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Jan 30, 2008

Campeche Parque Principal -- from the Monkey Hostel


In search of cleaner air and some trees, I spent the weekend in Campeche on the Gulf Coast -- 2-1/2 hrs by bus from Mérida. As the Lonely Planet guidebook says, "Campeche is just so... pretty."  They're right.

I stayed at the Monkey Hostel* whose porch and rooftop views are ridiculously sweet.  The hostel also made me think of my Durham pal Jenny C., whose Most Important Question to new friends goes more or less like this:

"Moral and financial considerations aside,** if you could have an equally trained monkey or robot as your servant, which would you choose?  And why?"

I asked some of hostel friends. 

"Monkey!" said Helga (from Bologna).  "I hate robots.  They freak me out."

"It depends," said Mirko (from the Czech Republic***), "I think monkey because you could be friends.  But only if he wanted to work for you and if you could give him a better home than he would have if you didn't give him a job.  Otherwise, it's better to let him be free."

"I think monkey," said Mirko's girlfriend, Katy (from Slovenia).  "But monkeys can be hard.  When we were in Indonesia, we met a very sweet young monkey that lived at the hostel.  The little monkey sat by Mirko's shoulder while Mirko was reading late at night.  And when Mirko got tired and his head bent down, the monkey was also tired and leaned his head onto Mirko.  And when we went to bed, the little monkey slept in between us, just like a baby.  It was very very sweet.  But in the morning?  Oh, man, the monkey got up early and he was just crazy.  He wanted to play with everything.  He was grabbing things out of our luggage and all around the room and was throwing it everywhere.  We had to throw him out.  Crazy monkey."


*Click for the Monkey Hostel reviewed in Czech HostelWorld.com, in honor of Miroslav.

**See first comment for important correction/comment from Jenny.  Apparently I am so moral that I couldn't help but include the qualification.  But I'll do better in the future :-)

***Mirko noted, "Hey -- 'robot' was invented by a Czech!" My NCSSM friends who remember programming "Karel the Robot" might remember the origin, too: http://www.robotics.utexas.edu/rrg/learn_more/history/. 


01:13 AM in Mexico | Permalink


actually, I phrase the question:

If you had a choice between two equally trained servants, one is a monkey and one is a robot, do you choose the monkey or the robot.

By adding your clause about morality, you eliminate the chance for the #3* most popular answer "robot, because its morally wrong to have the monkey" which is a telling answer for people to come up with on their own.

* for viewers playing at home, the #1 answer is "robot, because I don't want to deal with monkey poo" and #2 is "monkey because monkeys are fun/I love monkeys/monkeys are alive"

outlier answers include gems such as:

"monkey because it could fling poo at my enemies"

"monkey because robots are stealing our jobs"

"robot because the monkey might die and I would be sad"

Posted by: JennyC | Jan 30, 2008 10:00:41 AM

Robot. Poo.

Posted by: Celeste | Jan 30, 2008 10:44:49 AM

MONKEYS!!! cause monkeys rule.

Posted by: JennyC | Jan 30, 2008 2:04:42 PM