The Art of the Mogi (모기)

You've got to respect the Seoul Summer Mosquito, or Mogi as they are known here in Korea.  Being from the southern US, I'm well acquainted with the annoying bite of the mosquito. But the itching kiss I've been the victim of here is quite different from those I got at home. And this difference is due to the fact that the Seoul Mogi has got skills. Mad skills, people.

For starters, the Seoul Mogi is small. I don't know if it's that the mosquitos in the USA are growing obese along with their population (perhaps the cholesterol in our blood streams is affecting the weight and size of our blood-sucking insects), but so far it seems that the more petite the citizens of a nation happen to be, the smaller the mogi. Small Mogi sucks for you, but is freaking awesome for the Mogi. Because it adds to his element of stealth. I often mistake these miniature Mogis for gnats or annoying nameless summer bugs, casually waving them off with a hand, when I should be vigilantly seeking nothing less than their utter destruction. 

Relative to their size is their sound. Seoul Mogis are quiet little demons. There is no telltale buzzing, no miniscule siren warning you of the approaching, hovering, vampirish danger lurking around your exposed ankles and wrists. Nope. There is only The Silence of the Mogi. 

And the Seoul Mogi is the epitome of stealth- like the pickpocket who doesn't need to bump into you to steal your wallet. He simply takes it with such finesse that although you're enraged by the act, you have no choice but to bow to his adroitness. The Seoul Mogi is so small and quiet that you won't notice him. His bite is also impossible to detect. Back home, I can feel the offending prick and can slap the guts of the mogi along with my own precious blood,  flat across my calf. But here, you don't notice the bite, you don't feel anything and the next day you wake up with 15 bites and you wonder where and when you got them. Yeah, I think the Mogis study the Ajummas, or the Ajummas are taking lessons from the mosquitos

The Seoul Mogi, although invisible, inaudible, and impossible to feel, is a vicious, vicious creature. I went to school today to see one of my 6 year olds with 3 nickel-sized red welts: one smack dab in the middle of his forehead, one on the side of his face next to his left eye, and another one on the back of his neck directly beneath his hairline. Another 6 year old had at least 10 bites all over his face. Vicious, vicious, but creative creatures. 

The thing is, we're sleeping with the enemy. One day Kenny accused me of having a mogi in the apartment. I said, "There's no way! I have a screen on the window and I never leave the door open. How could it get in here? I only opened the door once to come in here!"

And he said, "They're really smart. You know how they got to the 9th floor? They rode the elevator." 

So, the Seoul Mogi has size, silence, creativity, and apparently, brains on his side. 
Current Mogi bite count: 1, on the back of my right arm. 


  1. When you said "stealth," I thought of Seth Cohen. :)

  2. I hate mosquitoes. The mogi sounds awful!

  3. Oh Melanie, you make me pine for Seth and Captain Oats more than ever! Oh, and I'm missing our OC marathons.

    Larissa, I hate mogis more than anything too. I can't believe how angry they can make me!


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