Entry: Things I See Every Day, pt. 2 Saturday, December 16, 2006

Another thing I see every day is geckos. That's a fanciful graphic rendering of a gecko up there at the top, under the tastefully understated 'noodleshop' title.

You (whoever you are) that are reading this may also see geckos every day - I had no idea how common these things are - Canada's not the best environment for geckos, and there aren't any that I know about in Japan. The first time I ever saw one was about 6 years ago, when I was here in Thailand on vacation from Osaka - I picked up my duffel bag in the cheap bungalow I'd rented, and a half-dozen of these little lizards scattered to the far corners of the room (all 8 of 'em), and it scared the bejeezus out of me. I wasn't used to naturally-occurring lizards, see.

Well, now I am used to lizards scattered around my personal environment. In fact, I welcome and celebrate them. Geckos live on insects - I would much rather see a gecko slithering across my wall than to see my counter-top covered with ants. I see at least one gecko every day, in my own home. There are two that live under my coffee machine, so I see them panic and scoot behind the counter every time I get a cup of coffee (which is every day, several times a day).

Every once in awhile, the ants multiply too fast for our resident geckos to keep up with them, and I have to spray some poison around (don't get me wrong - I have no end of respect for the ant also - it's just that they get into my peanut butter and the geckos don't, so I come down on the side of the geckos every time). When that happens, I invariably find tiny baby dead geckos here and there, and I feel pretty bad about that. I have absolutely zero animosity toward the gecko...

Geckos are literally everywhere in Thailand. I've grown complacent about them - one of those things that I don't find strange any more. I see them everywhere - bars, restaurants, in the classrooms where I try to teach English - everywhere. One thing I've noticed about them - they are slightly chameleon-like...that is, they take on their backgrounds as their personal coloration. I don't know if this is a commonly-known fact about geckos, but I've seen wood-grain geckos, pure white geckos and purple  geckos, and I've always seen them blending in (for the most part) with their environments.

There's only one problem with geckos, and it's a strange one - I want to put them in my mouth.

I have a little-publicised weakness for a certain colour of orange, and it's the same problem I have with geckos...namely, that I want to put them in my mouth. There's a certain colour of orange - the orange of a very very hot electric stove element, which is the same as the orange of digital readouts on the pinball machines of the 90's and the orange of Caution lights on highways. I have the virtually irresistible impulse to put that colour in my mouth, and I think the reader can see the obvious trouble that would arise from giving in to this impulse. Same goes for geckos - maybe it's because they resemble Gummi candies - they look delicious. Now, I know that they probably aren't delicious - they live on ants, right? I doubt they taste as good as Gummi Bears or Gummi Worms, but they have that same translucent and seemingly delicious look. I've managed so far to keep from trying to put them in my mouth, but I don't know if I can hold out forever. I know for sure that putting a gecko in my mouth would probably be one of the worst experiences of my life, but they're...just...so...tempting...

No worries - they're really hard to catch. Fast fast fast.

Anyway, I see geckos every day, and I have no problem with that.


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