A sudden rush of icy fear came over my body. I stood frozen in time, unable to move. I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening, but I knew this wasn’t going to end well. I was being attacked.
The day started like any other, waking up to another beautiful day in Ubud where the clouds were non-existent. It felt like I was in a land of my own. I had already enjoyed an extraordinary day at the zoo, meeting unusual animals like the Binturong; so it was time to treat myself to some snacks from the local Mini-Mart. Being someone who needs regular sustenance, I had been there a load of times before, and I was sure I was walking the right way. The Mini-Mart was on my right, just on the corner like I had memorised, and my hostel only 500m up the narrow road.
Feeling tired from my day, I was eager to get back as fast as I could to enjoy my treats. Heading back in the direction I had come, with my bags swinging happily by my sides, I felt a sharp push on my back. I could feel myself being pulled down. My bags had been torn from me and my treats were thrown and scattered all over the dusty floor.
Dazed and in a panic, I screamed and looked around. The street was quiet; there was no one there. Now disorientated and confused, I bent down to retrieve my things before they spoiled, and as I did, I felt another push on my back, knocking me off balance. I nearly fell to the floor. Something heavy had landed on my head; I was terrified, and I didn’t understand what or why this was happening.
Out of the corner of my wide fearful eyes I caught sight of a small hairy creature. And when my eyes finally focused, I couldn’t quite believe it. A smirking monkey was staring back up at me, grasping on to my digestive biscuits! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, especially when I realised the extra weight on my head was the smirking monkey’s partner in crime! I was being mugged by monkeys!
Having screamed even louder now upon realising they were after my treats, a local man ran over to scare them away. We attempted to gather up all my belongings, but those pesky monkeys were persistent and kept coming back for more. They wanted MY snacks! Jumping and squeaking, the little robbers were relentless in their excitement to claim my snacks as their prize.
Finally, after another successful attempt of thievery from the monkeys, the kind man, holding my remaining treats above his head, escorted me around the corner to safety, away from the attacking monkeys.
I was dazed and confused as to what had happened. But as I slowly returned to a calmer state and had chance to look around I realised I wasn’t in the familiar spot I had expected to be in. This wasn’t the place I had memorised. I had somehow wandered off in a new direction, and stumbled across the wrong Mini-Mart, which unfortunately was located just opposite the Monkey Forest. I was not just 500m from my hostel; instead I still had to face a giant hill, protecting my goods like they were the last on earth!
I never did find out how I took such a wrong turn, but the memory of being mugged by a bunch of thieving monkeys has made this a place I will never forget.