When I came to Poland there were a few things I expected lots of; lots of pierogies, lots of vodka, lots of grey skies. But one thing I did not expect a lot of? Ants.
You heard me. There are so many ants here, it’s unbelievable. And they’re super tiny ants too. I see them outside all the time, but worse, I see them in my house. One crawled across my computer screen once, I saw one on my couch – they’re probably in my bed (!). Maybe that last one’s an exaggeration but still. There are so many ants here.
At the beginning of the year, I was sitting on the carpet with my kids doing some activity or discussion and while the students were talking I felt something on my arm, looked down, and an ant crawled out of my sleeve. I remember thinking “I am a disgusting person” – like the Boogie Monster from A Nightmare Before Christmas, with all those bugs coming out of him. But then I realized, it’s not me, it’s this place.
There are ants everywhere.
Case in point, if you drop anything on the floor (even the tiniest crumb) within about 15 minutes – the time it takes to have morning recess – there is a giant pile of ants on top of it. And you can see ants heading that way from the other side of the room. The other side of the room! These are tiny ants. That’s like walking from here to Paris for food. How do they know there’s food there? How??
The other day someone dropped a piece of bow tie pasta on the floor during lunch and didn’t notice. Of course, when we came back in from lunch recess there was a giant pile of ants. But the worst part? When I came in the next morning, 2/3 of the pasta was gone – eaten. Gross. (And no, I didn’t clean the pasta up the night before because it was a busy afternoon and it completely slipped my mind).
The moral of this story? Tiny Polish ants. Everywhere.