Because it's been four months since this happened, it gets a short intro. It also get a short intro because the pictures speak for themselves, especially those of shock.
On Phi Phi island, we had just left our lunch, and stumbled upon the man in the red shirt, who was walking hand in hand with a monkey, a monkey who was wearing a diaper. The diaper, while a point of comedy in pictures and stories, was something that I'm sure we didn't appreciate the full benefit of until after the experience.
Man in red, owner of the monkey, spoke little English, but was sure to correct us in our calling his animal a "monkey", when he was actually a Gibbon, which is an ape, evidently. His name was Sri, and he was softer and cuter and cuddlier than the pictures begin to tell.
We saw the man with the monkey, and as if we had coordinated it, both stopped walking and stared. Man in red didn't miss a beat with his business opportunity, stopped Sri up, and put him in Hannah's arms. I lifted my camera to my eye, and the man's hand immediately went to cover Sri's eyes, telling me it would cost 100 baht, or roughly $3. I shook my head violently assuring him we would pay, my intensity signaling that this was a moment I did not care to miss with my camera.
(Props to Hannah because she did a much better job taking pictures of me than I did of her.)
When the man in red put Sri on Hannah's shoulders, she reached up to touch the monkey's arm, asking what body part it was, clearly confused. I didn't realize how strange it would feel to have him on my shoulder until he was there.
She also waited until Sri was sitting on her shoulder, clearly relaxed as ever, to ask "would now be a good time for me to say I don't like monkeys?"
Sri was good at pictures until he got distracted.
It was oddly confusing having him up there, I didn't know what was a leg or a hand. His fingers were leathery and long.
As we were the first ones to see Sri and the man in red, we got a few minutes each holding him. During that time, our shrieks of excitement drew a crowd and a line of the next customers formed. Man in red let them hold Sri, but because of the line and the occasion to make money, the people behind us in line got much less time with Sri than we did, and surely for the same price.
I wanted my last picture with Sri.
And a last picture with Sri I got.