When we go to the market, we walk. Period, full stop. Or, if it’s really far away, we might splurge on a bemo. (I know, such extravagance). But today, we really went all out. First, we took a taxi. Then we arrived at the market to see pony carts parked outside. I promptly squealed. This, of course, made all the locals chuckle. We finished our shopping, as I urged my parents to hurry up. I wanted a pony ride, damn it. They seemed to be slowing down on purpose, chatting with the tobacco seller, smelling the mangoes, and basically ignoring me. Such kind people. Anyway, after they finished inspecting every single piece of fruit the market had to offer, I rushed them to the pony parking lot. They had been to the market yesterday, and taken a pony cart home, so they were more blasé about the ponies. But I wasn’t. I could never be blasé about ponies. NEVER.
When I finally succeeded in towing them to the ponies, they recognized their pony man from yesterday. Apparently he was very gentle with his pony, so we picked him. The pony, a tiny, shiny, fat brown animal, pulled a ratty, broken down chariot with two wheels. There were nicer carts but we liked this determined, sturdy little pony and the small, kind old man who drove the cart. The pony’s hooves were being reshod, probably with my parents fare from yesterday, so we waited as the pony was tended to by the local farrier. While this was going on, we had to watch as a complete jerk of another pony man, chucked manure and fruit at our driver’s head and tried to convince us to switch carts. We declined.
Finally, the pony was ready. We climbed into the wobbly contraptions, which falls back as you climb in, and squished up to the front, to balance our weight over the wheels and make it easier for the pony. As we trotted out of the yard, the other driver ran up and rubbed manure into our driver’s hair. We all shouted at the other driver and the pony picked up his pace. When we arrived at the small marina owned by a British expat and his Indonesian wife, the pony was slowing down. We hopped out, fed the pony a carrot, and waved it down the road. Best. Transport. Ever.