Listening to: Lit up-Buckcherry
I recently had something happen to me that was so disgusting I never want it to happen again. Before we get into what it was, let me reassure you that India has tons and tons of local bug fauna. Blows the US out of the water when it comes to insects. For example, we have at least 3 types of ants in the house at a time, and I’m not talking about the kind that pinch your cheeks and kiss you lots. There are small black ants that love sweets and grains. There are teeny tiny red ones that love bread and cereal. Then there are the absolutely evil red ones that bite. *Shudder* Thankfully, those are mostly more interested in being outside hunting bugs and eating them. Because that’s what evil ants do. Occasionally we see them in the house if a bug has died somewhere. Another thing about ants is that it’s never one or two. By the time you notice them in the house, there are at least 500.
On to the disgusting part. In most Indian Hindu houses, there is either a dedicated room or at least a corner nook with statues and images of some or many of the gods, depending on how pious the family is. In my inlaws house, we have a dedicated room back by the kitchen. It does also happen to be a pantry/storage room. In honor of that being a religious room (a puja room) for the family, any type of shoes are not allowed. Most people (unless you are too poor to afford it, which is more people than you think) wear rubber type slip on sandals (cheppals) all the time, even in the house. This is because things get dusty and by the end of the day, your feet will be black otherwise. One night, I wandered barefoot into the puja room to grab a jar of jam. I did flip on the light but didn’t pay too much attention as I wandered back through the room.
All of a sudden I felt some odd crunching beneath my feet and wondered what spilled. I looked down and the entire floor was crawling and moving rapidly away from my feet. Someone had spilled a little bit of whole grains in the puja room earlier in the day and the entire floor was absolutely covered with black ants. I literally have never seen so many ants in one place and I stood fascinated for a minute before I realized that I had many, many ants climbing up my legs. This was like a movie type action scene where there are so many bugs moving in one direction it looks like they are just spilling over each other to get away. Ew. I still shudder thinking about it. It took a good 5 minutes of stamping my feet in the hallway before I got all of the ants off my legs, because I was wearing pants and couldn’t just brush them off. Let me tell you, I look down now before I enter a room.