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There is something about donkeys that rubs me the wrong way.
The bible warns against eating some hooved animals. When I see a donkey and recall all the sins I have committed, I steer clear. My name cannot appear in all categories of sin.
Then there is this Chinese movie called The Red Sorghum. Three days after being married to a rich man with leprosy in exchange for a black mule, the bride rides a donkey (according to me)to her father’s house. It’s a tradition, at least historically. I mean the bride returning home, not leprosy or donkey riding.
I don’t know why I can’t let these poor creatures go or hold that Chinese movie in the esteem it deserves. Even Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, right? But I don’t have that scene in contempt.
I need to rewire my brain. Otherwise, I will continue rebuking donkeys and refusing to ride them whenever I visit Lamu, a small coastal town in Kenya.
You should have seen how the locals enjoyed riding and leading donkeys. They must be symbols of wealth –I don’t remember their cultural or historical significance. But I can’t forget how they flood the small town.
I preferred staying at Shela (within the same island as Lamu town but with fewer donkeys) to avoid these unfortunate creatures. My saliva turns bitter thinking about them. Maybe I should visit China and eat some donkey meat. It might help with my bias.
Anyway, considering my donkey hatred, imagine my surprise when my tour agent tells me to ride one. That I would look good on it? And those locals looking at me as if they couldn’t wait to see me and my green braids riding a donkey.
“No. I am not riding a donkey,” I shot back and walked away in disgust. ‘I will not take part in any form of micro-sexism,’ I couldn’t help thinking as the donkeys hee-hawed and laughed at my pettiness, and their stench defiled my nose. AAAARRRGGG!
Nobody was going to reduce my green braids into nothing less than the landmark they were in that small rural-like town.
In whatever you do, especially when visiting new places and interacting with novel cultures, don't ever forget to take reason with you. It will come in handy, especially when your know-it-all wanna-be supposed-to-be wants to blow off steam.
P.S. I have red highlights now. I feel dangerous.
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