Monday, June 11, 2012

Donkey Carts in Egypt

The stores come to you in Egypt. At least twice a day, a loudspeaker blares from the road by my apartment building with a merchant selling his wares, ranging from vegetables to milk to rugs to toys. Sometimes they're in trucks, sometimes donkey carts.

Egyptian women will lower baskets, attached to ropes, off their balconies and yell out their order. The wares are put in, pulled back up, and then payment goes back down. Of course, there are plenty of stores, too, but this way is traditional and handier for some.

Like the milkmen of old, the merchants have set routes, and their donkeys could do them blindfolded. I've seen guys sleeping on their wagons while their donkey pulls them down busy streets and in and out of traffic. (Never underestimate the intelligence of donkeys.)

In farmland, donkeys are used to take produce from the fields. This one is carrying sugar cane. Sometimes, I wish my novels could include pictures for those who wonder if I'm getting the facts right or think donkeys pulling big carts are a figment of my imagination. Nope, it's just an average day in Egypt!

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