This is a different blog than usual – it’s about our trip to Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw). I am done with my quota of touristy things like visiting every point of interest, going to all the top restaurants. Thanks to my stint in London, UK, my friend Ranjani and my husband I have had my fill of it. As prof. Rao says in his Creativity and Personal Mastery says “You Cannot Leave Desire, Desire Has To Leave You.” And the desire has left me.Those were good times but my focus at that time was checking my list rather than enjoy the city for what its worth. I am drawn to the human stories or little nuggets that most don’t know about but it wasn’t my primary focus.
Anyways, so weekend trip to Mackinac Island – first of all there are no cars on the islands just bikes and horse buggies. The words – Taxi, Shuttle, Uber will bring you something like below:
The horse drivers were all very interesting – they come up for 4-6 months and then take off to their winter homes.One of our drivers had been doing this for 10 years. There is no certification needed to drive a horse buggy – they give you some training and then you are on your own. You have to learn how to do a three-way turn/U-turn on the tiny winding mountains roads filled with bikes/people and kids – need I say more. We got talking to one of the drivers and I asked him if they breed horses in the island and he said, “No, there are not stallions on the island. There might be some males but the ones who cannot reproduce.” Reason being that horses are matriarchal society so if you put a male/female together in a cart female is trying to outrun the male but the male has bigger hoof-steps than female so makes for a very bumpy ride. [An interesting article that talks about the matriarchal society in horses]
Life on an island must be very interesting as the island is your home. Our lovely puppy got all the fan fare he wanted – the day we showed up a young kid with hair as long has he was tall showed keen interest in Aki. We got talking and it turns out his name is Dex, he lives in the island all year long, he is in 3rd grade and goes to the Mackinaw public school. He hitched a ride on his bike alongside our shuttle. Next day morning we ran into him and a bunch of his friends in the woods – apparently they were building a fort. And then in the afternoon he comes along with this bunch of friends and offers to give Aki a walk for 2$. When Adam said he will think about it, he said he would even do it for free. He and his friends were having a lot of fun – you could see that they belonged and they were not just visiting.
This post will not be complete without mentioning Aki. He is a social crutch for me – conversations with strangers don’t have to awkward, no more small talk as people like to come up and say all sorts of things. I am listing some of the common things.
Person1:”What kind of a dog is he?” Anu: “Shiba Inu” Person 1:”Shiba Unu” [for some reason its hard to say shiba inu the first time you hear it]
Person2:”Can I pet your dog?” Anu: “Yes, you can.” [This is my favorite]
Person3:”Do you know your dog looks like a fox?” Anu:”Yes, I do” [Sometime I feel like responding with a sarcastic – really I never noticed.]
And here is the photo of the famous dog Aki who left his indelible mark at the island