Monday, January 07, 2013

Monkeying around!

Literally. : )
Our family lives in Chiba, Japan. However I will often say I live literally on the border of Chiba. And I really honestly mean it. The 2 movie theaters we go to. In Ibaraki. Remember the Saturday meat specials at the cheap meat store? Yep it takes place in Ibaraki. When I was teaching English last year? Yep again, not happening in Chiba, happening in Ibaraki. When Branden went to the movies first time with friends a while back. But we dropped them off. Yep Ibaraki too. My nearest Saizeriya? Yep you guessed it, Ibaraki. : ) If I walk out my front door and head 5 minutes facing right, blammo...I hit Ibaraki! I’m literally teeter tottering Chiba and Ibaraki. I see that sign....”welcome to Chiba” “welcome to Ibaraki” so many times, between going to the supermarket or cheap meat store, that I really barely notice the signs anymore. Nearest Sanki? Yep, Ibaraki again. ; )

Anyway I live in the countryside/inaka. When I drop the boys off to Kumon we pass a huge area where the cows are behind a fence. Black and white cows. Rice fields are plentiful around here. Life is simple around here and nice. I’ve heard lots of talk from folks around here that there are wild boar around here. But thank goodness I’ve yet to see one. ; )

However if you would have asked me 6 months ago, “do we have any monkeys in our area” I would have said “no, we don’t.” : ) I just don’t think of my town as having monkeys in it. Hahaha. Boy was I wrong. : )

It all started at the first week of November. Noboru went to the “Father’s Club” meeting one evening. And the dad’s and male teachers and principal were talking and the subject of monkeys came up. A father who lives about 2 minutes from us, told Noboru. “You live on the last row of houses like we do, do you ever see monkeys?” Noboru was a little surprised. @_@ “No, we haven’t” Noboru said. “We have seen them twice, my wife and I”, he went on and said. Also, do you ever hear the dogs barking outside and if you look outside and then you won’t see anything, that’s probably them” Noboru was still surprised but also happy to at least get the information. However just as our neighbor up the road was ending his sentence. Noah's male teacher chimes in (Noah has 2 sensei’s though) “oh yes that’s true, working at the school we get called in with monkey sightings at least twice a month.” @_@ They did end that topic though by all agreeing....”just be careful because those monkeys are strong they can actually over power one of us they said.” “Yes” another said, “they’re very strong, be careful and they run in groups sometimes.” Noboru came home and told me the monkey warning and story. Holy goodness, I just couldn’t believe it.

I sort of filed it away in my head. I’m not going to go out looking for one, granted but if I see one, at least the bright side is, I won’t be as surprised now, because at least I’ve been fairly warned.

And then nearing Thanksgiving in November. It was Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving and the day before my dad would arrive for Thanksgiving. Anyway, we got a message that all the kids would get off at 2pm because there was a threat in the area. @_@ OMG, what is this threat I thought? My mind starts to race, thinking and worrying. Then I got the answer of the threat/danger.....I hear the lady on the town loud speaker and that lovely echo...echo...thing she seems to always have. ; ) Still a serious enough threat for us country folks to cut school early that day....a monkey gang spotted *right* near the shogakko/elementary school. Right at the back of the school grounds of the field/track in the brush apparently just hanging around.@_@ Actually technically only 2 monkeys found running wild and running amok near the school. And yes considering how strong those monkeys are and that these are just grade school kids, they all let out of school at 2pm that day for safety precautions. The whole time my dad was here we were on high monkey alert. Yes, seriously. : ) Thursday actual Thanksgiving the kids all got out early also because of the monkey danger and also Thanksgiving Thursday the kids were not allowed to play outside at all during school that day. Schools decision for that day.

Now it’s January and thankfully the talk of monkeys have cooled off some now. And the kids are allowed to play at school again.

But you know somedays, when I’m here in the house in the afternoon, prepping for dinner in the kitchen and I hear those 2 smart dogs next door barking and alerting me that someone’s near. I look outside the front and see nothing. And look outside the kitchen patio and again see nothing. I can’t help but think and remember what Noboru said the neighbor said at that “Father’s Club” meeting back at the start of November. Could it be.....they’re out behind our house in the brush behind our house or along the side of our house in the brush.... having a wild rip roaring good time back there? Gee, I hope not. ; )

Now when the boys go and play outside with friends from the neighborhood. I always tell them of course, “don’t talk to strangers” but I also have been adding since November....and “please be aware of the monkeys.” And if you see one, just come straight home, because from what I hear, they’re quite scrappy, so just please be aware!” ; )

Oh and get this, Noboru went behind our house after all the monkey talk during November when everyone was on high monkey alert code red. And he said he saw poop that he believes could have come from a monkey. @_@ Now between you and me, what would monkey poop even look like? Yikes. I haven’t the foggiest idea. ; ) Husbands though, right, how funny.  Actually looking for signs of monkeys. lol.  Anyway, just wanted to share our monkey story. : )