28 January 2014

Have you ever been SMACKED in the eye by a wild monkey?


That's most likely because you've never tried to recover a banana it stole from a smaller monkey.

I ask because I did both today... the attempted recovery and the "SMACKED" parts, not the stealing part.

Earlier we had stopped and bought a medium-sized bunch of bananas from a roadside vendor so that I could eat them in the 24 hours before I return to HCMC. As we headed back to town from the final temple tour of the three-day visit (temple coverage is coming), we saw a large troop of monkeys spread out along both side of the road. 

I asked Mr. Rith, the tuk-tuk driver, to stop so that I could share my bananas with the monkeys. Tony, my Cambodian Guide, suggested that we give them to the smaller monkeys, so we picked a group of youngsters. A fortunate choice...

As I toss a couple bananas out to a mom and baby, the others quickly gathered around. I guess I was tossing them out a little too slowly to satisfy some, so they climbed/jumped up behind and to the side of me to, I guess, convince me to give THEM the fruit. Which I did.

After handing a banana to one (we'll call her monkey1), I handed one to one of the smallest monkeys. Monkey1, who had not even finished peeling his banana, snatched it away. I turned, said, "No!" and grabbed the exposed end. Monkey 1 then open-hand smacked me in the eye! I barely saw it coming and definitely didn't have time to duck. Damn! LOL

You can see how scared monkey1 was of me... that's her sitting on the top of the seat eating her second banana. 

I am REALLY GLAD monkeys don't have claws! My eye hurt for about 10 minutes... I'd forgotten how strong and quick they are...

As I rubbed my eye, I could hear my Mom from 50+ years ago... please say it with me:

"You could put an eye out!" Yes, I could...

I was very fortunate and dodged yet another bullet. THAT call to Global Rescue would be an interesting one... "You did WHAT???"

And fed a few Angkor monkeys...

Yes, I really did say, "No!" out loud.


Note: I intentionally referred to monkey1 with both male and female pronouns because in all the excitement I neglected to determine which applies.

Note: Monkeys neither understand nor care that you've run out of bananas. They want more and will start looking for other things of interest if you don't have them. If you are going to stop and feed the monkeys, make sure there is nothing lying loose (camera, guide book, small bag of souvenirs, hat...) that they can grab. Thanks to Tony for warning me of this as they climbed on the tuk-tuk.

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