When you think of Australia, the first things that come to your mind are: the cute koalas, lively kangaroos, playful dolphins and happy platypus. But what you maybe don’t know is that Australia is also the home of dangerous animals such as: the Box Jellyfish, the Taipan, the Saltwater Crocodile, the Blue Ring Octopus, the Stone Fish, the Red Back Spider, the Brown Snake, the Tiger Snake, the Funnel Web Spider and the Great White Shark… scaring!
I must say I am more like the city girl type: spending time with my friends, going to cafes, reading in the Botanical garden, gazing at the shops… and Adelaide is the perfect place to enjoy these activities! I mean it is lovely and friendly ❤ so you would think my chances to bump into a dangerous wild animal when walking down the city streets are close to zero, right?!
I guess yes but…. yes there is a “but”… after 5 months living here I also realised that Adelaide CBD is also the home of not so friendly creatures. I assume for locals they are part of your everyday life but for a French girl it is pretty scaring… so I thought I could share my experiences so foreigners like me are more prepared to the “city-wildelife” when they move here!
- First say hello to creepy cockroaches!
This is what I found one morning on my kitchen floor. A big cockroach lying on its back, agitating its little legs. Absolutely disgusting… I was really surprised by the size of it: nearly the size of my little finger… YUK… much bigger that the ones I have seen in France! No wonder nearly everybody here has a Mortein spray in the kitchen cupboard (and my rented fully furnished house is no exception). So I terminated the wild animal by spraying it and I must say the product is very efficient. My Australian neighbor told me that cockroaches are on their back when they are about to dye so in a way I did him a favor by finishing him… He added that on warm nights you can hear them crawling in the back of the lane. I have asked him what would happen if one night for example I can’t sleep and it is dark in my house and I want to have a glass of water, should I switch on all the lights and wear flip flap shoes all the time so I don’t walk on one of them?! He laughed at me saying that I should be all right it never happened to him and anyway cockroaches run so fast, there are no risks so “no worries”! Well I wish I was that relaxed and that cool… maybe after a couple of years living here I will 😉 But at the moment, I have put cockroach baits nearly everywhere in the house so problem solved… I guess.
- Now meet psychopath spiders!
This is what I found one afternoon on my bedroom window. A gigantic black spider…. I swear it was the size of my hand!!! I have never imagined before that such animals could be found in big cities! I tried to knock at the window so it will go away…hopeless… it did not make any difference. I was so scared I did not sleep well on the following night because I had nightmares… dreaming that the spider could come into my house and walk on me with her hairy legs when I would be asleep! Again I talked with my Australian neighbour about it. He smiled and he said I shouldn’t worry. These kind of spiders are called “Huntsman” and don’t be fooled by the name because NO they are not hunting men, they are hunting LIKE men (speed and technique)… actually they are pretty harmless… So I guess I was relieved but then he added that I should pay attention to small spiders with a red spot on their back because they are very dangerous and potential humans murderers… creepy… but then when he saw my face he said, don’t bother too much, they are peaceful and generally they keep to themselves in the garden… really?! Anyway a couple of days ago, I found a sneaky black spider in my shoe – size of a 50 pence coin (more like the ones you would find in France in a dark cellar… but I still don’t like them). I had just the time to check that it was not a “red back spider” and then I managed to neutralize it! I hope there will be no revenge from any spider family members…
Well I hope I did not scare you with my stories! I just think it is part of the experience of living abroad… Most of the times you will fall in love with everything you see in your new country… and sometimes you will discover things you dislike… and it is OK, I mean it is natural and inevitable! Afterall it is not that different when you are in love with somebody, you like the good sides and you learn to cope with the not so good sides, that’s life! Falling in love with a country does not make you blind, actually it is the opposite: it makes you open your eyes and your heart to new experiences, new feelings and new ideas and then it is your choice to go with the flow and make it work ❤