· life ·

It should be fairly clear from the image at the top of this page that I'm very fond of bats, both megachiroptera (fruit bats) and microchiroptera (insectivorous bats). Not only are they flying mammals, which is a great start, but the micro bats also eat biting insects which would otherwise eat me, which endears them to me hugely. If all that wasn't enough, they are also furry, squeaky and cute. I'm labouring these points, because you'd probably otherwise get the impression from the following paragraphs that I hate bats.

The real fun came at dusk, when the bats got ready for a great night out. As we sat on the balcony outside the room, treating ourselves to a richly deserved cold beer, bats would hurtle out of the loft, narrowly missing us in the process. What is more, a surprising number of individuals had obviously not read the memo about the whole "bats get tangled in your hair" thing being a myth spread by ignorant people. Suddenly, bats were ricocheting off us and landing on the balcony floor with a sound like a small blancmange wrapped in a wet flannel being hurled at a wall.

Naturally, we felt terrible, and assumed that it was all our fault somehow. We tried to move out of the line of fire, and turned the lights off in case that was baffling them, but it didn't seem to help. In the end, we just endured the rain of bats, stoically covering our beer glasses with a protective hand.

^1^ Well, not quite, because all of the rooms and the connecting walkways were supported on stilts and a couple of metres off the actual ground.

^2^ There's a distinct and audible difference between genuine quadrupedal running performed by, say, a rat, and the wing/leg scramble performed by bats. If you ever hear it, you'll know what I mean.