Saturday, September 22, 2007

When Bugs Attack

So, as you could imagine, there are a lot of different bugs here in the jungle. And most are not the friendly Jiminy Cricket type by any means. I've gotten somewhat used to the countless red spots covering my arms and legs. That's how mosquitoes tell you that they love you. And I've seen some harmless vegetarian millipedes. They're kinda funky. I've seen a angry little centipede in my shower last week. But, luckily he was a little guy who I hope enjoyed his prompt trip down the drain. Like I said, these animals are to be expected here in Southeast Asia. But last night when I got up to use the toilet, I saw a furry brown bit of roundness scurry across the floor and hide under a table. I shined my headlamp at it, and saw the reflective glow of multiple, unblinking, little green eyes staring at me. Wait a sec, mice only have 2 eyes! I literally jumped over to the light and frantically swatted at the switch to turn it on. Room now safely lit, I crept back over to the chair and took a peek. Holy crap, this is the biggest spider I've ever seen in my life! The thing was about half the size of my hand, furry, and slightly pissed off that I found it. I ran into my bathroom and grabbed a bucket in hopes to trap the little bastard. I threw the bucket and covered him up. I was half expecting the bucket to go running around the room under power of the spider. I then open the door, threw him out into the courtyard and encouraged him to crawl into the neighbors bungalow next store.

So, that was a nasty little beastie. But this one's even better. Today while climbing a stout 5.10b, I was feeling pretty strong. But 5.10's for me are still pretty tough routes, especially when there are so many stalactites to precariously move up, over and around. Anyway, as I start clipping my next sling, I hear a man screaming. "Oh God, Oh God, it fu**ing bit me! Get me down, get me the hell of this cliff!!" I look over a few routes to my right to see a guy holding his crotch, and his face is bright red in agony. Oh man, this is not encouraging me to want to complete this climb at all. With a worried look, I glance down at my belayer, Yayaiel. (this extremely sarcastic guy from Israel that I've been climbing with for the past week.) He simply answers my expression with, "hey man, don't worry, if you see something that wants to bite you, just jump off the rock." Encouraging words. I look back over to the right just to see if the guy is foaming at the mouth or turning pale or anything. He looks ok, he's in a lot of pain. But he seems to be doing fine. That probably rules out a snake. I shout down, to him, asking him if he has any symptoms such as slowing heart rate, nausea, dizziness, etc. Nothing, just pain. And they still have no idea what bit him. The climber finally rips off his shorts after wrestling with his harness for what for him probably seemed like hours. Then they saw it, a baby black scorpion. And it got him on the inner thigh. Man, that's a tough brake. I realize that I have no right to complain about mosquitoes.

1 comment:

  1. Holy Hell... Thank God I missed out on that side of Thailand. The Australian climber I climbed with in Tonsai was on a route there when he ran into an enormous python curled up in a giant man sized pocket - he took a giant whipper off of that one.

    Weren't the stalactites a dream? That place is heaven!