Friday, February 24, 2012


I work in an older building in Sheung Wan that's surrounded by dried seafood shops, so the area has a very particular smell. Western tourists are advised by guidebooks to come visit this street - not to buy anything, but just to... smell.

My office building houses residential flats, the chambers of commerce of various small nations, and mysterious "import/export" businesses. Each floor has a distinct smell. Floor 5? Chinese medicine shop. Floor 12? Seafood. Floor 16? Ginger and... ammonia?

Anyway, I work on the 22nd floor, so getting to the office every day is an olfactory adventure.

The other day I was leaving work, and going down the elevator stopped on a floor I'd never seen before. As the doors opened, the elevator was flooded with the most godawful smell of decomposing bodies and durian and backed up sewage and incense and bad dreams, and all I saw was a pet carrier. A Buddhist monk stepped on, pointed at the carrier, and said "Dog." My pithy reply - "It stinks."

After the elevator had descended a few floors, the monk said, "Smells bad."

Then, a few floors later, "Dead. Hahahaha!"

Then we reached the ground floor and walked in separate directions. What just happened?

1 comment:

  1. EEW, swinging by via Cecilia and also the HKBR.

    This is rank!

    Hong Kong, mate. Who can tell what's going on half the time.

    I love your blog though.