A challenging start

2012 clearly knows how to make an entrance.

This morning while sitting on my bed in a quite nice guest house, I saw a bug ambling towards me that pumped fear into my veins – it looked (unfortunately for my happiness) to be a bedbug.  I was shocked and confused (I haven’t had any bites during my past 2 nights here), and sufficiently terrified to take a quick photo before dashing his/her guts out. 

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(Above; the nemesis of all happiness)

To my absolute horror (after spending 20-30 mins comparing my photo to internet photos) I confirmed that it looked exactly – perfectly – like a bedbug.  The only sliver of hope I held onto was that it went out wandering at 11am, and they are nocturnal.  But after strapping on my headlamp and doing a careful inspection in the crevices between the plywood (that goes under the 3 inch mattress) and the bamboo bed frame, I found several telltale “skins” (bedbugs shed their skins as they mature after blood meals) and panic ensued. 

My largest fear was that bedbugs had entered my things/luggage and I would transport them with me to other hotels, and back to the USA, where they would invade my home and 2012 would officially be the worst year of my life. I felt like this was a reasonable concern because when I found the bedbug crawling across the mattress all of the contents of my luggage were laid out on the other half of the bed, meaning other bedbugs could be happily crawling through the stuff. 

I called other hotels (all of the ones I thought I could expect to be bedbug free were either booked or too expensive to be considered). I googled.  And I ended up moving to a different room in the same guesthouse on a different floor after doing a VERY, VERY thorough headlamp check.  But of course, just because I didn’t see anything obvious doesn’t mean they aren’t lying in wait.  So I spent a few hours packing my bags, shaking out everything was on the bed ultra intensely, and zipping and sealing everything. Tomorrow I hope to find somewhere else to go. And I’m counting down the days until I’m on a plane to the USA.

I told the guesthouse manager about the bedbugs and showed him the skins with my light, but he didn’t seem to care or have any idea what I was talking about (he thought it must be mosquitoes, cockroaches, or ants). Tomorrow I’ll call the owner. I really felt an ethical dilemma about going to another hotel if I did in fact have bedbugs in my things, since it would be really disastrous if I became a bedbug carrier.  But I’m hoping that my preventative measures were enough.

In the spirit of trying to cheer myself up and keep a positive attitude about the new year, I’m also reminding myself it could always be worse.  At least I wasn’t bitten by a bedbug.  At least I’m still profoundly lucky in other ways and healthy — and going home soon.  But #%^#@ bedbugs really suck.

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