Sunday, August 2, 2009

Misty Fog

You know the annoying sound sometimes you hear when you sleep? The sound coming from a creature beside you that just won’t leave you alone when you’re trying to get a night’s rest after a hard day’s work. The same creature that sucks the very blood from your veins, and then sucks even more. No, not your girlfriend. I’m talking about something that drains your life at a much smaller scale - the mosquito.

I rent an apartment at the 5th floor and somehow those pesky little vermin manages to get into my unit. Although I have to say that my apartment is not plague by them, but a single mosquito will mean a good night’s rest for me or an entire day of snapping at everyone at the office due to lack of sleep. I guess my inside is as sweet as my outside :)

Of late, I have seen posters about a new (at least to me anyway) disease that is brought on by the aedes mosquitoes – chikungunya. Apparently, this disease comes from monkeys; another virus by our fury ancestors as if AIDS isn’t enough.

To stop the spread of the aedes mosquitoes, the government has started fogging in a couple of places in Penang, and this is what prompted me to blog about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all against the spreading of viruses of any kind. But why must the fogging be done after working hours, when I come home and sit down to my dinner? If mosquitoes are active during the evening, shouldn’t you kill it in the afternoon when it’s asleep? Like in a war; would you prefer to attack when your enemies are sleeping and having wet dreams, or when they are wide awake holding rifles? Call me a coward, but I prefer to shoot a sleeping enemy as opposed to confronting him while he’s holding a gun that could blow my head off.

The fogging notice is normally given on the same day itself, giving you very little time to plan. So most people would just hide in their houses, waiting for it to pass. Kinda like a cockroach hiding from an aerosol spray. For the past month, this has been a weekly exercise for me. Cowering under my blanket, hidden, with my phone as my only form of entertainment and connection with the outside world.

Not only does the fogging mess with my dinner time, the after effects of it creates a slippery surface on the floor which I have to mop away later. And get this… after all this, I still see mosquitoes in my bathroom later at night. WTF?

Here’s a portion of the notice which I have translated… and commented. (I was going to take a picture of the notice, but I kinda lost it... haih)

1. Tutup semua makanan. (Cover all foodstuff – Duh!)
2. Tutup tempat pemeliharaan ikan. (Cover your fishes’ habitat - Else they will float after the fogging)
3. ‘Offkan’ semua suis kipas dan alat penghawa dingin. (Switch off all fans and air conditioning units – Hmmm… apparently the government has created a new word “Offkan”)
4. Buka tingkap dan pintu rumah. (Open windows and doors – So they can spray onto your dining table cause everyone knows that’s where mosquitoes breed)
5. Berada di luar rumah (Stay outside the house – very wise since your doors and windows are all wide open)
6. Ubah binatang atau haiwan peliharaan ke tempat lapang (Move pets to an open area – So your pet dog can play with your neighbor’s pet cat)
7. Menukar air minuman binatang peliharaan selepas semburan dijalankan (Change the drinking water of pets after the fogging – We don’t want Fido to die, now do we?)
8. Tarikh semburan tertakluk kepada perubahan seperti factor cuaca, keadaan mesin, suasana wabak dan sebagainya, pihak kami berhak meminda atau menunda waktu semburan tanpa sebarang notis sekiranya perlu. (Date of fogging depends on changes such as the weather, condition of the machinery, plague condition, etc. We have the rights to change or delay the time of fogging without any notice.- Mumbo jumbo so they don’t get complaints)

Over the weeks, I think I have inhaled more fumes than a typical junkie. I’m not so much into conspiracy theories, but I can’t help but wonder if the government is trying to kill me… slowly.

Here it comes... creeping.....

It's still coming....

The motherload!! These are just the pictures of the outside. Inside is worse.

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