phobia

Posted on

I am 26 years old, and I’m scared of bees.

Anything with yellow stripes: bees, wasps, hornets.

– “There are killer bees that hunt down people in Africa/South America!”

– “Seven hornets can kill a horse!”

People also used to tell us kids that being stung in the tongue would very likely result in the person’s death, unless drastic rescue measures were taken out immediately (meaning a cut in the throat).

Well, I remember a summer day when I was six or seven years old. I was sitting on a swing in our garden, and I think I was singing a song while I was happily swinging away. Anyways my mouth must have been open, because suddenly I caught a bee or a wasp in it.

There was an immediate sharp pain, and I stopped to swing. There were tears, and then there was a realization.

The realization that I was going to die.

Well, I obviously I’m still alive. That day about 20 years ago, I just had more ice-cream than usual and the swelling on the tip of my tongue went away. But ever since then I’ve been scared of bees and wasps and hornets. The yellow stripes… The humming sounds… The hideous  little faces…

During my worst years, I’ve been known to evacuate myself from classrooms even during exams if a wasp had only come in through the window…

It’s embarrassing but it’s true.

Well, I thought I had this thing under control by now. I’ve walked past several beekeepers on the way before, and there have been no panic-attacks whatsoever.

I’m a grown man, I praised myself sometimes, a grown man who’s not even afraid of bees anymore!

So there I was today, out in the most beautiful landscapes that you could imagine in this arid part of the world:

oasis

The snow-capped big ones seemed so near:

Qilian mountains

And the crops were not just yellow but really golden:

golden field

Once I got tired, and I lay down in the shade of a gas station:

gas station

They had some kind of a power problem, so the only job the staff had to do was tell their customers to go to the other gas station a half mile away.

I was laying there, in the shade, and it didn’t come to my mind that so much bad shit was going to happen in just a little bit:

no smoking

Then I got up and started walking again.

Then the first bee appeared.

Then there was another one.

And another one.

Then all their friends were there, and the air around me was full of bees.

Oh god please, I thought, make them go away!

They didn’t go away. In fact, they looked really pissed off, and a bunch of them started to circle around my head, trying to find a good landing zone.

WTF??

I started running.

After all, I figured, they must have a nest or a beekeeper somewhere around here. If I run, then I will pass by them much quicker. Also, the wind is going to prevent them from landing on me.

…4 kilometers. With the caboose rumbling behind me and the furious bees circling and diving around my head. There I was, running and shaking my hair from side to side, and sometimes waving one of my arms, and trying to keep my mouth shut tight (because of the dying thing).

People were staring at me from the shelter of their homes. Some were pointing fingers. I saw many a laughing face. But I didn’t care.

I was running, and the bees were following me, there were bees everywhere, and I could feel them in my hair.

I tried shaking my head from side to side.

I repeatedly screamed through my teeth: “Lasst mich in Ruhe!!” (“Leave me alone!!”)

They didn’t give a fuck. They were soldiers, and if stinging me meant death to one of them, then that was just one for the team. One for their team.

After 4 km I felt that I wasn’t able to stand it anymore. I turned into this driveway:

Yuexiang Farmhouse

“Let me into your house!” I screamed at some guys who sitting there playing cards: “the fucking bees are following me!!”

The guys just waved me in and continued with their card game.

A little while later when I felt brave enough to come out again, I noticed that the dudes were still sitting there, playing cards as if nothing had ever happened:

card players

It was another one of those WTF-moments for me.

“The bees…” I started, I was still out of breath: “the bees were after me! Where are they from? Why are they everywhere? And why are they so mean?”

The guys looked up, and they seemed a bit amused: “you didn’t see the beekeeper’s car passing by here a little while ago, did you? That’s where the bees are from. Just chill here, they’ll be gone sooner than you think.”

—big WTF-moment, VERY VERY BIG WTF-moment—

“So I have been running at the top of my lungs to escape from the bees, when all the while I was really chasing them and their god-damned moving nest?!”

“That’s right!” the dudes said, and one of them hit the other on the head because he had done something wrong during the card game, “what are you so scared of anyways? Just take it easy and the bees won’t do you any harm, you’ll see: Chinese bees are really friendly!”

