He Who Watches Ant-Man is Doomed to the Ants

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Cold showers.

If you asked me to take a cold shower a month ago, I would have thought you were crazy. You might as well have asked me to be electrocuted. The nerves jolt, you have no idea what’s going on, and your body goes into shock until you get away. It was unthinkable to jump into a shower before the water was hot.

Fast forward to now, a month later, and I’m taking cold showers every day. At first it was painful, now it’s just…a shower. My nerves have adapted to cold showers just like my mind has adapted to my surroundings. Hearing Spanish everywhere I go? Beans and rice every day for every meal? Not being able to drive to my next location and actually having to use my legs to walk somewhere? No problemo man. Such is the life in Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

I remember when I used to have an address. “Mail it to this street, it’s this number house. Here’s my zip code, it’s in Freehold, New Jersey”.

Now?

“I live a block and a half away from the bigger Super Compro. While you’re facing it, turn around and start walking. It’s a big, two-story orange apartment on the left. Use the door on the right. I’ll meet you outside when you get here”

That’s my address now.

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Hi from Costa Rica! I’ve been here three weeks already! I’ve adapted well to my city, Liberia, although there truly isn’t all that much to do here. I can name about 4 or 5 bars within walking distance and they’re always fun with the right company. There’s a club where I can go dancing too, but I don’t know exactly where it is and it’s probably not the type of dancing I have in mind.

That’s no problem. I’m busy with my job. I get to travel on weekends to the beaches or somewhere just as exotic, if I can make it work. A lot of planning goes into that. I haven’t really been able to travel yet, except to Nicaragua for a three-day weekend. I haven’t brought my camera out yet and it’s killing me! Nicaragua was too big of a risk and Liberia just isn’t photogenic. I need to take pictures! It’s an urge, a yearning, a need.

Most nights I’m in my apartment watching movies on my computer, getting a bite to eat and speaking Spanglish with my landlord, or planning how to take a new life-changing trip around Central America, or Costa Rica at least.

I watched Ant-Man the other night, starring Paul Rudd as a superhero who shrinks and uses ants to take down criminals. I loved it, it was hilarious and totally entertaining. It got me thinking about the power of ants and all they can do. It got me thinking how annoying they can be. It got me thinking a little too much.

Costa Rica has BUGS. A lot of bugs. Bugs in my school, bugs in the bathroom, bugs in my apartment. Just the other day, one of my fellow teachers saw a tarantula for the first time in her apartment. When I was in the rainforest I met a girl who was living nearby and she told me scorpions regularly appear in the restrooms there. Yeah I know, a scorpion isn’t a bug, but it might as well be. Ever since I saw Ant-Man I’ve been noticing ants crawling all over my garbage and dirty clothes. I’ll have to find a way to deal with them. I’m just glad they’re not ARMY ants.

Ever hear of army ants? They’re only the most terrifying bug I’ve ever heard of in my life. When they migrate, they travel in a line by the thousands, or worse, a wave pattern. As they move they destroy everything in their path. They eat entire animals. The first time I heard about them I had a nightmare I got devoured by them while traveling like Indiana Jones in the middle of an exotic forest. They’re just that scary. Good thing they’re only in Africa.

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Wait, I just googled them. They’re not just in Africa…they’re in Central America too??? Okay great, so now I not only have to deal with a lost bank card, the stresses of a new job, but also the worry of army ants rampaging through my apartment in my sleep and eating me ALIVE. Maybe I’m the next Ant-Man, maybe I’ll find out that I’m secretly a superhero out here. I came here for a life changing experience, maybe next month you’ll find me wrestling luchadors in Venezuela, shrinking to bug size and kicking some serious ass. I think I’ll work towards that being my next adventure.

John DeSarno

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