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.”

Gotcha.

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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