That was a good one – they all laughed, then they continued with their game.

I started examining the damage: 2 massive lumps on my head:

head

(You can’t really see them with all that hair, but believe me: they’re there.)

See, if it hadn’t been for that terrible bee incident, I would have liked to tell you so much about this nice park I went to in Jiuquan:

lake

Jiuquan means “wine spring”, and there’s a story about a general more than 2000 years ago who poured some of his own wine into a spring here, so that his soldiers would have wine to celebrate as well.

Well, the spring is supposed to be this one:

Jiuquan well

Of course the design has been altered during the course of the centuries, but the locals claim that the water is still the same from the legendary “wine spring” story back then.

It was a very nice park, if only my head hadn’t been hurting that much.

There’s an ancient drum tower here as well:

Jiuquan Drum Tower

It has been remodeled and looks much like any other drum tower (or bell tower) that we’ve seen so far.

The only difference is: I looked this up on the Internet, and it said somewhere that Marco Polo had mentioned this particular drum tower in Jiuquan. I thought that was pretty cool.

The poisonous injections into my head must have impacted my vision, because I thought I saw some kind of fast-food war when I walked past a large public square:

Apparently, the colonel had put a little dancing squad outside his chicken shop, hoping to attract more customers:

KFC

…but then the orange chicken shop next door counter-attacked with an own dancing squad AND a bouncy castle:

dico's

1:0, orange wins.

Colonel loses.

…oh, my head hurts.



  • Hermann

    bin mal, als ich 12 war, mit den Pfadfinder durch die Rur-Talsperre (Eifel) geschwommen. Auf dem Rückweg, keine 50 Meter vom Ufer entfernt, griff mir etwa untern Bauch. Oder riss. Oder versuchte, herunterzuziehen. Ich wäre fast ersoffen. Es war nur ein alter Baum, der sein Äster bis fast unter die Wasseroberfläche streckte. Seitdem habe ich Problem in Gewässern. Ich bin ein guter Schwimmer, ich schwimme locker eine Stunde am Stück, aber rauszuschwimmen, ins Meer raus oder in einen See, das tu ich mir einfach nicht mehr an.

    Reply

  • Florian (Flo Li Anh)

    Hahahahahaha, Flo Li Anh wäre beinahe vor Lachen vom Stuhl gefallen. Hast Du jedenfalls sehr amüsant beschrieben die Tour. Obwohl ich mir das einfach nicht vorstellen kann, mit diesen "Killah-Beez", da das eigentlich recht friedliebende Tierchen sind. Schlimmer sind im Gegensatz dazu Wespen, die verlieren ja ihren Stachel nicht und können richtig hartnäckig sein. Bienen sind da eher ruhig und "verschlafen". Nun gut, wenn so eine Märchenfigur aus Der Herr der Ringe hinter ihrem Nest her ist, verstehen die wohl keinen Spaß ðŸ˜‰
    Ich hatte ja mal ein fieses Erlebnis mit Bremsen (Pferdefliegen). Die zumindest attackieren nur, da ist nix mit Nestverteidigung. Die sind höchstens auf Dein Blut aus. Jedenfalls kam ich letztes Jahr ordentlich verschwitzt bei einer Juli-Langstreckenwanderung im Harz aus einem Wäldchen raus und passierte eine Obstbaumallee. Da gings dann richtig ab. Hab mich fast wie ein Gaul gefühlt, denn wie diese die Biester mit ihrem Schweif vertreiben, tat ich es mit einem kleinen Handtuch, das ich mir unentwegt und äußerst schnellen Schrittes verzweifelt um den Kopf wedelte. Dazu noch das hecktische Hin- und Hergegucke und Händegeklatsche gegen die fiesen Beißer. Als ich den ganzen Mist hinter mir hatte, wurden wir schließlich am Kyffhäuser in der Frühabendstunden von Mückenschwärmen attackiert – da kommt Freude auf. Das Feierabendpils hat an jenem Abend übrigens besser denn je geschmeckt 😉 In dem Sinne: weiterlaufen!

