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#78 Air tight lids

August 1, 2011

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You finally get a chance to go to the post office and pick up that package of chocolates from your best friend back home. You pay the taxes that raise the value of your chocolates to 3 times the original. You rip open the plastic and devour half of them. Carefully arranging the rest of them back into the bag, you fold it over a few times to keep those little chunks of sugary goodness safe until later.

Fifteen minutes go by… you can’t resist. You go back to the bag. You reach in, pull one out, unwrap it and pop it in your mouth. Wait…. What the…?  Ugh! Those goddamn microscopic ants have already gotten to it. You look down and see the trail.… It leads from the door, across the floor, up the table leg and over to where your chocolates were sitting for safekeeping. The distinct flavor of the tiny ants completely ruins the experience for you. Sigh. They’ve invaded every single piece of chocolate in the short time you’ve been away, swarming all over, infecting each delicious morsel with their residual tiny ant taste.

No worries, you’ll deal. You’ll have some of the cookies that you bought yesterday at the local store. You grab a packet off the table. Or… maybe not. The roaches have already gnawed a few holes in the plastic wrap covering the cookies. That’s out.

You figure maybe a banana will do, so you reach for one up in the basket hanging over the sink. And, well…it’s been discovered by fruit flies, and they’ve laid invisible eggs that have hatched into tiny worms. You could remove that part, but still. Euw.

OK then, maybe you won’t have anything to eat. You’ll have some tea. You boil the water, drop the tea bag into your cup and reach into the lukewarm refrigerator for the plastic bag of sugar. Immediately you feel them tickling your fingers and crawling up your forearm. Black sugar ants. Luckily they don’t bite, but now you have to either dig around them in the sugar bag, or let them float to the top of your tea and try to capture them with your spoon.

As you’re making the tea, you notice the tiny variety of cockroach scurrying off and shimmying into the tiny cracks in the walls. You’re afraid to use too much bug spray because you fear the potential cancerous effects and the smell is overpowering. But you are really tired of picking insects out of everything you eat.

You realize that as an EAW, you need a serious set of Tupperware, because this is just not something you can deal with much longer.

Expat Aid Workers love air tight lids.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. The ants have invaded my kitchen....again.... permalink
    August 1, 2011 6:58 am

    Recipe to salvage bug-infested goodies:

    1. Take bug-infested goodies, place in freezer.
    2. Once bugs are frozen, brush them off.
    3. Defrost goodies and eat (or just eat frozen).

    Note: Works best with a reliable power supply (ha!), and probably not advisable for anything infested with grubs or larvae.

  2. August 1, 2011 9:23 pm

    …not to mention weevils in your rice and corn, geckos in your breakfast cereal.

    in my experience plastic containers alone generally don’t cut it, but containers with screw-top lids will do the trick.

    • Alexa permalink
      August 3, 2011 9:25 pm

      Hahah! Tell that to small black ants. They just follow the grooves in the screw-top lid likes its a miniature ant highway. And there goes ANOTHER jar of overpriced peanut butter.

      • The ants have invaded my kitchen....again.... permalink
        August 4, 2011 6:05 am

        …which is why it is crucial to be posted in places where peanut butter is a locally produced good.

  3. August 3, 2011 11:15 am

    Wow, something EAW’s love that doesn’t even try to question their morality or sincerity (I mean, sure the locals actually eat those bugs, but we can’t have that on our food, right?), that misses all the potential links to other stuff EAW’s love (how bug free is the street food?), and even casts them in an almost-sympathetic light!

  4. CTJ permalink
    August 4, 2011 6:47 pm

    Tupperware does not work: rubber seals are eaten by ants in the tropics… try metal jars, and replace them once they lose their tightness.

  5. theantsgomarchingsomebysome permalink
    August 4, 2011 10:19 pm

    DOOM. that is all. probably not in the kitchen, but…what a sense of senseless revenge. my doom.

  6. August 7, 2011 8:11 am

    Refrigeration works! Keep rice, lentils, etc in there and they won’t be able to get into it.

  7. Fay permalink
    August 18, 2011 8:43 am

    Fantastic tip about putting the item in the freezer and brushing off the dead ants – will remember that one.

    I am obsessed with Lock’n’Lock containers, I buy a new one almost every time I go through Nairobi.

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