In the Wars

My poor legs...

My poor legs…

It’s like my mother used to say, I have been in the wars these past few days. Meaning that physically, everything is going wrong.

It’s not surprising, really, since I have come from a frigid developed country to a sweltering undeveloped one. It would be weird if my body didn’t freak out a little bit at its new environment.

I have been attacked by mosquitoes, probably from my trip to the beach where I lay on the sand. The good thing about mosquitoes (as if there is ever anything good about these malicious creatures) in Korea, is that they are industrial size – you can see them. You can also hear them when they go in for the kill, as if a warplane was buzzing overhead, ready to attack. Here, they are much more subtle – silent but violent – as my red, swollen bites can attest. I have at least 20 bites on each leg and even some on my butt. They itch like crazy and last night, I woke up several times to scratch them as furiously as a stressed chef grates carrots for a salad. I scratched them until they were raw and bleeding, then slathered them in hydrocortisone, which is supposed to be used up to four times a day. I have used it at least eight.

I developed a sinus infection, which means that smelling, tasting, breathing and talking clearly have become difficult, as if someone pushed the off button on my sense of smell and taste and then placed my nostrils in a vice.

As a natural born klutz, I was in a dehydration-induced daydream and tripped down some stairs, hitting the floor hard and badly bruising my right knee. It looks like someone painted an uneven puddle with grey paint over the bony flesh.

As if that wasn’t enough, I went to a Capoiera training session which was held on a concrete basketball court. I should’ve known better but I got carried away and the thick layer of skin on the sole of my right foot tore apart, not bleeding, but making it very difficult to walk. I won’t be able to train again until it heals.

My ever-present enemy in hot weather, Heat Rash, has decided to torment me again. I’m all scratched-out after the mosquito bites, so I hope the spotty pink rash stays very calm and localised. It is being upstaged by the sunburn that has covered my arms in a pink glow (although that is my own fault, I was too lazy to coverup).

An old friend once remarked that I should be wrapped up in cottonwool – which is true, considering how sensitive my body is. My nose once rejected a piercing. I am allergic to most sunscreens and the contraceptive pill. I get motion sick by sitting in a rocking chair and get rashes from shaving and waxing. I hate loud noises and my eardrums hurt after listening to my iPod.

Still, as physically crappy as I feel, I must remember to keep it in perspective as I have not yet become afflicted with three of my most feared physical ailments: malaria, food poisoning and head lice. I hope that my body recovers soon. In the meantime, I am in the market for an industrial strength insect repellent.

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