Things that Scuttle in the Night

I’m a country girl. My mum always tells me I’m not a ‘real’ country gal, but mum, I am. It’s taken me moving to a big faceless city to recognise just how connected I am to nature and it’s non-silence.

I think my mum denies my country-smarts because she wanted me to have more of a countryfied upbringing, with horses and tractors. (Not being able to drive a tractor = big shame.)

But although I didn’t don a pair of Hunters with any conviction, I’m still happiest outside. In the mud, digging holes, stomping around. Doing mayns work.

Since moving to Jordan I don’t do things like that. It’s not culturally appropriate not only due to gender norms but also because there’s a strong sense of service here, and people pay other people to do any kind of labour.


When I first got here I was pretty stoic about cockroaches. Although I’ve rarely encountered them before, I’ve tried to face them in a way that my mother would approve of. Somewhere along the line that has turned into ‘scream and throw random shit at them’.

I realised I had a problem last week when I came home in the evening, switched the light on in my room and saw a big red one on my bedside table. I ran towards it, gasping, and in panic it dived into my pillow. Then I started screaming. I grabbed my hairbrush (obvious killing device) and ripped the sheets off the bed. It was nowhere to be seen, so I pulled the mattress off the bed and threw it like the Hulk might.

After ten frantic minutes of terrifying myself and the roach, I stood on top of the dusty wooden bed slats, still armed, sobbing my heart out.

When my husband eventually walked in to find Armageddon I howled a jumbled account of what went down and how I pretend-I’m-cool-with-cockroaches-but-actually-I-hate-them-I-hate-them-I-hate-them-ahhhh- etc.

Yesterday a truck came down our road spraying big clouds of insecticide into the streets (not joking), and I was reassured that the cockroaches would be no more. Well, for a week at least.

I only hope that is true, because I am being terrorised in my own home. Just this evening I was in the bathroom and red roach’s brother came at me from under the door. I didn’t scream, though. I grabbed a scented candle and busted his ass like a native.

In truth, I hate killing things. But this is something I just can’t deal with. The guy I snapped a pic of was chilling outside my window all day. I thought he might be dying and asked Sam if I should put him out of his misery (in fact, I was afraid he might be planning an attack on me  and wanted to get in there first). Sam told me it’s wrong to kill for no reason (bla bla I know bla bla), so I left him. Now he’s gone. I doubt I’ll sleep tonight.


2 thoughts on “Things that Scuttle in the Night

  1. Oh yes, yes yes. I have a few here in Luang Prabang but the worst ever was my apartment on Oahu. Epic. I don’t like killing things at all but I believe cockroaches and mosquitos are the exception.


  2. Ugh – I HATE all bugs but especially cockroaches. When I lived in Texas, they came up through my kitchen drain at night – oh god, I just shivered thinking about those days!


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