Thursday, January 27, 2011

The “Coming-out” Party

(No, I did not take this picture. I just wanted something to illustrate this post, so I pulled this off the internet. This is about what the Tokay looked like, though.)

Thursday, January 27 2011

I think Thailand is getting used to me. The mosquitoes have been biting me less, and suddenly I’m seeing creatures that, up until tonight, have hidden their faces from me: A REAL gecko (aka a Tukay), a giant moth, a mouse, and a drunk Thai man.

Talk started tonight at the teahouse about geckos. I thought everyone was just talking about the little things that we watch fight on the walls every night—but then I heard Scotland Paul do an impression of a gecko sound….and it wasn’t the small chirp that I usually hear at night. Apparently, geckos are named for the sound they make. A very loud “Geck-O” (with the “Geck” being higher in pitch than the “O”)—after hearing a couple of people imitate them, I realize that there must be one that lives just outside the window of the office. The first couple of times I heard it, I thought it was a kid making funny LOUD noises to try and startle me.

After chatting and snacking for a bit, some of us decided to head home—Sima and I followed Josie and Grace to their place (the teacher’s residence). After we got settled on the front porch, the subject of geckos somehow came up again, and I asked Harj if they were really as big as everyone else had made them out to be (I thought the size seemed a bit exaggerated). She assured me that yes they were big, and that they have huge suction cups on their toes that make a sound when they walk up walls. She said they had some gecko eggs in the back room of their house and offered to let me take a look. I followed Harj and Sima followed me (she’s never seen one either).

Once the light in the back room flickered on, Harj pointed out the rather large bunch of empty eggshells that were attached to the corner of the room. Suddenly her finger changed direction and pointed higher on the wall—I screamed (more like a small exclamation of surprise really) and the huge lizard that had been watching us quickly suctioned his way into a hole in the ceiling. It was big. It was BIG. I can’t believe a creature of that proportions could actually walk up walls. It was like a baby Komodo dragon. Big. I’m pretty sure I kept saying the word “Big” while we made our way back to the front of the house. Sima wasn’t happy that I had scared the lizard away with my “small exclamation of surprise.” It was gone before she came around the corner. She leaves on Wednesday, so chances are, she won’t see one before she goes. I wouldn’t mind never seeing one again….it kind of creeped me out. I think I’m paranoid now.

In the front of the teachers’ house, we discovered a large “leaf-moth”—probably about the size of my hand.

9:51 PM Yuck…speaking of bugs, my computer screen is starting to resemble a windshield. Bugs keep flocking to the light on my display…and I keep squashing them….and then trying to wipe them off the screen. Sorry. That’s probably more than any of you wanted to know.

When Sima and I returned to our house, there was a middle-aged Thai man pacing back and forth in front of our fence. He said a slurred “Sawa dee Krab,” and then did not move out of the way for us to enter the gate. I was kind of confused. I could tell that he wasn’t mentally challenged, and yet something was definitely off… Sima managed to get him to move a few steps by pointing up the street, and then we ducked around him and ran into our yard. On the way up the front porch steps, Sima said, “He was drunk. The men around here drink a lot. You kind of have to be careful.”

“Oh.” Said I.

I found the mouse in our bathroom. It was running through the boards in our ceiling. Sima hasn’t seen the mouse either….I guess I just had a lucky night tonight.


  1. only you would write " 'Oh.' said I. You've been around a bunch of Europeans teaching Thais how to speak properly... Wait. Actually, I think that you spoke that way already. :)

    I think that the saddest part about your screen is that you can't really clean it off, can you?
    Is that really the first mouse that you've seen? And your ignorance about the drunk man makes me feel a little bit better. I had a lot of companions wonder how I didn't recognize it. I do doubt, though, that I ran into any that were THAT drunk. They were able to carry on a religious conversation.
    I showed Jim this blog a couple of days ago, ps. :)

  2. So after reading this post, I wanted to more about these geckos. Therefore, I went to Wiki. Holy gecko!!! Those things are massive and freaky and LOUD compared to the ones in Hawaii. They had a sound clip on the website. WOW. I would be VERY creeped out if I were with you. Ugh....Well...good luck with all those giant, strange things.