Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brown, with hairy legs

The night I arrived in Tonga I got to my accommodation after midnight, so I stepped out to find a 24 hour shop and bought some bottled water and snacks. I read for a while, then got out of bed to turn off the light. As I did, I froze.... because of the BIG spider I noticed just outside the bedroom doorway.

When the spider and I saw each other, there was an instant realisation between us that this would be a fight to the death. There was no way I could sleep, knowing there was a tarantula-size spider in the room with me. My first effort was to grab a hardback book and hurl it at the arachnid. This failed, and it ran away into the bathroom. There I tried again with the book, and failed again. Eventually I acted with determination... and SPLAT !!

Now, of course I'd rather have said nicely to it "you'll have to go outside", or would have had some way of trapping it and expelling it to the outside... but these really were not options available to me. I plead guilty. I murdered a spider. It made quite a mess, and I cleaned up with tissues and some lemon scented air freshener. It was an interesting start to my time in Tonga.

Other creatures affected me to a lesser extent. There were barely any mosquitoes, but I have ended up with a total of ten insect bites on my legs. So far as I know, there is no risk of malaria in Tonga... but Dengue fever could be a possibility. Some readers would think that karma for killing a spider. We shall see... symptoms wouldn't show for five days or so.

My other annoyance was that I had bought a box of museli, and the second time I went to eat some I discovered it was already being eaten by dozens of tiny ants. I put the whole box into the freezer compartment of the fridge to stupify them, then served myself a bowl and used the spoon to pick out the bodies of the ants that were floating on the surface of the milk.

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