For a few years now, I have always opted for an aisle seat in planes primarily because of the need to get away from a psychological feeling of being trapped if I am in the window seat. Turns out that choosing an aisle seat has another advantage in India--away from the creepy, crawly, ones!
A couple of weeks ago, I was in the plane on my way to Delhi when all of a sudden something seemed strange at the peripheral end of my vision. I turned my head to my left. One row ahead of me, on top of the window, was a medium-sized cockroach slowly moving. I hoped that it would not switch into a reverse gear and come towards the row where I was seated. Thankfully, it kept going towards the front, and soon it disappeared from my view.
Later, as I narrated this incident, a friend remarked that I ought to be immensely relieved that it was not one of those flying roaches. Imagine that! Such a scene would have been hysterically funny in a movie--"Airplane" would have been even more hysterical with a couple of flying roaches--but, in real life, it would have become something like snakes on the plane :)
At home, it seems like I spot a roach on an average of every fifth day. I grab the can and spray and kill it. Sometimes, it is a dead roach that I see and am glad something else got to it before I did.
But, neither the dead roach nor the live one seem to cause any discomfort to people as much how I react to them. I come across, I suppose, as a wimpy American. So be it; I prefer an existence without such critters saying hello to me.
In the train, it was even more an intense interaction with roaches. Small and big, they were casually roaming around in the pleasantly air-conditioned coach. I pointed out a roach that was very near a fellow passenger, and suggested that she kill it. "No, let it be" she said.
While internally all freaked out, I was trying my best not to jump out of the moving train. I kept an eye on the roach, which had escaped death. Unfortunately, in its wanderings, the roach came near me.
I raised my feet without trying to be obvious about it. Quietly, but surely, my shoe came down on that roach.
One dead roach, yes. But, I knew there were more in the coach. I was sure it would be a near-sleepless night. At least, mine was an upper berth, far from the terrestrial critters, I hoped.
Yet again, evidence for me that India is not for the faint of heart, and I am one big wuss who cannot handle even a small roach!