Living in Pakistan causes one to encounter creatures which, in most Western countries, would normally kept in glass boxes and poked at by people with notepads and white coats.  During our first few months in Pakistan we came distressingly close to a number of creepy-crawlies which we had no desire to meet on a personal basis: gigantic furry spiders, rats, bats, and a wide range of bugs of varying colours and sizes.  But none of these, not even the bat flying around our bedroom at five in the morning, came close to the trauma of the epic tale of the Scorpion In The Sink.

Scorpion in the sink

As previously noted, I come from the UK, a country not noted for the savagery of its wildlife.  Unless you happen to be bitten by one of the few remaining adders (our only poisonous snake) or attacked by an overly territorial seagull there are really very few risks from wildlife.

Although I can think of a few evil-minded cats that I would gladly drop-kick over a hedge.

 In Pakistan things are different.  Snakes, scorpions, bats, flying squirrels and cockroaches are just the beginning.  Bears, wolves and snow leopards roam the northern mountains, elusive and rare but perfectly capable of tearing into a soft, puny Westerner like a teenager ripping into a hamburger.

 So when I went to brush my teeth in the evening and encountered a scorpion perched in the middle of the sink I was, let’s say, alarmed.  In fact no, let’s tell it like it is: I yelped like a girl and ran.  How did it get there?  It was too big to have climbed up the drainpipe so it must have dropped down from the ceiling.  But then it could have dropped anywhere – onto our bed, onto a plate of food, onto our faces while we were sleeping…

No, best not to think about it.  I administered a few whacks with a slipper and disposed of it.  Hope there aren’t any others around…




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