Thursday, October 20, 2005


I used to do my fair share of travel in Asia, on the other side of The Big Pond - in fact, there was a time back in the early 1980’s when my passport had more stamps from Hong Kong than it did from Mexico.

Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand - I’ve spent time in all of ’em, and, for the most part, enjoyed it.

Traveling on business on behalf (primarily) of The Great Corporate Salt Mine, I was fortunate to be able to enjoy Reasonably Comfy Accommodations on these trips. No cheesy hovels for this boy. And that can be meaningful in Asia, where a hovel is really a hovel...and the Plush Cribs are really plush.

Funny, though. In all my travels, I never saw any bugs in my hotel rooms. Surprising, given the tropical or subtropical nature of most of these places. Maybe it’s because the hoteliers there have a more liberal hand with respect to the poisons they strew about the lodgings - stuff that has been on the Forbidden List here in the States for years - stuff like chlordane, which will grow you an extra Shoulder-Head if you give it a chance...

But there was one time I checked into my room at the Le Meridien (Changi Village) in Singapore, fresh off an Extremely Lengthy Flight from the U.S., there to find a humongous dead roach belly-up in front of the Porcelain Throne. Almost as if he died enroute:

“Madge, I don’t feel too good...what was that white stuff we had for breakfast? Gaaaahhh...”

I mentioned the matter to the front desk. What kind of critter was that, anyway? Something exotic, perhaps? A Bukit-Tinggi Water-Roach?

“Oh, that? That’s just an American Cockroach.”

And so it was, Esteemed Readers: Blattidae Americanus, the American Cockroach, known in some circles as the Palmetto Bug. The big-ass kind of roach that flies, kicks ass, and takes names, unlike its dinkier cousin, the ubiquitous German roach.

I was proud to be an American then, I’ll tell you. ’Cause our roaches can beat up your roaches, any day.

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