Let’s just be brutally honest here: there’s quite a lot that can be deemed “smelly” here in Bangkok, actually all over southeast Asia. Most of the time, like my friend Sabine, I just try to turn off my sense of smell, but sometimes it truly is unavoidable.
Like after it rains, and the air is so heavy you can’t believe it just rained (isn’t rain supposed to clear the air?), and you step outside of your mostly smell-free condo only to be immersed in the horrific scents wafting up from the much-too-close-to-the-surface gutter.
Or when you’re strolling down a cute little soi (small street) and you stumble across the garbage disposal area for the neighborhood (and by “garbage disposal area” I mean the place where everyone just dumps their trash and waits for the poor souls that have to clean it up).
Or maybe when you’re hanging out down in Chinatown and the mostly cleaned, but definitely deader-than-dead carcasses of whatever they’re serving in the plethora of restaurants is kind of rotting out in the sidewalk after it’s been stripped bare of serviceable parts (and by serviceable I’m talking about feet, snout, innards – anything and everything goes here).
And, of course, who can forget durian season. I mean that’s the smell to beat all smells. Durian, the king of fruits, the smell of smells.
But, today I have something simple for you. An interesting smell that I happened upon during our ferry ride downtown a few weeks ago:
This is a drink. It’s kind of a blackish-purple color, with ice cubes kind of steaming around inside, and some sort of leafy vegetable floating among the froth. I have to admit, I was not brave enough to taste it (I have a problem with textures inside my drinks – drinks, aside from orange and grapefruit juice, where I can mysteriously tolerate pulp, should be texture free in my opinion). Thankfully, I have brave friends, and they said it was kind of a spicy-tasty, herby health drink, one that is as common in China as it is here in Thailand. It probably cures all kinds of ailments (including the dreadful cold I’m suffering through now), but unfortunately, the potent smell and lumpy, gelatinous texture is going to keep me away. Far away.
What kinds of smelling things have you noticed lately?