Monday, March 7, 2011

Bugs kind of Bug Me

If you ever decide to move to Thailand, realize that insects just become an integral part of
your life. There is no escape. I'm used to feeling like an ant-hill by now...used to watching tiny bugs navigate there way through the maze on my key board...used to picking ants and mosquitos out of my water...etc.

I have a constellation of bug bites on my arm. I’ve named it “The Boomerang.”

If there is a Greek or Latin name that fits it better, I’m open to suggestions. You know, you’d think that after practically bathing in bug-repellent cream in the morning and then periodically spraying myself with mosquito spray throughout the day that the bugs would leave me alone. They don’t. I have another bug-bite on my foot that almost looks like an extra appendage sprouting—a rather oozy appendage.

On top of it all, last night I could NOT stop scratching my head—it was itching like CRAZY. I woke up this morning with a sinking feeling in my stomach and the memory of something Diana whispered in my ear on Valentine’s Day during the Baan Unrak celebration:

One of the girls that I was sitting next to that night had jokingly taken her hat off and placed it on my head. I posed in it for her and pulled a couple of silly faces before handing it back. Diana leaned over from her seat across from me and whispered, “Now you have lice too!” and then sat back, laughing. I looked at her, wide-eyed, wondering if she was serious, but because she looked so jovial, I assumed she was only teasing me. This morning, I realized she probably wasn’t.

Having an itchy scalp is pretty bad….but knowing that the itchiness is being caused by a community of tiny crawling biting bugs in your hair is about 100 times worse. I told Diana about my suspicions today, and she said that it’s hard to avoid getting lice out here since about 80% of the kids have lice and no one does anything to get rid of them (the lice not the kids…though we don’t get rid of the kids either). Diana says when she first got here she would try to avoid getting to close to the children for fear of getting lice or some other ailment, but after awhile she just gave up and learned to live with it. She says that lice usually just go away after awhile—awhile for her meaning two months after going home to Holland.

I don’t WANT to wait for them to “go away.” I want to get rid of them! I did some research on how to get rid of them…and it looks like it’s going to take a bit of work. Especially since I don’t have access to many of the suggested remedies: hot water, mayonnaise, anti-lice shampoo…. I went to town today and couldn’t find ANYTHING that I thought might help me. I couldn’t even find a fine-tooth comb to help me comb them out. Right now, my game plan is to head to the local pharmacy first thing in the morning and PRAY that he has something. After that…I’m at a loss.

I ate my first bug-infested bowl of rice today. Luckily all of the bugs were boiled until dead, and they were pretty tiny, so I was able to get the rice down by just telling myself I was getting extra protein. I wonder what Didi’s philosophy is about eating bugs. Can you eat bugs and still consider yourself vegetarian?

I think the bug problem is just going to multiply as we get deeper into the hot season and then into the rainy season. Adventure, here I come!


  1. REALLY? Really? You are sure you don't want a plane ticket? You are tough to take this with a sense of humor!

  2. THAT IS NUTS!! I would suggest Pythagorus. (Even though I'm sure your bug bites have changed formation by now.)
    How is that extra appendage doing these days?

    And bugs in rice... I used to have sugar ants in my cereal but I wouldn't stand for it. I guess you don't have as many options as I did. My goodness, it just boggles my mind.