‘Cock’roach problems

(JDR) Stationed in an AirBNB, District 1, near the top ‘banh mi’ spot in all of Ho Chi Minh City, the five of us were adapting to a new life – new careers, new country, different culture, new every—thang.  Our schedules were erratic; some were working mornings, some nights, and others looking for work.  I was settled in on the first floor (let me take a moment here to tell Americans that the first floor everywhere else in the world is the floor above the ground level floor; therefore, a level above the ground floor, and thus, steps).  I was within ten minutes walking distance of my teaching center – I was happy with the location.  




The government decided that was the week to fix the piping…and for the neighbors to upgrade their house…and for the other neighbors to have their dogs bark all night…and for the other neighbors to place their roosters out in front of the house to let us know the sun decided to smile upon us.   Fuck.  My.  Life.  


After a few nights of no sleep, there came a night where peace be upon us (thank allah).  That lasted about five minutes.  Two of the roomies found some wanderers to fondle and appropriate their innate desires, which kept at least two of us awake (honestly, I was thoroughly impressed with their stamina).  Sleep would be on hold for at least another evening.


Throughout the commotion, trash was accumulating on the ‘ground’ floor where the five of us would meet every evening to discuss our day.  These discussions would be considered groundbreaking to, literally, nobody.  However, enter a creature that captivated all of our attention.  A mutha fucking shelly crawly looking fucking thing.  Yuck.


“Barney!”  “Go kill it!” “Go kill all of them!”


That’s right.  There were many that met the ruthlessness of a one Mr. Barney Tennant.  He was a savage. He still is.  The evidence is in the video and the photos.  The cockroach killa.  One of the nicknames that will follow him to his deathbed (one which a cockroach hopes to help him enter).   




Desiring for a place closer to work, our cluster of fools moved to a new place in District 1. This was a good idea, as it was close to the centre of the city, where there were many places to eat and see, including the best banh mi in the city a mere minute’s walk away.


I was fortunate to be in a room away from the street, as the others complained of nighttime construction work, excitable dogs, and roosters screaming about how miserable their lives are. Luckily, I’m a deep sleeper, so I never heard any of the nighttime activities, much to the annoyance of the group.


Ironically enough, on the one night when there wasn’t any construction going on, two of the group brought back some “special friends”. Apparently the noises from the ground floor were heard all the way to the top of the house, and the other occupied room included shouting. Thankfully I didn’t have to hear any of this, as I was conked out. The lonely roommates on the other hand were not impressed at all. Their one possible night of sleep, ruined by sexy night games, which they weren’t part of (I’m assuming much to their dismay).


Throughout our time in District 1, we had seen glimpses of cockroaches scuttling about the place. The girls would freak out, then the little buggers would be gone. That is until one night near the end of our time there. For some reason, all four or five of them decided to make an appearance and linger in the living room area of the house. And for some reason (other than knowing that a certain roommate is a massive wuss), I had to kill them. So I would put on my shoes, which confused the girls (why would I stamp on something like a cockroach with bare feet), then I preceded to stamp them. However, in some cases, some of the demonic bugs would stare right into my soul and spread their wings, as if they were going to fly at my face. Those fuckers. Anyways, by the end of the night, there were cockroach corpses littered around the room. I voted for leaving their bodies as a warning to the others, but they were eventually swept out of the room. Shame.

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Recently moved back to the States after living 16 months in Vietnam. I write to remove the thoughts trapped in the cobwebs of my psyche before the spider envelopes me whole.

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