We checked into the very lovely Sanctuary Tissawawa Hotel in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka and were shown to our room. The bell boy showed us how to work the lights, turn on the AC, and locate the mini bar. While taking his leave, he requested that we “not eat the monkeys.” Hahahaha. Who would think of eating a monkey? Obviously a failure to communicate. We smiled and nodded as if we understood perfectly. Then he said, “When you leave your room, please make sure to tightly close the doors and windows and don’t leave anything outside as the bad monkeys will take it away. Especially food.” Oh, he meant don’t feed the monkeys.
After unpacking, we retired to the chairs on the veranda in front of our room and watched those cute monkeys cavorting in the nearby trees. Within no time they were swinging from tree to roof to veranda. All the while eyeing us carefully. I grabbed my camera to take a picture of darling baby monkey clinging to his mama’s back. Suddenly Papa aka Satan in Fur was snarling and hissing at us from the railing, dangerously close to where we were sitting. (We later learned that pointing a camera lense toward a monkey is perceived as aggressive direct eye contact. And monkeys apparently share our view that the best defense is a good offense.)
“I don’t feel too good about this,” I said to David who, in his most assertive lawyer’s voice, was rather ineffectively ordering the monkey to back off. There was a table between us and our bedroom door and the damn monkey was moving in for the kill. We looked around for something to throw but all we had were our iPhones, to which we are rather attached. We decided to make a run for it and as we slammed the door behind us the monkey flung himself at it. He meant business. He tried the window, hissing and snarling in earnest. We had to call reception to liberate us (weapon of choice was a broom), explaining that we didn’t, in fact, try to eat the monkey. The above photo was taken through the closed window, just moments before he jumped toward it a second time to further emphasize his displeasure with us. Trust me, that’s the last time I aim my camera at a monkey.