Foreigners living in another culture find many things curious if not downright challenging. A good example of that is the reaction of Europeans and North Americans living in Cambodia to the presence of so many rats in the environment and especially in the homes. The locals tend to take the rats for granted. The rodents are just part of life here. The foreigners see the rats as a pests to be eliminated.
This is the kitchen in the Maryknoll office we moved to nine months ago. After two invasions of rats, we put up the silver metal screening above the refrigerator to stop rats coming across the kitchen roof and down the wall. We also got the little cabinet on the large shelf so we could prevent rats getting onto cooking utensils, etc.
Then when the rainy season arrived a few weeks ago, the kitchen started flooding because water from the fourth-floor roof could not drain fast enough through the vertical blue downspout which fed it into the drain in the kitchen floor. We then redirected this downspout outside over the door to dump the water in the street. But cutting a hole for the pipe in the screen to prevent the rats left an opening large enough for rats to get in. And one did two days ago.
When I saw it run across the floor in the morning, I asked our office manager to get some poison. I don’t like using poison, but we have tried traps so many times with very little success. When I came home after work, the plastic plate where the manager had mixed bait and poison was empty. Then when I was washing dinner dishes an hour later, I heard a “chirping” and found the rat crawling out from behind the stove where he died.