There are sometimes jobs one is asked to do that seem EXTREMELY odd. Maybe they are normal for others, but to you at that place and time they seem odd.
As a teenager, working Saturday mornings in a German delicatessen, the first (to me) odd job, was cleaning out a fridge what had cheese in it. At that stage of my life, adventurous cheese was very mature Cheddar. I approached the cheese fridge shelves, ready to stack the cheeses on one side while I cleaned the other; I became aware of a rather worrying smell. Sort of like old socks, with decaying earthworm undertones, and maybe just a subtle hint of wet dog.
I sniffed my hand, the one that had just been moving the wrapped cheeses. Goodness, it was MY HAND smelling like that. Frantically I ran to the section at the back of the shop that had the hand basin and frantically scrubbed my hand clean. Then I returned to the fridge. Cleaned the shelf and re-arranged the cheeses, in their individual piles again.
Once again the aroma, not too faint, invasive and pungent. Aha – there were other undertones there, none of which I had ever associated with food previously.
Off I ran to scrub again, ashamed that I apparently had developed a nasty odour.
The shop owner noticed this excessive cleanliness and came to ask me why. I explained I was suddenly smelling rather bad, and promised I’d wash twice as hard the next weekend. She sniffed at my hand and laughed. It was something called a Hand-Käse. She took the opened block and cut off a small sliver. “Taste that”, she commanded. Fearfully I obeyed, wishing all the time to be safe at home with my unthreatening foodstuffs.
Heaven, it was delicious; in a slightly decadent way.
The start of a long-term love of interesting cheeses.