01 March 2015

Terrorized by Nuts in Grenada

Pete told me to be careful. The landlady mentioned keeping the doors locked. I read about increased use of drugs in Grenada. I’d never been here before. 

We rented a house in a remote part of the island, just past where the road ends, then by foot down a long and winding trail. 

Beautiful, surrounded by rainforest greens.  

It didn’t help that we arrived late at night, and came straight to the house, so we had no real “feel” for the island or the people.  

Night comes early. A bat flies in through the open doors, and easily back out. 
The strange sounds of frogs, and sudden, brief and violent torrents of rain and wind.

At 2 am, four clear knocks. Loud and a bit sloppy. Maybe someone strong and drunk. 

Stan and I both sit straight up, under our mosquito netting in the loft. I begin to call out, but Stan holds me back. “SHHH!”
“Bad guys don’t knock,” I whisper. 
“GOOD guys don’t knock at 2 am without a light,” he answers. He’s right. So we wait. Nothing.  

Now I’m completely awake, heart pounding, thinking of all the scenarios. Not wanting to call the caretaker, since I don’t want to turn on a light, even my phone. Wondering if we’d locked all those wooden shutter doors completely. Glad I brought my laptop and purse up to the loft. Hoping no one takes my shoes, which I left outside. They’re the only ones I brought. Willing the intruder to leave.

Then, the sound of someone tossing a piece of fruit on the metal roof. It bounces down.

“Well, that’s better than a rock through the window,” I whisper. 

Stan suggests getting our headlamps, which have red lights (for sailing) and a flashing red light (for who knows what). 
“If this escalates, we turn on the flashing red lights. It’ll look like an alarm. The police always have flashing red lights.” 

Sounds good to me.

So we sneak quietly down the loft stairs in the pitch dark, get the lamps, (I grab my clothes) and return to bed, headlamps under our pillows. Now we’re ready. Just then, another torrential rainstorm hits, and the wind rises. After a long while, listening SO carefully, I fall asleep.

At 6:30 am, sunrise, more knocking. “He’s back - before the caretaker comes,” I think. 
But things never seem as dangerous in daylight, and I go back to sleep.

At 7, we go outside. Check for - what - footprints? Clues? Who knows. I want to find whether there’s a tree above the house. Did that piece of fruit fall? Or was it thrown by someone? 

No footprints. (My shoes are still there!) 
But - there’s no obvious tree.

The caretaker arrives. I tell him the story, and he looks surprised. Then thoughtful.
“That’s strange. No one will knock here at night. And it wasn’t me. It’s probably the beasts, carrying tings.”

Beasts? Tings? I'm lost. 

Oh - it suddenly comes to me. BATS! 

I look up onto the roof. Just under the eave of the loft. Yes, there are bats. 
Yes, it does look like they have quite a colony up there.

The caretaker picks up a large nut from the ground, a green almond. It’s been well chewed, with little bat-size teeth marks. I toss it high up onto the roof, and it bounces down. Four clear knocks. 
Stan comes around the side of the house, looks at me. “That’s it. That’s the sound.”

I show him the almond nuts. I can’t believe we were terrorized by nuts.

Travel is supposed to take you out of your comfort zone. It does. Out of the familiar routines.
The trouble with being out of your comfort zone is that - well, it’s just not very - comfortable.

-I’m going to enjoy the sound of those darn nuts on the roof tonight.