I consider myself to be pretty accepting of most people. But, when i lived at 6161 Bathurst Street for a year, I developed an aversion to Russians. Now, I know this is a huge generalization. But, in my entire building, which i would say had at least 100 apartments in it, there were approximately 5 units that were not Russian.
So, I was truly living among them. And in general, the children were animals (spitting on the elevator buttons so you’d get your finger wet when you touched it…i quickly learned to carry tissues at all times…ew), the teenagers were scary (they were usually outside smoking and most likely drug dealing), and the adults were just plain rude (they wouldn’t hold doors open, they would park in your parking spot even though it was YOUR parking spot).
And then there was the smell. It was a kind of onion-y cooking smell that was reminiscent of slight B.O. mixed with cold cuts. The smell would waft down the hallways and even enter our apartment. My roommates and I kept our windows open all year long. even in the dead on winter.
It’s been seven years and I’m no longer intolerant of Russians. My husband works with a lot of Russians who he finds very nice and don’t smell like cold cuts. And i’m sure their children don’t spit on elevator buttons either. One of my sister’s best friends is Russian and I like her very much. I know she would hold the door open for me and wouldn’t park in my parking spot.
But, every once in a while, i revert back to my old ways. I’m not proud of it. But, it just happens. This morning we overslept. It was quite possibly the worst morning to oversleep. I had so much to do – i needed to make the stew for dinner and plug in the crockpot and i needed to hit the bakery for challahs and dessert and bagels before work. So, needless to say, i didn’t get a chance to shower. my hair still looks pretty decent thanks to my flat iron, and with the right make-up and outfit, it’s hard to tell that I didn’t shower. But, my hands smell like onions. I have scrubbed and washed them about 14 times since i got to work, yet the smell remains.
I smell like my old neighbors in 6161.