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Hua Lu ShuiOne of the downsides of life in Liuzhou is the mosquitoes. They are fortunately non-malaria-carrying, but still irritating beyond believe. But face it! You are going to be bitten. Mosquito nets, coils, etc. are all very well, but you have to go out sometimes.

It is worth noting that Chinese mosquito coils have been banned in many places, including the USA, as it is suspected that they contain carcinogenics.

When your supply of repellents from home runs out, what will you do? Well, you could follow the locals. One useful product is 花露水 huā lý shuǐ. This is a Chinese equivalent of toilet water. The joy of the stuff is that it not only acts as an effective repellent, but should you be bitten, instant application soothes the bite and the symptoms disappear!

Of course, there is a price to pay for this. It smells a bit. Some people like it, some don't. But I reckon that stinking like a Turkish harem (not that I have any experience of such things) is marginally better than scratching obscenely everywhere you go. And believe me I've had mossie bites on parts of the anatomy half the population don't possess!

One word of warning. A bottle broke in my bag and ate the screen on my digital camera! That said, I have never known anyone to be allergic to it. Main ingredients seem to be witchhazel in alcohol.

Available everywhere from supermarkets to corner shops. Click on the picture to enlarge.

10th March 2005

Cheap Phone Calls from UK to China

This is one for the Brits. It is possible to call China from the UK for only 2 pence a minute. Tell your friends or family to dial 08444 620620, then the Chinese number. Mrs. Laowai, who is in England at present, has tried it and found no hidden extras! Can't get her off the line!

29th August 2004