This is not a picture of my foot, but it may as well be only add in thighs, arms, and hands as well. No see ums are nothing new to Paco (who seems semi immune) who hails from Minnesota where the insect life is sporting and votes democrat! I wrestled with some horseflies on a canoe trip in the boundary waters there, so I know of what I speak! I've been putting up with noseeums for 5 weeks, but yesterday it reached a head. KINGS EX!!!!!!! WHITE FLAG!!! I was hovering downtown while Paco took care of some technology issues. He left me at what we thought was a huge huge monastery for a couple of hours. I quickly discovered it was a college campus of some sort, but not to worry. I'm a world-class people watcher. I can do it for a few hours. Flanking the entrance to the massive park/campus were two rather large ponds full of robust bamboo/water lily/ plant life AND (unbeknownst to me) invisible enemies where I parked myself to watch people. When I reached to scratch my ankles, the itching grew so intense that I had to walk up the street counting to 100 before I allowed myself to attack my ankles, arms, and fingers with the intense scratching! It took great amounts of concentration not to dig out my flesh, I kid you not!!!! Scratch violently, count to 100. Repeat. I limped into a pharmacy (loose term for a store minded by young girls who diagnose and enthusiastically hand out all manner of salves and pills) and did my best itching charade. I began rubbing copious amounts of the white cream they sold me all over to momentary relief. Only momentary. MISERY!!!! Itching of the highest magnitude!!!!!!!!! Welts. More itching. On into the night and through it as well. One source suggested drinking vinegar to make myself less tasty to the insects. Ice as relief. Baby oil. The only thing I've found that offers any relief is Mentholatum. One of the pharmacy girls gave me that a few weeks ago. Welllllll, anyhoo, I'm ready to move onto the next plague. Maybe raining snakes or hair loss. Enough already with the noseeums. At least we'd be able to SEE snakes...
Saturday, October 4, 2014
"Let My People Go!"
I don't mean to whine--actually, who am I kidding? I DO mean to whine! As long and as loud as you'll let me! China is edgey. I knew this. Thousands of people can just die from bad toothpaste or substandard baby formula or a passing earthquake or unclean water or airplane crashes or bird flus. Most of the stuff doesn't even make the news. The history of atrocities is thousands of years long and winds down through some pretty gnarly chapters--man and Mother Nature playing a cruel leap frog game of attack on the Chinese people. I knew Paco and I would have to be at the top of our game to survive here, and I put a good deal of faith in God that we'll be ok, but Some of the obstacles were unanticipated--the slippery slimey sidewalks, the inordinate amount of moving vehicle dodging, the little yippy dogs that want to take our hands off. We both succumbed a few weeks back to some coughs and rot gut, and we seem to be on the mend, back on our feed AND feet. But the newest plague is noseeums, and this may be the one to completely break my spirit. It is driving me crazy. Slowly. Crazy..