I have blood on my hands and only some of it is mine. The rest has splattered from the scores of mosquitoes that, over the past eight weeks, I have become proficient at killing. An engorged mosquito can hold three times her body weight in blood meals. Her own blood is a clear-ish fluid called haemolymph. It sloshes around her body, churned by a heart in the middle of the gut, just above where she stores your siphoned blood. Humans have discovered over 3,500 species of mosquito and I hate every single one.
As I walk out of the field, I hope not to see the little buzzing bastards for a while. Eight weeks is a long time, mosquitoes or not. The nights almost get dark now. Leaving my cabin, the sky has become chalk blue. The moon is like that dab of pure white making the painted eye look alive.
I’ve much to reflect on, many data to sift, a few pounds to shift (mainly beard mass). My beard is ragged and colossal. Beards, it turns out, make a good conversation topic when all other inspiration fails: Long, scraggly conversations.
As somebody in scientific training, I wonder, Can you distil the piquancy, the nuance, the bloody experience of human life into mere numbers? Let’s find out.
In the field, I ingested the following:
- 1,800 grams of chocolate, which is about half a newborn. Remember this if you ever get the urge to buy me an Easter egg.
- Nearly 1,000 grams of jam. A kilojam?
- Enough coffee to kill all 11 players in a football team plus the mascot (assuming mascot is a young child).
Overall, our interview rate flatlined at 64 percent of a person per day. Irrelevantly, the human body is approximately 64 percent water. So that’s nearly 2,000 litres of human we spoke with.
Speaking of liquids, the car drank 165 litres of petrol. That’s how much water the average Londoner washed, flushed, dripped and drained every day in 2005. It’s also the capacity of a pretty decent fridge or bathtub.
We drove 3,262 kilometres, or 2,028 miles. The equivalent of driving from Toulouse to Tallinn.
Finally, it is my duty to confirm that driving a Lexus Hybrid does indeed make you feel a bit smug: