5.08.2008

There’s always a 'but'…

My house, like most in the Pfalz, has exactly two sources for cooling when the temperature rises—screen-less doors and windows. With all the Vitamin D I’ve been soaking up as the sun glows, I forgot the one downside of airing out and cooling down on a breezy day. Bees. They terrify me. And yesterday, I had three of *three * swarming around.

I feel ashamed to admit this (especially with other expatriates, like Danie, who wrote about her viper and cobra-invested yard in India), but I almost passed out when I saw the bees. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have remained conscious if it hadn’t been for my language teacher, who took pity on me and saved the day by bringing over a fly swatter and a can of Raid Wespen Spray. Even as I type these words, I keep these within arms reach as I also look warily around for any trace of the evil creatures.

It’s bad, people. I am not one to commune with nature, especially when were talking about the buzzing, stinging, and swarming variety.

So I ask you: How am I going to get through the summer? My usually wise teacher said I’ll just have to get use to living with bees and wasp just like the average German, but this seems a tad harsh. I’ve had this fear (not an allergy) since I was a child. How am I suppose to just get over it?

My only other option is to suffocate, keeping the doors and windows tightly shut though June, July, and August. Or, maybe my landlord would let me put a few screens over the windows?

Are or were you every afraid of something? How did you get over it? Are there any expats out there in the same boat??

13 comments:

sassy said...

We've got scorpions here in our house in France. Better than cobras, still, not reassuring.

G in Berlin said...

I am going to give you practical, American advice: buy screens. You can buy rolls and cut and afffix long pieces over doors and windows. I have much the same for my French doors in the States, although there I was able to buy the screen pre-affixed to a header. If you can't find it here (and my husband says you can) get a friend to send a roll from the States. I would also affix it to a header here because it will then be less likely to rip in use.

Also, i once had a hearty arachnophobia and still don't like them. But when I was alone for years, I had to learn to destroy them rather than live with them in my house always ready to attack me. The German handles them for me now:)

Danie said...

Ooo, Cobras vs. Bees. It's a draw! I hate both. Equally.

Jamy said...

I agree with G: buy some screens. Even loose-fitting ones will help.

Long-term: you can get counseling/therapy to help with you bee phobia. Aversion therapy is typical--first you imagine being around bees and then are slowly exposed to them. Total immersion is not recommended!

Just a trumpet player said...

This thing might just become your new best friend...

http://www.improvementscatalog.com/home/improvements/560-instant-door-screen.html

I feel the pain...

eusmaca said...

I have no idea why, but as I was reading your post, I keep getting a mental picture of you running around swapping bees all are you and screamming like mad, while Charlie keep barking up at you, thinking it was a game.. weird eh?

Since I'm originally from a country where wildlife enforces itself on everyday life... bees are, to us, was the least of our problems... we had (and still have) scorpios, iguanas, parrots, monkeys, snakes (the bad kind), and OMG roaches the size of small dogs (I'm NOT kidding) just running around the backyard... so a little bee was nothing... I learn to just ignore them.. the more agitated you get around them, the more they will seek you out... so I guess you will have to a) screen your windows, or b) learn to live with them and totally IGNORE them when they come in...you will see that before long they will fly out and go on their merry way.

Shelly said...

Screens my dear, I've even seen them attatched to the window frame with stick-on velcro! Try to do two windows so that you can get some cross-ventilation. Bees dive bomb me so I'm with you, they can't be in my space. I AM petrified of snakes, I shake and cry when I see one. We don't have snakes here at the farm, but we do have them at our cabin that is in rattlesnake country...scarryyy!

Shelly said...

Me again, those bees loooove perfume, hair product etc that is scented. If you don't smell good they'll be less inclined to "bug" you. ;)

June said...

bees are my enemy too!!! Lord how I hate them! Scared to death of 'em!

Once I was stung...on the school bus. I will NEVER EVER forget the pain...I run so fast when they are around..I am scared of being stung again.

hang in there..

Jul said...

Yes, screens can be pretty easy to install. I saw some the other day at the Baumarkt and was tempted to get some myself. I don't seem to attract bees (maybe because I don't use anything with fragrance), but if there's a mosquito within a 100-mile radius, it will find me and feast on my blood!

Anonymous said...

I think those might be wasps, not bees.

But I agree with the above commenters, buy velcro-attachable screens.

annonamoose said...

we have moved to a greener part of town and i just picked up some screen material at dm the other day. i also saw hanging screen "pieces" for porch/balcony doors at rossmann's yesterday - although I haven't yet decided if i want to buy those.

germans do treat wasps with the same amount of attention that we give to flies. i always put the food down and back away to the amusement of all assembled.

a word of advice. stay out of bakeries with open doors until september, late september.

gemma said...

When I was young - many many years ago - we didn't have screens on our windows and due to my FEAR of any bugs of any kind my dad bought these screens with wood frames that fit in the window and expanded to the width you needed. They were only about a foot high or so and once inserted they held the window up and kept the bugs out. Maybe they still are available somewhere -- they are kind of like the window fans and maybe those would do as well.

I'm with you on those outdoor things and have the Raid handy.