Friday, September 24, 2010

"Mod" Is Thai For..........ANTS!!

The remnants of the invasion - not a great picture, but I was a little shaken!

I awoke thinking maybe my hand was asleep; there was a sensation similar to what I've grown up calling "pins and needles" on my hand, and arm, and... good grief - my back and face and scalp! I'd awoken a few minutes earlier with the same feeling, but in my half-slumber just brushed and scratched a little and gone back to sleep. This time I was most definitely awake.

Like the story of Madeline I'd read to my younger siblings goes: "In the middle of the night, Miss Clavelle turned on the light and said 'Something is not right!' " I reached for the switch on the nightstand lamp, and as soon as it lit the area around me I involuntarily shouted.

"AUGGH! Ants!" I shouted - and there were, indeed, ants. Thousands of them, many of them biting. If you looked closely at my pillow it looked like one of those animal stampedes from a National Geographic or Planet Earth broadcast. Little reddish-brown ants. They were still all over my torso, too - and I was still slapping and trying to brush them off when I looked over at my friend, still deeply slumbering on the other half of the bed. "Wake up!" I called to him as I reached over and shook his shoulder. He struggled up from his deep sleep, rubbing his eyes and quickly noting my concerned look also felt the biting and knew something was indeed not right.

"OH!" he shouted "MOD!!" "No kidding," I said as he (always the caring friend) ignored his own discomfort and began slapping me around, trying to rid me of the little pests. We both jumped out of our respective sides of the bed, turning almost in unison to look at our own private - but open - ant farm with near-identical disbelief and surprise, both still trying to get them off of ourselves at the same time.

I grabbed the phone and called the front desk and tried to explain our past-midnight predicament. Of course, the night clerk didn't understand why this guest was shouting "Ants! Ants!" and I heard my friend shout "Not ants...MOD!" from the bathroom, where he'd jumped into the shower. [It's pronounced with a long "o" sound like "commode" and not like the mod in modern]

The clerk came up and saw the carnage we'd created while killing as many as we could, but still there were plenty running frantically around on the sheets. He was concerned and very apologetic, but he had no idea whatsoever what to do about it. My friend came out to talk to him, towel around his waist, while I went in to rinse off what I could of the little bastards myself. I could see the red bite welts raising on his back and shoulders and felt so bad for him. He had a worse reaction to them than I did, but I think I was the bigger baby about them. I do not like things crawling on me.

When I came back out there was still no good solution. There wasn't another room to move us to, it was now past 01:30 and there was no way I was going to sleep there that night. The clerk, still saying "sorry... sorry" offered to call another hotel to find us a room - which he did - while I hastily packed my bags. We were whisked off to another hotel and put into a nice room where we collapsed again into bed, sleeping until 08:00. The first hotel naturally paid for our transfer and second hotel room and adjusted my tab for the ant farm.

The next morning they brought in the bomb squad who cleared the decks for our return the following evening. No smell of insecticide, and not a single mod/ant to be found.

It was an adventure, but one I'd pass on signing up for again!

PS - The hotel found a mango on the ledge outside my second-floor room window while cleaning the room out, and a major nest of the little red devils down at ground level. Case closed.

PPS - No, I won't tell you what hotel it was. Not their fault, and I won't besmirch their otherwise fine record with me.


neil said...

I experienced something similar, slightly. Ants found my hotel bed, not the stinging kind like your terrible night. I was alone when I discovered the little demons. They had found something left by an acquaintance from earlier in the evening. A small amount of protein. (*hint*:DNA) Did you .... and not clean up?

khunbaobao said...

No... and no.

We never did figure out what brought them into the room. I've seen water ants in Thailand in the bathroom and sugar ants around pastry left by the coffee maker, but these were more interested in biting US, for some reason. It still gives me the creeps seeing those pictures.

beachlover said...

I never had ants in bed *shudder* but I've woken up while camping to see a brown snake (one of top ten deadliest in the world) sliding past 1-2 metres from my face (wasn't in a tent). Held my breath...

Once I checked into a hotel and plonked my laptop down on the desk. Came back to see, to my horror, dozens and hundreds of ants crawling all over it! Many had crawled INSIDE the laptop. I freaked. Spent two hours shaking it out to get rid of as many as possible before I dared to turn it on... lesson learnt... NEVER underestimate the threat when you see just a "couple" of ants crawling around. They can call up hundreds of their mates in no time...