The only thing that I hated the most during the time in Singapore.
In the HDB (Housing Development Board) apartments in Singapore, the method of disposing the garbage from your house was to open a door beneath the sink in the kitchen and throw the bag of waste into it. There is a vertical passage that runs through all the floors and every house will have a door to that passage. The garbage from all the houses gets collected in that area and the ground floor has a door to it. The waste is then collected from it by the workers from SembCorp (remember our good old Onyx?).
The moment you open that door in your kitchen what greets you is a whole lot of cockroaches!!! Now I am scared of cockroaches and consider them to be repulsive. So I dreaded every single time I had to clear the dust bin at home. With the dominant thought of what if a cockroach comes into my kitchen while I open the door pervading my mind, I used to literally throw away the garbage bag in a jiffy and shut the door.
You can always find many cockroaches near the door to this garbage area in the ground floor too.
Cockroaches were a regular sight inside the house too, all thanks to a crevice in the kitchen floor, the purpose of which I am yet to find out. There were two cockroaches moving in and out of that crevice, but thankfully during the night alone. Closing the crevice with several layers of cardboard and tapes which the husband was forced to do after being tired of hearing me grumble non-stop about the cockroaches, drawing several thick lines of Laxman Rekha (the cockroaches just whizzed past the lines!), nothing put a full-stop to this cockroach problem.
Matters became worse when small cockroaches started frequenting the drain tray near the sink at night. On seeing those cockroaches roam amidst the cleaned vessels in the drain tray, the panicky-hygiene-freaky-me had to wash ALL the already-cleaned vessels and the sink too with loads of dishwashing liquid before using them again! All thanks to the cockroaches, the lazy-me stopped leaving the cleaned vessels in the drain tray itself and finally started arranging the vessels back in the tables before going to bed, even if it was 11 in the night at that time.
I also started spraying Baygon in the night in all the possible areas which the cockroach would frequent only to find no cockroaches falling bait to it.
A disgusting incident which happened was once when I was walking on the road near the Central Library on a rainy day and a cockroach flew from a nearby garbage bin and sat on my arm!!! Why me????! The moment we reached the library, I rushed to the restroom and washed and washed and washed my hand! Freaky-freaky-me!
But it looked like there would be no end to my worries when, one fine morning and that too a morning when I had to cook the brunch early and then leave for the airport to pick up a relative for whom, by the way I had to cook, I saw a cockroach running all over my recently cleaned sparkling clean gas stove!! Imagine my plight having to clean the gas stove and the surroundings once again before starting the cooking.
One day it looked like the end to my woes was finally near when I saw a poster in the ground floor saying that all the garbage passages would be cleaned on a certain day to get rid of the cockroaches in it and that the doors to the passage should not be opened at that time.
The D-Day and the D-Time (?) came and guess what do I see? Smoke coming from that garbage door and tiny cockroaches, living and dead, all over the area near the sink! 🙁 While the passage remained clear of cockroaches for at least a month before they made an appearance again, the cockroaches continued to frequent my home uninterrupted.
Life becomes difficult when you have to deal with cockroaches frequently and it doesn’t help to have a husband who says he actually likes watching cockroaches, can identify their gender (!!!) and hates being woken up in the midst of his sleep by his cockroach-loathing wife to help her get rid of it.