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Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali.

(Or, the one where a monkey jumps on my head.)

I love monkeys. They’re my favorite animal. When I was selling my possessions to help fund this trip I had a bin filled with stuffed ones that I had to let go. (I did keep two that I will never get rid of.)

But, I have no desire to be around monkeys. Sure, I like looking at them in zoos, when they’re behind some sort of lock and key. But in too many places in Asia they are just there. There on the street. There on that car. There in front of that temple. There throwing dirt all over my lunch.

I am afraid that I will step on one of them. I am afraid that one will bite me and turn me into something out of 28 Days Later. I’m afraid that one of them will gouge my eyes out.

We have a love/hate relationship.

So, I also have a love/hate relationship with places like Ubud’s Monkey Forest. Where you get the privilege of paying to enter a sanctuary where monkey’s rule the earth. Roam free. Try to steal anything and everything from tourists.

Because, I mean, sure they are awfully cute…

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

But then you might lean in to take a photo…

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

and something like this might happen…

Love. Hate.

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