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a post of creepy crawlies
singapore sunset
Okay, i turned on the air conditioning. The weather here has hit proper tropical nonsense over the past week. It's not particularly hot - maybe 30 degrees or so, but it's humid out the ass.

The last time i lived in a climate like this it was Brisbane, probably back in 2006ish? If you're a pasty European like me you will spend these ~6 months of the year with stringy hair, flushed cheeks and a permanent sheen. What i forgot was the insects. Living in Brisbane it was particularly bad because Australians have a tendency to build single-storey detached homes, so you get a full assortment of garden creepy crawlies too. Also spiders. Very fucking large spiders.

Up here on the 13th floor in a city that - while having lots of greenspace - is extremely dense, i figured i'd be safe from the worst of it. The other day i left my kitchen window open while i mucked around online, then when i went back to cook there was a giant fucking cicada buzzing and humming in between my condiments. Like, the size of my thumb fucking cicada. I eventually managed to coax him back out the window. My heart was beating out of my chest. I felt almost relieved when dusk welcomed back my cockroach buddies.

You see, although my house is furnished extremely minimally and i keep it reasonably clean, cockroaches are fact of life here. The only blessing is that so far i haven't seen one longer than about an inch. When i do see one, i try to pick it up on a piece of paper and chuck it out the window. Not that it matters, since for every one i see there are a hundred i don't. I figure as long as they keep their walking around out of my sight, we can share the space. I mean, i know for sure every chopstick, every mug, my wok, my toothbrush, my underwear... It's all been scouted and nibbled and shat upon. But what are you going to do? Can't live in a bubble.

And then you're just lying back minding your own business and one fucking crawls up from under the mattress into your bed and it's like... are you lost? What the fuck, dude, that's crossing the line! And yet... It appears i've hit the point of exasperated nonchalance. I pick it up, i take it to the window. Again. Or maybe i try to pick it up, but it escapes down a crack. Again. You shrug, you move on. Now i remember how i lived in Brisbane. Cocky? Oh, for fuck's sake, not another one. Long as he didn't crawl into my beer, eh?

I should probably buy some traps, though, since this is only the beginning and God knows it's going to get a lot more humid when the rains hit for real. I don't mind them taking over the place while i'm asleep, but i'd at least like to have my bed for myself.

Anywho, despite its anti-bug perks, i have up until now refused to turn on the air conditioning unit. I know most of my neighbors have kicked theirs off because i hear a near-constant drip-drop from the upper floor condensation pipes. But my bloody-mindedness has been winning out. It's similar reasoning to why i hardly ever turned on my heating when i lived in Berlin. Don't want to waste energy. Don't want to unnecessarily add to my carbon output. Don't want to be a pansy. People survived for millennia without. If it's cold, i'm cold. If it's raining, i'm wet. If it's hot, i'm hot. The end.

Yeah, except it's not the end because today i stupidly forgot my water bottle in the office and my whole bed is damp like it's been rained on and i had a shitty day at work anyways and i just want to have a brief moment of not feeling like i'm simmering in a custard of dust and poo and fumes.

Okay, it's not quite that bad. But a half hour of air conditioning while i typed this out has set me up comfy enough i might be able to drop off quickly tonight. Here's hoping.

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>>and one fucking crawls up from under the mattress into your bed and it's like... are you lost?<<

i don't know if i could be so blase about cockroaches in my house, but this made me giggle. i'm picturing a cockroach crawling out from under the mattress and onto the pillow, where it settles in for the night. not lost, just looking for a more comfortable place to sleep.

do your windows not have screens? (are window screens an american thing?)

Most houses in Australia and New Zealand have screens, but it seems a lot less common in Europe and here in China. I'm not sure why, it's not like the technology isn't there, perhaps it's cultural?

The cockroach in my bed thing has only happened twice on the actual mattress and once on the headboard. They definitely look a bit confused and sluggish when they are on the mattress, so perhaps they do just want to have a doze!

Well in Florida it's like cockroachs are everywhere. They are so annoying.

I can't live without air conditioning. Just can't. I don't know how you can. The humidity is what gets me. It's like I can't breath. It's not even that it's hot. When Hurricane Irma came and there wasn't AC and electricity for like a week and a half. It was pretty bad. Hot and humid. I knew it was temporary so I handled it but for it to go on for like ever NOPE. I feel your pain.

I was quite toughened to 'no air con' as a child in Hong Kong. The civil service flats we were quartered in didn't come with it. I slept under a thin sheet with a fan trained on me which often didn't cool me enough. I don't think I'd tolerate it as an adult.

I used to bitch and moan about air conditioning - especially in offices - because I was convinced breathing the recycled air was making me sick. But nowadays I am pretty easy, air conditioning or not. Right now it seems my AC unit died (or perhaps the remote died, I don't know) so I don't have an option to use it anyway 😕

Haha. I have fond memories of various 'plagues' in Hong Kong. Our school was low-rise and subject to a wasp plague and a slug plague, I recall. Our 8th floor flat had indestructible red ants in the kitchen and silverfish in any drawer that contained paper. One year there was a spectacular flying termite plague. They came in to the flat everywhere and dropped their wings. It was impossible to sweep them all up before they were replaced.

My goodness, silverfish gives me a bad memories of New Zealand and pouring a bowl of cereal that moved by itself. I think a slug plague would be the worst of all. As much as fast scuttling beasties freak me out, I think sqishy wet ones would be more disgusting. On my hike today I saw a few long black wormy things that I am incredibly glad I have never seen in my house. Though, come to think of it, they could've have been snakes. Very slow, slimey snakes.

Maybe some entirely new lifeform 😂

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