The Bali wildlife has been engaging us these last few days.
First a bird shat on me at breakfast from the tree above. A big red berry splat that landed on my arm and ricocheted onto Gab. Nothing that couldn’t be solved by all of our napkins, soap and water and a bucketload of sanitiser.
Plus I hear this is meant to be good luck.
Later that day at Uluwatu Temple, as Gab sat minding her own business, a monkey stole her sunglasses from the top of her head. We had been warned about the monkeys, and instructed to remove earrings, hats, sunglasses, scarves and necklaces, and hang on tightly to our phones and bags. Poor Gab was just distracted by another monkey stealing something from another tourist, obviously a diversionary tactic.
Bad luck for Gab, but solved with a little fruit bribery by a local.
And then there was the cockroach.
Now I wasn’t there for the cockroach adventure, but much as I loathe cockroaches, perhaps it would have been better if I had been.
‘It was huge,’ said Gab telling me of her horror at finding a cockroach in the middle of her hotel door when she got back to her room.
‘How big in centimetres,’ I asked.
‘Oh, it was big,’ said Gab, ‘enormous. I couldn’t open my door, so I messaged Jen to come help.’
‘And I brought one of the hotel slippers from the room,’ Jen continued.
‘The thin towelling ones? Why didn’t you bring a proper shoe?’ A thong even? Mortal enemy of the cockroach?’
‘So I had this slipper,’ Jen continued, ignoring my question.
‘No, wait, out of all the things in your room, you thought a flimsy slipper was your best bet? What did you even do with the slipper?’
‘I threw it at the cockroach!’
‘It missed and kind of just fluttered to the ground,’ said Jen, fluttering her hands to demonstrate, ‘like a piece of paper.’
‘Or a flimsy slipper,’ I muttered.
‘So we tried throwing it again,’ Gab picked up the story, ‘but we couldn’t even hit the door with it. Have you ever tried to throw one of those slippers?’
‘No. And the cockroach?’
‘And yet you didn’t think to go back and get a decent sized shoe to smack the thing with?’
‘So instead of throwing the slipper,’ Jen went on as if I hadn’t spoken, ‘we thought we’d tap on the door with it, see if we could get the cockroach to scurry away. Tap, tap, tap,’ Jen started acting out tapping on a hotel door with a paper slipper. In case I was confused. I was, but it wasn’t over how one might tap on a door.
‘So how did all that tapping work out for you?’
‘It moved!’ said Gab triumphantly, ‘but just up the door a bit more.’
‘To get further away from the crazy women with the paper slipper perhaps.’
‘So then we didn’t know what to do. We’d exhausted all of our options.’
‘You certainly had,’ I agreed, ‘after all, if you can’t solve your cockroach crisis with a hotel slipper, I don’t know what’s going to work.’
‘We called security!’
Two of the strongest, most capable women I know overcome by a paralysis of incompetence.
‘And then they arrived in hazmat suits…’
‘Really,’ I said, ‘hazmat suits. Exactly how many drinks did you have?’
‘….and plucked the cockroach from the door. Finally I could get into my room.’
‘Thank goodness for security,’ said Jen.
‘Thank goodness,’ I repeated.
‘You should have been there,’ said Gab, shaking her head as she relived the relief at being able to finally access her room.
Maybe I should have. I guess it’s good luck for me that I wasn’t.