If you are in any way soothed by the sound of traffic, my advice is to turn the fuck around. These Islands are known to be free of motorized vehicles. Once you exit the boat, hop into the bath-like water and wade to shore (possibly carrying your bag above your head), you will be greeted with the bright face of a donkey cart driver and the magnificent miniature horse creature, which waits patiently for the cart to be loaded and the journey to begin.
I’m in love with these little guys (the animals, not the driver). They look like they’re all dolled up for a special ceremony and are excited to see me. Their horsey faces glitter in the sunlight, giving me a knowing look that after I spent too much time eating and drinking that I will need their guidance to get my stumbling ass home. In keeping with the festivities, they’re all rigged up with colorful saddles that have a row of crazy fringe. The reigns also have little bells scattered along the length, so as they parade up and down the streets they sound “Christmassy.”
The whole outfit (as I believe it is called) is a display of how glorious these creatures truly are. However, this year, as I was passing one on the street, I became mesmerized by the head gear. As I was admiring the detailing, I started to pay attention to the flaps on either side of its eyes.
In order for these horses to work effectively and not to be freaked out by tourists, they have 4 X 4 inch plastic piece that shields each of their eyes from seeing anything beside them. They literally have to turn their heads completely side to side, if they want to see what’s going on in their periphery. When they work, they are only allowed to observe the situations directly in front of them.
It instantly struck me - these flaps were just a horrible symbol of how many of us simply choose to clip along in our lives without any real awareness of our surroundings.
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