange over-reaction to the number of Asians living in Sydney? Am I a xenophobe?
After I'd flown back from Sydney to interview Jack Black, I was sitting on the couch watching Love on Netflix (best comedy series of 2016) when I turned to my partner and said: "Honey, I think there's something very odd going on in Aussie. I think there's some weird phenomenon of vitamin binge-buying going on that we don't know about it!"
"What?" He said looking at me like I was wide eyed and sleep talking.
"Babe, thousands of Asian millennials were binge-buying vitamins all over Sydney. Like, thousands. I'm not kidding! Has there been something in the news about the incredible health benefits of taking hundreds of vitamins a day that we missed?"
He reached for his Coke Zero and continued watching Love.
"Hmmm", he said, in an obviously distracted way. "Weird observation, Pol. Pretty sure there's been nothing in the Herald urging us to swallow handfuls of fish oil or Men's multi-vits."
I had to Google it, but what to Google? I went straight for the magnesium and zinc-laced jugular:
I Googled : "Why are thousands of Asian people buying vitamins in Sydney?"
Well, paint me in butter and roll me in freaking panko breadcrumbs. Google came through. Google not only came through but there were pages and pages about it.
Apparently fake homemade vitamins (not overly surprising), paranoid fear of vitamin contamination, and the accidental (maybe) endorsement of Blackmores by beautiful Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has caused masses of people to go on vitamin hunting tours of Thailand and now Australia.
There was one source that reported 85 million bottles of vitamins had sold in the blink of an eye. How utterly bizarre and completely insane, if what I was reading was true:
That fake and contaminated Chinese vitamins had caused a mass flight to find good ones in foreign lands. Not diamonds. Not gold. Not even hard drugs... vita-freakin-mins!
Who goes on holiday to buy men's multi-vits? Who plans a week away to secure fish oil and Vitamin C?
I thought Donald Trump running for president was a sign of the apocalypse, but I don't know which is crazier, Trump as president of the United States or millions of Chinese catching flights to buy zinc and evening primrose oil! Surely these are the first two horsemen of the apocalypse. Surely!
A few years ago I remember we got caught up in buying something called Bay Blades. It was a frenzy. Every kid had to have them. Mothers were running riot in The Warehouse buying arm fulls, but would they have flown to Thailand for them?
Are vitamin supplements that important? Couldn't you just have a handful of blueberries and a salad? Did you know, apparently Thailand is completely drained of vitamins? It's like a plague of locusts has flown through and grabbed every single one. Please tell me you also think this is nuts.
That's it. The apocalypse has been heralded: Trump mania and vitamin tourism. We really need to sort this planet out, stat. Complete insanity. I always thought the end of the world would come quickly with a nuclear war, but now I'm convinced everyone is just going to go mad.
Kim Jong-un will start firing poison-laced paper planes at the Japanese. Putin will p*ss everyone off riding around the world shirtless on a horse making enemies. Donald Trump will accidentally push a button looking for his hairspray, and all the vitamins in the world will be stock piled in China.
What the hell is going on?
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