November 24, 2010

Peace Corps Moment – 8-Legged Wonder (Part 3 – Almost) – Sri Lanka 1997

In Sri Lanka during the first month, I have to urinate frequently. Part of the problem is the huge amount of water I’m drinking because of the heat. Another part is the daily stress and nervousness of being suddenly thrust into a foreign situation with only a rudimentary understanding of the customs and language. Often, the sudden need to pee wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Now, in the usual sense, this is not a big deal. But in Sri Lanka, even the simplest things can be complicated. To get to my bathroom, I must weave my way through the pitch black house. My first attempt ends in a stubbed toe, locked doors, and the whole family awake and shooting questions at me at 3 a.m. But I’m a quick learner; with a flashlight and my route memorized I’m able to skirt through the living and dining room with a problem. Then, into the courtyard, past Lenny wrapped in his burlap blanket, and then to my bathroom.

After a few of these trips, it is second nature. This night, as usual, I reach into the darkness to turn on the light switch and … wait for it … suddenly I stop. I’ve done this motion almost every night for the past 3 weeks, but for some reason I withdraw my hand. I turn my flashlight towards the switch and, yes!, there is The Spider, directly on top of the light switch, waiting so patiently in ambush after days of observation. Only the last second tingling of my spidey-sense saves me from grabbing the hairy, large, fanged body of this creature in the pitch black darkness of my bathroom.

(yes again, because it deserves another look)

No comments:

Post a Comment