Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Asante Sana and Xie Xie to Gogo in Taipei (Auntie Chen-May)

My family was pretty concerned after I wrote that
diatribe about my fruit fly problem. My mom emailed me
with her personal tips for preventing fruit fly
infestations (eat bananas fast) and my aunt in Taiwan
immediately took to the streets in search of flypaper
and a battery-powered flyswatter. They arrived today,
and let me just say, my aunt rocks! I've been using a
fly strip that another volunteer bought at Nakumatt
and kindly gave me to try out. My mom had said that
she went in search of flystrips in Houston and was
told that they were no longer sold because they
discovered that one brand manufactured by Shell Oil
emitted toxic gasses. The flystrip I got here
definitely had a funny smell, but it was made in
Germany and said non-toxic all over it. I hung it up
just to see if it worked, and was a bit disappointed
at first. For some reason I assumed flypaper would
have a scent that attracts flied, like honey, or
carrion of the African savannah, or poo. But nothing
seemed all that interest in smelling the flystrip
except for a few tiny gnats. It was only after I went
away for a week and came to home find everything stuck
to my flystrip - fruit flies, gnats, mosquitos, moths
- that I realized that it's when I'm not home to leave
dirty dishes and ripe pineapples lying around that the
flystrip starts becoming more appetizing to things
trapped in my house.

Anyway, the flypaper that my aunt sent me is basically
unscented goo on a large piece of floded cardboard,
which you can turn inside out and hang. I like it
better than the strip because you can swat it at a
fruit fly and it will stick. I've had a lot of laughs
today watching fruit flies try to pry their legs off
the goo. I'm going to hell.

The best part is that it's actually printed all over
with little housefly images, as if flies will look at
it and think, "Wow, let me go check out that big
housefly party going on at the flypaper."

The battery-powered flyswatter scares me a bit,
although I think it shows how much I've regressed as a
compassionate being. The packaging is all in Chinese
except for a part that says, dubiously, "Absolutely
safe for people." The flyswatter basically looks like
a small tennis racket with a wire grid in the head.
When you hold the button down it sends a live current
into the grid, and when you swat at something, it
pulverizes it. I tried it on an unfortunate fruit fly,
not expecting the loud crackle accompanied by a flash
of purple as the poor bugger was essentially fried
into oblivion. The first time I did it, it seemed
cruel. The fifth time, it was just a lot of fun. Ah,
the genius of Taiwanese gadgets. Ah, the
imperviousness of Peace Corps Volunteers. I'm going to
hell.

----- Notes of Note -----

1. Radio commercial for Dorman's coffee, spoofing
Kenyan speech patterns - hilarious only to Kenyans and
expats:

[Man's voice]: I'd like to order a
cappuchi...cappuchino.
[Woman's voice]: I'd like to have an
espress...espresso.
[Voiceover]: Somet hings are unique to Kenya. Like
high-quality domestic-grown coffee...

2. Kenyan parliamentarians complaining about various
provisions of the sexual offenses bill that were
eventually removed, leaving a disappointing shell of
minimum legal recourses for most survivors of sexual
violence:

"If we mandate jail sentences for marital rape, 1.5
million Kisii men will go to jail. And we can't have
that."

3. Heard on a radio station in Nairobi:

"The best oldies, from when Michael was white, and
Whitney was clean."

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3 Comments:

Blogger Mike Sheppard said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:54 AM  
Blogger jenly said...

when michael was white? that doesn't make sense. then that wouldn't be much of an oldie

1:30 PM  
Blogger Justina said...

Jenly - Yeah sorry I meant when Michael was black.

The best oldies, from when Michael was black, and Whitney was clean.

Mike Sheppard - You know how PC has some dumb policies? Well one of them is that we're supposed to report the existence of our blogs to PC admin. Most of us haven't, so we're trying to keep each other's blogs on the DL. So sorry, I've removed your comment, but I did keep your list for my own reference. Thanks for googling!

4:50 PM  

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