THE OTHER SIDE OF ‘PARADISE’

One of the most enjoyable dives I have ever had were at the house reefs of the Sipadan Water Village in Mabul Island…

The two house reefs were aptly called Paradise One and Paradise Two…

In the tongue of the fellow Japanese divers, ParaOne and ParaTwo…

The morning dives opened the window to sleepy and lethargic fishes… excellent for photo shoots…

The evening dives lent the opportunity to witness the exquisite Mandarinfish…

***** ***** *****

Way back one weekend in the summer of 1987, I was laying on my futon as the morning Hiroshima sun shone on my face…

I didn’t have the urge to crawl out from my warm futon…

Why, when it was the illustrious Eighth of July… my B-;-day… hehehe…

Just then, I felt something crawled on my neck…

I practically rocketed myself out of the futon when I realized that it was a centipede…

Immediately, I used my pillow to clamp it down…

With the Swiss knife nearby, I killed that fellow without a second thought…

It was about 10 centimeters long…

After a while, an odd feeling crept onto me: perhaps one of my ancestors came to wish me ‘yappy b-day’?

But no, my ancestors cannot be that stupid to come in the form of a ‘killer’ centipede…

I put out the challenge, verbally, that if it was really one of my ancestors, please come in another less threatening form…

Moments later, I saw a baby mantis crawling on the window pane…

My eyes widened and my jaw dropped…

***** ***** *****

Fast-forward nineteen years to two-zero-zero-six…

Location: Aji-town… Takamatsu city… Kagawa prefecture… Nipponland…

About two months ago, moments after I laid on my futon to snore, I felt something gnawing at my thinning scalp…

I slapped my scalp, and just in case, I put on the lights…

Man, a centipede!

I immediately got hold of the guy, have it put inside a plastic bag and disposed it in the hills the following day…

Some nights later, it was the turn of my missus to be ‘attacked’…

We wondered how in the world those centipedes could find their way into our second floor bedroom…

And two nights ago, as I closed the window before hitting the sack, I saw another centipede two meters away from my futon…

Yeeeaaaarrrggghh…

Could it be that my ‘ancestors’ are really that persistent and dim-witted?

‘Paradise’, our place might be…

But poisonous snakes and venomous centipedes there are… to keep our nerves on ends…

Anyway, it feels great to turn Portee-Eight years young todaaay…

Heeeeaaa…

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