Tango Diva Teresa Monkey in Chiang MaiYou hear about those freak accidents that totally change people’s lives. They take a left turn, instead of a right and they get hit by a bus. Or, like the recent bird flu deaths cause by young women picking feathers off dead swans. Well, my tale is not that dramatic, but it could have been.

Yesterday I went to the monkey school where they train monkeys to pick coconuts and help on the local farms. I was playing with a cute young money (only 5 months old – see the picture) and we had a grand time. I then washed my hands and bought myself an ice cream. The lady at the stand said that the baby monkey liked ice cream too. Well, stupid me, I reached out to give the monkey my ice cream and the little beast bit my finger instead of the ice cream!

Not good, I watched too many outbreak movies with bad monkey bites involved. Ebola, HIV, rabies, turing into vampires, etc., etc. Plus HIV is a monkey disease that was passed to humans. The horrible thoughts just gooped around in my head like mud. I am a freak when it comes to bacteria and disease. Luckily my girlfriend Victoria was staying at the Four Seasons, which was literally down the road from the scene of the crime. When in doubt – head to the Four Seasons!

I got to the lobby and when I asked for her I broke down in tears. They called for her and a doctor. When the doctor arrived, she was saying in her broken English things like HIV, rabies, hospital, blood samples. I went into shock and Victoria took over. What a trooper! What a great friend! She called for a translator and then the doctor called the monkey school and within two hours, I had a series of shots for rabies (which I need to continue for another 4 weeks) tetanus, and I have been put on antibiotics.

The lessons I learned. 1. DON’T FEED THE ANIMALS!!! 2. You never know when drama is going to strike, and sometimes you just can’t be prepared. But whatever you do, act immediately. 3. Get all your shots updated before you go off and trek into the jungle, luckily a domesticated monkey bit me. Imagine if I got bit by a grown male in the wild…it could happen. 4. Oh, and I am not going to watch anymore scary movies about monkey virus breakouts.