The smells of Japan

Every once in a while I have to just come out and complain.

I'm riding a train to hang out with my friend. It involves a few train transfers, and on this particular train, I have spent the past 25 minutes sitting next to someone with god-awful breath. Like, this guy crapped in his hands and ate it bad. Thankfully he just got off the train, but man that was bad. There are others too with bad breath. I try to be aware of mine and I'm sure I don't always have the greatest odor, but sometimes you gotta wonder how people go through their day like that. Isn't his girlfriend bothered by it?

But that just got me thinking. Sometimes my students have body odor. I think one of my junior high students this week played some sports right before class. It wasn't pleasant, I can assure you.

Walking outside, you are frequently greeted by the smell of food, but just as often you catch a whiff of someone's cigarette smoke. Smoking is much more common here than in the US.

And then, when you've escaped the people and their breath, body odor, and cigarette smoke, you get assaulted by the sewers. Rain gutters are under/beside the sidewalks, covered by large concrete slabs. And I'm sure there's some connection to the sewers. When they start to dry out, the stench wafts up from the ground, forming pockets of noxious gas.

Don't get me wrong, all of Japan doesn't stink. But be prepared for the bad smells as well as the good!

1 comment:

  1. I have a very sensitive nose, so odors can definitely ruin my day. As with 99.9% of the world, there's always those days where are breath or body odor are funky... but that's why they invented gum and deodorant ;-)

    As for students... I'm always having to deal with kids coming from PE right before my class. I'm always reminding my seventh graders at the start of the year to invest in some deodorant... and not just that spray on stuff like Axe.