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15 November 2005

sprays and bursts of red and black

i was a productive tourist today. checked out the pondicherry museum and the sri aurobindo ashram where two men were performing surgery on a beautiful tree sheltering the samadhi. the days have been drifting quickly, a combination of my late mornings and the early nights. the sun sets at roughly 1800. i'm familiar with the early sunsets, but only when accompanied with the chilling of the air; the warm dark november evenings have been disorienting. i had dinner on a rooftop terrace. the total on the check was horribly wrong; i eventually needed to review addition and multiplication tables with the manager.

the war of the mosquitos has been raging since i've arrived in india. the battles have not been waged in the city streets, not on restaurant rooftop terraces, not on the beaches... no, the battles have not been waged outdoors at all. the mosquitos have been annihilating me in confines of my hotel rooms and it seems i am powerless to stop their attacks.

most rooms, in addition to the standard compliment of window screens, are equipped with a type of mosquito repellant; a liquid which is heated electrically to form an airborne chemical defense system. unfortunately the defenses are completely ineffectual. no, it seems the indian mosquitos have learned how to penetrate the screens and have adapted to tolerate the chemicals. my own defense equipment is unusable: my container of insect repellant warns against wearing it overnight and my sleeping bag and bugnet are intolerable in the hot rooms. the insect battles have mainly been one-sided and i've been on the losing side. i obviously needed to change my tactics. the best defense is a strong offense. no longer would i sit idly by and allow my blood to be drained every night. no! tonight... i would fight back!

armed with a postcard, i brought the fight to the walls and ceilings. [POW!] as the card landed on each mosquito, it was not just the insect's blood which was shed... indeed, the blood each had sucked from my body the previous night also colored the room. at the end of the battle, my room was decorated with sprays and bursts of red and black and the postcard was coated with exoskeleton and blood. i went to sleep tonight with a winning feeling.

during the night the survivors of my raid got together and avenged their fallen comrades. the next morning, i no longer had the winning feeling. i realized i was losing the war.

posted by paul on Tue 15 Nov 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)


You need some "bens" repellant. You can put it on anything and just a small drop will do. In fact, I think it's best to leave off your skin all together as its something like 40% DEET. Anyway, this is great information and all, but good luck finding it on the other side of the world. I'd be happy to send some over to you if you had an address it would get to. That picture is way too painful to look at....

posted by NEAL DAVID on Fri 18 Nov 2005 at 15:35:49 est (-05:00)

dude you are so going to get malaria.

posted by calvitron on Sun 20 Nov 2005 at 09:50:12 est (-05:00)

c: malaria... bah! my malarone will destroy the parasites.

nd: check it out. ben's repellant 100: max formula. got it in boston. this stuff is _95%_ deet and the bottle has a list of warnings on the back. i bought some other stuff in amsterdam which is only 30% deet and it warns about wearing it overnight, so i'm assuming the ben's mix would burn a hole right through my skin.

posted by paul recon on Mon 21 Nov 2005 at 05:43:09 est (-05:00)

So you already have some? I knew a guy who fished a lot, and used Bens all the time. Said he'd just put it on his hat and they would stay away. I wouldn't put anything on my skin that was originally designed to clean gun barrels on Tanks, (DEET), but throw some on your sleeping bag and see how it works...

posted by NEAL DAVID on Mon 21 Nov 2005 at 20:24:31 est (-05:00)

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