Adventures in Thai Shads

Riding home from the gym tonight, circumstances dredged up a memory from the ol’ memory bank.

Brockville, 1990: Shadflies, harmless fluttering insects, about the size of the tip of your little finger, make their way down the St.Lawrence River every year in the late Spring/early Summer. For a few days, upon stepping out of doors, I got shad flies in my face, up my nose, sprinkling my ice cream cone, and carpeting the grill of my car. In response to the sudden influx in flying insects, local residents collected as many of the bugs as they could. They scraped them off their windshields, put them in jars and took them home…because the local radio station was running a contest to see who could collect the most dead shadflies.

Chiang Mai, 2010: Flying termites (I’ve been told that’s what they are, but I don’t know for sure), harmless fluttering insects, about the size of the tip of your thumb, descend on Chiang Mai every year. For a few days, upon stepping out of doors, I get bugs in my face, in my hair, in my helmet, and plastering themselves on the front of my motorbike. In response to the the sudden influx in flying insects, local residents collect as many bugs as they can. They remove the tough wings, put them in jars and take them home…to fry them…because they’re delicious. (So I’ve been told.)

 

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