Thursday, May 14, 2015

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Giant hornet plague in Taiwan. What should I do?

5/14/2015 Taiwan Explorer

It was a lovely Sunday morning a few days ago. The tranquility of the the most anticipated day of the week was interrupted around 7 AM, when I was suddenly woken up by a loud scooter-like buzzing.  Half asleep I grabbed the blanket and started to wave it over my head, not knowing how stupid that actually was. A second later I came to senses and dropped the blanket, then jumped out of the bed. I grabbed my sleeping baby, and escaped into the living room. My wife woke up as well at the same time, and followed me. We closed the bedroom door, and looked at each other with pale faces. "What the f was that?" I asked. "I don't know," she replied, "I think it was a bee". "Bees are not that big, it looked like a beetle to me, but I wasn't able to see it well," I added. Then she said she wanted to check to be sure. She slowly opened the bedroom door and entered, while I went to another smaller room with my baby, and closed the door behind me. After a minute she came back, and said it looked like a giant bee. We decided to open the window in hope that it will fly out, and then went to central Taipei and spend the day outside. Luckily it was nice and sunny. We came back home in the late afternoon. When we come back that thing was gone. No buzzing, no creeping on the walls. We checked every corner by tapping on it with a bamboo stick (maybe not the smartest thing to do, but well...).

You can imagine that I did not have a pleasant sleep the following night, but fortunately there was no rude awakening the next morning, everything was all silent and peaceful. We had breakfast as usual, and after we finished I went to our small room to get my clothes. I switched on the neon lights, and I suddenly heard a buzzing sound in the light's direction: There it was again, the giant hornet, waking up from the hot and bright light that just went on next to it. I quickly closed the door, and told it to my wife. We were baffled. Was this the same hornet, or was it another one? We couldn't possibly imagine that it was the same one, because it would've needed to slip under two doors to reach to that room, and the gap seemed to be too small for it to pass through. It most likely was another one, and it got me worried that there are more - what if they are nesting? Holy f! I hope not. We did the same thing as on Sunday, we carefully opened the window while that beast was sitting on the wall, and went to work in hope that it would fly out. We returned in the evening, checked the room, and luckily it the giant hornet was gone. What a release, I thought.

The next morning my wife went to hang clothes, and guess what? She saw it on our balcony! What the hell is going on? Why are they swirling around our apartment? Right now our windows are closed, and two days we've not seen or heard anything inside the house, but I still worry that one of them is somewhere inside waiting in silence. I check every clothes, before I put it on. I usually walk around the house barefoot, and it feels very scary right now. If it's just a normal hornet like I know them from Europe, I would not be so freaked out, but this thing was bigger than my thumb! It was huge, like 10 cm long. Never seen anything like it in Europe. I can only hope they leave us alone. I just want peace.