I am a prisoner of sandflies. I am locked in a prison, the walls of which only nearly keep my oppressor at bay. I am taunted from both inside my cell and outside. I look crazed as a flicker of black in the corner of my eye triggers a quick jerk move to grab my weapon (the South Island map, or my End of Poverty book).
While sitting in my prison, I look out at New Zealand. There will be no sunset strolls on the beach, or late evening hikes. As evening comes, I must run, RUN, to the safety/captivity of Bertie Lou.
There will be no cooking in daylight. As a cook in this sandfly hell, you and your companion will turn into a NASCAR pit crew.
First, you will discuss what you need out of the kitchen (while either sitting in the front seat getting ready to dash out, or standing outside slapping at your body).
Second, you will QUICKLY grab needed items; making sure not to hit your head on the hatch door (because that just makes you REALLY angry).
Now, there are two options for meal prep. Option one: out-of-van option, which must entail nothing more advanced than a can of soup. Or, option two: inside-of-van option. With this option you will throw all necessary items into the van so that they may be accessed while sitting on your bed, yes you will be cooking on your bed.
If option two is chosen, one team member must be outside of the van handing the needed items to the team member inside of the van. The team member inside of the van will place items haphazardly along the bed. Items will include: the table attachment, required pot or pan, the stove, the dry food bin, the dish bin, the cooler, and two cold beers. Then, before cooking dinner, you must grab your weapons and attack the nearly 153 sandflies which managed to enter your cell despite your lightning speed. (Now your bed and windows will be covered with smears of sand fly.) Note: while cooking, make sure to be EXTRA careful of sloppy cooking practices, spaghetti sauce on your pillow is a bummer.
I came to the realization today, after leaving a scenic beach walk (in the middle of the day) that sandflies are like terrorist. Their attack, the bite, stings and is always a shock. The bite will return to haunt you later, sometimes in the middle of the night. But along with the attack is the psychological effect. The sandfly will lead you down the path to near insanity. You will be paranoid and constantly scared. That, it seems, is their goal in life, to utterly ruin yours.
-Written after eating caned soup inside Bertie Lou, on my bed, looking at a scenic beach in New Zealand, at 7:06 pm.