My introduction to cold blooded jungle creatures began on the very first day I walked into this jungalow and drew back the kitchen curtain. I felt something land on my head, and then bounce down into the sink. I took one look at the beady eyes looking up at me and ran straight back outside. I took some deep breaths, composed myself, put the biggest zoom lens I own on my camera and returned to the scene. Ok – so it’s tiny, harmless, can’t hurt me, how could I not like it, it’s ‘cute’.. blah blah blah. Shuddup. I hate them, and you will never change my mind about that so shhhh. I have a deep dislike for these rubbery, suction footed creatures that goes right back to my childhood. I grew up in a place where the geckos were twice the size of this one, and had the ability to drop their tail off as a defence mechanism. When I was younger, I once walked out of the back door at home closing it firmly behind me. As I did so, I felt something cold, rubbery and very much ‘alive’ fall down the back of my shirt. I urgently shook the squirming object out of my shirt, and as it plopped onto the ground it continued to wriggle and twitch. Disgusted, I had a closer look and realised (to my horror) that I must have startled a gecko when I closed the door, and its response had been to drop it’s squirming tail down the back of my shirt. Even now, a gecko sighting makes the skin on the back of my neck crawl, and my spine tingle. If I have to enter or exit a door at night time and I find there’s a gecko anywhere in the vicinity, I run and then I keep running until I feel like I’ve cleared the area, sometimes leaving the door wide open behind me. I knew there would be geckos here in the jungle. I didn’t know just how many there would be, and I had no idea just how many I would have a personal encounter with. They’re everywhere. Really. I could look anywhere at any given moment, and find a gecko. Or two. Or ten. Maybe to the unassuming eye, this looks like a photo of a tree, just some bark – nice texture, nothing too interesting you might think. Look closer people, and you will see it’s an ambush waiting to happen. Fortunately, I have one very understanding man in my life who has become extremely competent and efficient in the skills of gecko catching and removal. He does it wordlessly, and he no longer rolls his eyes when he walks into a room and finds me standing on a table, or crouched awkwardly on the back of a couch. When we arrive at a hotel room or someplace new, he immediately sweeps the room, clearing it of any potentially scream inducing creatures. He’s never ever played any silly little boy jokes on me, and while he must find my gecko related antics amusing (or more likely pathetic), he always treats any gecko situation with seriousness and a sense of duty. One night we were out at dinner with some of Bazil’s colleagues, and the discussion turned to geckos. It was this night that I discovered that the little creatures I called a ‘gecko’, are definitely not the same creature that the Indonesians call a ‘gecko’. It turns out that if you are talking about a ‘gecko’ here, you are referring to a Tokay gecko. I had seen these ginormous lizard creatures before, but I had no idea that the fell into the gecko category. They’re HUGE, and LOUD. Their call is distinct, and it was one of the first sounds that we were acquainted with when we arrived in the jungle. There is a resident Tokay gecko at our neighbours’ place, and thankfully it’s always in the exact same spot. For this reason I have no concerns that I am going to find one of these tangled up in my curtains. Since arriving here, I have had multiple geckos fall on me – usually out of curtains. Sometimes off of a roof, or tree. I’ve dined with hoards of them overhead, and had gecko poo fall disturbingly close to my dinner. I’ve had a gecko climb me like a tree. I accidentally squashed one gecko flat in the laundry door. I’ve had them run up through the floorboards and over my feet on the verandah. Out of necessity, I’ve believe I’ve become a little more accepting of the gecko situation. I’ve even existed with the knowledge that there has been a gecko living in the kitchen for the last couple of months. Staying out of each other’s sight has been the key to our coexistence, and thankfully visual encounters have been brief. However, today I saw a whole lot more of this resident gecko than I would have liked to. Nothing prepared me for today’s disturbing encounter with this very bloated, lethargic gecko who apparently couldn’t say no to a ginger biscuit. I was cleaning down the benches, and I went to grab this container off of the bench to put it in a sink full of extremely hot, soapy water when I sensed there was something inside it. I looked under the lid, thinking there must have been a biscuit left – saw that there was most definitely no biscuit left, squealed like a girl, dropped everything and climbed up onto a chair. (Don’t ask!) The worst part of this particular encounter was that I was home alone, and I had to put my big girl pants on and deal with it myself! Fortunately for me, this gecko had indulged himself to the point that he could hardly drag his fat belly around, and I took comfort in the fact that running up my arm and down the back of my shirt wasn’t an option. I had only just evicted this four legged creature from my house, when I heard a rustle outside the window and saw a far more seriously sized reptile heading my way. I grabbed my camera just in time to see this guy pass below me and take up residence under the house. Gecko’s are suddenly looking a whole lot cuter..