We were enjoying the view from the cliffs of Ulu Watu in Bali – it was a beautiful moment until…a slight interruption. Just then it occurred to me that I was surrounded by monkeys…and they seized the moment. I was photographing a monkey on the edge of the cliff, when another jumped on her from behind. Then two other monkeys having sex too. Then two more. Where am I?? Surprise – monkey sex.
These monkeys were in their natural habitat, so anything goes. Including this first photo. What, you’ve never seen monkeys having sex?
Forget doggystyle – this is monkey style!
Edit: I didn’t realize Monkey sex was a slang term, as reported on Urban Dictionary – “The communal act of rough …wild …passionate…primatial fornication. Usually accompanied with various vocal tones and frantic leg hmuping usually seen and heard from orangutans. It is also customary to wear “Planet of the Apes” costumes in order to successfully portray monkey sex”
A read said it reminded her of this video from Gawker, with monkey sex on the hood of a car.
Mating behavior: These monkeys are macaques, which are known to have dominant males that try to monopolize females. Perhaps this is an example of that. Interestingly enough, “promiscuity beneﬁts females and subor-dinate males. One way to escape monopolization by dominant males is to copulate in their absence,” which is called the “audience effect.” This is according to an article in the American Journal of Primatology.
For more posts about monkeys, I’ve set up a link here.
When I tell local Indonesians I meet that I’m from NY, I get an immediate response of word association of everything that comes to mind for them at a rapid pace. Typically it starts with them excitedly blurting out
Immediately followed by “New York, New York – Sinatra!”
Or singing Alicia Keys’ chorus line from “Empire State of Mind,” which is funny because they both have a strong accent and are typically way off key. The combo is quite entertaining and didn’t get old even after having this happen nearly two dozen times in just a week.
Sometimes this is followed by “US and A!” cheer, and then random facts that they know about the US. “50 States!” One guy started naming random US state capitals. One guy started rattling off random cities he had heard of, that we have 100 senators, and the NY Yankees.
Interestingly enough I found I got a warmer initial response when I said I was from New York rather than from America or the US.
Has anyone else had an experience like this? Is this typical for countries in SE Asia? Let me know if this has happened to you.
Like my experience in HK, I met such wonderful people here (both travelers and Indonesians). Some of them I’ve been staying in touch with (and some will be perhaps by reading this blog).
My flight from Bali (DPS) to Java (SUB) was $29 on Wings Air. That’s the least I’ve spent on a flight up to this point. It’s a prop plane. That’s right, we’re flying a plane with a propeller. Hope we make it!
You can see the propeller on the Wings Air plane pictured above. I had last taken one on my trip through Belize and that was an adventure! Scary! I’ll post about the Belize adventure after I finish posting about the 15-country Asia trip.
If you’re going to be in a city for a few days, it’s always appreciated when you take a moment to learn a few key phrases. That’s particularly challenging in a country like Indonesia, with so many languages being spoken (Balinese and different dialects of Bahasa Indonesian were most common in Bali). But it’s important.
Regardless of what city I’m in, I find myself saying Thank You quite a bit, so in Indonesian, that’s “Terima Kasih.” Pair that with a warm smile and they’re likely to response with “Sammah Sammah” – You’re welcome. For some reason in Bali the word kaliren (hungry) came up a lot. “always kaliren!”
Special thanks to Afit, Nadya, and Dina, for teaching me their language.
Note: neither of those last two phrases came up accurately under Google Translate, but I was using them every day in Java and people seemed to know exactly what I was saying.
Like my experience in HK, I’ve met such wonderful people here (both travelers and Indonesians). Some of them I’ve been staying in touch with (and some will be perhaps by reading this blog).
Monkeys in Bali – I found myself surrounded by macaques (monkeys) in Ulu Watu, in Bali, Indonesia. They were everywhere! I had never seen so many monkeys in the wild, in their natural habitat. Photos of these Long-tailed macaques from Bali are below:
Imagine looking in a cave-like crevice and realizing for the first time, you’re face-to-face with a Whitetip Shark! When you’re a beginner SCUBA Diver, you have plenty of things to worry about – equalizing, breathing, buoyancy… but sharks??
