My weekend retreat started out really nice. Fresh air, acceptable temperatures, few tourists, an almost empty beach, friendly people, lovely sun rises and sun sets and good food. What could be better! I went for long walks along the beach, made a few videos documenting beach processes for my undergraduate lectures, and did yoga on the beach each morning at 6:30 am. Until I got bites on my feet, legs, and arms. Big ones with a tiny spot in the middle, where the insect had actually ripped off a little piece of skin. The bites became quickly really big and itchy. Treatment with white tiger balm (my usual cure for mosquito bites) did not help, so I changed to yellow tiger balm, tried vinegar and Jiaranai’s miracle cream, but the skin around the bites just kept swelling up until my foot was so big that I could hardly walk anymore.
Are these fire ant bites, I asked myself, and others who should be familiar with all these insects. Maybe sand flies, someone said. Google did not help and all the images that came up when I searched for fire ants and sand flies were just not nice to look at, so I gave it up, resigned to my destiny and accepted the itching and swelling and resumed to more vinegar and yellow tiger balm treatment.
Today, finally I saw the insect in action: a tiny, ugly black and white fly, that bit me and left a little hole on my arm. I quickly left the beach and went back to the house, only to discover that I had got many more new bites also on my legs, arms and neck!
Time to leave the beach and get back into the safe heaven of crazy Bangkok, where only mosquitoes and high temperatures make my life difficult!