2018 Oct 31
The curse of Cockroaches
I have to admit, even writing about this brings back some horrific memories. But for the sake of entertaining you, I shall be brave. * deep breaths * While Sri Lanka is a lovely place to live in, we cannot deny the fact that our homes are constantly visited by the dreaded cockroaches. When it comes to western horror movies, most people tend to run away from ghosts, cannibals and walking dolls. But not Sri Lankans. We would be happy to deal with Chucky or drink tea with The Nun as long as there is never going to be a cockroach in our bathroom. This is a legitimate fear folks! Google calls it Katsaridaphobia.
Yes it’s true, not just Sri Lankas suffer from insomnia. But because of our exceptionally high tendency to worry, lying awake at night becomes particularly challenging. Lankans worry about everything including work, traffic, our children’s exams, our partner’s cholesterol levels…yup the list goes on. The quietness of the night invites every worry you tucked away during the day to come roaring out, leaving you wide awake at 3 A.M. But that’s not even the worse part. As you toss and turn in your bed…you hear a call…nature’s call. And yet, you cannot answer it because you’re too terrified…too terrified that a pack of cockroaches are waiting for you in the bathroom!
The perils of power cuts
In most horror movies, a blackout is almost inevitable. Well in that case, a Sri Lankan’s life is a horror movie on a daily basis. We exist with the constant to fear of never knowing when our electricity will be so cruelly robbed from us. Moreover, once the power is cut, the suspense of having to guess if it will come back in 5 minutes or 5 hours is intensely stressful. During these 5 hours, we do not fear that some demonic presence might be lurking in the corner. No, our fears are much more real. For example, what if my phone was to die before the power comes back on? Is it possible to sweat yourself to death? And of course even after electricity returns, we need it to agonize about when it will be taken away again! And thus, the vicious cycle continues for all eternity.
Bye Bye Internet
In Sri Lanka, most of us tend to have limited broadband packages, which means the internet could run out on us any day. Hence, we invest a great deal of time in planning and calculating the perfect number of downloads per day. But the profound quote “How do you plan life?” applies here especially given the temptations of Netflix. A few movies in high definition and the broadband usage meter mockingly notifies you that only 15% of the GB remains. Once you dismiss the thought that your neighbor has hacked your wi-fi password, you need to accept the horror of existing without the internet till the new month starts. So you develop an obsession with constantly checking how much GB you have left. Yup, it’s agony watching it slowly but surely fall the way down to 1%.
Last but certainly not least, the most terrifying fears of them all, our Lankan parents. If you think about it, Amma and Thatha are textbook horror movie villains. When they give you their death stare, your parents are as frightening as the girl from The Ring. Also, much like Pennywise from IT, they tend to use your fears against you and constantly remind you of death. “Stop eating and sleeping so much you’ll get fat and die alone” “If you go out at this time of the night you’ll get raped and die!” “If you stand so close to the microwave, you’ll get cancer and die!”. Another Lankan parents’ specialty is their ability to hold grudges better than The Grudge itself. Come home with a bad report card and you shall never hear the end of it. And so, Amma and Thatha open the gateways to many other horrors like exams, mobile-phone bills, getting fat, and death. Yup they really are the fear of all fears.
So to sum up, you don’t need to be afraid of the supernatural this Halloween. Sri Lankans experience much scarier horrors on a daily basis and live to tell the tale.