We were on our e-bike driving up to our school at the campus and we hear the sound of someone cutting grass in the complex. The sound, and then as we past, the smell of it immediately transported me back home; my Dad cutting the grass in the garden….usually it’s a good day. The smell wafting up to me. I think this smell is the strongest one that reminds me of home. It’s not often I find someone cutting the grass here, but when I do, it just brings me back home.
This particular time was the strongest though. It’s amazing how a smell or a sound brings back memories. I think for me, I grew up with my Dad cutting the grass all the time, meaning it’s a deeply-ingrained memory. Of course there are many more; my sisters perfume or something that my mum cooked.
Whenever they send me a box over from Ireland, I take a long smell inside the box; I know it’s Irish air trapped in there! Pure and fresh! When they send me clothes from home, I take a long smell again, reminding me of home. The first box they sent me I asked for my little teddy cat, I didn’t bring it with me. It’s my childhood teddy. The smell of home lingered on it for weeks.
I love being reminded of home, but It also makes me miss it! I wonder, when I leave China, what smells with remind me of my time here? Maybe the strong smell of hotpot. (if I ever try a hotpot place in Ireland or somewhere else). I definitely know one thing that I’ll never forget….. STINKY TOFU! I’d never dream of finding it in Ireland, but I’m sure thats one scent that is unique to Chengdu.
For Rafa, something that reminds him of home is this spicy salsa sauce you put over food, like in a tortilla wrap. Coming back from Mexico, he brought some back with him. He says smelling that instantly reminds him of home. Another thing is a sauce called ‘Valentino’. It’s red/brown in colour and spicy. We put it over our popcorn. That again is from Mexico and it reminds him of home.
Yet for me, those sauces, because I ate them in China, will always remind me of China! One thing that does bring memories for me of Mexico… While I was there we bought these watermelon flavoured lollipops. On the outside you have kind of like a powder covering them. It is both sour and sweet and for me, a very unique taste that reminds me of Mexico.
But, like stinky tofu, there are some smells (which seem plentiful in China) that I’d rather not get used to….. public toilets to name but a few!