The Sense of Travelling with Mosquitos

Travellers return with inanimate trinkets and pictures illustrating their experiences. These only bring visual information. Travellers weave words among the objects to animate them but an essential vagueness remains as the vocabulary of listeners only contains words that describe the familiar. The new vocabulary needed can only be understood by experience of the foreign - which only the traveller has - Catch 22 !
Technology has added "movies" to the travellers equipment which do provide animation and add the sense of sound to the vicarious experience. For the audience at home, movies also sometimes recreate the travellers sense of being trapped in time. Pictures or artefacts can be quickly perused and returned, but the movie forces us to endure a recount "in real time". Even then, sound from lounge room speakers does not communicate the constancy or the involuntary volume of life in foreign places.
Few tourists attempt to bring home smells (I am reminded of the soldier in the movie Saving Private Ryan who collected soil samples from each campaign). Smells like sounds are inescapable continuous companions of the traveller, but they are so much more evocative (I remember a reference in a biology lecture to this being due to the evolution of chemical receptors as the primordial sense)
But, for me, it is insects that are able to transform any place from one that delights all the senses - to a hell hole of fear and scratching. From sitting in a relaxing suburban back yard to enjoying a spectacular vista from a foreign cliff top. It only takes one or two bites from an insect - mite, tick, flea or march fly to degrade the pleasure. In the case of the mosquito, my pleasure at the scene can evaporate the instant I hear that tiny drill beat of it's wings. My mind then flies from the landscape to an image of it dribbling infection directly into my life blood as it extracts its meal.
Avagoodweegend ! Don't forget the Aeroguard !

Stephen Digby

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