We have a month left in our Costa Rican adventure. On July 20 we head back to L.A. and real life. I have a couple of how-awesome-this-trip-has-been, how-much-it-has-changed-me-in-ways-I couldn’t-have-expected, how-much-I-will-miss-it-here, how-much-I-have-learned, etc. posts floating around in my head, but I had an experience this weekend that inspired me to write a much different post. A post about the thing I absolutely hate about Costa Rica and will not miss AT ALL.
Seriously, the BUGS.
Interesting fact, Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though it takes up only 0.3% of the planet’s surface. Within that 5% there are 34,000 species of insects. THIRTY FOUR THOUSAND PEOPLE!
The bugs range from mildly annoying, to wit, not being able to cook with any sort of brightish light on lest the main protein in your food become bugs of various kinds.
To slightly alarming, to wit, very large cockroaches in all my cupboards and drawers. I’ve learned to live with these guys — now when I see one I just shrug my shoulders and gently close the cupboard/drawer knowing that the offending cockroach likely will not be there the next time I open it. Nevertheless they are … you know … cockroaches and therefore totally ooky.
To heart-palpatation inducing — the damn mud wasps that are seriously EVERYWHERE! I can hear them building their freaking mud huts all over my house. There are some in the corner of the shower, one under the breakfast bar, several under the desk in our room and more than I care to think about in the book case. They are mild-mannered and no one has been stung, but I HATE them.
To full on heart attack inducing — the SCORPIONS! Oh dear god. Let us not forget this scorpion in the bathroom incident. Since then, I have had a scorpion in a pair of shorts that I was PUTTING ON. Scorpions in my laundry hamper. And just generally scorpions scurrying around. I could live the rest of my life never seeing another scorpion and die a happy person.
To FLYING.RED.ANTS. This incident actually gave me nightmares for several weeks. It was a few months ago and Aiman was sick. He had a high fever and had been vomiting for two days. He was dehydrated and we were all exhausted. It was late, but Riaz had gone into town to pick up some provisions for Aiman (7-Up, Ice Cream, Popsicles!). I was staying in the spare room with Aiman because it had better air conditioning, but I got up at one point to go get something out of the master bedroom. I was in our room for probably a minute rummaging around before I noticed that the ceiling was covered (seriously, COVERED) with flying red ants. There were, I kid you not, thousands of them. I could not see the actual ceiling, it was just an undulating mass of ants. I actually screamed like I was in a horror movie, ran into the spare room and proceeded to watch all the doors and windows with my arms around Aiman hoping to God the ants did not make their way into the spare room. They didn’t and the next morning the ants were gone, but I still think about them. It was horrifying.
To mosquitos. I’m an Alaskan, I know how to deal with mosquitos, but the mosquitos here 1) carry dengue and 2) prey on Aiman like vampires prey on teenage girls. The poor kid has been bit so many times and no amount of repellent seems to be able to protect him. Not only that, the mosquito bites appear to be the likely culprit of the mysterious infection that won’t go away. I hate the mosquitos. A lot.
To … this weekend. A Jurassic-Park-sized cockroach (it was at least 3 inches long and an inch and a half across) flew into our room on Saturday and accosted me in my sleep. The thing was so huge it felt like a bird had landed on me. I shutter just thinking about it. I have never seen a bug that size, it was seriously creepy and IN MY BED.
I have even more icky bug stories that I could share, but I worry that this post will turn away any potential visitors to Costa Rica, and that is not my intention.
For real, this trip has been awesome, but not a day goes by when I don’t think … I’ll miss it here … but I can’t wait to get away from all these g-d damn BUGS!