Footprints in the sand Raja Ampat

Trapped in the Mosquito Netting-More Adventures From Raja Ampat

Well, there’s not much going on here in Raja Ampat.  Well, besides getting circled by sharks.  But I already told you about that.  I mean, I could write about how I moved from the front porch to the hammock, but there’s no hammock.  Which is really a shame, actually.  I could also tell you about how I am missing a flip-flop.  The thing just disappeared right off the boat jetty.  Only one.  Left the other one behind just like that.  The people at the resort said it must have been the wind.

My response to that was, “What wind?”  The fan in my room is about the most wind I’ve felt here for several days, and the only thing that blows around is the mosquito netting.  And that’s just barely.  But that’s the end of that story.  So, I will tell you about how it is to sleep with mosquito netting which can be almost, not quite, but almost as annoying as actually getting bitten by the little buggers.  Well, actually the most annoying thing is sleeping with mosquito netting, and still being bitten by them which is what is happening to  me now, and is the reason I am up at 4 AM writing about mosquito netting.


First of all, I am in a great place in Raja Ampat.   I consider myself lucky to be in a wooden bungalow here at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort and not one of the shacks made from palm tree leaves that I could blow down, never mind the big bad wolf. Now, those make look all romantic on their big stilts right over the water, but anytime you can see that much daylight peeking in once you are inside one, well, just keep in mind that’s just that many more mosquitoes that can get in.  However,the wooden bungalow I’m in, isn’t all luxury itself.

I am guessing there is no contractor’s board for the builders to answer to on this island.  You see, some of the boards that make up my bungalow happen to have huge gaps between them.  Huge gaps that the mosquitoes can smell me through.  The whole construction of the bungalow is pretty hilarious actually.  The measurements of the windows and door are still marked in marker on the glass. I am guessing the boards were never measured since there are no black marker numbers on them.


Well, anyway, so we are provided with a mosquito net here.  A couple of things about that.  First of all, if you use this mosquito netting, the fabric is so heavy that it blocks any air that comes from the lone fan, which is not a ceiling fan by the way.  It is nailed to the far wall and its breeze might sometimes float your way.  Second of all, I am guessing that the same person who measured the boards for the walls of the bungalow also measured the mosquito netting for the bed.  You see, it doesn’t go all the way around.  It seems like the mosquito netting was constructed to probably go around maybe, I don’t know, a hammock (of which there are none, remember) and even though the twin bed isn’t much bigger than one, it still is bigger and doesn’t do much good if it doesn’t completely surround you.  Well, it does some good.  It prevents your bed from becoming the sauna it would be if it did.

So, here is what happens.  Throughout the night you are woken up by one of two things.  One, the fan blows the mosquito netting (mind you, not you, but the mosquito netting) just enough, so that it constantly blows around and tickles your feet all night.  This is because the same measurer also measured the blankets, and they don’t quite reach your feet.  So, you keep waking up at being tickled. This is not the kind of tickling that makes you laugh, but an annoying occurrence which happens very frequently throughout the night.  The second thing that happens is that you wake up because those same feet that keep getting tickled, keep getting bitten by mosquitoes.  This is because, well, I already explained about the blanket measurer. This also gets me worrying that I will have survived an encounter with sharks only to die by the bite of a malaria-infested mosquito.

Well, these two things happen alternately throughout the night until a major event occurs, which is what happened to me last night.  Somehow, I managed to get all tangled up in the darn thing, and I made a move to turn over.  Well, this caused the entire thing to come crashing down on top of me. So, my wish has come true.  No more mosquito netting.  It does make a perfect blanket though, or I may cut it up in little strips and cover the gaps in the walls.  I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, I am going to try to go back to sleep.  Here,  I don’t have to worry about getting woken up by any roosters at 5 AM.  This is the first place I’ve stayed without a rooster.  That’s because they haven’t figured out how to swim yet.   Either that, or they don’t like the mosquito netting, either.

Meanwhile, please send a tape measure to Raja Ampat, and if you can spare one, a hammock while you’re at it.  That would make everything just about perfect.  I can do without the flip-flops just fine.


You may also like my Escape Guide to Raja Ampat!