Sunday, September 5, 2010

My African Spider

Are you afraid of spiders?  I am...especially big, giant is my African spider story.

I was 'cat-sitting' for a friend on the embassy compound in Libreville.  Her cat is small and fast, so it was important to enter/exit the apartment quickly in order to prevent her from running out.  On the first day, when leaving the apt and locking the door, I noticed a large black spider to the left of the front door.  I mean it was stood as large as a tennis ball...and it wasn't moving.  Maybe I surprised it?  I didn't notice it when I went in, but I was fumbling with the keys.  Eeeww.

The next morning, there it was again.  It was in the same area and I was looking around for a stick or something to poke it.  It wasn't moving and I wanted to shoo it away.  No such luck.  When I left, sure enough, it was just standing there large and still.  My friends' townhouse is not far from the front gate, so I decided to ask the local guard if he knew what kind of spider it was.

He came over to check it out with his boots on.  I mention this because I wear flip flops and there is no way I am getting too close to that thing, it's so damn big.  The guard slowly walks up to it.  He bends down for a closer look and slowly puts his finger down towards it.  He pokes at it.  I am thinking, what is the RSO's (Regional Security Officer) number?  This guard is going to get bit by some large poisonous spider and I am going to have to call for help.  The guard picks up the spider to show it to me with a big smile on his face.

The townhouse next store is actually home to the RSO and his wife.  They have two children and one of them is a four year old boy who likes plastic bugs.  I was afraid of a plastic bug for two days.