Screaming in the Rain, Just Screaming in the Rain…

At least once a day the sky explodes and cascades to the ground suddenly and constantly in an unrelenting bath-water-temperature fury of wetness. Thunder and lightning provide the bass in a crescendo of water fall that is unlike anything I have seen before.

Simply put: It rains bob cats and mastiffs.

…And then there’s that horribly terrifyingly awkward moment when you realize that the sound you thought was rainfall on your roof is really  thousands of tiny wings beating against your door seeking the very solace that you were hoping to enjoy.

And by the time that moment arrived, it was too late.

Tiny refugees were slipping under my door faster than Kenyans in the Olympics. I slowly back myself into a corner bracing myself for the devouring of my already histamine ridden flesh, sure that these bugs have come to finish off the mosquito’s table scraps. At least 50 winged insects proceed to fill my room swarming in a way that I can only compare to UCSB’s Del Playa on Halloween. In a valiant last ditch effort for survival, I dash towards the door, shrieking as one intruder lands on my bare foot.

A wave of wings rushes at my face the moment I pull the door open. I scream once more and slam it shut.

The beating wings build louder, setting a new terrifying tempo for my evolving imaginary horror movie, and I wonder, can anyone hear me, does everyone not care, or have the insects already claimed victims of the other residents in my hostel?

The bugs even seem to have as much disinterest in me and my peril as my fellow residents. They are swarming on the ground and around the lights, thrashing in disoriented ways like metal heads in a mosh pit, and that’s when I realize what I have to do. I slip on my young professional teaching shoes and summon the few years of tap dancing lessons I took as a child. Soon the beating of wings has died down to eerie silence as the battle ground subsides. Crisis Averted.

Sweeping up the bodies of my unwelcome visitors serves to be challenging as they are now partially adhered to the tile floor by means of their sticky brown guts. I manage to pull some fancy broom maneuvers worthy of a seasoned Quidditch player and form a pile of casualties.

Welcome to rainy season in Indonesia.

Tip: Indonesians turn outside and inside lights off when it rains to avoid turning their house into a hive for these termite on steroid looking things and laugh at the buleh screaming in her room which has just become the Happiest Place on Earth for shelter seeking insects.

Graphic Progression of Events:

3 thoughts on “Screaming in the Rain, Just Screaming in the Rain…

  1. Ah, these! These are called “laron” in Indonesian (or perhaps in Javanese, not sure what’s the proper Indonesian word for it). They do show up during rain, they will not harm you (probably just crawl on your skin a bit), because as you already see, they’re crazy about lights.

    The day after most of them will lose their wings (those are pretty frail and easy to get cut off) and crawl around harmlessly. People here usually will just sweep them away. Problem solved.


    • Thanks for the info! I ended up killing them all and then sweeping them up. Someone told me that sometimes they get fried and eaten. Maybe I’ll get to try that next rainy season!


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