Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A Plague of Locusts

This blogging’s fun, eh? Bit time consuming, though. That Luan has lost her comments bit, and I can’t work out how to add a list of links. I mention it now ‘cos she’s added me to her list of links, which is very kind, and I’d like to reciprocate.

As for Simon Hoggart. That last paragraph’s a cracker.

I was reading Little Red Boat this morning – that poor lassie clearly has a problem with mice, compounded by a cat-hating landlady. It got me thinking about my cockroach phobia being cured after living in Turkey and Libya. The flat we had in Bakirkoy, Istanbul, was wick with the scampering bastards. I’d have to swat them away from the work surface when I was cooking. One time, I opened the paperback I was reading, and one of them was lurking between the pages. Another time I unrolled the sleeve of the shirt I was wearing, and one of them ran out from the folds.

Nasty, very.

But it cured me of the phobia I’d had since living in an infested house as a small child. Which is just as well, ‘cos Libyan cockroaches are much bigger, uglier and more determined than their Turkish chums. I can’t say I exactly welcome them into the bathroom, but at least I don’t run out of the place screaming.

The locusts were another matter, however. I’d seen the odd one, and was quite intrigued. And then one night, I opened the door of my room to go out onto the terrace and there they were, hopping about, about 5 inches long. Thousands of them. “Oh fuck!” I said, and shut the door. I opened it again to take a picture. Briefly, because I was horrified at the thought that one of them would hop in. That’s why it’s not a great photo – no every day object to give them perspective, so they don’t look as big and evil as they were in grim reality.

I stayed in my room that night. But had to go to work the next morning, and they were still there… So I had to tip-toe along the terrace between them. Like the final scene from The Birds. They hopped to about waist height, so it wasn’t too bad until I got to the stairs, where I had to descend. The horror… When I came home from work they were all away.

Gilbert the Gecko lived on my bedroom ceiling. He was my little pal.