Shanghai tip: Don’t show fear to the monkey

Ahh Friday’s. What would they be without a good monkey story?

About a month ago I was sipping, as elegantly as one can at 10pm, on a margarita at Cantina Agave on Fumin Lu (which is the best Mexican in town by the way) when a monkey came up on the bench and started begging. It’s fairly common to see people beg around western restaurants and bars in town but we were surprised by the monkey. It was the first monkey we’d seen in China, let alone Shanghai.

Unfortunately, the monkey was on a leash and was trained to beg – not far behind the monkey was a toothless character thinking we’d give him some money for his show of animal cruelty. When we said no, the monkey shot off and went to go to the next table. Instead of begging the monkey went straight for a loose handbag on the table. Luckily the woman who owned the bag was firm and shooed off the monkey like an old hand the owner disappeared fast after one of the women who worked there started chasing him down Changle Lu.

What did I do? Not spill one drop of the margarita, of course.

Which brings me to the point of today’s post: Don’t show fear to the monkey. According to a report in the London Metro we were extremely lucky the monkey in Shanghai didn’t get loco on us like one did recently in Chengdu:

A 60-year-old woman,Zhou Juchang, was pushed off a cliff by a monkey. She made the claim after winding up at the bottom of a seven-metre rockface, fracturing her hip and breaking three ribs.

Now she’s suing her travel agent, who organised her trip into China’s Chengdu Wildlife Park.

The monkey allegedly flew into a rage when the woman refused to hand over the bag of monkey food which her tour guide recommended she buy.

A spokesman for the park said the woman’s mistake was showing fear.

Anyway, if you are after Mexican in Shanghai I do highly recommend Cantina Agave. Relatively cheap Mexican food, good tequila, nice owners, and expensive jugs of margaritas. It’s located in the French Concession at 291 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu.

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