With winter came along also a famous Bangladeshi visitor--the hungry mosquito. They are everywhere--at home, in front of your home, in the office, in the car, around the car, in your nose or buzzing in your ears, often tangled in your hair, all over your exposed feet and defenseless child. The biggest swarms seem to be, inexplicably, in front of the apartment doors. Coming home has become a challenge worthy of Super Mario, where I would slowly come to the door, flail my arms bravely and try to kill as many as I possibly can, earning a coin each time I do. It doesn't help that I have a nice, cheap plastic autumn wreath on my door, which has been chosen (with delight, I am sure) as a favorite mosquito hangout spot. When I shake the damn wreath, about a million precocious and irritated mosquitoes fall out of it and start buzzing around me in irritation. Then I crack the door open and dash quickly inside at which point Son comes out of nowhere, screaming in delight upon seeing mama and then opening the front door wide open, probably to see if there is some other part of me left out there. In silent dismay I watch the pesky tiny neighbors come in for a visit in droves. Sure, we do try to keep them at bay with various contraptions - in front of the entrance door, I keep a slow burning coil, which sends a thin veil of scented smoke around the door. As a result, the entire building staircase smells like a Buddhist temple but it DOES help keep at least some percentage away. Inside, we have plug-in lamps that use heated scented oil. The oil is really effective--we have not had a mosquito in our bedroom or in Son's room for a long time. The downside is that it smells like a truly cheap perfume, the kind that they used to make back in the Soviet Union days and so it always reminds me vaguely of discos and teenage dating. Finally, to my utmost distaste, we finally armed ourselves with an electric tennis racket - the contraption allows you to electrocute (to the tune of an awful cracking, frying sound and smell) a flying by mosquito. So far, I have managed to electrocute one little buzzer but I can tell you, it is not a job for the faint of heart!
The most irritating part of them is that one mosquito tends to bite many times around the same spot - I'd rather the damn insect man up and bite once but show some quality work. These bites usually go away in a couple of hours but while they last, you will scratch your skin like a rabid dog. Not to mention that we are all morbidly afraid that we will catch Dengue fever, carried ever so graciously by the mosquitoes.
This is the season for Christmas parties, and boy, everyone has got some serious Christmas spirit. Starting tomorrow, we will be visiting Christmas parties every day, and on Thursday alone, we will go to 4, yes, 4 of them. I LOVE it!