16 December 2014

People stink

One thing that mass transportation has brought to my attention is the way people smell.

Most of the time, most of us can get through life blissfully unaware of how others smell. Except, of course, for the occasional heavy cologne wearer, or whiff of BO at the gym.

I suppose it's a combination of my sensitive nose and the close quarters of public transportation, but I have smelled quite a few people. For the record, I have no desire to know what strangers smell like.

Every morning I get on the bus, settle in, and close my eyes for a nap. When we get to the next stop and people get on, sometimes I can smell them going by. Sometimes it's pleasant. There was this one rider who used to smell like cucumber or something fresh. I could always smell her going by. She never sat next to me.

About half the time the people that sit next to me are unoffensive, as in they have no reasonably detectable odor.

Unfortunately the rest of the time the smells I usually catch are unpleasant. You know how people tend to smell like their houses? Well the demographics of these bus riders lean towards some very strong odors. Mostly garlic and curry. What do they eat for breakfast???
Occasionally someone will sit next to me who has horrible breath and I spend the bus ride trying not to gag, and trying to position my head out of the line of fire. It's turning my stomach just thinking about it.

Once it was so bad that I put some of that Vick's vapor rub under my nose to mask the odor. It's never been so bad that I've been forced to move, but there are plenty of times I've felt like it.

The thing that baffles me is that these people probably have no clue that they walk around stinking. And to be honest, most of the time other people probably would not even notice. It's probably because I'm sitting right next to them that I even notice.


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