Alberta Argentina Buenos Aires Canada


We don’t have rats in Alberta. Over 50 years ago the provincial government waged war at the border to keep out rats scurrying from the east of Canada where they disembarked European ships after WWII.

I saw my first rat en vivo surveying the trash banquet one night on Av. Corrientes in Buenos Aires. It didn’t particularly bother me—because he seemed to be minding his own business. But, when I saw the silhouette of a rat skitter along the outer edge of my 13th floor balcony through the open door of my bedroom, I became uneasy. I understand that rats are extremely resourceful creatures but how do they get up to the 13th floor? Elevator? The balcony door was the only access route for fresh air into my stale, sweat-oven apartment and when the A/C broke down I had to leave it open overnight. Luckily, no visual memories of horror films, including rats, are etched upon my mind and the only midnight intruders challenging my vigilance were mosquitoes—and their bites are annoying enough.

I think the rodent that I caught a glimpse of out of the corner of my eye as it scooted across my floor one night was just a mouse . . . but I’m not sure. Whatever size it was—there wasn’t enough room for the two of us.

After that I was looking forward to returning to Alberta. Our government may not be as intelligent as the rats, but they have bigger guns and they’re not afraid to use them.