merry christmas from exile

i've been thinking the last few days of what i could write to get my blog running again. you see, certain peoples have been on my case, so consider yourselves relieved of duty all you pesterers and naggers, albeit friendly ones.

so there i was, minding my own business, when all of a sudden i realized we were under attack.

see, dharamsala is in the mountains, but only at about 7000ft. monkeys patrol the forest around the town, but also the town itself. too much easy food. and too many dogs to provoke. so, i was standing on my balcony when i noticed a monkey of some sort tucking into a bowl of sugar on a just vacated table. handful after handful; from fist to mouth. being a good tenant i picked up an empty tissue paper role, i wanted to scare it, not hurt it, and launched it. i did scare it. but it sat back down to a mean of sugar.

resigning myself to the poor monkeys impending upset stomach i stepped into my room to grab my camera. i thought there might be some close-ups of a monkey shoveling sugar into it's mouth. before i could step back outside i heard a woman scream and surprisingly violent monkey chatter. it's unmistakable when violence enters any language. not fully aware of what what taking place outside i opened my door to find a troop--yes, a troop--of monkey marching along the railing of my balcony, descending upon the dining patio below. there were at least 50 of them, some looking like they really were in a war, with dirty matted hair.

what ensued i am not sure. i can only describe what i saw from my window. pushing the lace curtains aside i only see the steady arrival of new monkeys, and then with a start, they began running. and screeching. they arrived in numbers to overtake the hotel grounds, but it appears that the hotel owners, knowing the rules of war, that it's a numbers game, rallied his family plus many faces i had yet to see. maybe 15-20 people. apparently that, plus a kids slingshot--colored baby pink--and a few well aimed bottle caps, does the job of scattering a monkey army. the tibetan hotel owner and his family had won the day. they troop scampered across roofs to terrorize another home, but this one had eager dogs to protect it.