It’s been a while since I shared a good story. Inspired by Brenna’s post, Around the World: Bugs (Part One), I reflected on some of my own insect encounters. I’ve dealt with swarms of mosquitoes just about every summer of my life. I braved the spiders in Australia- even became an expert on catching them in cups and releasing them!
While most insect stories induce creepy-crawly-ew-gross-no feelings, there is one in particular that causes a wide smile to spread across my face.
So, without further ado: Here is the story of the Wrong Way to Deal with Bugs in Nepal.
SCENE: My host home in Budhanilkantha, Nepal. My roommate, J, and I were showered and ready to go to bed. We were both laying in our perspective beds when we decided it was time to put the lights out.
J flicked the switch on the lamp, leaving us in darkness. I’d taken melatonin to help with falling asleep, and was beginning to feel its effect wash over me. It was quiet for about 10 minutes before I heard “OH MY GOD!”
I remained quiet as the lamp flicked back on. I heard J shuffling around. I figured perhaps she’d forgotten to do something before bed.
“Brianna!?” she said in a hushed tone. It was late at night and she didn’t want to wake our host parents. I rolled over, annoyed to have my almost-sleep disturbed.
“That thing just jumped on my face!” she said, voice trembling with shock and fear. She pointed to the window curtain that rested just above her pillow. A dark, menacing bug clung onto the curtain. It was probably 5 inches long and I knew immediately it was a praying mantis- or something of the praying mantis variety.
Sorry for the bad photo. It was dark…
J continued to quietly freak out as I got out of bed and tried to look for something we could use to catch it. I wasn’t about to just catch it with my hands. I’m not a crazy person.
Nothing could be found in our bedroom, so I quietly opened our door in to the main room and looked around to find something. Nothing was big enough to get around its massive, evil body.
I went back to our room, racking my brain for a plan B. J suggested just killing it. I’m not a super tree-hugger: I’ll kill a bug with zero remorse.
I searched through my bag. “What about this?” I asked, holding up a travel-sized can of Lysol spray. Side note for international readers: Lysol is a disinfectant spray, filled with lots of chemicals and stuff
By this point, the mantis had slowly begun its crawl up the curtain. I imagine it was trying to get to a higher vantage point from which to launch its attack.
The home in which the assault took place
J took the Lysol from me and sprayed the mantis. One good long squirt, to douse it in chemicals.
We backed away, afraid it was either going to explode or get really angry. From the safety of the far corner of our room, we watched as the mantis tried desperately to crawl up the curtain. It was shaking. Its legs stretched outward and twitched and we knew its time had come.
We stared until the mantis stopped moving, relieved to have come out of this battle unscathed. We gave it a couple minutes to make sure he was good ‘n dead. With a sigh of relief, we began walking back to our beds.
Budhanilkantha is so pretty when you’re not being attacked in your sleep
THAT’S WHEN IT MOVED AGAIN.
Yes. The flippin’ zombie-mantis came back to life and began making its way across the top of the curtain to MY side of the room.
It knew the Lysol was mine. It smelled my fear. It was coming for me.
This is obviously the point where J and I let out girlish shrieks. How could anything just be okay after being completely doused in household cleaning chemicals?
We began nervously discussing what our next plan of action would be when we heard a soft knock at our door.
This is probably where zombie-mantis lives during the day
“Sisters?” our sweet host mother said as she peeked into our room. Defeated, we pointed at the mantis. With a knowing nod of her head, she left the room and returned with a hand-made broom.
That’s when this tiny, quiet, sweet little Hindu woman proceeded to beat the living crap out of the mantis- smooshing it against the wall again and again with the broom.
J and I stood there in shocked silence- both sad that we had awoken our host yet impressed by her violent outburst.
“Goodnight” she said and gave us a smile as she left our room. J and I exchanged glances, unsure of how to put the experience into words. Instead, we just settled back into our beds and turned off the light.
Have any good bug stories from your travels? Tell me in the comments below!