Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Coolest Bed I’ve Ever Slept In

It is my bed, the same bed I’ve slept in since I’ve been here. The same bed that horrified me with the condition of the mattress (see Welcome Home entry, posted September 2010).

It doesn’t have a new mattress or box spring. The frame, headboard and footboard are the same as when I first came here. It has not been moved to any particular location since I moved it from the large room to the smaller one a few months back. Reasoning that I only need a bedroom to sleep in, I decided to use the larger, sun-filled room as my office and the shaded, smaller room as a bedroom. That turned out to be a really good idea because my space heater heated the small room efficiently and I did sleep very well this winter.

What makes my bed so cool now, when it is the same bed that I had to resign myself to sleeping in when I first got here?

I’ve always wanted a Lawrence of Arabia, Princess Style bed, complete with draped veils. I now have it, for a wholly practical reason. I got tired of being dinner. More specifically, being woken up to be dinner.

The mosquitoes here are fierce, and when they bite it hurts badly enough to wake me up from a sound sleep. Lately I have been so attuned to mosquitoes biting that I wake up when I hear a mosquito whine in preparation of biting.

Sure I’m burning a mosquito coil in the evening, which does a great job of disturbing mosquito central nervous systems. Instead of biting, they fly into walls and crash land. Each morning I have to sweep up mosquito carcasses (?) all over the house but apparently China has an unlimited supply of mosquitoes. Once the mosquito coil burns itself out and the fumes dissipate those flying pests rule the day once more. From about 5AM on I can forget getting any decent sleep. Unless I’m covered head to toe, I will be bitten. Even covered up I’ve been bitten.

I can’t stand to have my face covered up. So, I’m constantly slapping myself in my half sleep, trying to discourage mosquitoes from sucking my blood and possibly giving me dengue fever or some other such disease.

No, things can’t go on this way. To thwart these pesky mosquitoes I bought a tent-like net for my bed. It tucks under my mattress and soars to a height of 1.5 meters. I have plenty of room to sit up, stretch or anything I need to do. I can now sit in bed and watch the mosquitoes get frustrated at smelling dinner but not being able to reach it.

As you know from the Babies, Here and There post a few entries back I had bought a mosquito net but it was too small for my bed. The new one is the perfect size but required an engineering degree to understand how to install it. It was a frustrating 3 hours, well spent. I now have a cool looking bed where mosquitoes cannot bite me.

However, it does have its disadvantages. Imagine having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. And, I can’t sit on my bed or throw clothes on it anymore. One thing I really miss is throwing up my arms to open my drapes first thing upon waking – as you can see, my window is right behind the headboard.

It is still the coolest bed I’ve ever slept in. Now I’m sleeping particularly well, knowing I’m not going to get a dreaded, mosquito borne disease. And my face is not sore from having to slap myself.

UPDATE: Sam has conveyed the school’s intention of installing bug screens on all my windows. When, I don’t know. Still: YAY! Maybe that will help cut down on some of these mosquitoes.

Now, just one question remains: do mosquitoes have/leave carcasses?

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