Chaos of the Centipede

By , Bloomield Hills, MI

Thailand has always been a memorable experience for me. Since my mom is from Thailand, I visit almost every year to see my family and friends. Even after all of the time I have spent there, I still have not gotten bored of it. There are always new places and attractions to visit and fantastic food to feast on there. Busy vendors line the streets and put up colorful signs, calling out for potential customers. The ecstatic atmosphere takes my breath away every single time. However, about five years ago, I had one of the most entertaining and eventful visits to date. I should have anticipated the eventfulness of this trip from the very moment I stepped on the plane. I have always had problems with motion sickness on the plane, so my mom had to tie a plastic bag to back of the seat in front of me in case I had to throw up. Before I got on, I hoped the flight would be smooth so that I did not embarrass myself in front of everyone. I could not have been any more incorrect. The plane was rocking back and forth and shaking so violently that I felt my brain rattling inside my head. At one point in the flight, the plane suddenly dropped and I sensed my insides plummeting towards the floor. I tried to hold it all in, but I could not resist the overwhelming urge to throw up. I barely got the plastic bag in front of me before I vomited everything I had eaten and drank over the last 24 hours. I had to look down at my feet to avoid anybody seeing my face turn as red as a tomato.


A few days after we arrived, I still had not recovered from the truly awful experience I had on the plane. My face was extremely pale and my eyes were bloodshot red from lack of sleep. It did not help to have dozens of itchy red bumps on my arms from mosquito bites. Also, I still had not adjusted to the time zone. As a result, I felt like all of the energy I had was zapped out of me. For a while, I actually thought that I was seriously ill because I was usually very energetic. Still, my condition was completely dwarfed by the events that took place that day.
That day, my mom had left with my aunt to go shopping at a fancy mall in Downtown Bangkok called the Paragon. She left my sister and me to finish our homework and then do whatever we choose to do. After we finished the endless heaps of math we received, we went to the room which housed the Wii with Bike, our friend which we met the year before. Eyes sagging and minds numb from the work, we did not think about anything. As a result, we left the door open to any bugs that wanted to crawl inside. We had been playing for a while when a yellowish-black centipede crawled into the room. It was almost a foot long and it was crawling on the floor at a rapid pace. It cracks me up everytime I remember Michelle jumping up so high she could have hit the ceiling.

“Oh my god, there’s a centipede! Michael, are you stupid? Why didn’t you close the door?”

“In my defense, Michelle, you didn’t close the door either.”

Before Michelle could claw my brains out, Bike stood up.

“Poisonous!” he shouted in Thai.

Although we did not understand what he was saying, it was crystal clear what he meant due to his frantic movements. At once, all three of us scrambled towards the door, sprinting as fast as we could and screaming at the top of our lungs. Once we were on the opposite side of the house, Michelle caught her breath.

“We should have left someone to keep an eye on it.”

I replied, “Well, let’s ask Pee Bum (housemaid’s name) if she can get rid of it. Of course, you could always remove it yourself.

“Really funny, Michael.”

Unfortunately, when we brought the housemaid to capture the centipede, it was long gone. She told us to watch our legs and to call her if we found it. As soon as she left, I started walking towards the door.

“There is no way I am going to be sitting here not knowing where a foot-long centipede is.”

Michelle scoffed. “Are you that scared of bugs?”

“Not necessarily. It’s just that I don’t want to go to the hospital today.”

“Yeah. Me neither.”

 

For the rest of the day, none of us stepped an inch into that room. I always regret not staying to watch the centipede because at night, it crawled over my cousin’s foot while she was using the computer. I could only imagine her reaction.


Overall, I had an excellent time in Thailand that year. The centipede incident was just one of the moments I experienced there. Not only did I get to travel to many different locations around Thailand, I also got to spend time with my family and friends inside the house. In the days after the incident, I was not grateful that I experienced all of that. I always thought that I was ill-fated to even experience such a event. Now, I realize that no matter how scared I was then, I am lucky that I can look back and laugh at my ignorance and fright.






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