Since Oskar is going to the French school, he is coming home around 12:30 pm on Fridays. We were not sure how this would play out with Aggie having to feed Thomas around noon and take him to sleep not much later. This is why I have always come home at noon in the past weeks, so that I can pick up Oskar from the bus and Aggie does not need to stress. This week I officialized this with my boss and as of now, I am always working from home Friday afternoons (why not the full day? – well, we often have announcements on Friday mornings, so I like to be in the office for those).
Anyway: today was normal in so far that I was home at half past 12, picked up Oskar, had some food and Oskar did not because he’s too cool to eat with Papa and then Oskar had food later, when it was cold, and he did not want it to be warmed up, because he’s too cool for warm food.
Yes: a normal day.
Except that it wasn’t: it’s Aggie’s birthday and there was already a cake waiting in the oven for the traditional family birthday routine. The only person missing was Lamia, who was stuck in the office till some time between 5 and 6 pm.
So I took everybody downstairs to give Oskar a chance to ride his bike, Thomas to walk a little outside and all of us to play ball.
This is a good moment for a little side comment:
We are living in Singapore now for a few years. Singapore is a tropical country. It’s exotic. And we have encountered lizards, monkeys, snakes… you know: a few beasts you normally do not get where we’re from. Ants, too. I’ve considered ants more of an annoyance inside the house. The few times we had them, we successfully fought back and that was that. Outside of the house I did not care much.
We were playing ball in that little whatever place where normally cats are sitting and plot how to kill all human beings. Oskar is pretty good with kicking, but he often kicks without caring to aim at a fellow player. As a consequence the ball ended up somewhere in the bushes more often than not. Well, not a biggie. I then went to get it and we continued.
One time I went to a bush, I picked the ball from somewhere in the thicket, I turned around to continue playing – and all of a sudden there was this pretty mean stinging sensation at my right knee. What the…? I looked, did not see anything and thought it’s nothing. But it did not stop stinging. So I looked again and to my surprise I saw two finger nail sized ants that were hanging from my knee where it stung. They clearly bit me! And it’s not like that this was all of it. No, Sir! They bent their bodies hectic back and forth, like a bulldog that has caught its prey and shakes it viciously till it’s dead. They attacked with all their might.
Rather irritated I tried to brush them off. Then I tried again and finally succeeded.
The place where they bit me started to swell. Gee, you gotta be kidding me!
How did this happen? I walked back to the place where I had picked up the ball and then saw it: there was an elaborate leaf construction, maybe the size of a child’s fist, where a few leaves had been folded to form a sort of closed hammock – or nest. And sitting on this thing were dozens and dozens of these rather feisty ants.
You could tell they meant business, just by the way they were sitting on that leave.
Ants: Hey you! You! You talking to me? Eh? You want a piece of me, eh? Eh? Asshole!
When I took the ball my knee must have slightly touched them and two of these soldiers were on me right away. I got to tell you, I am darn happy I did not have more of these little fuckers on me. It’s not like that the sting hurt super bad or something, but I would have felt it if I had had ten of them doing this to me. Also good it was the knee and not the face…
I regret now did not take a photo of the nest. One of two gardeners who were working nearby saw what happened, cut off the whole branch the ants were sitting on and took it away.
The swollen part on my knee eventually disappeared a little later, so I am all okay.
Well: until the eggs those two ants planted under my skin hatch, of course. But this should not happen before next week…