Travelin' Light travel blog

Nom Noen - Abe and I, blissfully unaware of what was to...

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Okay...really, it's just dirtbikes and...

Yet another stunning view from the dirtbike.

Northern Laos from a motorcyle.

Nam Noen.


Hello All~

Well, it seems that we are destined to a Close Encounter of the Insect Kind on all of our adventures. As some of you may remember, when we were in Bolivia we were two of a very lucky few people (according to the French guesthouse owner) who had the pleasure of witnessing the mass migration of big black Bolivian ants - right through our guesthouse! So...I should have known it was only a matter of time before we'd experience some buggy shit. Now, I'm not the squeamish, "Ewwwww...bugs" type of gal. Often, I actually enjoy looking at bugs, like when you see them on a tree or ground or in their "natural" environment. So when we checked into our guesthouse in Nom Noen after another fabulous day of motoring through the mountains and I say two Grandaddy Longlegs chilling on the wall, I thought little of it. Grandaddies are harmless and can't bite, and I've picked them up by a leg countless times before in order to move them away from me - you know the old superstition that it's bad luck to kill one and all.

Well, we unloaded and settled in and I went to use our private bathroom. Being as this was an older guesthouse, it was a squatter and as I hunkered down to relieve myself I mindlessly looked around the small room. As I turned my head to the right, I saw a few more Grandaddy Longlegs chilling near my shoulder. Not concerned, I got up and was about ready to pour the flush water down the toilet when I happened to look up at the back wall. I dropped the water ladle back in the bucket and backed slowly out of the room. Covering nearly the entire top half of the back wall, the ceiling and all the corners were thousands of Grandaddy Longlegs. Crawling all over each other in clusters, looking like all those legs would surely weave themselves into some hideous tapestry, the Grandaddies milled about the top half of the room. One or two bugs are okay, but swarms of them - no matter how harmless - just give me the plain ole heebie-jeebies. I proceeded to tell Abe that he "had to see this," without explaining what it was. I just told him to poke his head into the bathroom and look up. "Whoa!!! That's freaky" was what he said as he repeated my quick backwards maneuver to get out the room. We both looked at each other and then directly at the bed and went to work spreading out and tucking in the mosquito netting that had been provided. We did not want any uninvited guests staying over tonight!

Thinking we'd prepared ourselves sufficiently for a possible Invasion of the Grandaddy Longlegs, we went to dinner, played a game of Chess, drank some beer and returned to our room. Cautiously, I entered the bathroom - keenly aware of what was around me, but trying desperately not to think about a "Carrie"-like scenario that involved hordes of Grandaddy Longlegs falling all over my head. Mission Bathroom accomplished, I climbed under the mosquito netting and into bed beside Abe, being extremely careful to fortify us by securely tucking in the net.

Ahhhh....safety at last. Abe was already reading, and I leaned back and opened my book to follow suit. I glanced up one more time before digging in, and there it was...damned if one of those little Grandaddy buggers wasn't inside the net with us. No biggie, really, right? Right. I nudged Abe and said, "Looks like we've got company." We sat upright in bed for few seconds and debated the tactics and methods we would use to remove our uninvited guest. Abe was to get out and hold one end of the net open and I was to grab Grandaddy by a leg and promptly toss him out of our establishment - no harm, no foul. As we were about to execute our brilliant plan, I looked up again to where the Grandaddy was....or, rather, had been. Where did he go? Furitively, we looked around (I, moreso than Abe). Where was he? I looked up, at all the corners, all the sides and edges...nothing! I turned to look behind me and was startled to see Grandaddy right on my pillow by my hand. I yelped out some ridiculous and all-to-typical girlie noise and started blubbering, "Get out, get out, get out, get out" meaning WE get out. A bit confused, Abe hadn't seen the spider on my pillow and didn't know why I was pushing and scrambling over him furitively trying to undo the fortified defensive tucking of the mosquito net. Tangled in the bedcover, mosquito net and Abe, I tumbled out of the bed and sprang to my feet, preparing to defend myself against the impending onslaught of the one, lone and harmless Grandaddy Longleg. Smiling, Abe followed me out of bed at a more respectful and reasonable pace and said, "Oh...but I thought it was no big deal to pick up a Grandaddy!" Releasing myself from the "tiger crouch" I was in, I laughed at my overreaction - realizing how utterly silly it was. I could go to the bathroom with thousands of the little buggers crawling around, but put one in a bed with me and I turn into a basketcase!

At any rate, we re-fortified the bed after another close inspection and I was able to eventually drift off to sleep - thankfully with visions of riding through mist-shrouded mountains and not millions of many-legged creatures dancing through my head! I dreamt of another perfect day, yet to come.

~Cassie~

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