Category Archives: Gallop Green

Fogging for Mosquitos

When we first landed in Singapore, we knew that mosquitos might be a problem. I mean, it IS a tropical climate, its hot, humid, and it rains nearly every day. Perfect for mosquitos.

Except that Singapore has it completely dialed in on how to handle the mosquito population. It’s called “fogging”.

It’s done in public places, each condo does it, private landed houses do it. Most on a weekly schedule, that is never missed. Our condo, Gallop Green, does it every Wednesday at 10:00 am.

What is fogging? These mysterious men show up, and they literally fog the place with mosquito-killing chemicals. It gets so foggy, it looks like white smoke, until it evaporates. It’s terrifying to me. I know to stay inside with windows shut when this goes on outside. And I know not to go into the pool for a few hours afterwards, as it only took one time for me to realize that you can literally taste the chemicals in the water.

This is a picture from my living room window, looking down at the pool.

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What is so astounding to me is that many of my neighbors do not shut their windows as this goes on, and some have their laundry drying on racks on their patios or balconies. I am terrified of the chemicals, and will avoid it at all costs.

I ride my bike all over Singapore, and as I am riding, I can see the white fog all over. I zig zag across streets to avoid these spots. Who knows what the longterm effects of the chemicals used are?

However, as a result, while there ARE still mosquitos, the population is drastically reduced. Oh, yes, I have been bitten by these tropical blood suckers .. and they leave an itch like nobodies business. It’s a persistent itchiness that lasts for weeks, at least on me. And nothing takes it away. I have scars on my legs now from this! Such a lovely tattoo of sorts to remind me of my time living abroad? Is that a good way to spin it?

And Shane had a bug bite that became weirdly bubbly and infected, and even after a course of antibiotics, it took about a month to resolve, and has left a nice scar on his wrist.

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A Monkey takes a dip in the condo pool!

Our condo,  called “Gallop Green” has the most beautiful pool.  Being a family that centers nearly all of our activities around a pool, swimming, or water, this pool was very appealing to us when we were trying to find a home here in Singapore.  The kids took one look at it, and declared that this was the place for us.  Gallop Green would be our home.

From our condo on the fourth (and top) floor, this is the view out of our living room window, as we look down on the pool.

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At night, it is all lit up, with lights wrapped around the palm trees, making it feel very Disney like.   It is just gorgeous.  We use this pool all the time, as it is very convenient.  It is 5 steps out our door to the elevator, then maybe 20 steps out of the elevator to the pool.  All the time we say that we cannot believe that we live here.  It is just dreamy.

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As you can imagine, we like to look down at the pool.  We are nebby, we are kind of spying on our neighbors, but also, we just like to look at the pool,  see some of the birds flying around (there is a full yellow parrot and a white macaw here regularly).  During the first week here,  while the kids were at school and Trent was sitting on the sofa doing work stuff on his computer, I took a break from unpacking and looked out the window.

You can imagine my compete surprise when I noticed a monkey sitting on the edge of the pool!   A monkey!!  I screamed to Trent, who practically threw his laptop, and we stood there in complete shock watching this monkey, casually dipping the end of his long tail into the pool water and then sucking on it.

I could see Lim, one of the guards at our condo, walking towards the pool, ready to shoo away the monkey ( he had his phone in hand, taking a video ) and I screamed again, “NO LIM!!! Not yet!  I need a photo!!”  Of course, he couldn’t hear me, and I ran to get my  camera, which was still packed away.

Trent couldn’t take his eyes off the monkey, and I was throwing things out of boxes, into the air, over my head, desperate to find my camera and attach the long lens.  I finally find it, take the lens cap off, make a mad sprint to the window, just in time to see the monkey jump out of the pool!

Apparently Lim scared it, which made it jump into the pool, do a quick doggie paddle, and it jumped out of the pool, down the concrete, behind the building, and up into a tree.   It was the most exciting thing ever!!

No, I didn’t get a photo, as when I took the lens cap off, it fogged up with the cold air conditioning air.  What a bummer.

Trent and I giggled like school girls for about 10 minutes, and then we had to meet the kids at the bus stop.  So we made a stop at the guard gate, to speak with Lim, who was also giggling like a girl.  He showed us his video, which he was thrilled with.

According to Lim, it’s been nearly 3 years since the last monkey siting on Gallop Green property.  They are seen quite regularly in the neighborhood, but not at our pool.  Lim said that he had to scare it away, and do so quickly, because all of the school buses were due to arrive any minute.  Usually the kids scream because they are so excited to see a monkey, which in turn makes the monkey scream, and then the kids get scared and scream even louder, and then the monkey could become aggressive.  Lim also told us that if we ever do see a monkey again, not to smile, as showing teeth is a sign of aggression to them.  Who knew!!

Anyhow, I wanted to share that story with you.  I just cannot believe that we saw a wild monkey within our first week of living here!!