So this whole week had been passing unbearably slow. Like I said before, stuck between not having classes, but still not having a full break. However, that changed yesterday much to my delight because there is now a full weekend agenda.
It started out on Thursday, when i was coming back from the health clinic I saw a group of international students getting ready to head out. I inquire as to where they are going and find out they are in fact on their way to Monkey Mountain. I was able to tag along and ended up having a blast. On the way to the mountain we drove right along the ocean, and it was a clear day so it was a beautiful time to be near the water. When we got to the mountain i noticed a monkey in the woods almost immediately. He was just in the woods all alone so i did my best to survey the trees above to make sure there wasn't a monkey ambush waiting to spring on me and got close to take a picture. As i progressed deeper into the forest i couldn't help but let my inner child nostalgia come out as i thought, "if i were a Pokemon trainer, this is what a Pokemon jungle would look like." But then my thoughts progressed to the present and i recalled the woman who got mauled by a chimpanzee and went on Oprah to show the damage to her face. There were signs all around that said, "don't feed, touch, look into the eyes of the monkeys" and my personal favorite "don't make fun of the monkeys." We came to a clearing and found a huge monkey playground where monkeys were just running free. They would literally go right by your leg and i had to do my best not to step on the slow ones lest i incite their wrath and they attack. Luckily that didn't happen the monkeys were just playing and squeaking and picking ticks off each other to eat. The longest chain of "tick picking" as i like to call it was 4. It was really cool to see this in real life up close.
After a few minutes i heard a major commotion in the center of the pen...FEEDING TIME!!!! All the monkeys went crazy to get their share of the food. It was incredible seeing their red butts, face, and long red nipples run by in a red blur to get to the grub. A monkey riot soon broke out and fights between monkeys started popping up everywhere. I witness multiple brutal attacks on certain monkeys, sometimes 5 ganging up on one, big monkeys throwing little monkeys by the head with their mouths, i watched as one monkey tried in vain to get away. He ended up being dragged by two bigger monkeys, i stared in horror but couldn't bring myself to look away when i noticed the monkey being dragged was soiling himself in fear. Literally urinating while being dragged away spraying his monkey urine everywhere.
This grisly scene got me thinking though...are we as humans so different? Is it really so hard to believe that we are descendants of these primal beasts? After seeing what i did in the monkey pen i have a hard time believing otherwise. But this is a discussion better left for another time... I managed to get some great pictures with the monkeys but not without getting some dirty from them. The rest of the experience was enjoyable and the monkeys just sat in their trees, defecated, and chucked their feces at one another. The experience on the mountain of Monkeys is one i won't soon forget. But afterwards the group went to the mall, and i was fortunate enough to get some cheap delicious sushi off the carousel. Went to the beach to relax and watch the sunset but found it was a cloudy night and couldn't see a whole lot. But a good day nonetheless. Once back at AP house i hosted some of the international students in my room for a great time of community building and culture awareness. It was fun seeing all the "gaijins" mixing with the native "nihonjins." Just a big ol' American style mixer.
PS i wish i could put up more pics here but check out some more here: