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Rain, climate change and dengue fever. / 11 September 2014


The rain held off until the evening when it torrented down and the forecast thunder arrived. In the morning the streets were full of blossoming plants, it felt a bit like being in Africa .
I saw blossom I'd never seen in Tokyo before and exotics like Cannas, that I've only ever seen here in rather tired leaf, now green and gorgeous with giant red and orange blossom. Big purple flowers of Morning Glory scrambled over everything. Masses of purple and white spiked liriope and small tulip-ish blossom flowered along the pathways, in beds, pots, containers and crannies among flourishing greenery.
I've avoided the Japanese gardens and parks this year, the biting is bad. Mosquitoes are flourishing and parts of Tokyo's biggest, most popular park - Yoyogikouen are closed.

In long sleeves and covered legs, I meandered back and forth across various river bridges and watched Sumida change her personality like an actress. From green to brownish, to grey; from white-topped choppy, to smooth, to slithery heaving, she changed her personality with each curve of her concrete banks.
Tourists boats frothed and chopped at the water, the smaller yellow and black versions made less commotion than the great grey Star Trek style water invaders.
Gulls and cormorants kept watch on the situation. The gulls curious, the cormorants lazily reptilian, basking with open wings or settled with their heads tucked down, their long necks almost disappearing.
Rain came and went, teasing from solitary splashes to momentary downpours, interspersed with sunshine.
The pathway, in places, was a little difficult, the amount of drainage required by flash flooding is not always compatible with wheelborne travel. Passing people often offered assistance.
Lunch in an Italian restaurant was spaghetti with fresh Japanese shellfish. While basil is common here, I feel it's understated use is very noticeable in Japanese versions of Italian food. Likewise olive oil; the preferred oil is quite flavourless which can be a little disconcerting in Italian or Spanish style dishes.



In the warm, moist moments when
the breeze dies, the rain pauses,
the mosquito seeks blood, seeks
human skin to pierce, to pass
dengue fever along its
life-path inside the body.
Bitten, I itch, bitten I
loose my appetite for food.
Nauseous, I question my
symptoms. Everyday pain blurs
possibilities. Insects
abound; swatting and squashing
the in actions. Rare outbreaks
demand reaction; public
announcement, awareness
raising of dengue spreading.
Bare skin is bad and insect
repellant the scent of choice.
Yoyogikouen is closed,