Men and Cockroaches

I’ve had my fair share of cockroach incidents. Some I’ve written about (The Cucaracha Wars), some I’ve videoed (that time in Mexico when one flew in through my window, made it’s home behind my bed and I freaked out. I moved the headboard and it dashed across my bed to the other side of the room while I was squealing). Some I’ve shared with friends (the time in the Philippines where Robin and I had to deal with six or so. She told me if I would take em’ alive, she’d take care of em’ when they are dead) and all are forever stuck in my memory.

Today’s story is a little different than the others. Despite being in what I would consider a 2 star hotel with great potential for cockroaches, we’ve been here for five nights and not seen any. That is, until today.

Note: Graphic content regarding the killing of a cockroach

After a lovely day spent swimming and working from Long Beach on Koh Phi Phi Island in Thailand, Robin and I returned to our air conditioned little room for a break from the heat. Robin was sitting on her bed and I hear her say ‘Ah, Is that inside or outside?’ I immediately flipped over and looked at her. Seeing the look of disappointment on her face, I immediately freaked out a bit asking ‘What, what, what is it?’ By the look on her face I thought it might actually be a snake or something as she wasn’t moving. She finally told me there was a cockroach on the window, but she wasn’t sure if it was inside or outside.

Together, we took a closer (but still distant) look and determined that the bugger was between the screen & window. Robin was hoping to close the curtain and forget she saw it, but I decided it had to die before it found a way in. After a couple of minutes staring at it and hitting the screen with my flip flop to try and make it run away, I wasn’t having any luck. I gingerly moved the screen window that it was on hoping that it wouldn’t run into the room. I wiggled the screen door enough to get my hands on the sliding window and jostled it open. (Nothing here works smoothly. Lucky it works at all) I was hoping that it would simply run to the opening, but who are we kidding, cockroaches aren’t the smartest insects on earth! They are about the same as June bugs. We decided to dump water on it, hoping it would make it go the direction of the opening. No luck. Now, on the window tread instead of the screen, It decided to wiggle through the water, inward rather than toward the opening. In the end, when he crawled on the end of the window frame (still outside), I closed the window & it ended up smooshing him between two window frames. I could still see him wiggling but I couldn’t reach him to put him out of his misery. Besides, everyone must know by now how much I hate cockroaches! I wasn’t about to try very hard. Horribly, I watched him struggle for a few minutes. Not because I wanted to see him struggle, but because I wanted to be sure that he was actually caught and couldn’t move to get in our room. So, I left him to die. Yes, maybe I am a horrible person but cockroaches have traumatized me more than once.

A few minutes later Robin noticed a surgance of ants in the same area where the cockroach had been. Hundreds of fairly large red ants had covered the area and the bits of the cockroach that had been visible were no more. Apparently when cockroaches are left to die, red ants quickly find them and devour them! Who knew!

But, the story doesn’t end there. A few hours later, the guys staying in the hotel room beside us came home (not so quietly). They turned their music on and joked around loudly. This is what I pictured (and dreaded) that Koh Phi Phi might be like. Young people here on vacation with the sole purpose of partying (all night long). They had woken us up with their drunken boisterous voices at 3:30 am this morning, so I would expect nothing less than some loud music through the evening tonight.

Shortly after they arrived home, the door opened quickly and I hear a one side of a conversation through the extremely thin walls in our dingy hotel, between two English men. I can hear the guy standing in the hallway in his deep English accent like he’s standing beside me.

“Pauly, just take care of it I don’t want anything to do with it.
Ewww. It’s huge.
What the fuck.
Hurry up and get rid of it. Just smack it. I’m not coming back in until you’ve flushed it down the toilet.
They are so dirty.
This isn’t funny. Just deal with it.”

(faintly heard from inside, presumably Pauly’s voice with a slight chuckle) – “It’s just a cockroach man!”

I couldn’t help myself, I peaked out the peephole in the door to see the guy standing there.  I’d guess about 25 years old, tall, shirtless and super fit. That’s about all I could tell through a peephole. I didn’t think he’d like it much if I opened the door fully and asked him if he was scared of a wee cockroach.

“Hurry up and deal with that monstrosity.
Is it gone yet? Did you flush it? Is it gone?”

Door slams and rattles the walls. Presumably the big strong man went back into the room after his friend had flushed the ‘monstrosity’ down the toilet.

Happy to say that this little cockroach incident made my day. I struggle with cockroaches all the time and for once it’s nice to know that a ‘big strong man’ freaks out over them as much as I do.

9 Replies to “Men and Cockroaches”

  1. Such brave girls, you are! I don’t do cockroaches but June bugs freak me out. I’d probably get pretty vicious too if it was me or him (the cockroach not the big scared man!)

  2. Oh Shari, we have tackled many things together on this journey… The depths of the sea, scary van rides, being laughed out of shops, ridiculously steep (seemingly never ending) uphill walks in the heat… The list goes on. Yet somehow, the continued cucaracha wars stand out as some of the most comically scarring stories to date. Remember “so hum”!

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