Monday, December 17, 2012


Sometimes I like to pretend I'm a hippie and so I opted for an all natural mosquito repellent containing eucalyptus and lemon scents. It definitely did not work. I had about 15 bites in my first 24 hours in Malacca. Aside from catching Malaria or Dengue fever, I consider mosquito bites a mild annoyance that are easily fixed with some anti-itch cream. But then I shaved my legs and this happened:

Alan, the man who runs the hostel I stayed at, taught a few of us how to make a cheap, effective mosquito repellent. Oh, how I love science experiments! First you buy some Johnson's Baby Oil.  Buy the kind with aloe because it'll make your skin extra soft. Then you buy some Dettol antiseptic. You add 5-10 drops to the baby oil and shake it up a couple times throughout the day. After a day or so, the mixture turns into a white semi-solid cream. Apparently mosquitoes don't like trying to bite through oil and they also don't like the smell of Dettol. You'll look like a greased up muscle man and run the risk of getting oil stains on your clothes but so far it seems to be working, especially when I combine it with a layer of DEET.

Now that I have the mosquitoes at bay, I am trying to get rid of the marks on my legs so I don't look like a leper. And so I can shave again. I promised my friends that while I may start to dress like a hippie, I would continue to bathe and shave on a regular basis. 

I started taking antihistamine pills and putting antihistamine cream on them but that didn't work so I went to a clinic in KL. I asked the doctor if he'd ever seen anything like this before and he bluntly said no and offered no condolences. But he gave me some antibiotics and told me to come back if it didn't clear up in a few days. It seems to be working and I look forward to shaving my legs very soon.


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