Itchy and Scratchy, Yo, Or: This Really Bites

16 May

With the return of hot, swampy weather comes a triumphant explosion in the local mosquito population.  And apparently I’m the best thing on the menu.  Yay?

One of the few luxuries we maintain here is a housekeeper who comes around for two hours on one of our busiest days (Wednesday, that is.)  For about ten dollars, we can leave and get all our work done for the day and return to a clean apartment in the evening.  This helps promote sanity and the continued health of our marriage.  The floors will be mopped, the laundry hung up outside, the dishes washed…and this time of the year, the apartment will be full of mosquitoes.  When we’re home, we try to ensure that no window or door to the outside is open for any longer than it absolutely needs to be.  Mosquitoes will exploit any opportunity to get closer to a meal, after all.  Our Ayi is a little less concerned about such things.

Last night, there was a particularly persistent mosquito (or a small swarm of less-motivated ones) buzzing around while I slept.  I woke up looking like a plague victim, or perhaps an unfortunate teenager–swollen red splotches all over my face, and body, even a few on the soles of my feet.  Rachelle managed to squash one against the wall, and it left a bloody smear the size of a quarter.

We have tried a few ways to mitigate this issue, but we currently don’t have mosquito netting, and keeping ourselves covered is just not feasible in this weather.  We have a fan blowing across our bed as we sleep, and that seemed to work for a while, but I think they may have been evolving stronger wings lately.  When Rachelle isn’t around, when I see a mosquito I just surround it with a cloud of Raid, but that’s not really a good long-term solution.  Until we can get a better system to repel them, I may have to go to bed covered in bug repellent.  Or, maybe I should just give up and slather myself in barbecue sauce for them.

By the time I leave China, I’ll either be completely immune to mosquito bites, or dead from malaria.

Oh, Rigel wanted to get in on the biting action too.  Since he likes wind, when I blow on his face he’ll stretch himself out towards me and I’ll usually give him a kiss on the nose.  Last night he decided he’d much rather try to bite my upper lip off.  Time to consult the book of Armaments…

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