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Smells like …

NoseStepping out of a Thai restaurant in downtown[1]Charleston on Sunday night, my nose was hit again. Not in a physical sense of someone smacking their fist in my face, but just the smell … the local smell … the smell that I’ve decided is Charleston.

It’s completely impossible to describe, but I’ve been in this situation before and I just know that wherever I end up in my life in years to come I know that I’ll always be able to pick that smell out of any other and associate it with the memories that I will have of this town.

Maybe it’s a mix of the sea air, with all the wooden houses, or the local industry, or the bright daily sunshine – it’s really hard to say, but all I know is that I am able now to detect this scent, and will remember it for a long long time, and just when I think I’ve got used to it – I keep having moments when I step outside into the fresh air, and the smell of Charleston creeps up my nostrils.

It was probably enhanced too by the fact that spring arrived over the weekend, and Sunday was the first day that I wore shorts outside (still with a jumper on top though), but somehow the legs could take it.

Today – Monday – I’ve come out without a coat or jacket on too and I’d like to think now that that’s here to stay for the next 8 months until winter starts to roll around again.

MMMmmmm (inhales through nose). Charleston.

[1] I always always always end up humming Petula Clark’s “Downtown”, and it seems like years since I heard anybody use the phrase “High Street”.

10 responses to “Smells like …”

  1. David - Lightwater - In Oregon says:

    Hmm london has a smell as well! So does Lightwater. London – Car fumes, blah, blah, blah. Lightwater – Fresh Scotch Pine. As well as Portland goes I haven’t worked that one out yet!

  2. jaz says:

    Perhaps you smelled…

    Pluff mud, the tide
    Westvaco
    The sweet rub of beautiful people
    All along King
    Shrimp and grits
    A bakery
    Dreams smeared into
    Every break
    In the stucco
    Beer and rice and sparklers
    Moss
    And moonlight

    Perhaps?

  3. I noticed when I visited the Sendai area in Japan in the summer a few years back that it had a very distinctive (and pungent) smell. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the nearby volcano…?

  4. And the Tube. Now the London Tube has a really distinctive earthy smell. You even notice if when you’re at street level and walk past one of the air-vents from the tunnels.

  5. Johnny Alpha says:

    You know, I’ve never quite worked out what “downtown” means.

    Sometimes in films it is used to describe the bad part of town, and other times it seems they’re talking about upmarket financial districts.

    … and sometimes the cops just say “I’m taking you downtown” which seems to just mean “down to the police station”.

    Never quite plucked up the courage to ask before!

  6. Paul says:

    mmm…Tube smell!

  7. ClaphamCommuter says:

    Lake Taupo, New Zealand, beautiful place, the stink of sulphur was terrible, smelt like a thousand sewers!
    Kept me awake at night.

  8. leigh says:

    I love the smell and feel of the air when a thunderstorm is building here. You can just feel the pressure drop and it smells thick and ominous.

  9. geofftech says:

    Mr. Alpha – ‘downtown’ equates to ‘the high street’. or town centre. people back home in UK squeaked (literally) with laughter when i referred to going tp Epsom High Street as ‘going downtown’.

    Mr. Jaz – is that a poem? it’s nice…

  10. DivineMrsM says:

    The T in Boston. Always remember that strange, rubbery smell. I love Boston.

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