Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The canals are beautiful, but...

The canals are beautiful, but have a downside. Namely, they are a fantastic breeding ground for mosquitos. Now, I have not seen any mosquitos yet in Amsterdam. However, I am certain that they breed a new, stealthy kind of mosquito here as evidenced by the numerous itchy red welts on my legs, feet and arms.

Today before class, the conversation between my classmates and I was a comparative study of our bites - the number, size, location and intensity, etc. It was rather pathetic, to be honest. We are suffering, however. Forget water-boarding as a torture device. I am certain that mosquito bites are more painful.

Yesterday, I bought what I thought was a plug-in citronella diffuser and citronella oil (based on the picture on the packaging). Once I got back to the apartment, I discovered that I had purchased only the oil. I also learned that "voor" in Dutch means "for." I've made-do without the diffuser by pouring some of the citronella oil on a dishcloth and laying that on the window sill. Because I have yet to see any of the stealthy-mosquitos, I will not know for certain if this is working until I end up with more bites (or hopefully not).

I saw some spray-repellant "met DEET" (with DEET), but didn't buy any because I need to research if DEET is dangerous or not. Somehow, it sounds familiar like I've read something about it. Anyway, if you have any suggestions or advice, please feel free to post a comment below.


CAROLYN said...

I am soooo addicted to your blog, I can't even tell you. I get up in the morning, make my coffee and then sit down to enjoy your experiences. When there's nothing there, I get withdrawal symptoms :(

You are an amazing writer and I actually laughed out load when you wrote "stealthy mosquitos" as if they were dive bombers :)

I look forward to your museum postings and enjoy virtually everything that comes out of your mouth.

Warm Regards,
ishi :)

Anjali said...

Hi Roxy,

I can't wait to see the blogs from your trip to the muesum!

On to DEET...uh yup, that is the poisonous stuff alright. It is what they recommend for places like India where the mosquitos could really get you sick.

I made up an oil myself becuase I did not want to pay the price of the comercial oils, it really works! I wish we had thought of this before you left, I would have given it to you...but then...carrying an oil under pressure in a plane is not always the best idea. Here are the ingrediants. I did a one to one ratio, but I bet you could mix them differently, especially if you can't get some of them.
Cedarwood oil
Eucalyptus oil
Pennyroyal oil
and of course Citronella

I mixed them in almond oil and slathered on exposed areas like arms, neck, legs and feet. It works quite well. The only problem is that it does not have any SPF rating and it is an oil so it is oily until it soaks in. It does work though.

Oh, another thing to get. Tea Tree Oil will take the sting and itch out of the bite. Just put a dab on the bite and the itchy will go away.

Love ya, Anjali