Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer survival essentials

Summer's most essential must have 'accessories'

Anyone who’s spend a summer in the Shanghai/Suzhou area (I am not sure how bad it is in the rest of the China, feel free to let me know all of you living in the dong bei/xi bei areas?!) knows how a bunch of aggressive mosquitoes easily can ruin your terrace night. I’ve done the mistake of enjoying a beer at a terrace without any mosquito repellent ONCE (wearing a short skirt) and the next morning, my legs looked like victims of the plague. For some reason, mosquitoes love my blood and my body reacts strongly to a bite, making the whole area around the bite swell and go red and then it itches non-stop for about 1 week (not exaggerating!). Since I love exercising and running this normally makes the itching/swelling even worse (I guess the skin gets irritated somehow when I sweat?), turning a running session into a painful experience. So, during summers in Suzhou I always spray myself (every little exposed skin part, I don’t forget the legs and the hands! Right now I have a bite on my finger as a result of sloppy spraying) with mosquito repellent before going out.

I buy my mosquito repellent from my local pharmacy. It’s a small bottle with a neon green liquid… yup, looks kind of scary and smells like absolute shi**, but I don’t care. As long as it helps I’m happy.

However, it still happens that I get bitten (there are, for instance 986489236498 mosquitoes inside the toilet stalls at our university. Try peeing while being attacked by 100 aggressive blood suckers? Yup. No can do. Even though my classroom is on the first floor I have started to take the stairs to the fifth floor every time I need to go to the bathroom. But there might still be some hungry little bastards, attacking you when you’re in a very vulnerable position… ). And once I am bitten I know it’s going to be hell. Sleepless nights of itching bites… Itchy running sessions…. Big, plague like (that leaves a scar if you itch them) spots on your legs…. uhhh… Awful!

That was until my lovely friend Monica introduced me to this fantastic little bottle of blue liquid: It goes under the name ‘refreshing water’ and smells like mint, and if you spray that on your bite it will stop itching… immediately! You can buy it from Watson (like fellow blogger Shopgirl, I love Watson! I can walk around in there for hours, just looking at unnecessary, but funny, things that I don’t need) for 14 kuais! When you pay that price you don’t only get the ‘after-bite-spray’ but you also get a mini bottle of mosquito repellent (the same, neon green one that I buy from the pharmacy). Not only does this spray stop the bite from itching, but I also experienced that it reduces the swelling of the bite.

Ahhh, since finding this thing I even dare to go and pee on the first floor of my university again. Fear mosquitoes no more!
Comes in a bag and looks like this at Watson
After-bite survival spray!

13 comments:

Lydia said...

You need more vitamin b and sulphur in your diet thats all :)

Jonna Wibelius said...

Lydia -what, you're saying if I eat more vitamin b the mosquitoes won't bite me anymore?? That's something new!

Chinazhoumom said...

I use a product called "afterbite" in the USA - (it is bascially Ammonia in a tube...so if ever at a loss for the green stuff - Ammonia will work like a charm!
Good Luck I am the SAME way - they yell buffet when I step outside...
Carol in FL

Dangerous Des said...

look no further for your greatest sympathiser. I am also mosquito-food, wherever I go... when I lived in Central America it was the worst. My legs looked like a junkie's for about a year afterward and although that was three years ago I still have scars from all the bites.

I don't know what it is about European mosquitoes that makes them need to buzz in your ears at night but before I go to sleep each night in summer I hunt the house for mosquitoes, close all the windows, and tie a bandana over my ears so I can sleep. At that point I don't even mind being bitten so long as I don't have that mosquito whine in my ears all night!!

Pete In Syracuse said...

Jonna - It's a war out there & the mosquito is the enemy, haha. You are so funny, in many ways you react the same as I. My daughter unfortunately has inherited the same (love for blood) skin as I & every mosquito that see us yells "BUFFET" & brings their families too!! I wonder if I could get that repellant for her to try?

Joe said...

Jonna, Regular household ammonia does the job....just rub it in to neutralize the bite...

Anonymous said...

Yep, know where you're coming from.

One time a few years back in Northern part of Malaysia, went to bed without lighting one of those slow burning green spiral things they sell up there as a mosquito repellant. Next day I had about a dozen mosquito bites over my face!

And I dont know about you, but nothing stops me from sleeping like hearing the buzzing noise of a mosquito in the bedroom!

I hate mosquitos.

Adrian

le embrouille blogueur said...

If you really want to feel the pain of a mosquito (the size of a sparrow) you have to live in India ..especially in Kharagpur ...the swelling will add a good 100 pounds to your body mass and your bones will never feel the mattress....again !!! funny post !!

Brad F. said...

I have the same problem with mosquitos. When I lived in areas prone to have large amounts of mosquitos I would always wind up with bites if I didn't use sprays. Luckily, the places I've lived over the last few years have been deserts or, like Singapore, mostly mosquito free. They campaign about reducing the available natural breeding areas around homes for mosquitos because of dengue here. Unfortunately, when I visit my wife's family in the Philippines the mosquitos are out for blood, and I must be like a rare item on the buffet because they all come for me, ignoring my wife and her family.

MJfe said...

Haha, I always hear my GF complaining(almost in tears) about dozens of mosquito bites during some summer nights, but the odd thing is those annoying Buzzing bastards never seems to bother me much, maybe my blood tastes bad? hehe

Only real problem I have with them is the buzzing sounds around my ears when I am sleeping, since I got kinda of a Beefobi.

kanmuri said...

Maybe it's because I'm up North, but we don't have that many mosquitoes in my area. Makes me happy, because with all the rice paddies in the area, we have the potential for an army of mosquitoes.

We had problems with moths last year, tho. It was the most disgusting thing ever. At night, city light would be surrounded by thousands of moth, half of which would be found dead on the road the next morning. I shudder at the memory.

Jonna Wibelius said...

hahahaha, really funny to read all of your responses?! 'Buffet?!' hhahahahaha!! Yeah I bet that's what they are all thinking when they realize there's a good tasting human around. Weird that some people (like my friend willing) just get small, small bites and some others (like me, and a lot of you guys) get these huge, red, swollen bites! But I guess that's life. Thanks for telling me about ammonia, I had no idea.

Anonymous said...

Not just vitamin B its B1.