Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This is not my usual "travel story" kind of post. A recent experience with Tibetan monks made me ponder about Buddhism.  About how Buddhists do not kill any animal or insects, as small as an ant.

This made me think of spiders and how I dislike them. They make me shiver in disgust. 
However, over the years and with the help of my encounters with many different spiders, I have managed to "control" my insane fear about them.

Here some of "famous" encounters:

- In my travels in Fiji, once we (my travel buddy, Sara & I) went horseback riding (with no saddles! A painful story), each sitting behind an experienced Fijian rider, whipping through a tropical rain forest when, I scream with fear in my voice: "SPIDER, SPIDER, SPIDER!" Straight ahead was a giant lime-green spider's web with a spider, waiting for us. (so I thought!) We narrowly avoided it. 

- I encountered many huge black spiders on the island of Tobago in the Caribbean. I just let them be and walked away (or run!), returning hours later in the hope they had moved on. 

- While stopped on a small tropical forest road in Mozambique, there was a tiny white spider that, I was told, was one of the most poisonous kind. It was on the outside front windshield and I, sitting inside the bakkie (truck).  I managed to keep my cool as long as it stayed put on the other side. I did not want to pass for a typical white Western female and panic. ...besides, I could not flee as there was the  dense tropical forest as I open the bakkie door. I had no where to run. 

- A friend in London, England, had a pet tarantula (yuk!). The beast was not in its cage but its sheddings were. (Apparently they shed their skin like snakes do.) I could not even bring myself to come close to them , let alone touch them. 

- This last story does not involve me. It is to mention how much some people have a phobia of spiders. I will not name him. (although Sara will know who I'm talking about.) A guy in England slept on his sofa because there was a spider on the stairs!  Now every body knows that there is no dangerous spiders in England!

Despite my notable improvement since then, (I do not run, panic or scream if I see one in Canada. I know that no spider in Canada is poisonous.) I still think that if ever, some unfortunate day, a tarantula cross my path, I would most likely faint!

To end this post, a quote from the Buddha:

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”


rob Castro said...

Living in the desert, I encounter spiders all the time... once in a while it could a tarantula... never get used to them

Pauline said...

Spiders freak me out - there's something about their shape and body construction that rouse some primal fear. (Perhaps I was spider food in a former life!) Impressed with your encounters but even reading about them made me shudder.

Luke said...

Spider phobias are so common, I have worked successfully with helping clients let go of their phobias though, you can find out more at http://cambridgehypnotherapy.co.uk/