Adamant Ants

Picture if you will a land where time matters not; where you matter not; where man has become the pest, the obstacle in the path. The bug.

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The Lagoon Suite at the tropical park was crawling with life yet I was one of maybe five humans on the property–a minority species. The moment we entered the room, a spider the size of half-a-sandwich, stood its ground in the closet where my trousers were about to hang. The thought of all those hairy appendages roaming around inside my pockets was only briefly appealing. When my wits returned, I instead opted to drape an ashtray over the big bugger and place him outside.

That night the aimless ants arrived. Not the crazy blue-haired variety you only see around the holidays, but rather a billion little crumb clad bastards lost in the bedding. Only an aerial view of a Manila highway could look more erratic with a trillion tricycles all ambling for a way to out-nudge the next guy.

Look, I’m the first to palm a moth I find indoors, only to let it flutter freely outside the front door. I almost never squish a spider–unless I’ve walked in shoes beside’r and felt things weren’t going to work out without one of us being severely broken hearted. I’ve only typically killed bugs that wanted to eat me or shamefully share my bodily fluids. If it eats shit and then wants a kiss, things will get ugly.

The next morning I decided to get the staff on the stick and ask for a mop and a can of bug spray. They came in full force, two elderly Filipinos with a native whisk broom and a blue can of Raid. One would spray a zig-zag pattern of poison while the other came behind in a sweeping motion to scoop the tormented souls into what looked like grand piles of scattered ground coffee.

They sprayed the stream of drones going in and out of the screeching air-conditioner, causing great-chilled gusts of toxic cooling.

I didn’t know how to say “you’re killing me,” in Tagalog, and I couldn’t bear to tackle the 70-pound old woman who held the death-ray in her hand, so I opted to hang out on the balcony next to the lagoon and watch the carnage from a safer distance.

The next morning was a complete reset, yet with a new wave of ant antenna trafficking bumper to mandible,  on a slightly altered course around the room.   It was as if the day before had never occurred.

As I yawned in my skivvies towards the patio door, I opened the curtains and scratched my way onto the lagoon deck. Then I noticed great gobs of raid riddled ants being swept into the water and gulped up by the murky-faced tilapia rising from below. Monsanto eating my heart out before my eyes.

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This post is dedicated to my brother from another planet altogether, Dan Abernathy, who is as I type this, traipsing about some  Cambodian mine field with his camera–and hopefully still with both feet. He says he thrives in the tropic heat. I wish I did. I lasted only 30-days in the Philippines and was really done in just the first two weeks. This trip to this Eco Park was my breaking point. 

Dan and I were supposed to share a Christmas dinner of  something-something-cockroach soup or other in Thailand and I stood him up. (Sorry brother). But, hey, Dan will be carrying on the overseas' traveler's torch for me, so check out his travels and look for some amazing images from his eyes to yours at his site: Contribute Chaos




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Author's Note: This story, although true, is not meant as a critical review of Lolet's lovely eco park. It is way off the beaten path, limited in services and not as cheap as one might expect, but even with the bugs tossed in, it was a rewarding experience. Go see for yourself, I dare you. She'll love it too.