Posted by: Jill | July 7, 2008

How to make friends instantly

“Hi I have kind of a weird question…can you get this beetle out of my ear?”

So began the conversation. Every day for about 20 minutes at dusk, hordes of beetles roam the air of Malapascua, terrorizing uninitiated tourists. The beetles are about dime-sized and completely harmless, though it is somewhat disconcerting to be constantly flicking them off your legs and picking them out of your hair (my hair was particularly curly and wind-blown that evening, making a perfect place for beetles to get caught).

And then, one FLEW INTO MY EAR.

I think what actually happened is it landed at the edge of my ear, and I reached up to brush it off, and then it crawled inside. As it turns out, dime-sized beetles are also perfectly ear-sized beetles. I spent about three seconds trying to pick it out myself, then ran up to the nearest person I could find, interrupted his conversation, and asked if he please wouldn’t mind helping me get the beetle out of me ear.

It was definitely a conversation stopper.

He did remove the beetle. Then we introduced ourselves, and his friends admired my cool-under-pressure demeanor. [I briefly considered sharing the story of the time I asked my friend Heather to remove a tick located in a far worse place, but decided against it] They were a group of friends from Hong Kong who were just finishing up their week-long dive vacation. We shared stories, photos, and dining recommendations, and every time I ran into them afterward, it was like running into old buddies with whom I have shared highly personal experiences.



  1. Well, I’ve often had a hard time getting a Beatle SONG out of my ear…

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