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Sad little man who likes to wind people up
Dear Emma,
I know a man, fortunately not close friends but I see him occasionally, who recently confided in me that he gets his kicks (his words, not mine) from posting moronic comments on social media just to wind people up.
I am fairly cognizant of internet terminology and believe this would qualify him for the term “troll”. When I was growing up a troll was an evil creature who lived under a bridge and ate small foolish children. I am assuming the analogy is the desire to lure people in and harass them.
I realize that some people are not as social as others and may have difficulty in meeting new people and getting out and about but I find this all rather pathetic. He is a rather sad little man, it is true, with limited social skills and a misplaced sense of superiority so perhaps that is what draws him to a meaningless existence on the internet. I am merely guessing since really, I cannot comprehend someone like this.
I have far more important things to do with my life than to see how many people I can upset and anger. I am not even sure why I would take time out of my life to do so. I do believe in karma and think that this kind of negative thinking and behaviour does eventually come back to haunt one.
So, in that light, and given this man’s predilection for such behaviour, I have decided to bid him a pleasant good morning and avoid him like the plague whenever I see him. I prefer to make friends with productive people with real lives.
More to do

Dear To Do,
Some people have empty lives and fill them in any way they can. Whilst she can understand your disdain and even contempt you might want to consider that this man is one of those. He may actually be a sad little man with nothing and no one to fill his life so he fills it this way. That does not mean you need to make him a part of your life but perhaps instead of filling your life with negativity thinking of this man, you can fill it with compassion and feel sorry that all he has in his life is negative behaviour to bother other people.

Rainy season and dengue fever
Dear Emma,
The rainy season is upon us and to be honest, I am afraid of getting dengue fever. I live in a mooban that doesn’t seem to have the best drains and a friend of mine who lives nearby had it a few years ago.
Is there anything I can do to minimize my risks?
Scared of dengue

Dear Scared,
Whilst Emma is not a dengue fever expert she understands that they bite during the day and like to live in small pools of stagnant water. You need to ensure you have screens on your windows and that they are fully intact. If there are holes in your screens replace them immediately. You also need to make sure there are no pools of standing water around your house. This includes potted plants that have plates under them to catch the water. Instead of dumping out the water every day simply forego the plates under your potted plants. It is the rainy season and they will do fine. Emma prefers not to have them at all since mosquitoes can breed year round and not just in the rainy season.
Go around the perimeter of your house and garden and remove any item that can collect water, no matter how small. Even better, visit your neighbors and do the same with them. If you have a small pond or some water jars then add the small fish to them, they eat the mosquito larvae.
Wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts and wear mosquito repellent on the exposed areas.
And if you do come down with dengue there is no vaccine and no real course of treatment, just treat the symptoms. If you become much debilitated or start to bleed go to a hospital for a drip and treatment of your symptoms.
The main symptoms to watch out for include high temperature, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, a metallic taste in the mouth with appetite loss, and a skin rash that appears about 4 days after the start of the fever. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Again, it is important to remember there is no cure for dengue but if you begin bleeding you may have contracted hemorrhagic dengue fever which is very dangerous and you should go to a hospital immediately. If you become ill and are concerned there is a blood test to see if you have it, you should ask for it specially.
If you do not need to be hospitalised then you should stay in bed, drink plenty of fluids, take paracetamol to reduce the fever but avoid aspirin as it thins the blood.

Chinese rant
Dear Emma,
This must be a weekly occasion for you and whilst I realise every country has ugly tourists, the Chinese tourists who come here seem particularly oblivious to the world around themselves. Today I passed two Chinese men slurping instant noodles on the pavement in front of the 7-11 with two small cups of water they had also gotten from 7-11. They sat themselves down in the middle of the pavement for all and sundry to be forced to walk around them. Why they did not sit on the large area in front of the 7-11 and not on the pavement I fail to grasp.
I have taken to speaking rather forcefully to our Chinese visitors so that they realise their behavior needs modification. To these two gentlemen I said a rather loud, “Pardon me but you are blocking the pavements” and then walked very close next to them Whilst it was not on purpose since they had blocked much of the pavement, it did seem to send a signal to them as they at least looked up at me instead of ignoring all the other people they were inconveniencing.
Chinese visitors need to pay attention

Dear Attention,
Emma understands where you are coming from and has taken to informing our Chinese guests politely if a tad loudly as to what is appropriate behaviour in public. Whilst it may or may not have an effect, it certainly makes Emma feel much better.