The one I’m on now is in León, Nicaragua. I’m squished into a seat---at least I have one on this over crowded hot bus---next to the window and there’s an ominous looking bug on the side panel near me just out of my reach. It’s actually closer to the pony-tailed young woman with bare arms in the seat ahead of me. She is engaged in a lively conversation otherwise I would warn her about the nasty bug despite my limited Spanish skills.
This bug has a black hard shell about the size of my little fingernail with long waving feelers. It faces me. Right now it’s stationary.
Her loud appearance is a magnet, forcing me to take my eye off the bug for awhile. Suddenly my peripheral vision senses movement. I catch the bug’s slow silent creep towards me along the side panel.
The bug, still there, unsettles me. I decide to flick it away but miss; it skitters closer to the bare arm of the girl ahead of me. Unfortunately, it still faces me ignoring the luscious looking flesh only a bite away.
Now careening along the highway, I decide it’s time to warn the pony-tailed girl about the bug. As I’m about to tap her shoulder she pulls a canister from her purse, sprays her hair and unwittingly sprays the ominous looking bug that disappears where…..near my bare leg?
Oh, what to do? What to do? Although a whiz at defeating bugs, he has no idea how to tackle a 10 cm tarantula. Is it fast? Poisonous? Aggressive? We run around in circles before my husband decides to seek an expert: he runs for help from a Nica neighbour. While he’s gone only a short while, I nervously eye the tarantula in case it decides to scurry somewhere. Like towards ME.
My husband returns pronto with our Nica neighbour. He sees the tarantula. No translation necessary. Reaching into his back pocket, he brings out a tape measure. While we both watch intently, he extends the tape measure to a desired length. Deftly, quickly, he places the end of the tape under the tarantula, flips it out of the drawer, quickly steps on it. We stare at the remains of the large hairy intruder. I think about all the dark hiding places in our rented casa.
And to think I was worried about the bug on the bus.