You know how some people are, like, chick magnets, or dude magnets, or money magnets, or magnets for something that might somehow be cool or useful in their lives?
Yeah, I’m a mosquito magnet.
It’s not quite as cool or useful as being a dude or money magnet, but that’s my lot in life, I suppose. Poor with no dudes, covered in mosquito bites.
I can be in a room of 100 people and the lone mosquito in the room will attack only me. Everybody else will be looking at me like I’ve lost my mind as I’m swatting at the air and yelping, ‘Is nobody else getting bit here?!’ I mean, I really love attention (um, hello, I have a blog that is pretty much solely about meeeeee and also exceptionally useful tips about what kind of potato chips I think you should buy!), but even I have my limits, you know?
In addition to the regular places like arms and legs, I’ve been bitten on my lip, next to my eyes, my ears, my fingers, my toes, and several other unmentionable places. When I was in Costa Rica, I got bit on my butt more than once as I was going to the bathroom. On my butt! In the bathroom! Is there no place sacred for you, mosquitoes?
Clearly not, as they also deem it appropriate to fly up my skirt and under my shirt to bite me. I’m always like, At least buy a girl a drink first, mosquito, sheesh. I may be a cheap date, but I do have SOME pride.
This is all part of the continuing theme of me being really smart (that is sarcasm!) by moving to the tropics. I hate hot weather, I hate ginormous hot-weather-inspired cockroaches, and I hate mosquitoes. So I live in a tropical climate.
I generally have terrible reactions to mosquito bites; my legs look like I have acquired some rare tropical disease wherein your legs become covered in scabby red hills, which is totally attractive (the profuse sweating in the hot weather here doesn’t help with the attractiveness, either, let me tell you) (also, I just grossed myself out with the description of my legs). I always try Tiger Balm first, but sometimes it gets so bad I have to take an antihistamine so I won’t go totally batshit crazy with the itchingitchingitchingitchingohmygodtheitching.
I’ve tried all the different kinds of mosquito repellants. Citronella is a joke, Avon Skin-So-Soft is hardly even a good lotion, repellant for backwoods camping barely does it for me, mosquito coils only make me sneeze, and the Off! portable repellent you clip on yourself just made a funny noise. In general, mosquitoes just swarm to a part of my body I haven’t sprayed or bite me straight through my clothes. (Side note: I did learn that there is 98% DEET that will also take your nail polish off. Sign me up!)
In Thailand, mosquitoes don’t just live in the great outdoors. Oh, no. That would make life easy. They live inside, too. In restaurants. In hotels. In apartments. In buses. In taxis. They even invade the holiest of places in Thailand, the place where you go to be safe and cool, and get snacks: the 7-11s.
The thing is, mosquito bites in the United States are really annoying, but you don’t ever really hear about anybody getting sick from them. Technically you can get West Nile Virus, but I’ve never met anybody or even known of anybody who’s gotten it.
A great aspect of Thailand is that the mosquitoes are vicious, and I actually have known of people who’ve gotten malaria or dengue fever.
As I can tend toward hypochondria, I think I have dengue fever every time I feel a little headache coming on. My conversations always go like this:
Me: Brock, I think I have dengue fever!
Brock: You don’t have dengue fever.
Me: I might! I get bitten a lot by mosquitoes! I have a headache! You don’t know! You’re not a doctor!
Brock: You don’t have dengue fever.
Me, muttering to myself: I’m pretty sure I have dengue fever.
Turns out I have never had dengue fever, but I might someday, and THEN YOU’LL ALL BE SORRY!
Mosquitoes: 1 billion Megan: 10 (sometimes I manage to kill them, although I always feel bad about it. I don’t know–I’m weird)
p.s. Last time I thought I had dengue fever, it actually was appendicitis and I was in the hospital for three days for surgery. SO THERE!