Something very odd happened in London today. It started with a bit of a funky odour when I got to Kings Cross. Even though I have a very sensitive sense of smell, at first I couldn’t quite work it out. I was just thinking it smelt like a mix of rotten feet with a splash of stale armpit thrown in when it hit me – falafel!
Obviously, being a cumin-hater, my first thought was a definite ‘Eugh!’, but I thought it fair enough – it was getting on for lunch time and there are people who like that sort of thing.
A couple of air-conditioned hours later (still in Kings Cross) and the smell on the street had been turned up to full whiff. I got on a bus and it was there too – stronger if anything. I had one of those horror moments, wondering if it was me who was emitting the smell, but a subtle sniff of my pits and a quick body check for squashed falafel gave me the all clear.
I hopped off the bus at Oxford Street and falafel-pong was everywhere. I sent a text to a friend to find out if the smell was just my brain playing tricks on me. I got a reply saying “maybe that’s why I’ve been wanting one all day”. So it wasn’t just me – something had obviously planted the seeds of falafel-desire in my friend’s head.
As I headed west, the smell remained. And when I got home, I was greeted with more falafel mixed with the smell of lilies.
So where has this vile stench come from? Is there a Falafel Festival going on somewhere in town that no-one warned me about?
They say every city has its own smell. Maybe falafel is London’s official odour and the lack of rain over the past few weeks has allowed the stench to fester and envelop the whole city. Grim!