“B-A-N-G!!” goes another deafening explosion. All across the island the sounds of pyromania cause my eardrums to further collapse. The odor of sulphur wafts through the window, as does that sinister laughter of those reveling in their domestic crimes of terror. I try to imagine with each deafening crack, another finger is lost – suddenly my sweet fantasy delivers gentle calm.
Every year during December, Indonesians (particularly youngsters) recede into this catatonic obsession with fireworks, spending all day (& night), terrorizing local communities with their relentless lunacy. The authorities partially outlawed fireworks last year, but no one seems to care, and the stores still openly sell them – this is Indonesia after all – what can you do? Although, perhaps that Denpasar temple that almost burned down recently will inspire some law enforcement – lets see.
Also… during this month of ‘living dangerously’.. there’s another dreaded pest that emerges from the sultry night skies – simply known as… the ‘Alate’ termite.
Alate’s typically appear at the start of the rainy season. Once night falls, they swarm – in their hundreds – upon any light source, feverishly flying about, until their wings fall off. Once they shed these appendages, they begin their delightful process of nesting.
A queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day… nice.