Monday, 28 February 2005

Smells 2

In case you're wondering about all these "sequels", well, I was rushing off to watch TV yesterday :p I know, I could have saved draft.. Ah well, nvm :)

So, I give up taste for smell.

Have you ever smelled the morning? I mean, early morning? Say, one day, try waking up at day break, when it's just beginning to get bright. Go to an open window, look at the trees in front of you (there has to be at least one tree - this is so-called green city) and take a deep breath.. Feel the air pass through your respiratory tract. Smelled the morning yet? Close your eyes and take a second breath..

The mornings were always cool - I would shiver as I prepared to go to school. The sky was just starting to brighten up as I left the house. Those times, outside smelled of either grass or haze. On the way to Dunearn Road, I would endure the strange smell often present in air-conditioned buses, if I were on one. Else, the wind gushing past the open window was always sweet.

It was freaking early that winter Sat morning. Sky was still greyish blue. I smelled High Street. Stale beer from the Fri night. I could see my breath condensing in the cold. Darn, the guy's late and we've got a bus to catch.. I took some pictures as I waited at, was it St Mary's Passage? The sign actually didn't appear (and disappear and appear again) until two or three years later.

When was the last time you smelled a stale room, a room locked for too long, empty and unused? I love it. It meant a new academic year. It meant returning to my old room after a long backpacking trip. It meant coming back to something familiar. The smell disappeared upon inhabitation, supplanted by a more powerful scent which was elusive to me - visitors claimed my rooms had this smell (?!), this fragrance (thank goodness!). I realised later it was my many bottles of perfume and I was too accustomed to them to smell anything.

I still love Aqua di Gio, its connotations notwithstanding. And Pleasures too, I'm always generous with that on myself. Perhaps a bit too generous.

Freshly baked bread - it may be Sainsbury's economy! - and chocolate, they are reminders of my baking days. The sweet smell of custard I used for my popular Portuguese egg tarts would hang in the tiny kitchen for hours. Oh, slightly burnt toast from ground floor toaster - think it belonged to friend-tutmate-neighbour who simply wiped his Teflon pan after frying his steak!

I don't know what else but my nose triggers off all these recollections from childhood to recent past. Memories, I've learnt, are never forgotten; they are simply locked until someone or something happens to knock on the floodgate, releasing them.

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