Korean summer was a bit of an eye-opener. My Arctic-esque Scottish physiology had a pretty hard time of it. Two months were spent seeking respite from oppressive humidity at the beach (tough life), discarding clothing wherever decent / legal, and battling with the entire spectrum of human emotion other than acceptance of my Wildling hair. Two cats permanently shedding and covering my clammy skin with hairball tumbleweeds took me to dizzying new crazy-cat-lady heights, and Husband and I marveled at how it could possibly be that clothes hanging outside for a week could still not be dry. Needless to say, I gave up and embraced not only the eco-crime that is air-conditioning (only at work!) but the Crazy Jumble-Sale Cat Lady look, too. Over-sized I Heart Cats T-shirt with 70’s-style running shorts and cat-chewed flip-flops. In public. Good times.
Now it’s mid-September (the 18th in fact, which begs the question: Why am I writing about the weather instead of the Scottish referendum? Answer: Because I’m not allowed to vote thanks to me being abroad, and this will therefore turn into (another) rant about those egotistical shysters who call themselves the SNP.) and I thought this would be my moth-to-butterfly moment. I’d stop looking like someone from the People of Wal-Mart site and get back in amongst with my actual wardrobe of man-made fibres and confident prints. Well, I was half-right. The temperature is more welcoming to flared cords and polyester shirts than it was a few weeks ago, but alas it’s also more welcoming to those cursed mosquitoes.
I’ve always been fresh meat to those winged beasts. Central America, South-East Asia and even the US break new ground for me when it comes to physical Me vs.
Culicidae war-wounds. Looking like a medical trial that’s gone horribly wrong when I’m off travelling is not uncommon. Limbs swollen with unattractive bulges, turgid and itchy, look particularly violent against my pasty Scottish skin. Horrific. But sometimes I’m the one to emerge victorious, crushing them to death with a vicious swipe. I’d hold their heads aloft as a message to others, if they weren’t so small. Anyway, usually, it’s an even battlefield.
Until now. Thanks to a 3-week trip to Scotland and a brief sojourn to Hong Kong where I wasn’t attacked at all, I foolishly let my guard down. Stupid! It’s led to three significant bites on my FACE. Goddammit! The one place that it’s definitely not OK to violate.
Twice on my jawline, one at either side, so that for all of Sunday and part of Monday I looked like a Franz Kafka character with a couple of mandibles protruding from my chin. Today’s surprise was a murderous red welt glowing on my cheek. One of the bastards had stolen in like a thief in the night to harvest my cheek blood while I slept. Outrageous. And against the rules.
Waiting until I’m asleep and then attacking my face to re-fuel just isn’t sporting, and I’m pretty disgusted by those tactics. With 90 million years of evolution and a lifetime of interfering with me, I thought we had an understanding. Clearly I was wrong.
So, to that little long-snouted f**ker I’m convinced is hiding in my wardrobe back at the flat, I say this: It’s War. The Off! is out, the drains are getting blasted and I’ve bought shares in a whole host of citronella products. And if you come near me or my face again, I’m setting the cats on you. For whatever that’s worth.
Or maybe I’ll just invest in a mosquito net.