London has a smell. It isn’t particularly unique, but every time I smell it, it says, “London!” Before I studied in London, I had probably forty people warn me of the British rain. But the rain never really came except in a cloud-like mist once a day for maybe 20 minutes. Instead, London fashioned bustling streets of double-decker buses constantly passing me on the streets like a Night Bus in Harry Potter kicking fumes in the crisp air in front of me.
The Tube, London’s underground, swished by with a lingering dust that would penetrate my nostrils. Sometimes, the wind even did the work for my over-stimulated nose. Those overpowering smells of cars, double-decker buses, and Tube exhaust are London. Still, when campus buses pass by with a whirl of wind and maybe a few autumn leaves, I can’t help but think, “It’s London in disguise.” I never expected fumes and pollution or anything negative sounding to remind me of my favorite city. Almost like someone who loves the smell of gasoline or skunks, bus exhaust is my odd olfactory love.