Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rats in Taipei!

I walked into the school that I am substituting for today.  It was early and I was just starting to wake up.  The teachers room is in the basement.  I walked through it while the lights flickered on.  I must be the first one here I thought.  I placed my belongings on my desk and started to prepare for the lesson, slowly waking up, and taking small sips of coffee.  I decided that an art project would be fun for the kindergarteners, and walked over to the book shelf to choose an activity.  The lights were still flickering a bit in the room and one of them was making some weird squeaky noise.  I looked up and the light looked fine.  I looked down and there was a RAT!!!!!!!!!!

"AHHHHHHHHH AHHH AHHH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Was pretty much my reaction to the half dead, creepy animal laying on the poison trap.  It was one of those blood curdling screams that you see in the movies.  Something I have never heard come out of my mouth.  EVER.  I had no idea my vocal cords could reach such a high pitch.  

Flustered and wiggling my body around like there were all sorts of creepy crawlies on me; I ran upstairs to tell the my Taiwanese co-workers about the disgusting intruder.  A woman at the front desk bravely walked down to the dungeon with me.  We were walking down the hall when she started to freak out and do a similar creeped-out-girl-wiggle-and-shake, with the same blood curdling scream escaping her.  Because of the language barrier, she did not know that the rat was half dead and I imagine she was thinking that it could jump out at her at any moment.  

After she saw the rat she had the cleaning lady take care of it.  Thank god for that lady, because that was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life thus far.  Its not that I have never seen a rat.  I have seen them in Texas and most definitely in Chicago, when I lived in Old Town.  There is just something about it being in the same room as you, and it was literally one foot away from my big toe.  

I felt that the whole day would feel funky, until I walked into the classroom to here "Good morning Miss Helen!  How are you today?"  The kids are so cute and love me so much after only 3 days of teaching.  

Now I know when I walk into that basement to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  I have lived to tell the tale. 

 Here is to another day in Taipei!   I am off to find a whiskey bar to calm my nerves!

If only the rats here could be more civilized...