One of my main objectives in traveling to Thailand was to see a monkey. Monkeys have always amused and entertained me, and in preparing for my trip I had read about the “monkey shows” with great excitement. My head was spinning – monkeys picking coconuts, monkeys playing instruments, monkeys performing with elephants…it was overwhelming. What more can a man want a monkey to do? The answer was ‘nothing,’ and I took note that there was a monkey show in Bophut Village on the island of Koh Samui.
With time to spare on a Saturday afternoon, I left my hotel room near Chaweng beach with the goal of finding the monkey show. I didn’t have a clue as to where Bophut Village was, but walking aimlessly down the street, I happened upon a sign that said “Bophut” and had an arrow pointing off into the distance. The day was bright and sunny. If I could walk to Bophut, life would be grand. I embarrass easily, and I didn’t really want to get into a cab and say, “Monkey show! And step on it!”
About an hour into my walk, I realized that I was completely lost. There were no more signs for Bophut. Civilization had vanished before my eyes. The tailor shops and souvenir stores were long gone. I was surrounded by tall green trees; the sidewalk had ended and I walked down the side of the road, people on motor bikes zipping by me. The worst part, though, was that the sun had been blocked out by dark clouds. My love for monkeys made me mindlessly continue on, until the sky finally opened up and the rain came down warm and heavy.
I needed cover, so I ran down the street until I found a small hut with a brown roof. There were sandbags thrown into a big pile outside the place, and a blue motorbike was parked by the door. A dull yellow overhang stuck out from the roof, shielding a short bench. It seemed like a monsoon had come out of nowhere, so I ducked under the overhang and sat down on the bench. I looked at the rain falling on the trees. There was a window behind me, and I heard someone knocking on it. “Crap,” I thought, “some old Thai lady is probably going to come out and tell me to get off her porch.”
But it wasn’t an old Thai lady. Instead it was two little kids. There was an adorably cute girl in a blue dress and a little boy wearing pink shorts, as though their mother didn’t fully grasp what color goes with what gender. The kids were incredibly enthusiastic to see someone on their porch. They waved, and when I waved back they jumped up and down. I made faces at them and they laughed and made faces back. We did goofy dances and I showed them how to raise the roof. This went on until the rain got worse and I started to get wet. I gave them the peace sign and ran off to a place with better cover across the street.
I could still see the tiny house with the brown roof. The door opened and the two kids looked out. They waved to me and I waved back. It was hard to see their faces through the rain, but they seemed happy.
Needless to say, I never made it to the elusive monkey show. Instead I spent my afternoon waiting for the rain to stop, waving to two little children out in the middle of nowhere.