05 September 2005

Those Ants

When you live in the tropics you just get used to bugs, lizards and their brethren rooming with you. You keep all food in the fridge, or in tightly sealed containers. You hope the big spiders don’t alight on you during the night. And you try not to startle the geckos who sleep in the coffee cups.

Amazingly enough, other than the odd outsized cockroach, the only creatures I have encountered thus far here, are ants. Vietnam Ants. Tenacious little creatures, they are. Teeny-tiny, and light brown, their prowess belies their small stature. They can actually unzip Ziploc bags! After throwing out, on three separate occasions, my newly purchased supplies of nuts and raisons, I invested in screw-top, plastic jars. So far, those have worked. That doesn’t mean, however, that The Ants have ceased and desisted their daily search of my quarters. One only has to gaze at the corners of the room to find their scouts furiously searching for some tasty treat.

Having secured all food items in my room last night, I turned off the light and jumped into bed. About an hour later, my legs started to itch. Damn, it must have been the MSG again, which seems to find its way into the food I am served. It would wear off soon. But I kept itching. Maybe they’d put too much laundry detergent in the wash. But then why wasn’t the rest of me on fire? I tossed and turned, and scratched and rubbed until I could no longer stand it. I got out of bed, turned on the light and ripped of my top sheet.

There, to my horror, were probably 500 Ants, circling near the foot of my bed, no doubt wondering where their midnight snack had gone. I batted, and brushed, and smashed them with the pillow. I shook the sheet out the window then tossed it on the floor. I searched the bed for crumbs and there were none, which is what I’d expected since I don’t eat in bed.

Gingerly, I got back in bed. The clock said 4am and the alarm was set to go off in little more than an hour. No, I never did get to sleep last night. I suppose the one fortunate aspect of the whole Ant ordeal is that even though their bites kill, I don’t get a reaction, or at least not so far.

I’ll try and not let the bed bugs bite