March 23, 2007

Mosquito Bites

On my first day in India I was attacked by a squadron of bloodsucking mosquitoes. Left in an almost comatose state, each bite zone swelled up to the size of a ripe mango. Mosquitoes have a propensity for my sweet untainted blood. It is a savory delight which they feast upon with increasing frequency. At first I thought I was the meal of choice because I was the new treat in town, but eight months later the mosquitoes remain just as fond of my succulent blood as ever. My recovery time from the bites has drastically increased though. The initial agony from the bite is just as intensely painful as before, but within 12-24 hours I no longer notice any itchiness in the affected region. Legend has it that mosquitoes are universally attracted to a rare collection of individuals who possess a divine love scent. To counteract this effect, some victims have taken up smoking or prescribing to medications that make them smell like cabbage. As a man with considerable self respect, I have taken neither of these precautionary measures.

On a related note, the company bus arrives at the office half an hour before the departure time. During this period it keeps its doors wide open. By the time it is ready to leave a squad of bloodsuckers has positioned itself inside. During the journey home, my head is surrounded by a cluster of mosquitoes while the rest of the occupants merrily listen to their MP3 players, chat with their colleagues, or pretend to sleep. I have yet to determine if locals have been bitten so much that they instantaneously heal from the bites or if the mosquitoes have no interest in them when I am available.