South East Asia

Ant-ing Hell! My Indonesian Bug Nightmare

clay pottery- TheWorkingBackpacker

MY most recent trip South East Asia is the reason I am now slightly scared of bugs!

The background story:

I was in the last few days of my summer trip in SE Asia. The trip started in Thailand, we then went to Cambodia, Malaysia, Borneo, and then to Indonesia- where the story starts!

My travel partner was a friend from university; we slightly over planned the trip and ended up rushing around through most of the places. During our time travelling there was laughter, tears, arguments, food poisoning, missed flights, the list goes on… By the time I got to Indonesia (the final stop was a few days in Singapore )  I was drained mentally and physically, alone, and ready to unwind from all the drama from the previous weeks.

Arriving in Indonesia

The first stop in Indonesia was a lovely homestay in the beautiful Lombok countryside. The residence was in the middle of nowhere! They didn’t have wifi or phone signal most of the days, but that was exactly what I needed! The accommodation was a clean and basic wooden hut style room. Outside the room was lush greenery everywhere, as a born and bred city girl this was a literal breath of fresh air!

My homestay family took me out on a tour of the local area, and I was introduced to the extended family. One of the families were teaching me how to make a clay plate, which may I add I was absolutely terrible at!! Once I finished my plate I took it home me to dry out in the sun… A few days later I set off for the Gili Islands. I spent around two weeks there before heading off to Bali for a few days.


[Creating my masterpiece in Lombok, Indonesia]
The hostel in Ubud was lovely! It was very tranquil and zen. My only negative comment was the number of ants I found around the floor and running on the bed. I didn’t make a big fuss because everything else was so lovely and ants are a lot better than bed bugs or cockroaches! I did, however, leave a comment on the site I used to book the room about the number of LARGE ants in the room.

The Nightmare:

The plate, or as my mum calls it the slab of chocolate, in a plastic bag then wrapped it with a towel around in just to make sure it was safe and secure. I popped on my bikini and headed to the beach for lunch and a massage. When I returned to my room, there were a few pesky ants running around. I thought it was a little weird, but it might just be a thing in Bali. It was only when I returned to my hotel (yes hotel! Only because I got a great deal lol) that I had forgotten to dry my proudest possession, the fantastic plate.

As I pulled out the towel and the carrier bag the plate was in I was attacked by a swarm of flying ants. Naturally, I screamed while running around my room, holding the plate because I didn’t want to drop it. Finally, sense hit me, and I ran onto the balcony and chucked the plate outside with all of the HUNDREDS of ants.

In the UK, and our ants are teeny tiny, literally like dots, but these ants were something else!! These were mumbo jumbo indonesian ants that decided to use my amazing plate as their new home! They started a colony in my backpack! I was mortified!

The flying ants took what I believe was the queen and flew away, the mumbo-jumbo ants took the eggs and ran away, and the smaller ants were running around in all directions crazily.

The Aftermath:

I was stood there, through the closed glassed door, standing there looking at this bizarre sight. It was almost like watching a mini-thriller/ horror movie, and I was the big scary alien. Once I had calmed down a little bit, I burst into tears as I realised I had accidentally ruined hundreds of ant lives.

The plate was left outside until it was time for me to leave, I was in two minds whether or not I should take it considering it had bloody ants eggs on it! But, in the end, I couldn’t part with it, so it was wrapped up again and backed away in my case and brought home.

Now my slab of chocolate serves its life as a candle holder and a collection area for small miscellaneous items.

Travel Story- My Indonesian Bug Nightmare - The Working Backpacker
Travel Story- My Indonesian Bug Nightmare – The Working Backpacker

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