July 14, 2017
Living in the tropics means altering my lifestyle. I have become accustomed to the daily sweeping and mopping. The ants arrive overnight, like over-eager relatives sensing free food during the holidays, while the cock roaches and moths twitter around the kitchen eagerly searching for dropped morsels.
In fact, you cannot leave any morsel of food on the counters. I left an unopened banana bread and pack of crackers on the counter and later picked them up to find ants swarming inside of the packages.
The ants bite, of course. The first day in my new apartment an army of tiny ants charged across the living room toward the kitchen and into the outdoor(ish) laundry room carrying little white maggots. Disgusting. I promptly cleaned them up and mopped.
A week later I was awoken at 3 am from a tickling inside my ear. A bug had crawled in my ear. I freaked. I sprang from my bed to the bathroom where I pulled on my ear and hopped on one leg (like you do when you have water in your ear) to try to knock the bug out. I texted my Colombian friend Daniela, who for some ungodly reason happened to be awake, and she told me that she recently had had a spider crawl in her ear during the night…. NOOOOO. I, while trying to remain calm, frantically googled what to do when a bug crawls in your ear. If this ever happens to you, there are surprisingly a lot of solutions online. Oil > water, so I went to the kitchen and grabbed my bottle of olive oil. In true Italian fashion, I dumped two tablespoons of oil down my left ear. I then tried to sleep with my ear downward as to force the bug out. I didn’t sleep a wink.
The next day, I decided to make a trip to the emergency room. I was leaving for the field and if I had a bug in my ear, I wanted that sucker out. After some confusing navigation of a Colombian emergency room (including putting a 200,000 Colombian Peso – COP – deposit down on my buggy ear), I saw a very nice doctor who looked in my ear, told me there was nothing inside anymore and prescribed me some ear drops for the irritation (so the bug entered and left). It was a Sunday, so the drugstores were closed, and naturally I have not filled my prescription (I filled it two weeks later and only half completed the required treatment…oops).
A few days later, after a long sugar-filled day, I was back at my apartment with my favorite mustachioed cat. Feeling nauseated from my disgusting consumption of sugar (which is normal in Colombia), it was nice to have my furry friend join me for a cuddle session. She meow-ed, me-owed, seriously mewed(?), licked my nose with her sandpaper tongue, and curled up next to me on my bed. On my bed, when I noticed two white rice looking things on her butt. Yup, you guessed it – worms. The cat has F****ing worms. This did not help with my nausea. I checked my bed for worms – didn’t find any, but found a closely resembled piece of fuzz that caused me to have a prolonged pause prior to sweeping it off my bed. Gag, gag, gag.
Disgusted with the cat, I reminisced to earlier in the evening, where I remembered that I had pet a dog covered in dried blood and then proceeded to eat without washing my hands.
Pictured below are some of my roomies
Worm Butt, also known as Sherriff Callie (the 4-year old named her)
|The neediest cat you will ever meet|
|One of my other roomies - Macey|
|The city of Santa Marta at dusk as seen from my shitty i-phone 4 - soccer practice, swimming, street performances, and street food.|