Tuesday 17 April 2012: Mouse or rat?
Of course, the title is tongue in cheek, after my previous mouse blip a while back. With that wheel in the pic being a measured three and one eighth inch diameter, that is most definitely a rat. I spotted it on my way back to the house, from a blip session at the grove. I could not believe my eyes, in broad daylight too. A ginger cat was eyeballing the rodent, but thought better of it.
Make no mistake, every country has a few rats but it has to be said that Indonesia has more than it's fair share. At one time I blamed the hot climate, but I no longer think this is the primary reason, although hot countries do seem to suffer more rats. I believe it more to do with the availability of food and Indonesian's rather lame attitude towards managing their waste has to be a major contributing factor.
All roads are lined both sides with open drains. I am not talking about sewage or anything disgusting, although, after a long period of drought, they can get a bit 'high'. The drains are to help clear the water when it rains and are very necessary. Closed drains with a few sporadic grids like back in the UK would just not cut it. When it rains heavy, even these four feet deep open drains are quite inadequate and the roads flood, but the flood is soon cleared once the rain stops.
These drains provide lots of hiding places for the rats, although the floods would eliminate any that decided to nest there. Plenty of other opportunities for nesting, with people leaving piles of junk around. The two big plagues here, are rats and mosquitoes and both can be controlled, simply by keeping the environment tidy and leaving nowhere for the pests to breed. In Singapore I believe they actually have mosquito police. If you leave anything around that will collect water, tin cans, old tyres etc. you will be fined for breeding mosquitoes.
Don't get me wrong here, rats are not running around like stray dogs, but I will probably see at least one per week. To be honest, I would sooner see the occasional rat than have to look at piles of dog turds like back in the UK, now THAT is disgusting!
On a much more pleasant note, my neighbor Benny has just delivered two plates of food to me and a bag of fruit. For no other reason than being the best neighbor that I have ever had in my life. Cheers Benny and Lili, I will miss you both.
So many hearts, stars, views and wonderful comments yesterday, I thank yo all very much, so kind. It even made spotlight!