    Reply

  • Florian (Flo Li Anh)

    Ach in der ganzen Bienenhektik hätt ich fast vergessen zu erwähnen:

    – Das zweite Bild mit diesen gigantischen Bergen im Hintergrund ist ja traumhaft! Da seufzt der Wanderer, Fernweh…

    – Sich unter das Dach einer Tankstelle zu legen ist ja auch äußerst idyllisch 😉

    Reply

  • Patrick

    hahahaha ich erinner mich noch wie du aus dem klassenzimmer fenster gesprungen bist! a classic moment.

    das war das selbe fenster wo du tareks unschuldige schulsachen einfach….sagen wir…rausplaziert hattest. 🙂

    du solltest den nächsten imker den du auf deiner reise siehtst einfach mal fragen ob er dir nicht auch so eine tolle maske besorgen kann (das heisst wenn die imker in china die überhaupt haben….).
    das hätte 2 vorteile.
    – du würdest in einem weiter NYHV moment mit dieser maske mit sicherheit den anger noch besser rüberbringen, und
    – du hättest schutz, vor allem deine ömme wär sicher.

    ach so das mit den hornissen is glaub ich bullshit….soweit ich weiss haben die weniger gift als ne biene. die sind nur fetter 😉

    auf jeden fall wünsch ich dir ne bienen (lat.: totvonobenus) freie weiterreise!

    Reply

  • Juergen

    Bin gerade bei Bibi mit einem guten Glas Wein – ohne Bienen oder aehnlich gelb-gestreiftes Viehzeug – Soll dich gruessen, JR

    Reply

  • Barry aka Ba Lli

    Jeder Schotte würde sagen: have you ever heard about the midges?
    Im Gehen Kaffee trinken, beim Zähneputzen bin ich schon gelaufen. Und dann kam die Darmproblematik.

    Du hast zwei Fehler begangen:
    1. chinesische Bienen sollte man nicht auf deutsch anreden
    2. Just take it easy and the bees won’t do you any harm

    Und die Tanke, sowas sieht man nur im Sozialismus.

    Reply

  • tan cheng

    Nice pictures you take. I take some of your photos as my laptop wallpapers. I have not been to Jiuquan before, but I want to.

    Reply

  • Steven

    童年阴影!!!

    Reply

  • Becci

    hihi, ja wenn dir bienen begegnet sind, biste du tatsächlich immer wie ein aufgescheuchtes huhn im kreis gerannt 🙂
    und zu deiner schaukelstory… ich weiß es noch wie heute – du hast geschaukelt, ich stand unten und hab dir zugeschaut und du hast immer wenn du oben warst so komisch mit dem mund geschnappt. auf jeden fall wars eine dicke fette hummel, die du im mund hattest. für mich vorteilhaft, ich hab nämlich genauso viel eis gekriegt wie du! 🙂

    Reply

  • Gisela

    Hab gerade zwei böse Wespenstiche mit gemeinen Schwellungen hinter mir und bin jetzt extrem wachsam wenn's summt. Ich konnte richtig mitfühlen. Schöne Fotos wieder – besonders die Berge und der Park.

    Reply

  • Christoph

    Hermann: Überleg mal… UNTERWASSERBIENEN!!! …wie fürchterlich…
    Florian (Flo Li Anh): Stechende Insekten sind doof.
    Patrick: Dankus Maximum!
    Juergen: Viele liebe Grüße an Bibi!!
    Barry aka Ba Lli: Blöde Bienen. Deren Fehler!
    tan cheng: I feel very honored!
    Steven: 可怜的我,5555555555.。。
    Becci: Du hättest mich da mal sehen sollen, wie ich wieder gelaufen bin, mit wippenden Haaren und fliegendem Bart… peinlich, einfach nur peinlich…
    Gisela: Leider keine Photos wo die Bienen waren!

    Reply

  • monica

    居然连小蜜蜂都那么害怕,好可爱好可怜哦

    Reply

  • Christoph

    monica:可怜。。。:(

    Reply

  • ella

    Great writings!I enjoyed reading all the articles.Good luck with your journey!
    Hope you will publish a book later on.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *