Bugs have become part of our lives on a daily basis. Cycling to the tranquility of rural Europe one of us frequently coughs and hacks and splutters, not dissimilar a sound to dislodging ones lungs as we try desperately not to swallow a flying creature. We have not lost all social graces to date, however we both entirely accept spitting is acceptable , in fact encouraged, even if this means whichever of us is behind needs to then remove the wet, most likely dead spittle soaked insect from their face. Eating insects is gross.
Having insects in your eyes is marginally better. Depending upon your speed, this determines how much it hurts and how quickly the offending bugs can be removed. The faster you travel the more likely instant death for the offending flying creature, and eye watering pain for us, so it is washed out before you are required to stop. Traveling slowly, the bugs slowly drown in your tears, wiggling and getting lost under your eye lid, becoming a nagging bother. Wearing glasses just increases the odds of the bug entering your ears of mouth.
I absolutely hate spiders, Li stating it is a bettle,…… in my sleeping bag! This does not fool me, especially as i know it is a spider and euphemisms do not bloody help. Li jumps, tells me not to kill it, does nothing, so i kill it,…. inspect it, I like it no better dead.
Li pretends she has not spied a spider…..I see her searching, shaking the towels, slowly opening our gear and peering inside. I do the same……whether or not i have spied the spider, as through her actions I know they are there.
The mosquitoes are not quite so bad as i have a deterrent. Li…..they prefer her to me. Li is covered in mosquito bites, nagging her throughout the night. I have just 2 bites, symmetrical, one on each butt cheek. Anyway i like to complain excessively and as Li scratches head to toe i am told i am not allowed to touch mine and definitely not in public. I see Li catch me, rolling her eyes, perhaps i would be more comfortable with saddle sores to distract me.
The slugs and snails hide in our gear, leaving snott trails, taking refuge from the rain, some permanent reminders of previous camps as their squashed remains stain….sleeping matt, tent, coat,……i would prefer not to know.
We have both had vaccinations for tick born encephalitis. Due to cost vaccinations for limes disease were abolished before I had even heard of the disease and thus not an option. We have lost count of how many each of us have had to remove, although like the mosquitoes Li is in the lead. This does not help me and my inclination towards hypochondria. Following removal, Imaginary itches…. as I do not feel the real thing… they are in my ears, nose, and oh help me….please not my bum.

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