I continue to enjoy my time in the U.S., zooming around San Diego in my Mazda Miata, my favorite car in the world. One drawback of a convertible like the Miata is that you’re generally more acquainted with the smells around you as you drive, which in the U.S. often means passing a dead skunk and having to endure its unique aroma. This isn’t a problem in Japan, as there are happily no skunks in the country — that’s a nice thing not to have. Hummingbirds, which often flit around my head when I work in the backyard in my house in San Diego, are another bit of fauna that’s not found in Japan, and Japanese know of the unique creatures only through picture books. It makes me wonder what Japanese people think of when they imagine skunks or hummingbirds — I’ll bet it’s very different from people who live alongside them.
Most Japanese think the smell of a skunk comes from flatulance.