So I dropped my favorite pair of sunglasses today and they shattered. Though this makes me quite sad, they have served me well for almost a year (much longer than sunglasses usually survive me) and thus are deserving of a quick eulogy. The glasses in question are “Ray Dan”s, a brand-name-knockoff mis-spelling that has always deeply amused me. I bought them from a street vendor in Arusha, Tanzania, near the clock-tower that marks the midpoint between Cairo & Cape Town.
I needed them because I found out, the hard way, that 100% DEET melts plastic. I knew this, actually, since I had been warned by my friendly neighborhood camping-store salesperson before traveling that I shouldn’t touch plastic with DEET-covered hands as it would literally etch my fingerprints into the material. HOWEVER, he failed to mention that DEET is so powerful that even the steam from a shower, in which one was washing off the mosquito repellent, would eat through sunglasses!
So, be warned travelers: mosquitoes hate DEET, but DEET hates sunglasses.
Rest in peace, Ray Dans. Long live whatever pair comes next.