Search This Blog

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I'm a firm believer in traveling as light as possible. For one thing I hate checking luggage. "One in every 138 checked bags was lost during the first nine months of this year, compared with one in 155 bags a year earlier." Now that statistic is for U.S. carriers, which are much worse than reputable international carriers, like British Air, which is what I'm flying on to India. Nevertheless, I don't want to bring anything extra or check anything. So the weather becomes a problem. In Delhi, my first stop, the temperature dips down into the 40s and it cane get colder. That means I need a jacket. In Yangon and Bangkok it never gets below the mid-70s and is as likely to be in the low-90s; no jacket needed. Maybe I can just bring one I hate and leave it in Delhi when I fly to Bangkok.

But what about the monkeys? Do I bring monkey food? Or pick it up when I get there? Are you supposed to feed the monkeys. The ones I've run into in Nepal in 1970 were pretty nasty and aggressive. When I returned 20 some odd years later they had replaced them with tame, friendly docile monkeys. I hear the ones infesting Delhi this year are neither tame, friendly nor docile. They're eating people's small pets, attacking people and trying to steal babies. Does it sound like a Hitchcock movie with simians instead of birds?

Troupes of monkeys are out of control in India's northeast, stealing mobile phones and breaking into homes to steal soft drinks from refrigerators, lawmakers in the region have complained.
"Monkeys are wreaking havoc in my constituency by taking away mobile phones, toothpastes, sipping coke after opening the refrigerators," Hiren Das told Assam state's assembly Saturday.

He said the primates were "even slapping women who try to chase them."

"It is a cause of serious concern in my area, with more than 1,000 such simians turning aggressive by the day," fumed Goneswar Das, another legislator representing Raha in eastern Assam.

And last month the deputy mayor of Delhi died when he fell off his balcony defending himself against a monkey attack. Another bunch broke into Sonia Gandhi's daughter's apartment and wrecked it, while others have been ransacking hospitals and attacking patients. They're out of control but devout Hindus believe they're the incarnation of Hanuman and can't be killed.

The problems stems from humans displacing monkeys from their natural habitat. Tens of thousands of them have moved into Delhi... where the livin' is easy. Gee, and I though all the danger on this trip was going to be in Myanmar.

No comments: