Read about the first scammed in Ukraine story here.
In Kiev, it seems everybody has a pet monkey. Every single time I walk down the main street, some street hustler attempts to throw a monkey on my shoulder and then take money from me.
Rabies vaccinations are not included before the monkey play begins.
On one of my first days here, I got caught off guard by one of the monkey handlers. Before I knew it, I had a monkey named John on my shoulder. I figured I might as well give her a dollar, and get a new picture with a monkey for my online dating profile, or something.
Well, as my friend was snapping the picture of me with the monkey, another monkey handler threw his monkey on to my shoulder, making sure it was at a perfect time to get the shot.
What do you think happened?
Here’s the progression…
Just look at my face in the last one!
Of course, he wanted money too – even though I had never expressed in interest in his monkey (I have high standards, what can I say).
I gave the original monkey handler $2 and attempted to go on my way. But monkey handler #2 had other ideas, getting right up in my face and demanding that I pay him $10.
He started waving a lit cigarette right in my face, and I was seriously beginning to contemplate the reprecussions of throwing down right there in Maidan Square of Kiev. I had the size advantage, but was thinking he probably had the edge in the crazy department.
Ultimately, I decided it’d be best to just give him $4. Ukrainian prison is not a place I’m keen to see. I looked him clear in the eye, money in hand, and said, “You are going away after this, understood?”
He seemed to get the point.
So I gave it to him and he went on his way, monkey on his arm (no idea what this one’s name was). Thus far, I’m rabies free.
Now, every time I walk down the street, I keep an eye out for the monkeys.
But it’s a funny story.