Look What I Found in My Bed

hostal, cockroach, traveling, expat, bed, vermin, bed

Look What I Found in My Bed

I woke this morning to a surprise in my bed. I am not one to get startled or annoyed at seeing vermin. When traveling, you encounter all sorts of unpleasantries. Mice, rats, snakes, bats, lizards, newts, salamanders, and cockroaches. I’m sure that I am not alone when I say “I don’t want them sleeping with me.”

My habit is to go bed with the radio on. I listen to radio shows or podcasts, mostly. I wish iTunes had a sleep setting. Sigh. At home I leave my phone on my nightstand and listen while I fall asleep. Now that I’m staying in hostels, I am courteous of my fellow travelers, so I place my phone under my pillow. With all the fans going full blast, I don’t think anyone can hear it.

This morning I had to be up 5:30, the construction on the house in Léon has begun. The workers start at 7:00 and work until 17:00. I got home yesterday, after a long day of watching other people work — I was exhausted. There isn’t much for me to do until there is more progress on the remodel. Two beers and the New York Times crossword puzzle later, and I was ready for bed by 20:30.

I woke to several birds walking on the metal roof outside of my room. There are no clocks in the room so I reached for my phone. It wasn’t where I left it under my pillow. Maybe it just shifted overnight. I ran my left hand under my pillow when I felt a prick at the base of my ring finger. At first, I didn’t think much of it. After finding my phone I realized it was just past 4:00.  I turned on the camera light and found this:


Is that a pee stain?

A big fucking roach was sleeping on its back beneath my pillow. I am not one to freak out, but this was gross. I have been finding them all over the room and bathroom. As long as they are on the floor, they don’t bother me much. But this filthy creature had now invaded my personal space.

In my early morning disgust, I started checking the sheets and shaking out the pillows. I moved the bed side to side and away from the wall to check the edges and the floor. My roommate woke to me hunting for critters. After an “I told you,” she rolled back over and went back to bed. She had mentioned the issue to management who was already aware of the problem. An exterminator is scheduled for later this afternoon.


This certainly wasn’t a traumatic experience for me, but I had to be up soon and couldn’t fall back asleep. Visions of horror flicks and psychological thrillers from 60s and 70s kept my thoughts churning. Alien. Dawn of the Dead. Eraserhead. Psycho. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? The Birds.

After sunrise, there were several more roaches hidden around the room. I showered, made a cup of ginger tea, and blurted this out.

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