Monkey Business

January 28, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year, as we thankfully leave the Year of the Monkey behind and start the Year of the Rooster.  People in the West have been bemused and disturbed about the shenanigans surrounding the Referendum to leave the EU and the US Presidential Election.  While in the Far East there was no surprise at the amount of deceit, mischief and trickery that occurred last year, because after all that is what monkeys get up to and it was extreme because according to their calendar they are in the fire phase.  Anyone who has encountered monkeys in the wild (such as in Gibraltar) know they are agile, curious, intelligent, quick-witted and sociable.  They are also deceptive, selfish, reckless and restless – especially when they group together in clans and gangs.  They are little beggars and friendly when getting fed titbits, but become aggressive when refused and have a nasty bite.  They have no fear of humans and venture down from the Rock in to the City centre is search of savouries, which they prefer to the raw fruit and vegetables that are provided for them by the wardens.  You will also encounter them on the balcony of your hotel room as they forage widely, usually by themselves.  They are a real danger when they group and like any tribe have territorial disputes and fight each other.  So to them humans are just another tribe or troop entering their domain.  This is perfectly demonstrated at the top of the Rock.  They have come to associate plastic bags with food, so carrying a bag makes you a target.  You will be mugged for sure as they work together to distract you, while their leader snatches the bag.  They are also known to pick pockets and rummage in handbags.  They will also pounce before you are aware of their presence.  A favourite trick is to leap on to the roof of the cable-car as it nears the top, and then jump down as you step on to the platform.

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