For this first night I’ve booked myself a hostel just across the train station. It had good reviews, the most perfect location and a decent price so what more could I ask for! I shared the room with two Serbian guys, we had a nice chat in the evening and eventually we all went to sleep. Suddenly I woke up in the middle of the night, feeling a weird itch on my leg… But I was really certain it must had been a mosquito, especially that one of the guys told me the previous night there were lots of them in the room. I didn’t pay much attention to the itch and went back to sleep.
When I woke up in the morning I could see couple of red spots on my hands and legs but I could count them on my fingers so again I thought it had been mosquitos’ fault. The idea of bed bugs crossed my head and I even inspected the bed carefully but couldn’t see anything. Obviously it wasn’t the first time I got bitten by some insects so I didn’t pay all that much attention to it. Sure, it was itching but it wasn’t that bad, not yet…
I checked out from the hostel, went to catch the train and set out for the epic train journey. As I was moving towards Montenegro’s coast, admiring breathtaking views from the train’s window, the itching became more and more annoying. That set an alarm on in my head that maybe after all these weren’t mosquitos, maybe I was attacked by the bedbug…? When I arrived to my accomodation in Bar the first thing I’ve done was checking myself in the mirror. And that inspection left my speachless…
I’ve found around 70 bites all over my body… only on my hands there were 50 of them… I’ve never seen something like that before! And what was my reaction after the first shock? Laughter, a huge one. I just couldn’t stop laughing that they got me. After all what could I do at that point?
The morning found me with even more bites – or I haven’t seen them before or they were slowly appearing here and there. There were 20 of them on my hip, 10 on left leg and so on and so on. I stoped counting when I reached 120 bites. I really looked as if I had a chickenpox and felt kind of stupid walking around with all the spots visable (with +30 Celsius degrees). But what’s done is done. At least it wasn’t itching THAT much and I could focus on everything else and not being miserable with the pain I’m in.
Actually that was the second time I was attacked by bedbugs. A year ago in Georgia, when I took a night train from Batumi to Tbilisi I woke up with 7 bites on my left elbow… And damn, it was itching so much then I thought I’d go crazy! What’s the worst is that the bites can stay itchy and visible for a week or so. That’s how it was with me in both cases…
Travelers are in the biggest risk to get biten by bed bugs. These nasty insects mostly hide in the train’s seats and beds or in the hostels’ beds. They’re really tiny so it’s hard (but not impossible) to spot them, they come out when it gets dark and do their business. It’s not painful to get bitten, the whole itching nightmare starts later on…
So what to do when you’re on the road and get attacked? Here are some advices I found useful:
– don’t scratch yourself! it makes things even worse, I know, I went through that ;)
– always carry a calcium with you in your first-aid bad and drink/take it, preferably twice a day. if you don’t have any go to the nearest pharmacy, “calcium” can be understood in every language I assume;
– buy onion, garlic or lemon, cut them into rings and put on the most itching places or get the juice from these and spread over affected places. As crazy as it may sound that really helps!
– and most important thing: wash all your belongings as bed bugs are mean little creatures that like to travel with you back home to inhabit it. And no one wants that!
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