“I see it!”
“Hurry, get it! Get it!”
Whack! Whack! Slam! Whack!
Sounds like a comic book, right? Now that we’ve been in Taiwan for over a month, these sounds are just too familiar.
Most of us Shen Yun members love the Asia-Pacific tour. Since our performance season takes place during the chilly northern hemisphere winter, a tour starting in Australia and continuing in subtropical Taiwan is a rare chance to escape the piercing cold and enjoy an extra-long summer. Of course, the cheap and exquisite Taiwanese cuisine is another big bonus.
But the Asia tour comes with pros and cons. What bothers me is not so much the humid Taiwanese weather, nor the awful smell that emerges on certain rare occasions, such as when walking down any street. Don’t get me wrong—I love Taiwan, but there’s something small that drives me insane: mosquitos.
If you’ve never been to Taiwan, you might doubt it’s such a grave issue. But if you have been here, you understand. Although Taiwan’s climate means no freezing winters, the muggy weather unfortunately also means perfect mosquito-breeding habitats. And they are everywhere.
We know it, and so we arrived in Taiwan fully prepared with mosquito repellents. Still, some of the mosquitos are not deterred by the smell of citronella or other repellents and bite us anyway. When they do, for some reason having to do with the Asian mosquitos and our Asian blood, they leave extraordinarily large lumps.
I've been significantly bitten around 10 times, not the worst by any means. Dancer Michelle Wu experienced a “bite on a bite” on her knee—that is, she was bitten on the knee, and then bitten again on that same bite. Poor thing. Her knee swelled up to a very irregular, abnormal size.
And if you are bitten, don’t do what I did—resist the urge to scratch the bite! Instead, you may scratch the skin around the bite, or also apply handy tiger balms or cooling ointments to ease the itchiness.
We just finished our last shows in Changhua—46 performances in 42 days on the island. We survived not only the intense schedule but also the blood-sucking critters. Now it’s back to the northern hemisphere with Korea and Japan.
To all visitors to the beautiful Taiwan, have fun, but be ready for a… WHACK! …battle.
April 3, 2013