Every summer since I was 9, I spent at least a week in the Shawnee National Forest. At the age of 16, I started spending at least half of a summer there. Thus, I am no stranger to mosquitos. I spend most summers raking my legs with whatever I can find, the edge of an I-card, so I have found, works well.

After I applied to spend a summer in a Chinese city, I assumed that I would have a summer free of mosquito bites. I cannot believe that I was so naïve. The mosquitos in Hangzhou are feverish devils that can smell me from a mile away. Sitting outside at night proves difficult and walking to the wetland, a nightmare. They have even infiltrated my fortress, having unwelcome overnight stays in my hotel room. They bite whatever poor part of my body I have left exposed. This has even led to my eyelid falling victim to their parasitic scheme.

I am unsure if I will ever experience a summer with fewer than 50 bites, but Ill be damned if I don’t try.

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