mean monkeys and nice monkeys

There are two types of monkeys in Rishikesh: black faced and red faced. The black monkeys are super sweet. They have a ring of lighter hair around their faces, kind of like a lion. I see them carrying babies a lot. Sitting in small groups, eating bananas or coconuts in harmony. The red monkeys are another story. They steal from each other and humans alike. They’re aggressive and territorial, again with each other and with humans. You see them alone mostly.

The other morning I was walking home from breakfast with a banana in my hand, and looked up to the gate in front of my building to see a red monkey. It’s fine, I thought, it’s just one. And it’s like a foot tall to my almost 6. But I felt it was looking at me, and I made the mistake of accidentally locking eyes. He got down from the gate and started walking towards me, with an attitude like he was a 6’6 guy backing me into a dark alleyway. I screamed and threw my banana and ran in a wide circle to my house. When I got safely inside, I looked out my window and the monkey was enjoying my banana, sitting on my patio. Did the monkey technically steal from me? No. But he scared me into giving him something that was mine. Classic school yard bully.

This is the difference between black and red monkeys in Rishikesh.

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