There’s a souvenir I didn’t expect, but got from Kerala – Sandfly bites! I never get bitten, even by mosquitos and that’s why it was so unexpected. The family likes to joke that our blood is not sweet enough, unlike my sister’s who always gets bitten.
I probably got them when our houseboat docked in the evening and we were by still waters which looked quite polluted with empty bottle and trash. I guess this is karma, as I found out houseboats are the cause of pollution in the Keralan backwaters. I think the villagers living there could do with less of these luxury vessels which clog up the backwaters they depend on for fishing, washing and bathing. Although I must admit a few hours on the houseboat is quite a unique experience, we should have just stuck with a short cruise on a smaller vessel, rather than an overnighter. I need to do another post with full pictures so that you can see how incredible the backwaters are.
Anyway back to the damn sandfly bites. They are so itchy. A thousand times itchier and redder than mosquito bites. I tried antiseptic and cortisone creams but they don’t work. I am scratching like crazy. Even the horrer of scarring doesn’t deter me – the itch is that bad. Also you will be totally unaware that you’re feeding these creatures and small raised red bumps take a whole day or two to appear. I could feel tiny insects occasionally crawling on my arm, when it got dark on the houseboat, and that was it. The bumps only start itching and get redder after a few days. At night all you do is scratch and you hardly get a wink of sleep. Damn those blood sucking creatures! It makes me wary of another trip anywhere near stagnant water.
Does anyone out there have the same experience with these bites? Would love to hear about what you did to recover from them.