In 5 days I'm leaving for Saipan. I'm ridiculously excited about this and have been drafting list after list of things I need, errands to run, clothes to pack, books to read, etc. Since December, I have been researching the CNMI to figure out geographical, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the island. From what I've read and heard, visiting Saipan is like visiting Hawaii in 1990. That's excellent. Even though my only trip to Hawaii was in 2005, I'm thinking that in 1990 they still had running water, indoor plumbing and no snakes. That was one of my favorite things about Hawaii; I could freely hike, swim, and run with no fear of running into either a skinny pencil sized reptile or a gigantic-swallow-you-whole one. I'm a lot more adventurous when I know there are no limbless creatures waiting in the tree tops or in tall grass to startle the bejesus out of me or to better yet, eat me alive.
When I booked my flight I knew I was going to have to fly through Guam. Oh, Guam, you tiny little military base of an island. Your historical significance astounds me, and I'm intrigued by your remote-island characteristics; however, I swear that if I encounter a snake while in your airport I will quickly become a psychotic ape shit mess of four letter words, flailing limbs and panic attacks- in public- and will condemn your existence to the deepest, darkest and hottest places of hell. I'm not kidding. I know this sounds insane. But, I think I can honestly say that this may be the only situation I could find myself in where I have no ability to rationally react. NONE.
I have always been PETRIFIED of snakes. It is a legitimate phobia. The fact that I feared them as a child does not justify my unimaginable fear of them today; however, the fact that one fell on my head when I was coming home from school totally justifies my complete paranoia and utter inability to cope in snake-meet-Ans situations. I'd rather see a shark in the ocean. That would suck, don't get me wrong, but when I loose control of all bodily functions in that situation, I'm in the water, and you bet your ass that everyone else is also freaking the fuck out. I wouldn't be alone.
I bring this up because in my last few days before departure I have been dutifully checking up on the weather (it's the rainy season- awesome) and on the snake population of Saipan. I meekly asked a friend who was there last summer about the snake situation on the island and she assured me she didn't see any. But, to be honest, I'm scared shitless to ask anyone that is there now because of the slight chance that they may mention this! HOLY EFFING CRAP.
Please note, this was reported only ten days ago. Now, ok, from my desk 9,000 miles away, let's think rationally. The fact that there is A snake that MIGHT have gotten onto the island from Guam (*kisses*) and that it's making national news is a pretty good sign that there isn't a huge infestation and that things will be fine since there are three dogs and several people actively searching for this mother effer. My honest initial reaction, "That effing thing better not be in my apartment waiting for me to arrive!" I think I would throw up my intestines, explode inside out, wet myself and run away in the opposite direction barreling through walls, running into traffic and pretty much risk everything to get the hell away. I wouldn't even scream, I'd just pathetically whimper. The sad, pathetic truth is, when I do see snakes this is what I feel like I'm doing as I bolt away, and I'm sure my face contorts in all sorts of ways as I drool and moan hysterically. I shit you not, people, this is how I react to snakes. I become unhinged.
So, if y'all wouldn't mind just saying a little prayer or chanting or dancing a little snake-be-gone jig, I'd appreciate it. I'll let you know how my three hour layover in the world's most infested island goes. This is my own personal version of Fear Factor.