A preemptive strike

O to be in England now that April’s (t)here… I had heard that poem for many years but only on this, my third April in the UK, do I see that it might just be the best month. The sun is out. The flowers are blooming and the gardens are fabulous. The days are long and light, and recently, mostly sunny. April really has been the loveliest month in each of the years I’ve lived here.

That said, there’s a dark side to the loveliness. You’ve got it, the windows are open and that means flying insects in my living room, and me missing American windows with bug screens. However, after my ode to a favorite American baked good went horribly awry in the last few days, I’m not feeling much like saying anything more that could result in my being on the end of comments that are really at times outside the spirit of community that one would hope to have in the world of expat blogs. So I thought maybe I should try to guess and say these things myself, rather than wait for the comments, thus acting in the manner of a preemptive strike. Here we go.

  • I’m a spoiled American prissy for expecting to live free of insects buzzing around my living room, and I should buck up and learn to live with nature.
  • I must have poor hygiene and/or live in a hovel, or there wouldn’t be flies in my flat.
  • I’m clearly not appreciating the historic British architecture and thus I don’t respect how the visual appeal of the listed buildings would be damaged by fly screens on the window.
  • [I should] Go home. (ed. That’s always my absolute favorite, really.)
  • How dare I be complaining about the flies in my comfortable Western flat when there are children in the third world with more serious problems.

Now here’s where we get serious. World malaria day was only a few days ago, and a net to put over a child’s bed is effective in preventing this deadly infection. So, enough about me and my whinges about flying insects and my dreams of fly screens, how about you all join me in doing something much more useful, and make a donation to Nothing But Nets. From their website:

In the poorest parts of the world, where effective window screens are lacking, insecticide-treated bed nets are arguably the most cost-effective way to prevent malaria transmission. One bed net costs just $10 to buy and deliver to individuals in need. One bed net can safely last a family for about four years, thanks to a long-lasting insecticide woven into the net fabric.

And don’t bother to make any derogatory comments about me and the flies. Believe me, I’ve heard it all already.

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12 responses to “A preemptive strike

  1. OK, I wont then!

  2. Do I detect a note of paranoia?

  3. Technically it’s only paranoia if the fear is baseless; a look at prior comments on this blog would demonstrate otherwise. Although tongue is firmly in cheek here as usual.

  4. And foot in mouth, of course!

  5. Americans make a habit of pre-emptive strikes – do I remember one where a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory was hit by Tomahawk cruise missiles (or should that be missals) in mistake for a nerve gas plant? I think your attack on your faithful readers is equally mis-aimed.

  6. I think this is a great post. Funny, self-deprecating, and who could complain about the serious point you make about Malaria?

  7. I’ve got your back, NFAH!! Ignore those with chipped shoulders and hackles raised… I wouldn’t blame you for stopping altogether after the way you’ve been treated – but don’t let ‘the man’ get you down!!! 😉

  8. Many, many thanks to Iota and Mutiny! for the positive comments. This really does reveal some interesting things about different senses of humor in different people.

  9. I haven’t had the fly problem, but my cat sees the open windows as an escape hatch from what he thinks is the POW camp of my home.

    On a serious note, I think a lot of people here are just coming to take a piss at NFAH and it is getting really old.

  10. Good post; glad to see you’re being proactive. As for bugs, I’m always amazed by the lack of them. We keep our windows open all summer and, aside from the occasional wasp or moth, nothing much gets in–except during Crane Fly season, then all bets are off.

  11. Well, this is very interesting. I seem to be the only person I know (in North Africa) with screens on the windows (you buy screen “material” in a hardware store, cut it slightly larger than the window, and stick it up permanently with thumb tacks).

    My British expat friends all claim “we don’t have many bugs in Britain, so having no screens is not a problem.” And I believed them, jealously! Thanks for letting me know the truth!

    Expat 21

  12. there are very few (biting) bugs in Seattle, and absolutely NO screens on any of the windows of the older houses that haven’t upgraded their windows…thus, for the three years we rented we were screenless.

    There are, however, a collection of small black flies that come to fly circles in your living room…in a tunnel/tornado pattern for approximately the 27 hours it takes for them to run out of gas and die in piles on the floor. good times.

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