It was still early in the morning and apart from the paper boys on their bikes, everyone was still asleep. I loved the colours of the buildings and doors, they felt so alive! It’s always a treat to find nature in its natural habitat, as both of the plants I spotted are houseplants where I come from. The first I spotted in the sun was the bitterly named, Mother in Law’s Tongue. Whoever first gave it that nickname, must have had a miserable go of things…
These Snake Plants, with their sharp yellow edges, glowed in the early morning sunshine. They make a formidable path to cut through. I like the Chinese name for this plant best of all, Tiger’s Tail. I imagine it could look like the tail of a tiger as it stalks through the jungle growth.
At the other end of the little park was a massive tree with vines covering the bark. It took a second look to recognise my hanging potted plant, the Pothos. In the wild they can grow some forty feet. Nothing compares to living your life as it was supposed to be! Plants included!
Mine will never get this big, no matter what music I play to them. It’s also placed very high out of reach, as every part of this plant is poisonous. Cleans the air for us, but for our pets, not a good mix.
The heat was intense and oppressive. I passed by a housewife chatting with a neighbour. How I wanted to linger and hear their morning gossip, but not a single tree was about to offer shade. It was time to make my way back to the boat before I melted into a puddle on the sidewalk.
Just before I left this street, a man came out of the house with long sweet sticks of freshly cooked Churros. Of course I had to have the Coconut Churro! Munching along, the sweet sugary taste managed to takemy mind off the heat for a few moments. The stalls on the side streets were open for business and I knew it wouldn’t be long before the shops on the main street would be full of tourists and sales people in full swing.
The street led right back to the main road and presented a major dilemma for me. The man with the horse and wagon.
It’s such fun to ride along in a horse-drawn buggy, but I am always torn, if I and all tourists stopped partaking of the donkey rides, camel rides, horse and wagon rides, would it be a kinder better life for the animal standing in the hot sun? There was no shade to be found anywhere to rest under. I had no idea if that horse was feeling the heat like I was. I did see owners offering their horses water, and I imagine that they take care of them, as they are their livelihood, and being that, if tourists stop riding the “native ways” for the lack of a better term, are we then also destroying their livelihood?
It tears me apart, it always has. From the donkey rides on English Beaches, to horses used everywhere in the world for a ride into the past, I want the animals to have the best lives possible, but I also want the man asleep in this wagon to be able to feed his children. What to do? I just walked back to the boat, troubled. What are your thoughts on this? Support the horse and cart man, or put it away into the realms of history like feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square with the bird man singing, feed the birds, tuppence a bag?