Sunday, August 3

A Tropical Bug's Life

I have encountered some of the biggest bugs I have ever seen staying out on the farm.

The farm has housing scattered all around and I'm staying in the "Mulberry Tree House," the furthest lodging point from the cafe/office hub of the farm. You get there by following the main path past the dorm, then the bamboo house, then the "Fruit House," over a bridge, past the goats, then the geese and finally you arrive. However, once you pass the bridge you're in the dark with the moon providing the only light - and in rainy season, that means you've got no light to guide you.

So those first few nights, I was walking trying desperately not to hear Claire's voice repeating the story of how when she first arrived and was being given a tour, they came across a cobra in the path. Yes, you read right a COBRA! Here's an excerpt of the conversation going on in my head...

Mind: "Stop worrying. Cobras are tucked away under a rock at night."

Self: "How do you know that?! We don't know that..."

Mind: "It doesn't matter anymore. See we've made it back to the tree house light. Now we should collect everything we need for our shower so we only have to make one trip."

The toilet block is about 10 meters away from the rooms, which is fine, except when it's raining. Have I mentioned it's rainy season?? So I gather my stuff and head off and decide maybe I'll shake things up and use the other shower, just for kicks.

Outloud: "Holy shit!"

Mind & Self, in unison: "That's the biggest spider I've ever seen!"

Outloud: "Fucking hell."

Mind: "I wish I had my camera."

Self: "It's not something we normally bring to the shower..."

After staring in admiration for a bit, I headed to the shower - my original shower. The entire toilet block has an open ceiling, so when my new friend, the Unruly Redhead appears I say, "URH, do you see that?" "See what?... Oh my god!" "I know! Crazy right?" "Ayuuuuck..." "What's happening? Is it on you?" "No, it's eating one of those huge grass hoppers alive!"

Now, I'm rushing through my shower, this I have to see. Then I hear from the URH "Oh no..." "What?" "I can't see it anymore. I don't know where it went?" "Is it on you?," I ask again. "I don't think so..." I emerge and give her a quick scan. She's spider free as far as I can tell. Knowing me and my pea sized bladder, I open the door to the WC before I head back to my room. "URH, I think I may have found the missing spider," I say jumping back out. But on closer inspection we determine that this is a different, skinnier, but same diameter spider.

I use the other toilet and return to my room for my camera. When I get back the URH and I search for teh spider. In the meantime, I scare a praying mantis (at least 4 inches long) into its web.

When my insect voyerism session has ended I head back to my room only to find another huge spider right next to my door.

Mind: "What is up with the gigantic spiders here?"

Self: "So I'm not the only one freaked out?"

Mind: "No, but I'm still sure we'll be fine..."

And sure enough after a week I've yet to find myself attacked by anything bigger than a mosquito.

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