Scammed By A Simian

Ah, the mystical island of Bali! One of the sixteen grillion islands that are part of Indonesia, Bali is the stuff of legend. Its cheerful, checker-flag-clad inhabitants tolerate tourists well, and they'd better: most of their island has been completely overrun by the buggers.

It's a place of magic, where monkeys are treated as sacred animals. They're well-protected and looked after. They get away with a lot. One of the places the Balinese monkeys call home is the Sacred Monkey Forest. It's a ruined temple, completely inhabited by monkeys. It's a big tourist attraction.

Wherever there are tourists, there are native vendors. And where there are monkeys there are native vendors selling peanuts. I didn't feel in the mood to feed the monkeys, thinking they had it pretty soft to begin with, so when the hawker came up to me flogging his peanuts, I took a pass. But there's more than one way to skin a tourist.

Suddenly,from the top of a fifty-foot-high wall swooped a monkey. In one smooth motion, he removed my glasses from my face and scampered back up the wall. He sat at the top, looking through the glasses and no doubt making faces. I have no way of knowing this; without corrective lenses I can't see across my nose.

Zing! Up comes the peanut vendor, who through the international language of waving and pointing, indicated he could get my glasses back. For 10 Rupia. What can ya do? I gave him the ten, and with a mighty arm, he threw the bag of peanuts (which I realized I had just purchased at twice the normal price) all the way up the wall to the monkey. The monkey, seeing the peanuts coming, grabbed for them and dropped the glasses right into the hand of the vendor, who had placed himself directly below.

I still don't know if I got scammed, but there's reason to believe these two were in cahoots. Which leaves you wondering what kind of a partnership they had: was it fifty-fifty, or was the monkey working for peanuts?

Yok Yok Yok