Me versus the mini-ants

George, my landlord, finally brought the rat poison the other day, and with a wicked giggle hurled bits of it into the roof space while I held open the hatch and shut my eyes. While I wait for the rats to perish, however, wadudu wangu wamefurahi sana – my insects are very happy.

Since my apartment flooded last week – burst pipe in the muslim toilet-hose, damn those religions and their extra-hygienic bathroom habits – the tiny-ant population has spread to my bedroom. This puts them well in the lead in the endless battle of Me versus Ants. They were already doing well: finding them crawling in my muesli (Ants win); putting the whole thing in the freezer – ha! (I win); reluctantly deciding that a bowl of defrosted ant corpses is probably not worth the overpriced 8000 shillings I’d paid for my European cereal (they win). Now that I’m sharing my bed with them I’m trying the advice of a friend: baking soda as a protective barrier.  Supposedly it stops them coming in, though I’m hoping it doesn’t attract something else in the meantime – my bathroom cockroach might like a sniff.

My classmate tells me she lives with four different breeds of ants. In Africa, there’s always someone worse off than yourself.


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