Well another few hot days have passed since our last blog. Each day the temperature is getting up to around 42 degrees and at night time still sitting around 28 degrees. We've just been hanging about in town, swimming lots, visited the museum (two rooms - they unlocked the padlock for us to go in and locked it back up as we left), and keeping the kids cool with regular icecreams.
Tob picks up the girls at the pool - ever so cool about it
Afternoon cool down with water pistols
We have had a couple of room changes due to extending our stay which has been fine as we don't have a huge amount to pack. Our present accommodation is the home of the hotel owner who has kindly let us have, it is across the road from the hotel which means we don't have to mute the kids quite so much and we still have all the benefits of the hotel, including the breakfasts and the lovely staff who all seem to love kids. It means also we continue to meet people as we realise in a place on our own we would be quite isolated. One of the staff brought her 5 year old boy to play with the kids the other evening. It was funny - they were all quite shy and reserved to start with and then Toby spotted his Ben 10 watch - well the universal language was spoken and they were the best of mates for the rest of the night. That same night there was a circumcision party down town, all boys around the ages of 7-9 are circumcised and along with it is a big celebration. This night must have been a big town party as there were many boys and they all dress up in the traditional satin circumcision suit/costume and being driven around town in a double decker bus. There were even fireworks and live music. We are told the boys are given gifts usually gold coins.
Ahmed and Toby - superheroes
Boys circumcision outfit
By now you'll be wondering about the title of this blog - well on our first night here we had a bit of excitement.
Matt here: At around 11pm I got up to use the toilet - I have been a frequent visitor to this room of the house for the last few days with a Johnny Cash BRF. Anyway was sitting there contemplating life when I saw something move on the wall about 2 metres in front of me. At first I picked it as a lizard and then realised that no it was a Scorpion!!! I freaked out. What the fuck was a Scorpion doing in the bathroom and what was I supposed to do with it. Do I catch it? or do I kill it? I searched around the bathroom for something to use to kill it and picked up the biggest thing in there which was a roll of kitchen towels. I crept towards the Scorpion which was moving across the wall until common sense kicked in. What was I going to do with a roll of handee towels! At best clean its back and at worst piss it off. It was at this moment I felt let down by the NZ school system. I all my schooling years I had never, and I mean never been taught how to kill a scorpion in your bathroom. So with one eye on the scorpion I looked around for something more suitable to use. I passed on the toothbrushes, roll-on deodorants, hair brushes and sunscreen and picked up the shower squeegee. It had a decent handle and a long flat surface. The Scorpion was about 10-12cm long and I was packing myself - when I got to about 2 feet away it noticed me and arched its back raising it's tail in the air. I shoved the squeegee into its body a pressed as hard as I could against it. It waved its tail around looking to sting but with the length of the squeegee it was about 6-8cm away from my fingers. I held it there for a couple of minutes and when I thought it was dead pulled back with the squeegee and jumped back at the same time. If the scorpion was still alive I didn't really have a plan B, however its was dead and I was a hero. It was a kill or be killed moment and I was the victor. Those that know me will agree I am not a hunter gatherer type and don't even like taking a fish of the hook when I go out fishing with Doug but now things are different. There is no doubt that I saved my family's life and potentially those of the village. Who knows how much damage that little bugger would have done without my intervention? Willie Apaiata got a VC for saving less peoples lives so I'm looking forward to returning home to see what honour will be bestowed upon me. I think maybe a movie could be in the works and I reckon Danny DeVito would play a great Matt Watson. (Portions of this have been taken from my book. Pre-order now for only $25 incl pp)
Back to Rach - Shortly after this I got up as I could hear Toby crying. I came out to get Tob some panadol for his aching legs and a cold drink. Matt was down with Toby in his room and was gesturing madly to me not to open the fridge. Disgruntled and wondering what the hell he was going on about I went to see what was up. He explained that he had put the dead Scorpion in the freezer but because it was dark he hadn't checked to see if it had fallen out of the handee towels and onto the floor. Well you can imagine my "what the ........" Scorpians had never even entered our head, none of our guide books had mentioned them and we had never seen them on our previous trips. Frantically we fired up the internet to check out what we were dealing with. It was a Yellow Scorpian we are told by the hotel staff they are not deadly however this seems to apply only to adults. Our reading suggests that any scorpian bites in under 5 year olds are frequently fatal due to their small body mass compared to the poisonous venom, and that victims should get to a hospital within an hour for an injection of antivenom. OH CRAP - we were beside ourselves thinking what the hell are we doing here. Then as if that wasn't all enough Matt looked up and saw another one just above our heads in the kitchen and man they are mean looking creatures. I don't think I have ever moved so fast - a fair description would be that I flew across the room with a face that resembled something like that famous "scream" painting. Out with the shower squeegy weapon again and to death with number 2. By this time to be honest we were planning our trip back to New Zealand - our safe haven where there are no deadly scorpians, snakes or spiders yet another reminder of how lucky we are to live there. We had next to no sleep that night worrying about what might get us when we were sleeping.
The next morning we dragged our weary bodies and sprightly children to breakfast armed with our two frozen Scorpion's in a container. The hotel staff were surprised we had seen / killed two but were also relatively unfazed by it all as this is part of life here. They said we had been extremely unlucky to have seen two of only four spotted all year. That however was cold comfort and we had to weigh up our options. We talked through an interpreter to Fatma the Mum of 5 year old Ahmed who had played with Toby a couple of nights before as we felt she would have a Mum's perspective having a small child of her own. She was very reassuring and said it is unusual to see them inside and they don't consider them dangerous. Apparently it is the hot weather that drives them in - you know you have no chance when it is even too hot outside for the scorpions. The hotel staff have been awesome in reassuring us and doing all they can to keep us feeling safe - so all gaps in the windows have been plugged up and the house has been perimeter sprayed and there have been no further sightings. We now check any shoes and clothes before putting them on and have versed Holly and Toby in terms of what to do should they see one. Bellie is a bit more of a worry as it is that much harder to school her up but we just have to be vigilant with her and discourage her habit of trying on all our shoes for entertainment. Scorpions are nocturnal however it is just if they decide to have a sleep in your clothing. Our best guess is that they came in that evening when I sat with the door open writing some emails. It didn't even cross my mind that that would be a problem - I mean we leave the door open at home in the summer and the most we get in is a couple of moths.
Yip that's them they were in the rubbish skip by this time - photo was a bit of an after thought
Needless to say we are still pretty jumpy - every time something touches your skin or any little shadow has us skipping around the room with raised blood pressure. Sleep is sporadic - mostly due to the heat and a couple of Gins before bed does help in calming ones nerves. Holly was a bit frightened and we talked it through with her explaining that we were unlikely to have any further sightings. She kept on saying she had "Scorpions" in her class at school - we gathered there must have been a picture or something but she kept on repeating her story. When we finally got the bottom of it it turned out that they had "school pens" and she thought it was strange they should name them the same.
The kids are doing great - getting more adventurous with their food and looking like real little travellers. Miss B is growing up so fast and getting way more direct-able. At her tender age of 18 months she now swims with floaties and jumps in from the side of the pool pretty much "if my brother and sister can do it then I can too". She hasn't really been sleeping that well in with Matt and I so the other night we left her on her own in the master bedroom while Matt and I bunked in with the kids - giving the littlest princess a couple of nights to sort herself out.
So that's the excitement for now folks - their have been no further sightings the last two nights and Matt's crook gut is settling with the help of some antibiotics so no need at this stage to abort the trip and come home via Disneyland and McDonalds - whew! Also thanks for all your comments it is great to get your feedback and to know you are enjoying the blog makes it that much easier to write.