One reason we selected my current apartment was the relative beauty of the surroundings; for example, a kindly man with a cute cat grows a garden in front of my stairs. Having a little more greenery around the place is nice, plus I can chat with a cat every morning on my way out.
My first week here, I was left wondering how beneficial it was when an odor kept wafting into my office. Mistakenly I thought he was burning garbage in the garden and including a lot of plastics. When I realized the truth I’m not quite sure, but it exonerated the kindly man.
Two blocks from my apartment we have an old bandai sento (番台銭湯) of which I will surely write more later, but for today it is a public bath. This also seemed like a plus, but is the source of my mysterious odor. Everyday they fire up an oil furnace to heat the water. It’s not bothering me now, but we’ll see about the Springtime when I want to leave the windows wide to suck in the fresh air.