Beware of the Gangster Monkey
March 8, 2014 reprint from Jan, 2011
Cute, adorable, and curious are all adjectives that I think of when I envision a monkey. However, on my trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia a friend and I found the use of another adjective — Gangster. Yes, I said gangster. The monkeys that are running freely near the Batu Caves are indeed what you can call gangster monkeys.
First, let me define gangster so that we are all on the same page; tough, rugged, bully, and criminal would be the words used to define the character of what I will now describe to you as gangster in this blog — so proceed with caution.
The Batu Caves
As you walk up the flight of stairs you will see many people, both tourist and Hindu’s who are going to worship. You will also most likely be joined by few monkeys who freely wander up and down the stairs. However, as friendly as they may seem, I would strongly caution you to keep in mind that they are still considered wild animals and you should —beware.
To keep the Gatorade or not, that it’s the question?
After entering the Batu Caves and enjoying the smell of the beautiful aroma of many different incense and walking through one of the most serene and majestic atmospheres in the world my friend and I took a few steps out of the cave and met a nice looking male monkey, or at least what we thought to be a nice monkey.
My friend had just purchased a cold bottle of Gatorade from the souvenir shop at the entrance to the cave, and we were both exiting the cave when the monkey walks between the two of us and demands her Gatorade. “Excuse me,” he infers reaching for the Gatorade. However, after tracking up 272 flights of stairs and then walking through the cave she was tired, hot and not about to share, at least I’m thinking those are the thoughts swimming in her head. However, this monkey wasn't joking and definitely wasn't about any monkey business. In fact, he was very serious, he reached to snatch the drink from her hands and just as she pulled back he he let her know how serious he was. Next, all I saw were teeth, which was my clue to mind my own business and proceed down the stairs with tenacity, “We both shouldn't get bit, right?” Plus, who would live to tell the story?
This monkey was definitely not named “George” although he was very curious about why my friend had decided to pour her drink on the stairs in an attempt to share her libations with him, he was in no way the cute and cuddly type. After, he kindly gave her a look that explained to her he was indeed a monkey and not a cat, the Hindu God’s came to her assistance and kindly produced an empty Gatorade bottle on the stairs near her feet. She picked it up and poured the monkey a portion. He then reached up and without any words of gratitude, jumped up on the rail and over to the side steps taking the drink straight to the head— so GANGSTER! And without any exchange of words she took what was left of her drink and scurried down the stairs in an attempt to keep the remains to herself before he propositioned her for more.
So, for those of you who plan to take an adventure to Malaysia and want to go to the Batu Caves, I would suggest that you—beware of the monkeys.
The Batu Cave monkeys look cute and for the most part they mind their own business, unless you have something that they may want and/or think they need. I would also caution you from taking pictures were the monkeys can see their own reflection, they reportedly don’t like the image that might be staring back at them. It has also been suggested that you don’t attempt to freely feed the monkeys as you may be attacked, and remember, even though you only see one monkey, they do travel in packs. The Batu Cave monkeys are cute and even seem to be cuddly, but beware they are Gangster and you have WARNED!