Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Commuter sentences: smell ya later

It's about time to do a commuter sentences. Namely because i'm on the damn bus and confronted by a smelly homeless person. The "pc" person in me realizes this us not "pc" bit as with many things like that, it's true. Poor Asian lady (also not pc but true) looks like she's going to puke. Culprit? Smelly homeless guy I nearly poked in the face with my umbrella.

My first experiences with body odor and transit came in Southern Spain, on the buses of Malaga. There's a shortage of water there, you see. And ample fried fish and garlic.

This, however is in a different class. That was "Euro" stink, sometimes experienced here, often by foreign exchange students and tourists. This is homeless stink. A combo of a long time of not bathing, not washing clothes, public urination and defecation and a general lack of self awareness. Again, not pc, but true.

My first experience with this breed of stink was also in Europe--in Prague when I was homeless (for a night). My friend and travel partner Terry and I boarded a tram to stay warm. There was a REALLY stinky guy. Nighttime Czech revellers were spraying perfume on him. I think the driver kicked him off. It was seriously gag worthy.

All I can say is that in comparison, I almost LIKE being bothered by overwhelming perfume, our third variety of transit odors, or fried food, our fourth. In fact, I'm craving a nice medly of Coty and fried chicken 'bout now!

1 comment:

  1. I know the smell you're talking about - the homeless smell. My worst experience was in Madagascar. We were on a 2 hour "mini-bus" ride to Mahajunga, and I was seated on a wooden board which was standing in as a "seat". Well, half my ass was...the other half was hanging off in thin air, because I was at the very end near the aisle, and that was all the room there was for me. Someone on the bus, no idea who 'cause it could have been almost anyone on it, smelled like soap and shit. It was a smell I encountered often there - I don't think that "wiping" is very common, so you get the combination of a really pungent, not-very-nice smelling soap that they use, and the shit smell. Add that to the armpits that have never nor likely will ever see deodorant, and it was all I could do to keep my stomach from emptying itself. It was so bad my eyes were watering, and you know how you get used to some smells after a while? Not this...


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