Friday, 2 October 2009

normal smells in odd places

Date: Fri, 4 May 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: normal smells in odd places

On the way here I saw a man selling hedgehogs on the side of the road. A man selling hedgehogs on the side of the road. I opened the bus window and leaned out to get a better look. There were six hedgehogs in a string bag on the footpath. 'What called?' the man yelled. 'Hedgehogs’ I yelled back as the bus pulled away. A man selling hedgehogs on the side of the road.

The other day I smelled horse, and lo, there was a donkey and cart gunning it down the fast lane of the second ring road. As I left school about a week ago I smelt poultry. There was a man cycling past with a coop of ducks and chooks on the back of his bike. Occasionally I smell cow poo, and look sharp for where I’m putting my feet. But it turns out it is just the wafting fragrance of stinky tofu. (Don’t eat the stinky tofu; it tastes just exactly like it smells, with perhaps a hint of horse pee).

All the smells in China are smells I’m familiar with, but they are in unfamiliar places. Fresh popcorn in a shoe shop. Pancake smell in the middle of nowhere. The tantalising smell of toasted cheese sandwiches (that one might just be wishful thinking combined with an over active imagination). Stagnant water smell in lots of weird places. Urinal smell in the corridors of the school.

Old books smell like old books though.

I just blew my nose and the girl next to me nearly leapt out of her seat in fright, or it might have been disgust, I don't think using a tissue to blow your nose is socially acceptable, but what was I going to do? Sniff?

I am getting more excited about working at a newspaper, after all Andy Lau is coming to Beijing, what if I get to meet him? And maybe if I work at a newspaper I might hear more news. I heard about bloody protests in Sydney and dingoes eating babies on Fraser island, but it came as a complete surprise to hear about Australia sailing around Taiwan, and to hear that things are hotting up ‘in China’, as far as I can tell, nobody here cares all that much. About Australia or America, but particularly not Australia.

well, my love
must run

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