Archive for February, 2010

Boro Mukh: Big Mouth

Well, I may not be able to order pizza or give someone directions in bengla, but I can talk a frightened child into an injection in the mouth. Don’t be too impressed. It was a carefully honed skill. One developed out of necessity. We had a dental team visit for two weeks, and I spent several of those days working as one of two, if not the only, translator. Ridiculous. I mean, I wish I could say I could handle it, that seven months of language lessons had paid off, but I found myself going to new and unchartered places in universal body language. If you only knew how limited my language is, this new found skill in body language would be that much more impressive.

In truly important news, I ate pretty well while they were here. We hit up all the nice restaurants that I can’t afford to frequent very often. I also had an unusual amount of time to read. Time that may or may not have been there had I not been reading Harry Potter and therefore finding every still moment ideal for a quick break. Those books are a fantastic gateway into another world, and have been a wonderful break, as the world I am currently living in can be overwhelming and a bit depressing at times. The story is great, and I have a feeling maybe a little bit more compelling than the book I’m about to settle into.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do now that I don’t have constant anxiety over forgetting some crucial piece of the dental trip or wondering if Harry dies in the end. I think my plan is to start exploring. To set out a calendar of the time I have left and the places I want to go.


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death and suffering

I’m not what you’d call pro-violence. I stopped eating meat several years ago, and, while I’ve shot guns before, it’s not something I really jump at the chance to do. I don’t like watching movies with violence. I tend to spend most of them with my ears stopped up (to avoid the crunching and gushing) and my eyes closed. I even started to avoid killing insects due to my college roommate’s influence (she used to name spiders), but that all stopped when I moved here. You deal with a different kind of creature here. Cockroaches that sit on your dish sponge, then crawl up your arm. But, I would take a sink full of cockroaches over my newest nemesis. The mosquito.

I honestly think they’re mutated here. They have an almost human like intelligence. It’s uncanny. I’ve started reserving 15 minutes before bed to kill them all. I ruffle my curtains, search the ceiling, anything to scare them out. Recently, I started (now I’m not proud of this) blowing over every surface of my room. It’s almost impossible to get them to move otherwise. They hide in these cut out flowers my sister sent me. Little bastards.

It should be a reality t.v. show. Sleeping with mosquitoes makes you a bit of a crazy person. It does something to you. That spider naming friend, Laura, visited recently and went on her own rampage in the middle of the night. I have hit myself so many times in the head, I’m surprised I haven’t had a black eye or bruise. I am like a demented cannibal at night. My eyes roll in my head (usually from exhaustion, sometimes from rage), and I pace around my room, jump off my bed, shake everything I can move. Nothing works. They only come out when it’s dark. They literally won’t move a muscle before then. As soon as the deep sleep is just about upon me, “Bzzz” past my ear, then behind my head, then to the wall on the left. It stops the moment I flip the light on and stagger around my room, thirsty for blood.

I sit on my bed, pleading with God to let me kill it. Pleading for him to make it move or just have it drop dead. (In case you’re wondering, that was my night last night from 4:20 am to 5:45 am). At around 5:30, I looked at myself in the mirror. My left eye was entirely bloodshot from where I scratched it trying to smack a mutant mosquito off my face, and I thought, “God, please. Is this some kind of trial meant to make me stronger?”

Anyway, this whole mutant mosquito issue has really shocked me. I didn’t know I could be so violent. How much I could relish crushing a bug with my bare hands. One friend has an electric racquet that he uses to kill the mosquitoes. I put up a front of thinking it was a bit cruel, but I think I would have sold my first child for one of those racquets last night.

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