Friday, July 20, 2007

The Great Mosquito War

It is summer in Berlin… again. For about half of June and the first week or so of July, Berlin was experiencing this horrible November-type weather… cold, windy, rainy… pretty shitty, actually.

But last weekend, the clouds parted and brought forth sun! LOTS of sun, and lots of heat. It was 37c (98F) on the Saturday, and even hotter on Sunday.

All that crappy rain mixed with the increased temperatures has meant that the mosquitoes have had a breeding frenzy. Every night I am awakened by the singularly annoying buzzing sounds of the little bloodsuckers.


Therein lays the problem for me. I can put up with a lot of irritating things… bugs, flies, even the occasional snake… but things that want my BLOOD… This is where I lose it.

Making it even harder is the NOISE that makes it so hard to sleep through. There I am sleeping peacefully and in the back of my consciousness comes this far away buzzing sound. My brain categorizes it… not as a mosquito, but as one of those wretched beastly flying blood-sucking things.

Then the buzzing sound gets closer and closer and the pitch raises higher and higher. It's almost as though he sees his target and he gets more excited with each raise in pitch. Also the sound isn't controlled, it's not like the Doppler Effect where it gets closer and closer at the same speed, eventually passing you and getting further and further away… NO, these despicable creatures seem to be little flying drunks or something… the pitch gets higher, then lower, then higher again until he is very close to your ear… then lower again as it moves away, eventually coming back again because of course your face is the best natural target.

So now he knows you're there… and you know he's there… what do you do about it? The odds of actually smashing them between your hands in a darkened room while in a sleepy stupor must be astronomical… so that doesn't make any sense. But of course you must do something…

At one time I would find myself waiting until the little drunk bastard seemed to be at his closest to my ear… then I would quickly bring my hand up and slap myself (uh huh, you got it… smart eh? … give me some credit, I AM half asleep), hoping that somehow I would have caught the greedy bloodsucker in that slap and killed it … DEAD. It really doesn't take too long for the realization to sink in that this is not a very reasonable thing to do.

So now when I hear the flying bastards coming close in their strangely drunken way… I consider the slap process and vaguely remember that the stinging of my face just isn't worth all the trouble. What is left to do but wildly flail my arms about… (totally like a girl!!) each arm going in a different direction, hoping to discourage the obnoxious creature or at least cause enough wind from the movement that they are blown away.

The main problem is that all of this ridiculous movement isn't really as effective as I would hope… it seems that one of the bastards figured out last night what was getting him blown about the bedroom and decided to exact his revenge… on my hand (see below). This morning I awoke to two aggravating bites on the same hand. These compliment rather nicely the five new bites I have on my legs, and the new bite on my other arm.

I don't think I'm winning this war... Honey, where is that mosquito net we got for the Maldives? Do we have any more of that deet?

Mosquito Hand

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