Last night the world stopped to watch the US election results unfold. In addition to the mere possibility of President Trump, I was faced with additional cockroaches. Yes, yesterday I came home to a cockroach infestation in our tiny flat in Abidjan, and typically, it was the one time I was home alone.
I hadn’t initially noticed, as I set up a US election live stream on my laptop, made tea and gathered snacks for what was sure to be a long night. A quick trip to the loo before I sit myself down, and there they are: six cockroaches gathered in a corner under the shower. Though gross, they sat still, so I easily avoided them as I got on with my business and swiftly closed the bathroom door behind me afterwards. I can deal with this problem later right? Let’s first focus on what’s happening in America.
No. I sat down on my bed and a cockroach darted out from under my legs to the other side of the room. I squealed. I then started noticing them everywhere. One hiding behind the laundry basket, a couple high up on the wall, another bugger by the front door. This had to be taken care of right away. I caught about 20 by the time I was done, and had to fling the windows wide open to waft out the strong insecticide fumes pervading every inch of the flat as the first results from the East Coast were announced.
We all know what happened over the next few hours, a tight battle between Trump and Clinton ensued, with more and more red permeating the electoral map. I went to bed at approximately 4 am GMT following the Florida result and the probable conclusion of a Trump victory. So many nightmares in one day. The only solace I had in that moment was that (at least) bugs were no longer surrounding me.
Unfortunately for all of us though, a can of insecticide won’t be enough to prevent this particular creepy-crawly’s venomous political views from stinging women’s rights, ethnic minorities, the LGBT community, foreign policy, and progressive thinking in the 21st century.