Jillian R.
We live in a cut-up villa with maybe 6-7 other people. We’ve yet to meet them all in person. There is one man, however, who needs no personal meeting – because we could smell him. Literally.

And it’s not a pleasant smell.

One floor above our apartment lives an Egyptian neighbor. I don’t know if he speaks English as we’ve never spoken to him before. The thing is; this guy probably has the worst body odor I’ve ever smelled in my entire life. Yes, ENTIRE life. I don’t know what it is with this guy. Another tenant thought it might be his shoes which were left outside his apartment, so that tenant (apparently) spoke to the landlord and the Egyptian was asked to put his shoes inside his apartment (can you imagine what it would smell like in there? Yikes!). This did not help, if anything, I think the stench got worse.

The funny thing is; this guy is not a physical laborer. He must be working in an office somewhere because he wears a dress shirt, slacks and a suit jacket every time we see him. Anyway, I will try to describe his smell the best I can – it smells so bad that whenever I walk out of our apartment I gag and want to throw up. Sometimes I think I do; a little in my mouth. It’s not even the smell of sweat, it’s like the smell of month-old sweaty socks, rolled up into a ball and left in a heated, humid room to slowly rot and simmer into something else entirely. It smells like despair and death.

(Old, smelly socks)

Or let me put it this way; it's good for my diet plan. Why? One time I had a passing thought about the stench during lunch, just a passing thought, I lost my appetite entirely.

All I can think of is; poor little Jester, with his sense of smell, walking into a cloud of THAT smell. Usually when I take him out to go to the bathroom, I will make him sit and wait in the doorway – y’know, for training purposes. However, when the guy is home, I say “RUN, JESTER, RUN! C’MON, RUN!” and Jester will. Sometimes he looks at me anxiously when we walk into the hallway. It could be the smell of it could be that he REALLY needed to go. Heh.

I do the same with Eric – “RUN, ERIC, RUN! HURRY! CAN’T BREATHE!”

We often have to light incense to cover the awfulness of it all. I didn’t know a human being could even make smells like that. Let me tell you, I’ve smelled people who work in the sun before, I’ve smelled the boys at camp (when I was a girl scout) who didn’t shower for a few days, but this, this tops it all.

So there you have it, another strange tale from Muscat!

[Edit 5/24/2011: We had the pleasure to speak with our Egyptian neighbor yesterday. He is one of the nicest people we've one here. NICEST! And he speaks very good English and he LOVES dogs. I find that this is a very rare quality in this part of the world. He DOESN'T have body odor, he just has really smell feet I suppose because he doesn't smell like anything when we talk to him. So it really WAS his shoes which were stinking up the building. And it's been quite some time since we smell the stench, so I guess he has been keeping his shoes inside his apartment now. Bless him!]
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