Blattodea Redux

18 04 2007

While it’s likely there is no place on earth truly secure from the scourge that is the Blattodea, it still surprises me when they crop-up in places where they’re the last thing on your mind.

Take for example, the jeepney, the workhorse of Philippine roads; revered by both history and pop culture. It is the cheapest, most reliable form of public transportation in the country, second only to walking (and if you can’t walk, there’s no other choice). It is basically a long, open-air jeep which you can pack (and I mean pack to overflowing!) with up to 20 people (larger species, found in rural areas, can easily carry twice that number).

Anyway, there I was on a jeepney travelling to far-off Cavite just after lunchtime, trying to stay awake under the absolutely scorching sun, when I feel something like toothbrush bristles on my left arm. Since there were no passengers beside me, I looked with a mixture of curiosity and mild trepidation…which quickly turned to good ol’ trepidation when I saw a ful-grown member of the species Blattodea perched on my arm, antennae waving nonchalantly as if my arm was the nicest spot from which to watch the world whizzing by.

It’s moments like those I am glad profanity is not a natural part of my vocabulary, because that would have been a perfect moment for an expletive explosion. I flicked the impertinent cretin off my arm and it scuttled under my seat (It was so filled with insectine wanderlust that he came out again and tried to climb up my leg. I crushed it beneath my heel…thrice). It was only then that I realized that the mild itching sensation I had felt on the back of my neck a few minutes before had been…well, you don’t need me to tell you what it was.

It’s amazing what your mind can do after something like that; I was itching all over for a good half-hour after that close encounter with the species…although there was no rash, no fear-inducing bumps on the skin – only a great desire to go home and take a nice, long, sulphur soap-laden shower.

Next time you ride a jeepney…check under your seats. And if you are unfortunate enough to experience any “insectile bonding”, try not to scream like a girl.

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4 responses

19 04 2007
janna

i did. i survived without screaming. ^_~

21 04 2007
merilion

i’ll keep your advice in mind. =P see a lot of them on the bus. minsan, merong gumapang sa bag ng katabi ko. at first, my seatmate was “blowing” at it, as if it would be forced away. i finally flicked it away when it threatened to crawl to my direction. ugh…

reminds me, it’s time to draw some more of that baygon chalk under the sink…

22 04 2007
Desktopjunk

Thanks, always good posts on your blog!

30 04 2007
jp_wasnt

I warn people about them when I see them on the bus. THen I kill the critters if they get too near. Can’t stand them. Really can’t stand them…

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