beyond the spiders and the flies...

San Pedro La Laguna Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 14 › view all entries

my favorite destinations are tropical ones.  the food, the people, the topography, the climate, the wildlife...well, MOST of the wildlife.  i am aware that insects and snakes and other, unidentifyable critters are part of the package.  however, most accommodations in the tropics that i've beded down in have come equipped with a mosquito net.  the mosquitos, so far, havent been that bad... a few bites here and there, but nothing to really write home about.  i've made peace with the giant spiders in my house.  ellos son mi amigos.  i greet them when i come home, tell them i love them when i go to bed.  when i sit and write on my porch after sundown, i keep the farther of the two porch lights on, so that the multitude of winged things hover around THAT side of the veranda.  Of course, there are the stupid ass beatles, that dive bomb at the windows (and my face) and subsequently land on their backs, where they stay, kicking, until they resign themselves to the fact that a life of slamming into things just isnt worth it. 

after the first few nights, i had started to accept that mucho insectos would just be part of my existence here in san pedro.  But two nights ago, as i curled up in bed reading Shantaram, my eyes growing heavy from the two natural sleeping pills i had taken, i glanced at the floor to see a centipede as thick as one of my pinky fingers and double the length grotesquely slithering beneath my bed.  i jumped out of bed and grabbed one of my sneakers, apologized profusely... "lo ciento, pero esta casa es no grande para nosotros..." (only nine hours of spanish classes so far, that's the best i can do).  was briefly mesmirized by the bright blue fluid that oozed from my prey.  done and done.  i tucked the blankets around me a little bit tighter that night.

yesterday evening, i had come back to my place and immediately got on a roll working on my screenplay.  was in a fantastic mood and had downloaded the latest episode of 'glee' to watch while i ate my dinner of veggie tacos.  i readied myself to cook by pressing play on 'astral weeks' and just as Van's smooth voice floated through the speaker 'if i ventured in a slip stream...' i ventured into my kitchen, only to come face to face with a scorpion as big as a bic lighter on the floor beneath my sink.  me, out loud:  "you gotta be fucking kidding me!"    as there was no way in hell i was going to confront the ugly f-ckr myself, i grabbed my headlamp and headed out into the rainy night to seek the help of Juan, the caretaker of the hotel up the hill.

After drawing a picture of a scorpion and repeating the phrase "en mi cosina, muy grande' several times, Juan agreed to come take a look.  I stood behind him squealing like a pig headed to slaughter while he coaxed the giant maneater out from behind the trash can, put the broom head on top of it and stamped his boot down a few times.  he lifted the broom and the damned thing sprung right back to life, it's stinger poking around...Juan had to stomp on it 4 or 5 more times (which produced a hideous crunching sound) before it finally stopped moving.  Juan swept it out the door and off my porch, and I finally started breathing again.  I threw out a 'mucho, mucho, mucho gracias!!' and went in for a hug.  Juan, subsequently, went in to plant his lips on mine.  I jerked my head back, thanked him again and said goodnight.  Juan is not the first Guatemalan man to try to bargain a kiss out of a thank you hug... but it wasn't forceful and didn't feel sexually charged, so be it...he was my hero last night and i won't hold the attempted smooch against him.

i decided to take the scenic route along the lake into town this morning.  With taj mahal crooning in my ears, I let the tranquility of the lake set my mood for the day.  I spotted a group of indegenous people washing their laundry in the lake, so I stopped to snap a photo.  I tried to be still and quiet, as not to alert them to my presence and get some candid shots.  After a second, I was jumping up and down and feet felt like they were being electrocuted.  Of course, OF COURSE, i had stopped right in a nest of fire ants.  dios mio! 

but what am i gonna do?  by choosing this delicious food, these lovely people, this gorgeous scenery, i have also chosen the wildlife, ALL of it.

can't wait to see what's lurking in my residence tonight.  perhaps a tarantula????  

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