On Halloween I happened to walk to our local supermarket here in Gold Coast. I bought a few items that we were in need of. As I was finishing checking out with the cashier she held up a packaged treat of some kind and said “free”. A bit reluctantly I reached out to grab it. As I looked closer I saw that is was a large candy, gummy cockroach! Yes a cockroach! I actually really like gummy candy. I have seen gummy worms, gummy dinosaurs, gummy rings, gummy bears, even gummy candy that looks like a fried egg but a cockroach?!? This probably wouldn’t have disturbed me quite as much if I hadn’t had my own recent personal experience with cockroaches.
I’ve heard many people talk about cockroaches and the nuisance that they can be here in Hong Kong and in other tropical areas. (There are even cockroach farms in China. No, really! People actually eat the disgusting things, claiming all kinds of health benefits!) But since moving here I had not seen a one in our flat or near our apartment tower for that matter…not in a year and a half of living here. To be sure I’d seen them outside in the evenings but never one in our apartment. Insects and bugs are part of life but life outside…not inside our home! When we returned from our summer holiday, the cockroaches had moved in! Cockroaches are nocturnal so you just won’t see them during the daytime. Upon our arrival back in HK, we suffered from some jet lag which is normal. This meant that the baby was no longer sleeping through the night. For the following few weeks I was up in the night with the baby. After putting Wesley back down to sleep one night, I headed to the kitchen. I flipped on the light and saw the cockroaches scatter! It was just plain gross! From then on I tried to remember to stay out of the kitchen in the middle of the night at all costs.
The cockroaches that I did see were quite small though, no longer than half an inch. But with their long antennas they are just creepy. One night, having forgotten the pact I’d made with myself not to enter the kitchen in the middle of the night, I turned on the light in the kitchen and once again the cockroaches scattered. There was one cockroach on a cupboard directly in front of me that didn’t crawl away. It wasn’t anything like the others I’d seen. It was HUGE!!! It must have been nearly 2 inches in length and just so big! I stood there frozen. I began to call out for Abe. My calling turned to yelling, then screaming. All the while this huge cockroach and I were having a stare-down. Finally a groggy, confused Abe entered the kitchen. Bewildered he asked, “What is going on?”. I quickly motioned to the roach on the cupboard. With a sigh of relief (with the fact that it was only a cockroach) he grabbed some newspaper and swatted it dead. All I can say is I am grateful he wasn’t away on a trip that night!
The next day we promptly called our apartment leasing agency and told them of our cockroach problem. To make a long story a bit shorter, they ended up ‘bug bombing’ our apartment the following week. The night after the exterminators were here, it looked like it had snowed cockroaches on the kitchen floor! They had all crawled out from hiding and ‘gave up the ghost’! Thankfully we have seen very few cockroaches since. We have some bait stations set out that seem to be keeping them at bay. For now getting a drink of water in the middle of the night is ‘safe’…..at least for now. But that is life in the tropics I guess! 🙂