As a former resident of the world’s biggest city, Mexico D.F., I can attest to the horrid pollution, often augmented by occasional spurts from nearby El Popo (though I insist it’s no worse than L.A.‘s smog). Capital residents are so used to it you really don’t notice it, but what they appear to be noticing now is a serious physical manifestation of the problem: the loss of their sense of smell. The BBC reports that a study
“…compared the sense of smell of people from Mexico City to that of people from Tlaxcala, a nearby community with the same environmental characteristics and altitude. The results were revealing…the residents of the capital had a less ability to distinguish between smells like orange, coffee or milk due to the high levels of pollution.”
That’s bad news but in truth there are so many smells in Mexico City that one would prefer not to smell that this might have a positive side for some. The city of 20,000,000 people, as amazing as it is, almost always smells like a mixture of bleach, garbage and tacos al pastor. Try smelling that when stumbling out of a bar at 5:00 a.m…That’s when a weak nose comes in handy.