A Flying Visit In Indonesia

In 1997, Hamish and I toured around Java & Bali by train, boat, bus and taxi for three weeks. as part of the tour we took a train from Jakarta to Bogor…….

Bogor is famous for one thing, the well presented botanical gardens, which stocked every type of Southern Hemisphere tree known to man.


Presidential Palace in the Grounds of the Botanical Gardens

I am not a ‘tree person’, but as Bogor was conveniently en-route from Jakarta to the Indian Ocean, we decided to pay a visit, staying at the spartan Garden Hotel. We plumped for a ground floor room situated right in the lush and rather wild garden area, the hotel’s homage to the more orderly botanical gardens.

We were just settling down for the night, when something grabbed my attention. Dozens of flying ants swarming under the door and alighting to the moonlit ceiling.

Out of bed like a shot, I grabbed a towel and stuffed it into the gap – no more could get in but what about the 200 or so uninvited guests that looked intent on spending the night?

A glance out of the window confirmed my fears – a thick black cloud of the blighters hovered, so for every one of the intruders that I could shoo out, another fifty or so relatives would take their place – not an option.

I then had a moment of inspiration, turning on the bathroom light and turning off the bedroom one. Right to plan, every one of the critters made straight towards the midnight sun.

I quickly slammed the door, stuck a plaster over the keyhole and eventually drifted off into a restless sleep once I had got all thoughts of flying ants landing on me or worse flying into my open mouth!

When I awoke next morning needing the toilet, I immediately remembered our predicament. It was with some trepidation that I gingerly opened the bathroom door, having first peeled off the sticking plaster but not being able to spy any activity through the keyhole.

Expecting to be buzzed incessantly, I was surprised to find a pile of bodiless wings on the floor.

I looked up and there above the cistern, sat a very full and contented gecko. I am sure it even gave me a knowing wink!


  1. I’m impressed with your quick thinking! Not sure I’d have thought about putting a plaster over the keyhole. Great story. #citytripping

  2. Hahah…coming from the tropics, we experience these things especially in the countryside. I forget sometimes that this could be an unusual or uncomfortable experience for foreigners 🙂 Glad to know all turned out ok! #Citytripping

  3. Very resourceful – and I do like geckos (for that very reasonable ) so a very happy ending! #citytripping

  4. Wander Mum · · Reply

    Haha- brilliant story! I’m particularly impressed with your quick thinking sticking the plaster over the keyhole! Genius. One very happy gecko. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  5. Love this story!

  6. Quick thinking indeed, I’ll remember this useful tip!

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