American in Spain

Eaten Alive

August 3, 2008

Here goes my first post by iPhone. I'm lying in bed and it's too hot to sleep and I need something to take my mind off my skin. Last night, the first night here, I had trouble sleeping because my feet were itching. I got up at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00. But there's little to do. What there is to do is stargaze. At 3:00, I finally got out my camera and tripod and entertained myself for a bit. From 3:00 to 4:00, I took a one hour exposure looking towards Polaris, which resulted in my coolest star trails shot so far. It has some noise in the form of red dots that must be lens dust or something. Speaking of red dots... Throughout the first full day here, my bug bites from the night before developed into bright red dots all over my legs, shoulders and torso. When I got up from the daily siesta, my in-laws took one look at my and rushed me off to the doctor. The GP on call on Sunday afternoon was a genius. He said, "What you need to do is avoid letting them bite you." We asked how we should do that. In his infinite wisdom, Dr. Einstein said, "Well, you're not from around here, are you? I'd recommend going back where you came from." Brilliant. He asked how long we were staying. "15 days," we said. He asked how long we'd been here so far. "One day," we said. He laughed. Helpful.

He gave me a prescription (GPs never let you leave without one.) for some anti-itch pills. We also bought some bug repellent in the pharmacy. Back in the village, word had spread of my "state", and everybody and their sister had a household remedy, each supported by exactly one data point of anecdotal evidence. As I type this, my entire left side is covered in a calcium and olive oil (extra virgin!) mix. Marga noted my skepticism and suggested leaving my right side as a control. Not exactly a double blind clinical trial, but better than nothing. Two hours in, and oily side is much more irritating. Not helping my iPhone screen either, I might add.

I won't be sharing any pictures on Flickr any time soon, I'm afraid. It seems that someone has gained access to my Yahoo account and changed my password. So now I have to try to prove my identity to Yahoo tech support. The main problem being that I've had the account for ten years, lived in four different countries, and am sure I updated my account profile a few times, but don't remember when or where. And they are demanding that I tell them the postal code and country on the account. What a bloody nightmare!

That's it for now. Plenty of daily pics over on!