Spiders, sparrows and a minor meltdown

Time: approximately 9 p.m. on Sunday the 14th of September.

Location: third floor hallway leading towards the bathrooms.

Situation: precarious.

Life in Zbraslav 2014-15I traced the hallway to its end, fully aware that this time of year – in this region of the house – is known for an influx in hostile forces. Time and training – and brutal personal experience – has taught me to look under the bathroom door frame before stepping through it, check the shower drain before climbing in, and shake the towel before using it. There is no telling when or where a spider may stage its attack. Constant vigilance is required to survive here.

This understood, the bathroom tends to be more of a danger zone than the water closet (a water closet is where Europeans keep the toilet because having a John and a sink in the same room makes no sense, whatsoever). It was in the direction of the W.C. that I was headed, so although I was wary, I was not prepared – mentally or emotionally – for what was about to cross my path.

I crossed the hearth of the small room. It feels like a bomb shelter with its low ceiling and narrow walls – except, of course, for the toilet at the end and the lace curtain in the window.

Sleep was already getting the better of me and the house was quiet.

And then. Then it happened.

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An open letter to my bathroom spider

IMG_0944Dear Mr. Spider – and applicable friends and relatives,

It’s so lovely to see that you’ve moved back in. And by lovely, I mean truly distressing.

I know it’s been a year and you’re wanting to get settled in, but I think we should make some additions to our previous contract / informal agreement (the original is available here). In case you’re thinking you can push me around this year, you can’t. I have killed two of your acquaintances in the last year and I am stronger for it (if not weaker mentally and damaged psychologically).

That’s said, please take a moment to read my new stipulations:

  1. Keep off the toilet paper – I know my bathroom is essentially the coolest hangout in town, but sitting on the toilet paper is a no-go. Tell your friends. Tell ‘em quick. Next time I’m going to flush the whole roll without giving you an eviction notice.
  2. No house guests – I feel like we’ve been over this one before. I promise not to invite in anyone who may be handier with a rolled magazine than I am if you promise not to invite anyone, ever. I don’t want any all-nighters going down in here, especially not when I have to shower.
  3. Less domestic violence – It is my sincerest request that you not attack and eat your relatives while I’m IN THE BATHROOM. I understand that every family has issues and I appreciate that there are a lot fewer of you after a ‘family spat’ but I do not want to see it happening. Like, leave a sign on the door or something. When I step into that room you guys better call a cease fire immediately. I AM SWITZERLAND.
  4. Weight gain – K, this is a little awkward and I don’t mean to be offensive, but I’ve noticed you’ve grown a few pant sizes since like… this morning. No, I getchu bae. I’ve been putting on a little poundage too. It’s that time of year or whatever. Anyway, what concerns me is the process it must have taken for you to ‘freshman 15’ so quickly. I am saddened when I think of how many of your relatives you must have eaten and I am terrified when I think of how many of my relatives you probably could eat now. Just, keep an eye on the scale, okay Hun?
  5. Joe must go – Effective immediately, you must tell your friend Joe to leave. Who’s Joe? Don’t play dumb with me! He’s your pal who’s been living on my shower head for the last four days! He’s twice the size of my thumb and I’m pretty sure he has more than eight legs. Please see #4.

I appreciate your consideration of these new amendments and I assume that you’ll be following this strictly and without exception.

As always, it’s a pleasure attempting to communicate with you. Hopefully we’ll make it past October before one of us has a total meltdown (and by ‘one of us’ I obviously mean me).

With reservations,


Dear Mr. Spider

Dear Mr. Spider, Grabmylerovi

I am writing you because you’ve been living in my shower drain for three days now and I think it’s time we had a talk. I hope this doesn’t come off as rude, (then again, I’m not the one invading other people’s bathrooms) but you are not really the kind of company I like to keep. Like, seriously, you’re the worst.

Granted, I could have worse flatmates. You don’t make any noise, you don’t steal food from my fridge, you don’t get upset when I play the same song on repeat for an hour an a half. But MAN are you a bathroom hog! I’ve had to wash my hair in the kitchen sink TWICE since you’ve “moved in.”

Maybe you moved into my bathroom because you don’t have any other friends (possibly because you ate them?). Maybe you, like me, think it’s getting just a tad too cold outside these days. Maybe you really just want to be my friend. I’d like to assume the best of you, but I’m really having trouble mentally getting past all eight of your legs (which I’ve counted several times because – let’s be honest – they’re a little obtrusive now, aren’t they?).

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