Windows here aren’t windows like we know ’em back home. They’re openings with shutters and security bars. It’s different…..but I kinda like it. Being that there’s no glass….and no screen….I’ve taken to putting mosquito netting over the window…..er, opening…..to function as a screen…. hopefully keeping the critters out…..hopefully. I don’t like mosquito netting hanging over my bed. It feels sort of stifling believe it or not and, since I don’t have a chair in my room and my bed is my chair, it just gets in the way too much. Curtains aren’t very common here (my guess is that since it’s so humid, curtains would probably just get moldy, so why bother?) and thus, neither are curtain rods. So, when it came to hanging the mosquito net, I figured I’d just tie the ends of the netting onto the security bars…..but it left about a 2 inch gap at the top. The bars are decorative….sort of…..and don’t go all the way up. There was simply nothing at the very top of the opening to tie the netting to. Well, I figured, at least it was better than having no netting at all. As it turns out…..it was no better than having no netting at all…..
So, I’m lying on my bed late one night, relaxing, laptop perched on belly, watching some movie or other, being lulled to sleep and out of the corner of my eye, I see an enormous bug fly into my room through that 2 inch gap and land on the wall. By the time I look up, it had flown over to the wall-mounted light fixture, then behind the wardrobe. This all happened within about 1 second. This thing was fast. And big. And black. Did I mention big? My first reaction was, “Geez, that thing looked so big it coulda been a bat.” …..only “Geez” wasn’t exactly the word that flitted through my head…… “Okay, Janice, get a grip, take a breath, it’s just a bug……” Well, it may be just a bug, but it’s late and I need to get some rest before work tomorrow and I’m not crazy about the idea of going to sleep with this….thing in my room with me… but what to do about it? What could I do? Move the heavy wardrobe away from the wall….and have some enormous black bug fly out at me…? No, thank you. I figured the reason it had flown in my room in the first place was because I’d been too lazy to get up and turn off the light (florescent, no less – florescent lighting is everywhere here), so I turned it off……and now I’m in my room….in the dark….with an enormous black bug….. “Okay, this isn’t gonna work…..” My ingenious remedy for this situation was to turn off my light, leave my bedroom door open and turn on a couple of lights outside my room – maybe it would be attracted to those lights and fly away. I had to get some sleep…..or at least try.
The next morning and for the next two days whenever I was in my room, I had this bug on my mind…..I’m gonna call it ‘Bug Consciousness’…..wondering when it was going to fly out from behind the wardrobe and right into my face or something. Now, by the third day, my Bug Consciousness was waning and I’m trying to convince myself, “Maybe it’s already flown away. Maybe it died back there behind the wardrobe….” It hadn’t died. I was once again lying in bed late at night, watching something on the tube….bug, schmug….who’s thinking about a bug….? The bug was thinking about the bug….or rather….the bat…..yes, indeed, the bat. It flew out from behind the wardrobe and onto the wall by the door. “[This is where you’ll want to enter all your most colourful expletives ……lather, rinse, repeat].” ….yeah, every foul word you can think of came flying out of my mouth while I’m freaking out, trying to think how I’m going to get out of this room when the bat is on the wall near the floor right by the door.
I like bats. I really do. They’re great and the world needs them….but I really don’t need one in my bedroom, thank you. So….. I grab my pillow and toss it on the bat…. my thinking (if you can even call it that) was that I wanted to try to contain it…..with a pillow….right…… at least try to slow it down while I look for something with which to capture it and then I could release it outside. But first….and even though the word RABIES is flashing in neon luminescence in the front and back of my brain….I grab my camera…. I figure if there’s any chance at all I can get a shot of this thing, I’m gonna try to get it. …..what is wrong with me….? I quickly opened my bedroom door and went out to the hallway so I’d have an escape route. Half wanting to take a picture and half wanting to deal with the present unnerving bat situation, I stood by my door, peering through the space between the door and the jamb. Slowly, out crawls Mr. Bat from under the pillow…..do I take a picture..? Well, sorta….I took this picture pretty much behind my back while fleeing down the stairs……
Mr. Bat had started crawling up the door jamb, indecisive, it would seem, as to whether he wanted to go out or stay in…… “Out! Out! OUT!!” I cheered him on…. I had a fleeting thought that this was an opportunity to kill him if I’d wanted to by just closing the door – he’da been smooshed. But I couldn’t do it. Like I said, I like bats. He was really cool looking, actually. His little hands or paws or whatever you want to call them were just amazing. But every time I’d get close enough to take a picture, he’d start scurrying and so would I….. I didn’t want to take the risk of holding the camera up to my face only to have him fly right at me at that point….and then I’d go tumbling down the stairs or something…. I guess I’d make a lousy photojournalist. Anyway, I thought I’d give taking a picture one more chance and looked down at my camera for only a moment and when I looked back up…..he was gone…..
Okay, I’m thinking he’s made his decision and went back into the bedroom….because he certainly wasn’t out in the hallway. I slowly walked up the stairs and, looking up, down, sideways and around, peered into my room…..and behind the door….and on the ceiling…..”AAAAHHHH!!! There he is!” Oh, …no….it’s only a lizard….. I see those every day. No Mr. Bat. Did he go back in my room? Did he go out? Is he still in my room with me right now? I have no idea where he went. Mr. Lizard, however, did leave…..I think…
Here’s a coupla slightly more interesting pics:
This is in Thai Binh City. I can’t really tell you what these things are beyond the obvious…..a pagoda and a tower!