I’ve been hilariously negligent about updating this blog for the past several months; my excuse most of the time is that with practicing, teaching, freelance-designing, and running that other blog, I just don’t have the time to intelligently write about my life. My excuse for the past several weeks is that with morning-to-night activities here in Taiwan, and an obligation to write for that other blog, I have even less of the time to write about my life.
Right now, though, I am physically indisposed, as they say, so I thought, hey, what the hell, I’ll actually blog for real. Warning, though: this post
may will be rambly and possibly incoherent, since I’m pretty sure I don’t have all my mental faculties about me.
Where to begin? I am currently living in what may be objectively termed “paradise,” at a boho-fresh artists’ retreat on a mountainside cliff overlooking the ocean, and instead of living it up I’ve spent most of today lying supine on a tatami mat, alternately being knocked out by medication and listlessly reading things on my iPad. Sleep, read, rinse-lather-repeat.
|I haven’t been able to enjoy this all day. Horrors.
I like to tell people that I am a near-perfect specimen of a human being. Reasons: I have a rockin’ immune system that has weathered many a flu epidemic without the hint of a sniffle, my teeth are naturally straight, I have a metabolism that allows me to eat nonstop and still have no problem fitting into my jeans, and I am quite tall for my demographic.*
*My demographic being women of Asian descent.
However, like all mere mortals, I have some weaknesses. One is that my eyesight is terrible, another is that I am pathetically incapable of taking shots (the alcoholic kind, not the doctor’s-needle kind, though I don’t like those either), and perhaps the greatest one is that I am deathly allergic to mosquito bites.
(I’m not sure why I am sharing this with the public, as if I ever decide to try the world-domination thing, all my enemies will know that the sure-fire way to defeat me will be to unleash a few mosquitoes on me. Drat.)
Isn’t that the lamest Achilles heel ever? That’s actually kind of funny, because one of my bites is actually on my Achilles heel. Universe, I appreciate your situational irony. LOL.
The last time I was in Taiwan, several years ago, my mosquito bites got so bad I had to be carted off to the doctor’s and injected with steroids, and I had to take 10 pills a day for several weeks. My mom didn’t want that happening again, so this time she armed herself, getting a prescription cream from my doctor in America (the pharmacist warned us not to use it more than twice a day as it will physically thin your skin with excessive use), buying antihistamine pills, and stocking up on DEET-loaded Off! spray.
We also loaded up on Taiwanese sprays and treatments; every day I anoint myself with a cocktail of 3-4 different repellant sprays, and when I get bites I treat them with the aforementioned prescription cream, Taiwanese camphor-menthol stuff, Taiwanese white flower extract, and extremely strong steroid cream my veterinarian cousin gave me, which I’m not entirely sure is actually for use on people. I’ve also drunk gallons of various Asian herbal remedies, because when in Rome, etc.
Then, yesterday, my cousin took us up a hiking trail in the mountains, where 1) I snapped some beautiful forest photos:
And 2) I proceeded to sweat off all my repellent and get eaten alive by the fearsome 小黑蚊 (small black mosquito), which is known for its more painful bites. For some reason the bites are mostly clustered around the fronts and backs of my knees, which despite my desperate usage of all the treatments listed above, swelled up like balloons, if balloons were perpetually itchy and painful and made it hurt to walk, sit, stand, or do anything, really. So basically, not like balloons.
I’ve been making distress noises all day (it’s all I can do when I’m itching and hurting all over and there’s no relief), and walking is torture. So we tossed our plans to explore the beautiful area of Hualien, and instead of walking in the beach, playing with the resident albino hedgehog, or sitting outside and enjoying the weather, I’ve spent the day being a boring old bum. Sleeping, checking Facebook, sleeping, binging on style blogs, sleeping, making more distress noises, feeling sorry for myself, etc., etc., etc.
Bloody mosquitoes. I hate them so much.
[Insert distress noise here.]