Life in Poland

Super Skeeters

skeeter Headline: The City has been overrun with mutant Super Skeeters mercilessly biting you and your children day and night getting fat from your blood and coming back for more.

Ok, there was no such headline, but I think there will be soon. Due to the wet weather conditions, the City has been taken over with mosquitoes. The City has tried to strategically spray against the mosquitoes more than once only to have their plans foiled by rainy weather. I am convinced that this spraying has in fact led to a new breed of Super Skeeters. It used to be that we had a skeeter problem only in the evening. We’d pop a Raid® Electric – Fly & Mosquito Protector into the electrical outlet and 15 minutes later our mosquito problem was forgotten for the night. Not anymore. No longer does the mosquito liquid get rid of all the skeeters. A few annoying stragglers are left alive each night. For the ones that the Raid manages to kill, the sheer number of them littered on every surface in the morning is a bit scary and kind of gross. We are bitten at night when we sleep, in the day at home and at the playground. The worst is when one gets in the car with us. There’s no escaping them.

Lizzie seems to be the most afflicted. When she is bitten, she has got a huge, itchy welt lasting for 3 weeks or me. Yesterday, Lizzie asked why skeeters like her so much. I told her that she must be very yummy. She informed me that she is tired of being dinner for the skeeters and that we should buy some mosquito food at Carrefour instead. Logical, isn’t it?

I know you will not believe this, but I received my first mosquito bite in Poland. I also sliced bread for the first time in Poland too, but I’ll save that story for another time. Somehow, I managed to avoid mosquitoes in the US and really did not give them a second thought. Then I came to Poland the first time on a teacher exchange to a very mosquitoey place and found out my first night what it meant to deal with those buggers. I spent half the night trying to squash those pesky things until I finally fell asleep with exhaustion. I woke up the next morning to find myself covered with bites including 5 on my face alone, 2 of which on my eyelid resulting in swelling so bad that I could not open my eye.

When I met with another teacher from the program, I saw that not only I had a skeeter problem. My colleague, however, had come up with a much better solution than my ineffective and time-consuming pillow-squashing technique. He had bought himself a Raid skeeter thingamajig. I had not even heard of such a thing at that time, so I marveled at how he was able to find it and buy it in a small town with no self-service shops. For those of you unfamiliar with what that means, it means that all the stuff you want to buy is behind the counter and you have to tell the lady what you want to buy in a language you do not know. Imagine doing your grocery shopping via a game of charades. The first hundred words I learned in Polish all revolved around food and toilet paper (I wanted the tp with butterflies, not the gray stretchy kind. I don’t recommend the charades thing for buying tp though). My new best friend armed with the knowledge of the word “no” in Polish went to the shop and told the lady behind the counter, “Nie, bzzzzzz. Nie bzzzzz” and went home the proud owner of his new skeeter defeater. Hmmm, what should we have done to get beer?

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  • Reply
    February 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Well, I am a Polish native 😉 but I do hate buying anything in \”lady-behind-counter\” shops. A butter? What kind? Doesn't matter, just butter. And I end up with a margarine. 3,2% milk? I end up with 0,5%. Maybe big markets are ultimate evil but for me evil is asking a lady for every stuff I want.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I couldn't agree with you more. And the key to supermarket shopping is to go early in the morning on a weekday (but not Monday, they are out of everything).

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