December 29, 2010

Mrs Ryan gets assaulted in the car park

The weather turned a bit yesterday, so we packed up the kids and headed up to Ubud. Mr Woog was suffering from the man flu, so we happily left him behind.

Ubud is a town situated about an hour north of where we are staying. It is famous for it's cultural activities, art, craft and new-aged yoga-like bullshit. You can go and do retreats, detoxes, meditation workshops, chanting, ancient Balinese medicine cleanses, shadow puppet making and power Pilate's. It is a beautiful village that is surrounded by temples, large moss covered walls and the impressive Ubud palace, which of course houses the King of Ubud.

People go to Ubud and get lost in it's beauty. They spend time working on themselves in the large list of services available to them and come out of the whole experience with a cleansed aura, a cleansed chakra and a super cleansed colon. Colonics are HUGE in Ubud.

The shops are amazing and the restaurants are sublime.

So to go to Ubud for the day offered up a plethora of activities for the discerning traveller. But because we were in a car full of kids, we only had one place in mind. The Monkey Forest.

The Monkey Forest is a large forest where you pay the equivalent of $1 to roam the paths and get assaulted by monkeys. It was full of tourists from around the world who bought bananas to feed to the monkeys, only to drop them and run away when up to 5 monkeys leaped on them in their haste to eat bananas. The whole scene was disturbing, hilarious and a little bit x-rated. For not only do monkeys like to eat bananas, they also like a good root, and do not care who watches.

There were baby monkeys clinging to mamma monkeys. There where boy monkeys having massive brawls. There were big daddy monkeys eating fleas off each other. There were plenty of fornicating monkeys. There was an American boy running past with a monkey attached to his t-shirt by it's teeth, followed by the American boy's mom screaming after them yelling "Has he drawn blood Dwayne??... HAS HE DRAWN BLOOOOOD???......"

You could not walking quietly and serenely through the Monkey Forest, as the name would suggest. I would rename it The Monkey Den of Sin and Surprise. I would also ban the sale of bananas there. We walked quite quickly, did not make eye contact and could really only relax when using the rest room facilities. Even then I kept one eye on the door.

Of course the kids LOVED it. They could not get enough of it. Mrs Ryan and I eventually had enough and needed a quiet place to recuperate while Mr Ryan finished wandering the paths with the 5 kids. Mrs Ryan had a particular dislike of the Monkey Forest instantly, as she has a particular dislike for squished bananas, and they littered the paths in their hundreds. She was also not too fond of the unpredictability of the monkeys. We headed back out the entrance and waited with Nyoman, our driver, in the carpark which was not as picturesque but we thought came without the chance of monkey attack. But it was here that our plan came unstuck.

Mrs Ryan was standing by a tree with her hands in her pockets when she noticed the biggest monkey was slowly making it's way down that particular tree. She caught it's eye. The monkey hopped onto the ground and began making it's way over to her. Mrs Ryan moved slightly away and then stopped still.

She has an unusual habit of closing her eyes when faced with danger, so there she stood, quietly in the middle of the car park, hands in pockets with her eyes closed, while I was nearby purchasing a Diet Coke. It was there, from the Diet Coke shop, that I heard the ear-splitting screams from Mrs Ryan while she was manhandled by the monkey. It was the kind of scream that sent all other monkeys in the car park scurrying away and bought the chuckles of laughter from all of the Balinese Drivers who were witness to the event. Nyoman was laughing the hardest.

The screams was also heard by Mr Ryan, who came back through the car park to a laughing driver, a diet-coke-drinking sister-in-law and a shaken and stirred wife. We got back into the car.

That was my Ubud.

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