Monday, July 18, 2005

Missing The Donkeys

I'm not the only one in the neighbourhood who has a rather wide variety of creatures hanging about. My neighbour Babsi has a stable to die for (I'd happily move into one of her box stalls), a number of horses, an interesting pack of dogs including a rescued Anatolian shepherd who patrols her land at night striking terror into the hearts of anyone who might be stupid enough to walk in the gate, and Mabrouk the donkey. Mabrouk was rescued by her husband and brought home one day. He decided that he was either a dog or a human and made himself at home. Now he sidles up to Babsi whenever she sits down and leans on her shoulder. I think that this is his way of trying to sit on her lap. I took this shot of them one afternoon when it was too hot to do much more than just breathe, so we were all sitting around in the shade drinking ice water. However, I don't think that I'm going to be enjoying scenes like this during the next couple of weeks.

On Wednesday afternoon I'm taking off to New York City for two weeks to visit my daughter. She opted to stay in New York this summer and work for the university, so if I want to see her I have to go there. I really don't like travelling at all any more. Between the fact that anything but economy class is outrageously expensive and the general aura of paranoia in the major airports, travel is quite uncomfortable and not at all relaxing. I figure that I live where people come to spend a memorable vacation, so why should I go somewhere else for mine? It isn't as though this is a place I feel the need to escape from. So I'm off to Europe and then New York where I'm going to 'enjoy' the same heat as Egypt with a much higher humidity. Oh, the things mothers will go through for their children! (Listening, kids?)

There are good parts to the trip, however, and not just the chance to be with my daughter for a while. For an urban center, Manhattan is very comfortable. As a Cairene, I find it quite calm actually. But at the same time, there are always fascinating things going on all around you everywhere you go. There are also certain favourite cuisines that simply must be patronised on my visit, like the Taqueria on Amsterdam near 103rd. It's a tiny hole-in-the-wall diner with only four or five tables, but the Mexican food there is wonderful. I will enjoy going for walks if there is enough air to have some sort of breeze to cool us off. And the used book stands on Broadway near Columbia University will get a really good going over. There are also about five young university student friends on the east coast as well that I hope to gather for a visit.

But two weeks is enough time for evenings spent with the daughter and plenty of museum visits during the day. After two weeks, I start feeling itchy and I need to come home. Tracy will be here keeping the dogs and parrots company while I'm gone. Hopefully she'll find some time to go riding as well. So I can relax and enjoy my visit knowing that the creatures are well-cared for. But in two weeks, how much will Morgana grow? She's growing at an utterly horrific rate right now. And my own donkey, George W, is just getting to be old enough to learn to help pull the cart. He's had a babyhood as another lap donkey, but it's time to grow up and help his girlfriend Margarita out hauling the berseem and hay. I feel that I have such a good life here, it's hard to be away from it.

While I'm gone we are going to start the work on finishing the small house for the grooms and the tack. By the time we finish that the crops should be harvested on the rest of the land and we will plot out the paddocks. Once the horses are moved to the new place I will be able to see them from the stairway to the roof. Then we will be almost home.


kenju said...

May I recommend a restaurant in NYC? Balthazar (on 60th, I think) is excellent for brunch (but I am told you need reservations 30 days in advance). Maybe you can get in.

Something we have in common: we both have daughters in NYC.

removedalready said...

just curious, Why do u name ur donkey George W? hmmm...interesting..