Fourmi (Wednesday, 2010 September 1)

September 1, 2010

Got my schedule (emploi de temps) today. No big ceremony. 16 hours of teaching, Monday, Thursday and Friday. Could be worse. More on that later.

Today I would like to engage in a bit of Goal Three — sharing the culture here with you who are back home. The subject is ants (les fourmis). Mom asked what they do here about ants (a propos of the ants who found the candy in my suitcase), and I wanted to tell a story about my host family back at training. Mom, you may regret asking..

One day my family found a bunch of ants in the yard and I think in the house. "Attention! Ça pique!" ("Be careful! They bite!") I thought it was just my windowsill and that it was because I’d left out some candy wrappers, but apparently not. Apparently the ants come into the house to eat roaches (specifically I think the eggs/larvae). So it’s kind of a lesser-of-the-two-evils situation. Now, if the question is "roaches or ants", I’d vote for ants. But the ants can bite, whereas roaches are just deeply unsettling, so I guess my family was nonplussed about either.

The done thing in this circumstance is to burn them with oil. You pour on the oil, which is the same oil you use in your lamp, and then you set it on fire. You can also burn paper and drop the paper on the ants. We didn’t have any oil at the moment, so my host father wandered the premises spraying insecticide. I don’t really remember what happened after that — they didn’t all magically disappear — but I went to bed and the problem seemed to stop being there.

I have no desire to burn down my house (despite my efforts in the kitchen so far) so I’m just letting things go for the moment. I hope that now that I’ve removed the thing they’re interested in, they’ll chill out a bit (though it may take a few days).

One Response to “Fourmi (Wednesday, 2010 September 1)”

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