COCKROACHES. For some, that one simple word can evoke fear, revolt and panic. And no, I’m not talking about Queensland rugby league fans.
Those scurrying little pests are reportedly the only organisms that could survive a nuclear blast. They plague houses, they torment cleaners, they epitomise a dirty side of the insect vermin world.
Yet I only just realised that there aren’t any cockroaches in London! I’ve been living here for almost two years now and for some reason, had never noticed that those nocturnal bandits who hide under the fridge are not as commonplace as back home. I’d wondered why I’d never heard a ‘squish’ in the night as I crept through the house on a midnight snack mission.
How lucky these Pommy households are that they are immune to the cockroach invasion. Don’t get me wrong, any living species that stand to inherit the earth should mankind wipe itself out in a nuclear war deserve a bit of credit. Good on their crunchy little brown selves for being so damned hardy. But that’s exactly what also makes them so annoying.
How many times have you chased a cocky around the kitchen and finally (after 20 frustratingly long minutes) triumphantly hit it with your thong, only for it to take the hit like a Wallabies backline player, pick itself up and run off, disappearing into some convenient crack. Little buggers!
But living over here, I am not put through that torment any more. I can waltz through life safe in the knowledge that I won’t have to rush home and find my girlfriend stranded on a stool and shrieking, trying to swat away the cucaracha hordes. Bliss! Who says living in the UK doesn’t have its perks?