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Sleepless in Switzerland

One sweltering late July evening, a bat flew into my bedroom. I managed to dash out (but left my iPhone, iPad and laptop all on my desk) and close my bedroom door behind me, (hopefully) trapping the bat. It was 3am, too late to call the landlord (not that I had access to my phone) so I paced the hallway for about an hour, wondering if Romania (home to Dracula, natch) was very far from Switzerland?

I went back in the next day; armed with rubber yellow dish-washing gloves, a wooden spoon and a chinois. I gingerly poked the curtains with the wooden spoon, and seeing no sign of the winged beast, closed the window shut, grabbed my phone, and ran back out again, slamming the door behind me.

I spent the next two nights on my couch, sleepless and suffocating. When that I realized there were zillions of bats living in the church bell tower next door, I thought; no way am I opening an American B&B for the little devils to feast upon, so I closed up every window and door at sunset, and became somewhat delirious due to lack of sleep from the heat. I obsessed over whether the bat might still be in my bedroom, or worse- somewhere else- inside my apartment.

The third night, I finally passed out, only to be shook awake at 4 AM by a huge boom. I staggered to the balcony door and peeked outside. The street light showed the rain was coming down hard, with thunder and lightning echoing all around. The drop in temperature was lovely and so refreshing. It was the best I had felt in three days, until I felt it raining on my head. Inside my apartment, with every window and door closed. Huh? Also, there was a sick, sweet smell of death. I panicked. Had the storm flooded my building? Did the sick, sweet smell have anything to do with bats?

I finally realized that a gourd (real, not decorative, as it turned out) had exploded, and was dripping its guts and oozing fermented squash liquid from the top of my bookcase all over me, my beloved books and my white sofa. The amount of liquid it contained was amazing, and I nearly vomited from the smell. I spent the next two (gag-inducing) hours cleaning up, salvaging books and doing laundry. I had to leave every window and door open for weeks before the smell went away.

The moral of the story: barometric pressure is far more scary than a little lost fruit bat.

Happy Summer!

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One response

  1. Oh how funny. Reminds me of a trip to Brazil. We nestled into the beach house quite comfy, except to realize that the reasons no furniture was against the wall, the bats the landlord could not keep out had the bad habit of hanging near the wall from the beams. Never the center, always near the wall. And since, they occasionally lost their grip while sleep induced, putting the furniture away from the wall was to keep innocent patrons away from a sleep bat who lost its grip. Needless to say BJ was never in a room alone.

    Great story.

    July 30, 2013 at 11:30 pm

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