Gentle Bamboo Solutions

Mountains, mist and leeches


I lie down in my bed covered in a warm blanket and looking out of my window from a villa in the Java Rain Resort. The view is beyond any words I can use to describe it.

All the mountains have disappeared behind the mist that the drizzle has summoned to its service. The coffee plantation was here a moment ago, but I can’t see it any more. It feels like all of nature has snuggled itself into a blanket not unlike my own. Wisps of steam rise both from my mug of coffee and all around my hotel for miles.

As the rains die out and the world comes back in focus again, we set out for a tour of the coffee plantation. Half an hour of walking around in slush and rainwater, we hurry back to safety because the rains have started again. As I take my shoes off, I see a thick crimson liquid on my feet and my five year old son screams. I feel no pain, yet blood is flowing all over the porch where I stand. My son’s feet are not bleeding, not yet at least. A scary dark insect the size of his little toe hangs from his ankle. I have heard of leeches, but never seen or been bitten by one. The hotel staff bring and sprinkle salt over our insects. The leeches fall off, and blood starts flowing anew.

It’s a scary sight, especially seeing your kid in shocked disbelief. But, apparently, it is completely all right. Leeches aren’t infectious and the wound doesn’t hurt. They just suck the blood out of you for their own sustenance, but they aren’t dangerous in any real sense. (I did my armchair research on this one.)

We order a hot chocolate each and wait for the bleeding to stop. It takes forever to clot.

Next morning we have forgotten all about it. The wound has disappeared without trace. All that it has left behind is an indelible memory.

Tomorrow morning, we’ll leave from here. My break from the chaos of the work ends in 18 hours. The mountains, the mist and the leeches will be with us for a lot longer.

There are other leeches too, in our personal and professional lives – of the human variety. But that’s another story for another day.

Rain rain don’t go away,