Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Me vs. the Cockroach

Spiders have always scared the living daylights out of me, but it turns out there’s another creepy crawly creature that scares me even more.


I’d been warned that there were cockroaches-a-plenty in Cairns, but seeing as I don’t think I’d even seen a cockroach, I wasn’t too concerned. After my roommate Chichi and I had moved all of our stuff into our amazing apartment (see the pictures that will eventually be posted to understand how great it is) I channeled into my inner obsessive compulsive cleaner and disinfected every inch of our place. How this wily little cockroach managed to escape my view during all that scrubbing, I have no idea.

I was taking a shower after the long day of travel and settling in, and since the walls of the shower are glass I was able to see out into the rest of my bathroom. Just before the steam was about to cloud out everything from view, I saw something big and black scuttle across the floor of my bathroom, and the first words that came into mind were, “Oh hell no.”

For the next ten minutes I wiped away steam to try and keep track of the little bugger (who wasn’t little at all), and by the time I could no longer delay stopping my shower he had vanished from sight. Therefore I just stood there, dripping wet in my shower, safe in my glass case of emotion as I crouched down to the ground and looked for the guy. After a few minutes with no luck, I dared to open the shower door to grab a towel, and immediately shut myself back in. What was worse was that my contacts were off, so I was half blind searching for something that was almost the size of a hamster, and could also survive nuclear explosions.

Finally I stepped out of the shower, and, realizing that there were few places where the cockroach could be hiding, I lifted up the trash bucket (we have no trashcan, only a bucket).

There he was. Hiding behind my bucket.

At once he scuttled into the corner, and for a moment I crouched down in front of him, acknowledging that he was probably scared, and meant me no harm. At that point I had no intention of killing him. For starters, I didn’t want to hear the crunch of his little body being smushed beneath whatever I decided to kill him with. And secondly, I knew he really didn’t mean me any harm. So I grabbed the trash bucket and trapped him underneath before he could scamper any farther. Then I hurried into my bedroom, dressed, and grabbed a shoe, just in case I couldn’t trap him under the bucket long enough to get him out of our apartment.

The thing is, when an abnormally large and foreign insect bolts absurdly fast out from under said bucket, scurries under your bedroom door, and you’re faced with the knowledge that if you don’t act immediately the bug will be living in your apartment, probably waiting to climb into your bed at night and terrify you, your instincts kick in.

I opened the door, raised my shoe, and pounded that bug until every last one of his little legs stopped twitching.

I was so freaked out I had to call my mom for reassurance that the cockroach wasn’t going to call his friends to come attack me in the night, and that a bug was just a bug. But that didn’t stop me from staying up for another hour, using towels to block any holes in our apartment that led outside, practically crying at every strange sound I heard, and sleeping with the light on.

It was a long first night in Cairns.

And for the sake of everyone who might come to Cairns, I am starting my Run Run Run As Fast As You Can list of things to stay away from.

1. Vegemite (Except for the very first time you try it. After that it’ll just make you nauseous.)

2. Things That Go Bump in the Night (I.E. cockroaches. I recommend going to a shop to get lots of bug spray, and traps. Also, don’t be surprised to find little frogs and lizards in your apartment too, but those are actually cute.)

3. Water Left Out in the Open, and Open Containers of Food (Mossies, aka mosquitoes, breed in water, so don’t leave any puddles anywhere. As for open containers of food, the ants will come . . .)


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