Posted by: Tommy | March 16, 2011

The scariest moment of our trip

I wish I had taken pictures so as to convey to our readers the astonishing, terrifying ordeal that we just witnessed.  Alas, taking out a camera, turning it on and snapping a picture was the last thing on my mind.  All I could think of was “Run, Run Run!”.  I went one way, Anna went another.  3 women, clad in traditional Muslim dress, ran with us.  Two following me, one just ahead of Anna, all three of them screaming in terror.   Did that really just happen?

We had just walked up the stairs and were debating whether to sit outside on the rooftop deck looking up at Fort Jodhpur or inside under the fan at our favorite place in Jodhpur to get a beer and play some cards in the afternoon.  As we passed the table of the three aforementioned Muslim young women, a huge monkey jumped over the wall of the restaurant (again, outdoor roof deck).  It was 3.5 to 4 feet tall, white with a black face and massive sharp teeth bared.

The wall was 20 feet ahead and the monkey covered that ground quickly.  Of course, we were covering ground the other way almost as quickly.  Anna screamed (she says this was to scare the monkey away…sure) and the other girls shrieked.  I was silent, but just about pulled a hamstring jumping down the stairs to get away.  I jumped down a side staircase leading to a lower landing.  Anna and one of the other girls ran back down the hallway we’d come from and down another flight of stairs.

I was thinking her move was smarter as I stood on the landing with 2 of the other girls, looking above, waiting for this massive primate to jump down – where we’d be trapped.  Anna at least had an out – she was in a stairwell and could keep moving down.  The girls and I looked around, trying to find the monkey – and then we spotted him…moving straight toward Anna’s position, but one floor up.  I could see her and the other girl looking out from the stairwell, starting to come out as the rest of us had calmed down.  By this time, residents of the hotel (the rooftop restaurant is on top of a hotel) had started coming out of their rooms to see what all the screaming was about.  Several doors opened, heads popped out, only to be slammed shut when the monkey was discovered.

I yelled at Anna not to come out, to stay there.  The monkey was leaning over the railing, looking down at her and the other girl.  And just as suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone – scaling the wall at the other end of the restaurant and climbing up the satellite dish of the building next door.

After being surrounded by lions, having our car enveloped by a herd of cows, being threatened by an elephant, being in the Jo’burg train station in the dark, tracking lions and tigers on foot and getting shaken down by cops in Mozambique, who would have thought an afternoon trip to grab a beer would turn into the first truly terrifying experience of our trip.



  1. I guess if you would have offered the monkey some beer, and a hand of cards he wouldn’t have had his teeth bared!

  2. OMGosh!!!! Sounds like that was a close call! Maybe you should only do “roof-tops” when in the cities!!!! XOXOXO kita

    • We WERE in a city. 2.5 million people live there.

  3. Did you scream “Holy Monkey!”? I would have. Partly in homage to Ace Ventura and partly to accurately identify the threat. I’m assuming the Johdpurians consider that hairy bastard to be some sort of deity and therefore exempt from harsh treatment and tranquilizer darts? I’m glad I wasn’t there brother. I have a particular fear and hatred of our simian cousins. I think it has to do with that cymbal clapping teeth-baring monkey robot toy I had as a child. I don’t think India recognizes my concealed handgun license, so I would have been unarmed and utterly incapable of parking a Federal hollow-point on Kong’s forehead. Of course they probably frown upon shooting Hanuman in the head as well….

  4. […] Monkey, India – Easily the scariest animal encounter we’ve had.  Seeing  a 4 ft. tall simian leap over a wall, fangs bared, and running toward you is a lot scarier than being charged by an elephant while in a car. […]

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