Yesterday I was assaulted by a number of horrible Japanese bugs
1. a hand-sized huntsman spider
2. a 2-inch cockroach
3. a disgusting slug
I discovered the crab-like spider creature stalking the inside of the window curtain as I went to let some fresh air into the classroom before my next lesson. He scurried around the curtain a bit, creating an eerie silhouette, lit from outside. I ran to get my sandal while the college-age student teacher asked me "Are you going to SMASH it?" "Yes," I thought, "That would be the plan." I didn't know if a bite from these things could land a teacher or student in the hospital, so I shooed my new friend onto the floor and slammed sole to carapace. Success; the huntsman became the hunted.
Turns out that these spider is actually pretty innocent. An import from Australia, they are found throughout Asia and North America. They CAN bite if provoked, but they are mostly harmless to humans. But let's be honest, the huntsman has a face for radio:
and they do cause a number of deaths every year. You see, the huntsman spider tends to seek shelter inside homes and cars before a rainstorm, creeping into the nooks and crannies shared with humans. They tend to dart out of hiding spaces at a top speed of 1 meter/second, which tends to illicit surprise/shock.
Once in a while, a huntsman will pounce out from hiding in a fast-moving vehicle. An ill-timed appearance in a fast-moving car has spelled doom for many an Aussie. Anyway, now that I know these things can't really hurt me, I will try to simply shoo them outside in the future. Poor spider.
Now, I yesterday I stayed up until 3AM, trying to finish the English club (ESS) project for Cultural Festival tomorrow. We are doing an English dub of a scene from Totoro, but more on that later. Anyway, at around 2:30, while I was hard at work like any good Japanese employee, a finger-sized cockroach goes scampering across my tatami. Now this is not a welcome sight; I know that roaches are common in these old apartments, but it was my first, and I have been hoping that my proactive use of boric acid traps would ward them off. Apparently not. God damnit. I tried to sneak up on it and smash it with a book of medical schools, but it escaped, scurrying under my bed before the tome came thundering down. Under my bed. I went to the closet and grabbed a spraycan of insecticide with a picture of a rooster emblazoned on it in red (we ALTs tend to call it the Cock brand). I directed it into the crack under my bed and filled the crevace with deadly gas. Luckily it did not seep up through the mattress and kill me in the night, as I am still typing this at work.
So finally I finished my work at 3AM. I decided to reward my efforts with a hot shower. No sooner did I get my hair all good and lathered up than did I spy at a dark brown piece of paper dangling from one corner of the tub. As a I brought my un-spectacled eyes closer for examination, I realized that I was not looking at a scrap of paper, but a huge slimey slug, slithering across the pale blue fiberglass tub. UGH. After I quickly finished my shower, I went to get my camera so that I could at least show you what I have to put up with, but it had disappeared. Surely under the tub. Surely to return when I am showering again.
Let's review the Kyoshokuin Jutaku (if you are coming to Fukuoka as an ALT, chances are you will be living in one of these beautiful apartments).
-The temperature inside is basically the same as outside (in summer and winter).
-Huge bugs to be found scurrying around at night and in the shower...
living in an old Japanese apartment is basically camping in a square cave with plumbing, if you're lucky.
Speaking of which, I'm going camping this weekend. At least I'll know what to expect from living HERE.