Saturday, May 17, 2014

May 17: The worst smell in the world

Yesterday I told you all about the best smell in the world so today it is time for the opposite.

There are bad smells and then there is the worst smell in the world.

The worst smell in the world is one that surrounds you like a blanket. It isn't a fart type of smell that wafts past and makes you slightly unhappy before floating further afield.


The worst smell in the world is one you can't remove yourself from in a hurry. Let me describe one of these experiences for you.

It is just a few weeks into Mr H and I moving into the very first house we bought. After discovering the neighbours keeping their many many bird cages at the fence near our house we soon saw the rats that were also in there. I am TERRIFIED of rodents so we quickly threw some rat sack around, including in the manhole of the roof.

A few days later a smell begun to waft around us. A few more days later and we could barely set foot in our new little home.

Our good friend Jim the Builder came over to help out, and had to take the roof off to find the smell.

DEAD RATS festering in our roof in a nest of insulation and cumquats. The stench was awful and no amount of smelly candles or incense will rid you of that kind of smell, you must simply wait out the time until mother nature blows a fresh wind through your path.

Another time I was surrounded by the worst smell in the world was in Borneo.

I expect many other countries have similar places though.

Mr H wanted to explore a local market on the outskirts of town. We walked there and began the wander past fruits and veggies and handmade bracelets and fresh noodles. The smell began slowly.

It looks ok, lucky I don't have smell cam.

We passed baby ducks in cages and then rabbits and guinea pigs in others. Another few hundred metres in and we are now in the middle of a huge local market. There are chicken feet hanging off sticks, meat cooking (possibly dog, highly likely monkey) there are rats eating rotting vegetables and I can not escape. And there are fish, dead fish and half dead fish. The gutters are filled with the rubbish and waste from the stall holders. There is no clean water anywhere. The smell overwhelms me and all I want is to get out of there. I am pretty much vomiting in my mouth and have water running from my eyes. The fresh herbs and spices do not mask any of the blanket of stench that is suffocating me. I am only moments from vomiting into the gutters and the thought of eating anything from this market nearly makes me cry.

Eventually we walk out the other end of the market. The smell does not stop as you walk out, it lingers on your clothes, in your hair and up your nose. It is THE worst smell in the world.

Beware the local market. You may leave with more than braided hair.


  1. Sometimes having hayfever (and a reduced sense of smell) is a blessing! What an adventure!

  2. We have had a similar issue with rodents....O.M.G! Enough said.

  3. Oh, you've written that so that I can almost smell that market. No good.

  4. I've visited a few places with stinks, but I suppose that I see it as an experience and at least I don't have to live there, these places that stink also make me sad, sad that this is how some people live, with waste at their feet x

    1. Borneo is not a sad place, so I didn't feel that way, but I know I would in other destinations. The people here are well fed, they have homes, the children have schools to attend. It's not first world, but it's far from third, it's just not a smell for me on market day.

  5. oh Dead animal, doesn't it STINK!!! Like seriously makes me want to gag.
    Yeah smells that linger on your clothes are the worst.


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