Jane's Travel Blog

New Chapter: Explore the World

Malaysia, The Best Laid Plan


We’re in Malaysia now, specifically Georgetown, Penang.

Our Plan – 3 months

First  month, rent historic shophouse.

Last two months rent near the sea.

It was a great plan. Many of the shophouses were built in the late 1800’s. Usually two stories, the business on the first floor, the shop, and the residence on the second, the house.

We were very excited to live in a bit of history.

Well, that historic living lasted three days.

We moved because of one creepy-crawly reason…



Yep, those disease-carrying-unpredictable-scurrying-evil-beasts wanted to share our shophouse.

NOPE, not happening. Jane doesn’t live with cockroaches.

Within the first half hour of checking out the place, I meet my first beastly crawler in the upstairs hallway. A quick inhale, some fancy panicked footwork, and a quiet scream to Bob and I’m on edge.

Oddly, there’s a can of roach spray right there and I empty it on that bugger. It crawled over a wooden Buddha sculpture sitting in the corner, then flipped over dead on it’s back. When we left the house, it was still leg up next to the Buddha.

(Hmm, first clue, why was there a can of roach spray right there?)

I begin my research on the unwelcomed guests. One article suggested misting the floor with vinegar to prevent them from coming into the house, so the next morning I’m armed with two spray bottles and lots of vinegar. I spend the next four hours cleaning the kitchen and misting all the floors in the shophouse.

I’m trying to be a trooper, but I’m on edge. If my pant leg fluttered over my skin, I would quickly brush my leg. When walking around the house, I would stomp the floors announcing my presence showing those beasts who’s boss.

Well, on night three, I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve misted many times, I’m stomping, only eating in the kitchen, and keeping all food in the frig. I can do this.

So, on night three, I’ve settled into bed to watch a little Netflix when Bob comes in to talk. I sit up and there it is. A cockroach crawls across the sheet, IN MY BED. I’m on my feet on top of the bed screaming, “There’s a cockroach. Look Bob, there’s a cockroach!” Bob sits up and the roach turns left and heads toward the head of the bed and crawls down over the edge.

Now, I am truly freaked. I’m not ok. I’m not the boss. The cockroaches have won the war.

We email the owner of our next apartment asking if they have cockroaches and if not, asking if we could move in early.  That night we sleep on the couch, and no, I didn’t sleep.

Luckily, we hear back about the apartment the next morning, and we moved by early that afternoon.

It’s taken me a few days to catch up on the sleep and relax. AirBnB helped us negotiate with the host of the shophouse, and we got back half our money. They said I should have taken pictures.

It makes sense, but at the time, I wasn’t thinking documentation. I was thinking, “Get the hell out of here!” Next time – Wait, I hope there’s never a next time with those creepy crawly evil critters.

On a happier note, since we’ve been in our new wonderful apartment, we’ve been to a Chinese New Year party, went to an Thaipusam Hindu festival, explored the coast a bit and are enjoying the beautiful seaside promenade. The markets are plentiful, and my kitchen provides all I need to prepare healthy wholesome meals.

We have two and a half more months in Penang. Let the exploration continue in our bug free apartment.

Here’s a few pictures of Penang. (no pics of cockroaches)


Author: janeelizabethmarko

Jane travels the world with her husband Bob. They are always looking for long-term house sits. Contact Jane if you are planning on traveling and need someone to care for your pets, garden, and home.

10 thoughts on “Malaysia, The Best Laid Plan

  1. Glad you got away from the cockroaches and are settling into your new place. Enjoy the adventure of Penang!

  2. me too. We had a great hike yesterday through the jungle. HOT, but a good workout.

  3. A beautiful exploration of a gorgeous country can always be put into perspective with a common cockroach. Glad you’re on the other side of that and continue to find great things.

  4. Trying to comment but won’t upload.

  5. Hi Jane and Bob!
    I like Ed’s comment-common cockroach.
    Making it’s self familiar by crawling across your bed. I say Yikes!
    Glad all is calm again.
    Bring on the Joy!

  6. Thanks. Yep, I guess the scary bad happens to the good looks that much better.

  7. WOW! Cockroaches….well, I do understand why you moved! But the trouble is they are so very hardy! And how innovative to think of misting with vinegar….
    I am glad you are enjoying Malaysia. It is so lush and gorgeous. And the people are very helpful and friendly for the most part. Hopefully the heat is not intolerable and the humidity is manageable….. I am jealous, but I say that on every post…. 🙂 Kisses!!

  8. I think you are a real trooper the way you handled the cockroach situation Jane! Your braver than me! Great to see/hear about your adventures guys! ❤😎

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