Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Maybe I spoke too soon?

My warm and fuzzy feelings about living in Japan have turned cold and prickly thanks to a dreaded houseguest who showed up unannounced on my doorstep last night.

He somehow managed to break into my apartment while I was out. He sat alone in the dark, waiting for me to come home. I turned the key in the lock, opened the door, flicked on the light and there he was. Right there in the entranceway. A big, brown cockroach.

He didn't even try to scurry away. It was as if he was patiently awaiting my return.

"Oh, hi. Welcome home. What's for dinner?"

I don't think so! I let out a primal scream and crushed him under my shoe, grinding him into an unrecognizable pulp.

Dammit. I knew I should have cleaned up the cereal I spilled all over the kitchen floor before leaving for the day. The cockroach's antennae probably picked up the delicious scent of All Bran (or "o-ru buran" as it's called in Japan) wafting out the front door.

I didn't bother to clean up the mess because I thought I was safe. Cockroach season isn't supposed to start until April. Cockroaches in February? Unheard of!

So much for the respite. Time to go back to living in a near constant state of paranoia. Checking the tub for cockroaches before I have a shower. Jumping back in fear after I open the kitchen cupboards. Scanning the ceiling for cockroaches before I fall asleep.

When I wrote about maybe staying in Kyoto forever, I hadn't seen a cockroach in three months. Now that they're back, I'm ready to board the next plane back to Canada.

I just can't deal with this alone. I either need professional help to get over my cockroach phobia or a live-in boyfriend to fill the role of primary bug killer.

Seriously. I will marry the first guy who tells me he crushes cockroaches with his bare fists.

I am from a cold, northern country. I am not afraid of grizzly bears, cougars or coyotes. But I simply cannot deal with Japan's cockroaches, poisonous centipedes and geji geji.

I am where I belong. I'm not where I belong.

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