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Welcome to the Jungle.

July 28, 2013

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Living in Lebanon can sometimes feel like, as my boyfriend Omar calls it, the jungle. It’s a crazy place (though sometimes not as crazy as media makes it out to be), with decades of past and current conflicts, sectarianism, Syrian spillover, different powerful groups running areas, along with the occasional rocket or bomb. Etcetera, etcetera.  And of course, the ever-expanding Beirut souk that is gradually beginning to look like a jungle, filling every week with more exotic animals.

But all of these things are not why I feel like I live in the jungle. It’s actually because I moved in to a sweet little place that was charming on the first look. Unconventional and open. A split apartment, with a open terrace separating two rooms. One fully-constructed bedroom and across the way, a shack-like room with everything else. At sunset, it becomes a peaceful sanctuary, with the light spilling over the stone.

However, when it gets dark, the beasts of the Beirut wild come out. Cockroaches climb in through a cracked bathroom window, or a gap between the roof. A centipede at least six inches long skitters out from under a pile of dishes in the sink. A crumb of forgotten food is covered within minutes by wriggling ants. Feral cats watch from nearby, waiting for us to leave the terrace so it can tear through the garbage we have to hide outside to keep ants from taking over our shack.

By morning though, most of the creatures have retreated. Except the ants, but they’re only a minor problem (except when they get in the laundry). That’s why I felt safe sitting outside drinking my morning coffee, relaxing with my headphones on, after a night of nocturnal creature scares. That was, until a giant RAT, the size of a kitten (not being hyperbolic here), ran over my feet on his way back down the stairs to the street.

A RAT!

This wasn’t a cute “Ratatouille” rat. This was a giant, fat, disgusting beast that made my skin crawl for hours after our encounter on the patio.

ratatouille-remy2

Not quite.

More like.

More like.

Luckily since then, we’ve picked up some Raid, as well as some local tricks for fighting back. Also, we added a lion to the mix.

Albeit a small lion. Fitz Parker.

Our hope is that he grows into a Mustafa. Until then though, we’ll continue our turf war with the varmints, with the help of Fitz Parker. In the meantime, any suggestions for the offensive would be appreciated!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Diana McClure permalink
    July 29, 2013 1:06 am

    So funny for us who don’t have to live it!! You’re braver than I would be.

  2. August 31, 2013 12:38 pm

    I live in a woodsy area where every winter cute little mice try to move in, and we try to capture them and release them because they are cute like Ratatouille. We use these little mousetraps. I don’t think a large rat would fit in them though. Bless You for being there and letting us know about what is going on there.

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