The Wayback Machine — The Snake in the Bathroom

I arrived in Zimbabwe after a long trip on a small plane. I was still feeling a little queasy, probably from something I ate. But between Coca Cola and vodka, it wasn’t too bad.

My room was open, right onto the river. There were crocodiles, hippos, monkeys, scary things. The bathroom was open. It was like a tent with walls.



Monkey and baboons are prevalent in the area. We were advised at a check-in to keep everything, like toiletries, zipped up in the suitcase. The monkeys would leave the clothes alone, but toothpaste? They think it’s some kind of candy.


I walked around the really big bathroom. I saw something and I thought it was a stick. But then it moved! It wasn’t a stick!

I wore strong, lace-up leather boots the entire trip. Just in case something wanted to bite me in the ankle. I wasn’t very worried.

I remembered a story my Dad told me about his time in Panama. He said, “When you walk the paths, the snakes like to sleep in the sun. You must step heavily, tromp, tromp, tromp, so they get out of the way.”

I decided to stomp around the bathroom.

But there was no way for the snake to get out because of the high walls.







I’d already thrown out my malaria pills because they made me sick. Then I worried about what else would come into the room. More snakes? Crocodiles, hippos, monkeys? Mosquitoes?

I went down to the desk and asked for help. They found the snake hiding in the bathroom, in one of those trim-fold screens. They said it wasn’t poisonous, but I wasn’t sure. And how many other snakes were hiding?

But after I drank enough vodka, it didn’t bother me so much any more.

We’d leave early in the mornings for the safari, about 6 AM. We’d come back in around noon for awhile, and then go out later in the day. I came back and said I wasn’t going out again that day. I was so tired, I actually slept. For 20 hours.

Just goes to show that when you’re tired enough, you can sleep anywhere and you don’t worry.