The Jungle Above My Head

March 12, 2012 § 6 Comments

To the mold in my life

Lately, I’ve been plagued by a problem with which many people living in Hong Kong seem to be familiar: mold. A few weeks ago, I noticed a shadowy growth lurking in the corners of my headboard. Around the same time, the ceiling in my room seemed to be changing before my very eyes. I was experiencing a mold invasion, and this is the exhaustive (but not yet completed!) saga.

My life consists of only brief experiences with mold. Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, a relatively dry place, the only place I ever experienced it was on fruit — usually grapes — that had been left too long in the refrigerator and could be easily disposed of by simply tossing into the trash. Fuzzy gray grape mold was unsavory, but I never really had to confront it.

During my sophomore year of college, I stayed in an old apartment building with a weird shower that looked like a teleportation device. It didn’t drain very well, and after a few months, a layer of black mold had started to form on the floor of the shower, which I initially disregarded because I simply didn’t know what it was. It got to the point where a mushroom/flower/something had blossomed out of a nearby crevice, and my roommates and I thought it was just an errant screw until one of them finally got around to spraying everything with bleach. (Yes, that whole tale is disgusting and I just got hives from thinking about it.)

The point is, I’m living with mold. I won’t post any photos because obviously, it’s gross. Just imagine a growing constellation of spores nine feet above my bed, like the result of a fungal big bang.

It was first brought to my attention when I noticed some persistent dust-like debris on the top shelf of my headboard — I would wipe it away only to see the stuff reappear the next day. Then, from my desk, I happened to glimpse an ominous dark green patch in the corner, and subsequently deduced that it had spread all across the underside of the headboard.

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