Monday, 15 September 2008


For over a month Mollywood, the new part of Molyvos bulit on the right hand side of the road to Vafios, has lain under fire. An arsonist starts fires, mostly in the middle of the day, but sometimes also at night. The first and biggest fire happened at the beginning of August (see: Summer hits). Since then nearly every day there has been a fire.

On a few occasions the arsonist moved to another place like Eftalou. Mostly the fires were in the area going from the reservoir to the Petra road. There were as many theoris as there were fires: first you had to look out for somebody in a red car, then it was said that the arsonist used a moped, then it was said that his transport was a white car and one day it was said there were two people: a big one and a small one. The mayor had a serious talk with some young people: they should watch out for the arsonist and if they were the culprits, they should realise that once they were caught, they could look forward to many years in prison.

The arsonist has still not been found and the fires are still the number one subject of gossip. Because everybody is on alert the fires remain small. We can say that until now, thanks to luck and good firemen, there have been no casualties no houses or hotels have been evacuated because of the threat of fire.

The temperatures are falling, there's more moisture in the evenings and even rain is forecast for the coming days. The danger of fires reduces, but still people in Mollywood keep up the watch for a red glow which means a new fire.

And then there is a new plague coming over Mollywood: somebody spreads poison, and I'm sure it killed some foxes but also many pets. It's common for the sheep farmers to use poison to get rid of the foxes, although it's forbidden. But how can you catch a poisoning farmer if you can't even catch an arsonist?

And then, when you go to the police to make a complaint, you first have to go to the municipality in order to pay 10 euros for the complaint and then the police will be on strike or too busy with refugees. And after waiting for days to make your complaint, they will shrug their shoulders and say: 'ti na kanoeme' (what can we do...).

I don't live in Mollywood and even though I regularly sniff the air to check if there will be a fire, I'm not afraid of the arsonist. Neither do we have poisoning farmrs in the neighbourhood, although our cats do have other dangers they have to avoid. Like last week I saw a spider attacking one of our cats!

The evil thing came straight from a horror movie: the camel or roll spider, that had its head and forelegs in the air to charge at the cat. The cat had hoped to play a nice game, but more than once it had to jump away from the attacking spider.

Thinking back on this spider gives me the creeps. I never was good with spiders and coming to Greece I had adjust to all the creepy-crawlies here. Nowadays I'll dare to put a glass over a spider, pushing a fly swatter under the glass in order to transport the spider outside. Although there are always spiders who are quicker than me...

Now that I've met the camel spider, I knock out my shoes before putting them on, I look under my blanket before I go to bed and I monitor my handbag by taking out every item each time I take it with me (yesterday I found a big black spider in my handbag).

When I told a neighbour about the attacking spider, she immediately knew the name and told me they are very rare. Well, rare or not, the internet is full of creepy stories about these horrifying creatures: when you sleep they inject a poison and then eat your flesh, they jump on the belly of a camel and make a gaping wound and last week there was even an English family who fled their house because a camel spider, that came illegally with the luggage of the husband who was in Afghanistan, killed their dog.

Scientists try to deny these horror stories by saying that the spider isn't poisonous. But an Indian survey came to the conclusion that the camel spider is indeed poisonous. The camel spider isn't a spider but just belongs to the spider family; it is really something between a spider and a scorpion. They say they cannot jump, but I saw with my own eyes how quick it was and that it could jump fight like a real boxer. I also saw a huge mouth and scientist say that the mature ones can have very crafty jaws. Some of these camel spiders are called wind scorpions and the one I saw looked pretty much like one.

I watched the fight between the cat and the spider safely from behind a screen door. And when the spider sped away between the plants (it basically looked like he was swept by a huge wind) and the cat thought 'I'd better stay clear of that creep', I wondered why I have cats that no longer kill their prey.

I know for sure that I won't go near those bushes. It'll have to get very cold this winter, before I dare to touch them again in the spring (it's a well known corner for more creepy-crawlies like the centipede).

I'm glad that the evenings are getting colder and I can put shoes on again. The evenings wearing flipflops are definitifely over. Imagine the nightmare of having such a wind scorpion hanging from your big toe...

Copyright © Smitaki 2008

1 comment:

  1. I have made an oath that I will never return to Lesvos, because of these monsters. My unit camped outdoors while I was serving in the military, and at night, I saw one of these things crawling on one tent. I looked around and I saw literally hundreds of them. The whole place was infested. They did not move fast or seem agressive but they look damn ugly. I felt like being the protagonist in a horror movie. I rushed to a comm base that existed in a cave nearby and slept there. After I examined it for spiders.