Monday, June 24, 2013

I Swallowed a Fly. P'raps I'll Die.



      It's fly season here in Panama.  A truly local experience in many ways.  The flies hatch about a month after the rains start. (The rains were late this year.)  For 3 or 4 weeks there are flies everywhere, into everything.  Screens, fly swatters, fly traps are no help.  It's impossible to avoid them, landing on you, playing tag, dive-bombing your food.  

     The long term expats are easy to spot by their casual attitudes.  They put decorated woven containers over the food, but when the snack-intent hordes manage a landing, they are quite casual in waving them off and eating it anyway.

     Quite suddenly, fly season will be over.  The flies are gone once more and you will seldom see one until next fly season.

     Yesterday I poured some milk into my coffee, only to observe the dead fly swimming in it.  I had carelessly left the milk carton on the kitchen counter for a few moments, and the fly had gone inside the little opening hunting for lunch.  And it's not as though I am so green that I didn't know it would certainly happen.  The week before I had – maybe not so briefly – turned my back on an open pot of coffee.   I was later rewarded with a cup of dead, coffee soaked flies. 

      And it's not as though I always spot them BEFORE I take a drink.  Two weeks ago I swallowed one.  Now, however, I am alert to the texture, which is faintly reminiscent of a small, waterlogged raisin.  So day before yesterday when I took a nice swig and found it full of raisins, I immediately spit it out.  

     The essential thing is to keep one's mind free of where that raisin might have been.