Hello explorers! It has been awhile! Things here in China have been very busy this semester. But my days of teaching are up, and it is time to start my last month here in China. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about going home, but I will definitely miss life here in Hangzhou. But that is a topic for another day!
So recently I thought to myself, “Wow, I haven’t seen a cockroach in my room since those first couple of weeks in China! Yay!” Boy, if that wasn’t the jinx to end all jinxes. Which brings me to today’s topic.
Cristina Vs. Cockroach: Rematch 2014
About two days ago, I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business, when out of the corner of my eye I see something sort of fall about two feet to my left. Well I thought for sure it was just my imagination, but, of course, it wasn’t. When I looked on the floor what should I find, but a big ol’ cockroach just chillin’ behind the leg of my desk. Let me just tell you that this one was bigger than the first one. This time however, I didn’t freak out. How’s that for learning things from being in China for 10 months! I did, however, go to war.
I turned on every light, put on my sneakers, rolled up my pants, put my hair in a ponytail and grabbed a combat boot and my can of maximum strength hairspray. I didn’t have any more Raid, so I had to make due. The hairspray was mostly just to get it out from behind the leg of the desk, so I could smoosh it. But I ended up spraying this thing with about half a can worth. It was probably enough hairspray to kill a small rodent, but I also know cockroaches can survive apocalypses and death metal concerts. So I only had a faint hope deep down that it would be enough to kill it.
I spent about 15 minutes of stalking this thing around my room, shooing it out from behind any and all furniture and trying to draw it out into the open. It was using guerrilla warfare when I was a Revolutionary British army lining up for battle on an open field. I tried to stomp on it when it got on any flat surface, but it managed to make it to safety underneath my refrigerator. But not before I hit it at least once with my combat boot. Most things would die from that! But noooooo, It popped right up and went on its merry way! I assume it gave me a hearty cockroach chuckle and a little cockroach middle finger as well. There was, for some reason, some kind of paper underneath my fridge, so I couldn’t quite see where it went, but I knew it was there.
Picture me laying flat on the ground about three feet away from my fridge shoving the laundry stick (the pole I use to hang my laundry up in the window) underneath the fridge and periodically spraying more hairspray under there to try and suffocate it. I’m sure it was quite a sight. I briefly considered holding a lighter up to the hairspray, but the cons of burning down the building to kill this one cockroach (actually probably lots more) out weighed the pros. But just barely.
I barely slept that night after knowing that this thing was probably just waiting until I turned the lights off to come and crawl all over me. The next day I was able to at least get some shut eye because of the minor hope I had that I maybe was able to kill it with my blind assault with the laundry stick. But, alas, when I arrived home from dinner tonight and did my routine check around the fridge to see if it was there… sure enough, there it was. Hanging out on the wall like it owned the place. This time, I called in reinforcements.
My reinforcements were in the form of my neighbor who came over and together with rolled up English books we chased the little bugger around the room (they are so disgustingly fast!) until it disappeared into a small hole in the corner of the room. Somehow during my first cockroach proofing when I first moved in, I missed this corner where it seems very likely that these things came from in the first place. What seemed like a small hole was actually quite large, and we used a handful (or two) of tissues to jam into the holes. If that thing gets back in, I’m just going to throw in the towel and move out.
The White Flag
So I think I may have to call this one: cockroach = 2, Cristina = 0. They seem to best me and get away every time, leaving me with very little sleep and an irrational fear that every time I go to sleep they will attack. Touche, cockroaches. Touche.
On the bright side, i’m winning the war against the mosquitoes. In fact, I just smacked one on my leg before it could bite me. Now I have a large red hand print on my leg. Worth it? I think so.
So, in about 25 days i’ll be leaving China. I don’t think i’ll be back for awhile, but I don’t think i’ll be leaving for good. I”m sure i’ll return at some point, if only to settle the score between me and the cockroaches.
Until next time, explorers, never forget:
Adventure is out there, so never stop exploring!