Turku has a smell, at night. I know it because I’ve walked the streets, late at night, early morning. I know it because I’ve taken my head out of the window and inhaled the breeze.
Why is this so important??
If you don’t know me well, let me tell you a couple things: I might not recognise you on the street if I’m not wearing my glasses and I will definitely ask you to repeat what you just said at some point, but if you buy a new perfume of cologne, or even if you change your shampoo, I will definitely notice it. So I can safely say that out of my 5 senses, the smell is what functions more than well in my body.
That makes me a lucky girl again, since smells are triggers of emotions and memories, probably more than any of our other senses….
What does Turku smell like?
Since the very first time I planted my feet on the land that was supposed to become home for the next two years, I desperately tried to catch a smell, but I couldn’t find anything. Soon the air became colder and colder and I put all my efforts on trying to keep my nose safe during winter…. Then Summer came and everything changed.
One day I was walking on the street, late at night, when it suddenly hit me. What was that??
A smell. Turku, finally, was giving away her true essence to me. I stopped and sniffed the air for a few seconds (mom, if you’re reading this, I sniffed the air exactly the way you told not to, because it makes me look like a dog). It was a moment of revelation: I wasn’t just a foreigner walking the same roads over and over again, in that moment I understood I was more than that, I felt welcomed.
I can gladly say Turku smells like grass and trees and clear nights. It smells like nothing too bad could happen to you here.
Turku smells like a safe place, like home, and I can only hope my life keeps a trace of the smell of a summer night in this beautiful city.