The Corner

The Nose Knows

At the end of yesterday’s installment of the Oslo Journal, I had some light items — some meringue after a heavy meal of human-rights struggles. I said,

“Here is a curious fact: 7-Elevens, all over the world, smell the same. There is an established, unchanging 7-Eleven smell. Whether the store is in Peoria, Oslo, or Timbuktu, you walk in, take a whiff, and go, ‘Yup — 7-Eleven.’”

Well, I stand corrected. A reader writes,

“It’s not quite true that 7-Elevens smell the same throughout the world. In Taiwan, they smell like the chou dofu (aptly translated in English as ‘stinky tofu’) that is kept in a crock-pot-like apparatus near the register. To my American nose, the scent is nearly unbearable. It is also, unfortunately, ubiquitous, because there is a 7-Eleven on nearly every street corner in parts of Taiwan.”


Of course, one man’s sinkhole is another man’s rosebush. (But one man’s terrorist is not another man’s freedom fighter. Right?)


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