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Friday, September 5th, 2003

Govardhan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Don't Bug Me

Invasion of the grasshoppers

It rains briefly here almost every day; I'm told that this is unusual for this Mathura district. One of the consequences of the rain is that all the bugs and creepy-crawlies come out of their holes, gravitate towards our nice dry verandas, and many of them creep under the doors and into our rooms.

All the windows have fly-screens as a token defense against the adhibhautika miseries caused by insects, but none of the rooms have mosquito nets, because there are no mosquitoes here at this time. I might just have to get one...

Ever since I got back last week, I have had to get rid of all the crickets in my room before going to sleep in the evening. It is hot and muggy at night, so I don't cover with a blanket or sheet, and there's nothing worse than being woken from a deep sleep by a long-legged creature landing on your naked back. (Well, I guess being tossed in boiling oil or being burned at the stake might be a little worse, but not much :-)

Last night, the Sevashram was invaded by — grasshoppers!

I used to think that the crickets were bad, but these guys are much bigger and bolder, and spring much further with their bigger hind legs. Thousands of them! — like locusts — all over the market, the roads, the temple grounds, and of course, our rooms. (Jivana would just love it here!)

What's next on the list of plagues? Frogs?

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