Number of mosquito bites acquired this year until approximately 2am this morning: 0
Number of mosquito bites acquired since approximately 2am this morning: 17
Every insect in the country is following the lead of my ex-pet cockroach and taking up residence in my home. Taking into account the fact that I’d only just plucked up the courage to sleep with the lights off again and had also spent the evening swatting moths and jumping nervously every time I thought I heard a noise or sensed a movement, I was already somewhat uncomfortable when the latest guest showed up.
I woke up in the middle of the night in pain. In my semi-awake, disoriented state, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong at first – just that my legs and arms appeared to be on fire. Then I realised I was frantically scratching horribly familiar welts. And then I heard it.
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Ah, crap. They’re back. And if the plague-of-boils-like appearance of my skin is anything to go by, they’re hungry.
It has not been a great week, readers. There was the cockroach trauma, which saw me temporarily living and showering with my most hated creature in the whole world, and which has rendered me a nervous wreck in my own home ever since. There was the eye infection, which is ongoing and possibly even getting worse. My days are filled with pills and eye drops to the point where I keep forgetting whether I’ve taken the latest dose or not (as a matter of fact, there is a very strong chance that I am high right now). I seem to be coming down with a cold on top of that. And now the mosquitos are here.
I gave up at the halfway break during my French class tonight, mumbling a grammatically horrific apology to the teacher before heading home. My eye was burning and I could barely see the board. I was shivering – me! Shivering! In August! – under the blast of the air conditioning that usually isn’t nearly cold enough for me. I couldn’t even sit still in my chair due to mosquito bites in unfortunate and (you would think) impossible places.
As I crawled woefully along the street, squinting fiercely and trying to scratch by rubbing my knees together in a way that possibly made me look as if I had rickets, I spotted a stand of insect-murdering equipment in a shop. It was a little ray of happiness in an otherwise depressing day, and when I went inside and surveyed the (vast) selection, it gave me a feeling that I usually only get when I look at the menu of my favourite restaurant. So many choices! So many wonderful, irresistible options! Korean shops have more sprays and gadgets for dealing with insects than… ah, sod it, I am too ill and sore and cranky even to think of an amusing comparison.
There were sprays with pictures of various dead bugs lying upside down with traumatised expressions on their faces. There were swatters of all shapes and sizes. There were sprays to kill and sprays to deter and sprays to do both while freshening the air in your house and perhaps cleaning the surfaces for you at the same time. There were pellets and poisons and tablets and lotions. There were patches for your clothes and stickers for your skin, to keep the mozzies away. There were scented candles and there were plug-in oil burners. It was overwhelming.
I started firing things into my basket like a madwoman, most likely cackling all the while, and am now home with a spray for cockroaches, a spray for mosquitos, a complicated “coil burner” contraption that appears to work like incense in an oversized ashtray , some kind of anti-bug mat, a swatter, and several body sprays and lotions as a final barrier. There is the tiniest hint of a possibility that – perhaps! – I have developed some kind of obsession.
And so I sit here, surrounded by my murder weapons and clutching my swatter, jumping nervously at every sound, my red, crusty eye twitching frequently as I listen intently for the next creature that makes the mistake of breaking into my apartment.
I will kill you. I will kill. you. all. Mwahahahahaaaaaaa.