Friday, September 08, 2006

Going buggy

So far, there are only two downsides to living in rural Japan. One is being forced to play volleyball. The other is being forced to deal with the bugs.

The bugs here are not like the bugs in Canada. These bugs are absolute monsters. They are big and hairy and have teeth and fangs. They slither down from the mountains at night and crawl in through the cracks in the walls.

My voice is hoarse from screaming every time I see a cockroach in my apartment. I can’t help it. They’re always sneaking up on me when I least expect it. The blur of a brown thing with skinny legs and long feelers zooming up the wall or scurrying across the floor makes me jump out of my skin.

I can’t suppress the screaming even though I know I should since I live on top of the town library and my ear-splitting screams probably terrify everyone quietly reading their books below.

But I’m taking steps to deal with the bug problem. I have set up several roach traps in my apartment (one is at the foot of my mattress in case any of the little bastards try to crawl into bed with me while I am sleeping).

I also have the vacuum cleaner plugged in and at the ready at all times. My makeshift bug-killing machine ruthlessly sucks up any cockroach, beetle, centipede or spider that dares enter my apartment. (I also keep a towel stuffed in the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner when it’s turned off just in case any of the bugs try to crawl back out.)

The creatures are omnipresent. You don’t just see them; you can hear them at all times. The cicadas scream all day. The crickets chirp all night. The frogs croak in the rice fields. And I am always hearing little scuffling sounds in my apartment. Or at least I think I am. Either way, I am going completely buggy.

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