Our trip to Borneo was meant to be a disaster. Chinese New Year had begun: vacationers were out in full force, flights were double the price and hostels were all booked. The Batang Rejang was dammed and the winter rain had flooded Niah Caves. It was beginning to feel like travel hell.
It felt like a good time to throw in the towel, spend a little dough and do something fantastic. So we jumped on a plane to Gunung Mulu, the ultimate in national parks; home to the world’s largest cave, millions of bats and all manner of crazy-huge bugs.
Our first night in Mulu went something like this: Gorgeous sunset, dusk, insects!
The bats keep Mulu fairly mosquito-free, and the bugs that the bat’s don’t eat are nabbed by the geckos. Except, of course, if the bug in question is the size of a bat.
No one believed me when I said that I had found a bug as large, if not even bigger, than the average American bat. “Pics of didn’t happen” was the lame response to my discovery. Well, Roman! Here are your pics!
Unfortunately these pictures were taken after the cicada flew into my shirt and tried to make sweet, sweet love to my back.
I was hiding behind a column waiting for the giant bug to fly out of the room when it happened. I didn’t know what to do but run. The mammoth flying cockroach descended so quickly there was nothing you could do but cover your head and bust a move. For some reason, I was the only intelligent person in the room who thought to do this, everyone else just sat there eating their meal, staring at me.
And I took off, flailing across the dining hall, screaming at the top of my lungs, and the giant cicada landed on my back. I froze. Time stopped.
After several hours of standing there frozen, a child, a mere baby the age of 10, grabbed the monster from my shirt and put it on his face. And laughed at me.