Monday, October 23, 2000

I am only a computer scientist but it doesn’t take a lot to be amazed by the wide variety of animals, many of which cannot be found outside Madagascar. And I’m not talking about the zebus, chickens, goats, and dogs running around in the streets freely. Here you find the weirdest-looking birds with the weirdest sounds (this morning, I heard a bird with the exact sound of R2D2 of Star Wars). The insects don’t seem to have anything in common with Western insects and, honestly, sometimes I wasn’t sure if they were dangerous or not. Yesterday, for example, I saw this fat bee digging a hole in the sand - I have never seen that before. Sometimes, it does get annoying, though. I don’t mind geckos darting around my hotel room but I had some unpleasant encounters with monster cockroaches in my bathroom. They’re harmless but just plain ugly and I don’t want them crawling up my pants or anything like that. Above all, lemurs are still the cutest of all animals in this country. They are threatened by mankind. I respect that and I try to leave them alone. But if the world was a different one and there were as many lemurs as there are dogs, I would have taken one home for sure.