Val and I were the last couple to enter Monkey Temple in the town of Phang Nga. At first, I was very hesitate to enter. Monkeys were scattered everywhere. Some were running around wildly playing or begging tourists for food while others rested high in the trees or the cliffs of the Buddha Cave.
In fact, there were even a couple of dogs roaming around in the midst of all the chaos. It was definitely a lot going on for my Western lifestyle. I stood there with my eyes wild open and pondered, “Is this safe? This is some wild shit! This will never happen in the USA.” Before I could even answer myself, Val was leading the way into the wild kingdom and the other girls were already surrounded by monkeys.
“Oh boy!! Here goes” I muttered to myself as I slowly stepped into the monkey’s temple.
“Yo! This shit is crazy. ” I said to Val as I carefully looked around to make sure nothing crazy was about to happen with these monkeys.
“Look at the babies!” Val shouted.
“Awww they’re sooo cute.”
Their innocence had my mind wander for a minute about their cute little petite selves. I just wanted to hold and rock them like newborns. We both couldn’t stop saying awww or oh m gee.
“Watch out Carissa!” I flipped my head around and screamed, “WHAT! girl!!!
“Girl that monkey in the tree was touching your braid.” Val laughed and slightly teased.
That was my sign to quit getting all dreamy-eyed with those damn baby monkeys. I had to remember that this was wildlife and to stay alert.
There weren’t many tourists who were NOT feeding the monkeys, including Nia. It was the common thing to do. Local vendors on the street sold bags of corn on the cob, peanuts, bananas and bottles of water. Those were the monkeys favorite.
Then, out of no where this big ass monkey slammed down from out of a tree and on the ground. It was coming towards us. The smaller monkeys scattered like roaches to clear the way for his entrance. Val and I got the hell out the way too. Grandpa Monkey, as I later described the older mean and aggressive ones, appeared to be hungry and wanted to be fed, too.
The Indian guy reached down to give the monkey a corn on the cob. Grandpa old mean self snatched it, skinned off the corn, gobbled it down, and ran off.
The other clan came back and wanted more now. One monkey began to tug on the man shorts to demand food. Since that didn’t get the man’s attention fast enough, the monkey attempted to climb up the man’s leg to get it itself. Me and Val looked at each other and silently communicated the same thing, “Oh hell no! Let’s go!”
We ran into Nia feeding and chatting with all the little cuties. I asked her for some peanuts so I can do the same. At first, I was scared as shit. They were cute and all but I was unsure if I wanted them to touch me and stuff. But I really didn’t have much of an option after having peanuts and a banana in my hand. They were coming.
I dropped the peanuts on the ground for them. And I placed a half of a banana in another monkey’s hand. The monkey looked at the banana and threw that shit down as if to say, “I don’t want this shit.”
“Oh my gosh! He’s rude!” I shouted and laugh.
Later on, we learned that the monkeys won’t eat bananas that weren’t ripe, peeled or if they were dirty from falling onto the ground. That was fair. That made sense. They were some smart little creatures. I wouldn’t eat that shit either.
After a while, I became comfortable with the fact that I was in these monkeys’ home. Actually, it wasn’t that bad after all. No one was attacked. The monkeys weren’t wild’n out on each other. In fact, they were chilled. They were happy to be free and getting free food, just like any person would be in their right mind.
The monkeys didn’t see us humans as a threat, at all. They were so comfortable with us being there that one of them climbed onto Shelly’s shoulder and sat there eating his peanuts. Instead of screaming and yelling out of fear, she bursted into laughter. That moment was unforgettable.
It was my turn. I sat down to prepare myself. Val was my intense photographer, “Scoot over girl. You want them to come to you don’t you. Now. Smile. Relax,” trying to capture the perfect shot. I extended my hand to welcome the monkeys over for a treat, hoping to attract the babies. But I ended up getting two teenagers, instead. It was all good because they were just as cute.
Their little hands touched the palm of mine as they grabbed their peanuts. Their sharp nails gently scratched my skin. A smile slowly stretched across my face in disbelief that this was happening now. I was really in Thailand feeding wild monkeys.
As I stared at them smiling, one of the monkeys slowly lifted his head and stared back at me. Our eyes locked and he was telling me something. He wanted more peanuts. “Awww! I’m sorry my friend! I don’t have anymore.”
You know, feeding Thai monkeys wasn’t that deadly after all. I just have to stop watching Fatal Attractions on the Animal Planet and quit seeing the worse that could happen in every situation. If you haven’t watched that show, it’s a great show about people unguarded love and relationship with wild animals that sourly goes bad. You would understand where I am coming from once you view it.
(Smile…It was just a little humor..You know, a joke!)