That Time with the Mosquitoes

So I have always (a) been especially prone to mosquito bites, (b) been especially sensitive to mosquito bites. Mosquitoes aren’t a particularly large problem in China, and malaria or the like are not really concerns.

However, of course, they find a way to get to me. The first few nights in China, in the hotel, I noticed a few mosquitoes around but didn’t really get any bites. I did notice that there was a little trap thing in the hotel room, and that was that. Then I moved to host house.

The first night, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling a little itchy. I could also sense/hear that there was a bug flying around the room. I feel back asleep.

Upon waking, I first became aware that there was something wrong with my left eyelid. Upon inspection, I had a bug bite on it. Also, a few others on that side of my face. Also, all over my arms. And back. And basically, everywhere exposed to the air while I was sleeping. Perhaps in the range of 50 in all. I told site manager, who told the doctor, who told me to put cortisone and tell my host to put out mosquito repellent or trap.

The next morning I woke up with only a couple new bites, but new, fun-filled infection things around several other areas of previous bites. Big fun! Speed-dialed my good friend the doctor, etc., and that afternoon she brought me steroid cream and a government-issued mosquito net, having called my host to explain its installation.

I wasn’t yet convinced this action was necessary: after all, I’d only gotten a couple of bites the previous night with just some simple precautions. But LYY wanted to do it, and off we marched to the hardware store for some tools. Next she got the apartment complex handyman, with his drill, and next ensued a big mess of standing on a chair on the bed, drilling huge ceiling holes, securing hooks, strings, net…..

“Can I help?” I asked, in vain. “No, no. You go watch TV. Eat mango.” (LYY and CJX are always cutting and peeling fruit for me in the evenings since they know I like it. “Go watch TV and eat mango” is a rather constant refrain.)

The net was finished. The handyman left, with a token gift of a mango, and I returned to my room, where now there was a fine layer of drywall dust over all surfaces. “We just have to clean up!” LYY exclaimed. “OK, I’ll grab the mop,” I replied. “No, no, you go watch TV and eat mango, we will do it!” Mmmmmkay. And then they did. And in the ensuing three days since I have had the giant net, there have been no new nighttime bites.

The end.


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