Dec 29, 2007

Why You Should Not Shout to Monkeys in Bali

taking a nap after entertaining visitorsA friend of mine, Dar, a Bali tour guide, thought he could "summon" the monkeys at monkey forests any time he needed just by shouting loudly. Well, he is surely right about calling the monkey but he forgot something else. He was no Tarzan. And the monkeys didn't like people shouting at them disturbing their privacy.


So, Dar was going to get a surprise he would never forget for all his mortal life.


This is a story about my friend who took a client to a monkey forest somewhere north Denpasar, Bali on one afternoon. Dar's client was a very important client because he owned a travel agent in US. Therefore, my friend was on special mission to give the best service in order to impress this VIP client. "Make the client happy," his boss reminded,"we count on you."


The client was happy touring around Bali, admiring the rice fields, beautiful temples and the friendliness of the Balinese. At midday Dar took the VIP client to the Kedaton monkey forest. They went in into the forest through the small path beside a Balinese Hindu temple. But there was a small problem.


There was no monkey around.


It was a hot midday with the tropical sun glared brightly above and all those macaques fascicularis, i.e our little long tailed friends, were taking their nap.


They looked around the forest for fifteen minutes, but no sign of a monkey.


This was not right, Dar thought.


His client should at least see a monkey. But the forest as if had been deserted for long time.
The VIP client did not say anything but Dar knew he had to do something to attract those gray furred creatures to show up.


Then he got an idea. He shouted and shouted to "summon" the monkeys.


Dar waited for a few minutes.


Finally, his effort succeeded. A big monkey (about 5 kilogram weight) ran and jumped in lightning speed from in the middle of forest and landed down from tree before Dar.


The monkey did not look very happy. How dare somebody disturb him when relaxing with his mistresses in his "harem".


The king monkey ran straight to Dar and shrieked while grabbing the edge of Dar's sarong. (Quick info: When tour guiding in Bali, a real tour guide must wear traditional uniform such as sarong).


Dar tried to defend himself and his sarong from this agitated monkey. But the monkey was very persistent and strong. And with a fierce grim, the monkey grabbed Dar's sarong .


Dar was defenseless. The monkey managed to grab his sarong and took it away. It jumped from tree to tree with Dar's sarong swaying like a flag.


Dar was stunned for a moment before realizing himself sarongless.


Holding a wooden stick, Dar ran away to chase the monkey. Not for a very long, the monkey released Dar's sarong, (maybe he couldn't bear its smell)and it fell to the ground. Dar got his sarong back.


"Sorry, sir." Dar said when he succeeded getting back his sarong.


The client laughed. "This is my best day in Bali," he said.

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