This morning I smelled freshly-mown grass. I’ve never smelled that in Beira before. It was a nice antidote to the rotten fishy smell I usually smell in that same spot, where the fishermen bring their boats in and then make their way into town. (The other day I saw a man walking down the street with his catch, wearing a suitcoat and shorts.)
People often ask me what Beira looks like. Once someone asked me what it sounds like. More consciously, I’m aware of what it smells like.
Garbage, urine, sewage, fresh fish, old fish, salty sea, body odor, car exhaust, dust, cooking fires, grilled meat, cooked fish.
The other night I walked past my bathroom and smelled fish cooking. Coming from the bathroom. I realized my neighbors were probably cooking fish in their apartment, and the smell was coming through the bathroom window which opens into the stairwell opposite their windows.
Recently I’ve been catching the occasional fresh scent of orange. Like the grass, it’s a nice contrast to the normal street smells. Oranges (which here should be called Dull Greens) are in season right now, and not much else is. They aren’t as pretty to look at as pineapples or mangoes, but the burst of scent when someone peels one adds a freshness to the air that other fruit doesn’t. And pleasant freshness is not a smell I’m accustomed to here.