Too Much Monkey Business
Sometimes other people’s travel stories can influence the choices we make when travelling. For example, my personal assistant The Eternal Traveller told me once, in graphic detail, about the time she saw a tourist being chased by a monkey in Thailand. I have a mental image of this aggressive animal stalking the poor lady simply because she still had peanuts in her hand and I’ve been scarred for life.
While I was visiting Tokyo I spent a day out of the city at the Meiji Memorial Forest at Mt Takao and guess what’s there. A monkey park! When I first saw the sign for the park I was filled with trepidation. Would these monkeys have a built-in attack instinct like the ones in Thailand?
My curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out for myself so I followed the trail. I’ve heard that monkeys like to spend most of their time swinging through the trees and although I scanned the treetops I couldn’t see any. I began to get the feeling they were avoiding me.
Then, after hours of searching, I finally came face to face with a real live monkey. He was sitting very still and I think he was hoping I hadn’t noticed him. He looked harmless enough but I wasn’t game to get too close. I wondered if he was as wary of me as I was of him because we just sat and stared at each other for ages.
My only close encounter was at the souvenir shop at the end of the day. I found this very cute, very cuddly baby monkey and he was happy to pose for a friendly photo. Isn’t he gorgeous! Thank goodness he didn’t want to chase me.
Maybe he doesn’t like peanuts.