Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's a mouse - it's a cat - no, it's a termite buster!

Things that crawl around on your ceiling are not limited to lizards and cockroaches and mice and cats. Once or twice a year, you will also find... termite exterminators!


I had shared in an earlier post that the house we are renting in Pantai Acheh suffers from termite infestation. The incident I'm relating below happened some time last year (check out the date on the photo if you want to know).


Our landlord is quite the DIY type. He runs a motorcycle repair shop, but it seems he has also trained one of his workers to be a termite exterminator. When we complained about the termite problem to him, along sent he his above-mentioned worker, and his teenage eldest son, who was keen to pick up this termite-busting skill.

So, up they went onto the ceiling (that dangling cord goes to a spotlight they carried along for illumination):

While they were crawling about on the ceiling, pumping foul-smelling "termiticide" here and there, I was at my desk, working on a translation job. And as I heard their hand- and knee-steps somewhere over above me, a scary thought occurred to me: what if they fall through the ceiling and land on top of me?

Within mere minutes after having that paranoid thought, I heard a loud crash and a sickening thud.

Someone did fall through the ceiling!

The sound came from the kitchen, so I rushed there for a look.

It was the landlord's son, and we found him semi-unconscious, groaning inaudibly on the floor, hands and feet slightly twitching. The sight scared us out of our wits!

We quickly notified his mother, who then rushed the poor chap to the Balik Pulau Hospital, accompanied by my wife (I didn't go along, because I was ill-attired - dressed only in a sarong - and there was no time to change into something more decent).

What was fortunate was that he appeared to have a steel pate, for, despite having knocked his head against the wall as he was falling down, he did not suffer any concussion, and none of his bone was broken, nor any joint sprained.

By evening the same day, he was already spotted riding around cheerily on his motorcycle.


The two pictures below show some of the aftermath of the incident.

Another narrowly-avoided mishap was that just mere seconds before he fell down, my wife and his younger brother (who is my wife's pupil) and a couple of other kids were actually playing a card game or something on that very spot! It was a very scary thought to think that he might have landed on them... Fortunately they moved away from that spot - just moments before the crash - to engage in a different game.

Thank God...