Monday, December 7, 2009


It's summertime in Oz and that means mosquitos, or "mozzies." I spent most of the summers of 2008 and early 2009 bitten raw because I hadn't discovered these neat little mozzie repellent plug-ins (pictured above). I live in a pretty trendy-looking, way overpriced renovated apartment near the university where I work. The building used to be a biscuit factory, which hired intellectually challenged people to make cookies (that's another entry, which will be titled "bikkies"). The apt building (aka apt "block" in Aussie) is next door to an equally trendy motorcycle shop, which doubles as a cafe/restaurant. (Incidentally, bikers are called "bikies" here, and they are very much marginalised and considered a public menace. It's hard for me, though, as an American, to hear "bikey" and think "danger!")

Long story short - I discovered to my dismay that all the many sliding windows to the flat lacked something really crucial for insect-ridden Sydney summer - and that is fly screens. Apparently they have fly screens in the bush (=countryside), but not in the city. I don't get this. Is it because fly screens are not chic? To make it worse, this super trendy apt doesn't have air conditioning, so one can't - especially in Jan-March while trying to survive extremely humid upper 30s-40s Celsius = 90-100 Fahrenheit temperatures - keep the windows closed.

I was at the point of buying a mosquito net and camping out in my own bedroom when a friend (British expat) told me about these plug-ins. You stick the blue slab o mozzie poison into the plug-in, which you then stick into the wall. Simple. It's odorless, lasts 10 hours, and seems to keep most of the mozzies away. Yay for technology! Though I still think it makes more sense to use fly screens, chic or not.

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