It was my last dive of the day after getting Open Water Certified – while I cognitively understand the basic essentials of SCUBA Diving, I’m still very much a beginner. I needed to get better at everything – breathing, equalizing, buoyancy, but it’ll get better with experience. I was really nervous and that might have overwhelmed my excitement.
Each time you dive you follow a “Dive Master,” regardless of your experience level. This is someone that knows a lot more than me and the dive site really well. Beyond looking out for your safety, they act as your guide, and point out things that you should notice. Especially in my first few dives, I barely noticed anything, hyper-focused on breathing properly and equalizing.
After descending to a little more than 15 meters (that’s a little more than 50 feet – it’s always measured in meters) we got near the ocean floor. My DM, Gede, pointed at a colorful fish, which I later found out was a wrasse. Cool. Gede then pointed out some interesting coral. A little interesting. We were in discovery mode, and while I was paranoid that I wasn’t going to remember to equalize or do something important, I still enjoyed seeing everything.
Gede pointed at some coral – moderately interesting. He swam up closer and pointed at the rock that the coral was next to. I swam closer. At the time I was thinking he was more impressed by the coral.
He enthusiasticly pointed to nearly the exact same spot (remember, you can’t talk under water, so all you have is hand signals), so I came a little closer to investigate. Nope, still nothing here.
“I got really low, parallel to the ocean floor, and ended up eye-to-eye with a 4.5 foot long Whitetip Reef Shark!”
He put his hand out, palm facing down the way you’d mime an airplane, and pushed it down. Perhaps I was nervous but I didn’t remember if we went over that signal or not. Was he telling me to calm down or get lower. He descended another foot, so I did too (this was unfortately an excellent reminder that I was still terrible at controlling my buoyancy) only I went nearly all the way to the ocean floor. Buoyancy is important for lots of reasons, but especially when in close proximity to… anything. You really have no idea what’s disguising itself in the sand. A slight kick with my fins would kick a bunch of sand up and our visibility would disappear immediately.
Impressively I was able to lower myself in stealth mode, without disturbing any of my surroundings. I think it was my first time getting to one foot off the ground without touching it. From this new angle it was a completely different perspective. Whereas from just a few feet above it looked like one big land mass of rock and coral, I could now see that there was a crevice under the rock. Interesting lesson. Ok let’s move on.
Gede pointed at the coral again. Seriously, have I missed something? He motioned for me to get closer, so I did. A little closer vantage revealed that it’s not just darkness on the other side of the rock and coral. You could see some fish swimming around, some that I hadn’t seen before (that applies to nearly every type of fish, but still).
Gede then pointed at his eyes then motioned towards the rock and coral and shook his head, as if to say, did you see it? Without knowing what I was looking for, I may have. Earlier we went out of our way to see a rare type of coral that was only moderately interesting. I got the impression that this was different so while I shook my head yes, I thought it was worth getting just a bit closer in case I missed anything. Let’s see, there’s that fish, nothing over there, some coral, and…
Hiding in a little crevice that formed a cave under some coral, I noticed what looked like an eye. Yep it’s an eye, looking right back at me. What was it?? It’s the profile and head of a…shark!! Whaaaaat?? I tried to keep my composure, but for the first time, I was eye to eye with a shark! If I wasn’t underwater, I might have screamed! I looked at the DM and pointed – did he know there’s a shark in there?!? Of course he did.
This is what they look like:
Imagine looking in a cave-like crevice and realizing you’re face-to-face with a Whitetip Shark
I swam away, but as I ended up on the other side of this rock and coral formation, there was an angle where we could see the whole shark, apparently less impressed with meeting me as I was with meeting him. That’s the story of how I ended up eye-to-eye with a 4.5 foot long Whitetip Reef Shark!
Note – if you’re first learning how to SCUBA dive, try to remain calm. Do NOT follow my example.