Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Piata Unirii (Unity Square) in Bucuresti (Bucharest)

Agent Smith from Matrix once said "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it" and that made me like him instantly.

He described perfectly how I feel whenever I exit the subway or bus at Unirii and go towards the tramway 32 station. It's only 100 meters, maybe 150, but you have to fight your way through a river of people, a lot of them smoking, then wait for the green semaphore light a long time while smelling all kind of interesting flavours, then try to get in the tram without being rubbed away like a pencil trail by people who don't really care if they touch you or not.

If you are lucky enough and it's winter time, maybe before some holiday or another, you get to smell the homeless people who decide that either it's too cold outside and camp in the tram, either that you have to give them a holiday present and start begging and singing and other things which basically mean they also move or crawl, thus evenly smearing the air with their fetid stink.