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A Simpler way of life

Buggy Wheels for Sale

USA | Wednesday, 27 May 2015 | Views [51] | Scholarship Entry

Everything was made of wood and everything was painted white,and I felt like I’d walked onto the set of ‘The little house on the prairie,’ or into an old Western movie. Only, there was no saloon in this town, or any gun-toting cowboys. There was a calm and peaceful quiet to the place. I could feel it as soon as we drove in, as if we’d crossed over an invisible threshold into another world.
‘Are we even allowed to be here?’ I asked Andrew as we got out of the car. We’d parked outside the End of the Commons General Store and next to a sign that said, buggy wheels 4 sale. The hood of his rusty red Chevrolet glinted in the sun and looked completely out of place opposite the village green where three horse-drawn buggies sat surrounded by a group of men with long curly beards and straw hats.
Andrew smiled at me. We’d talked about this trip so much in our letters to each other, I couldn’t believe I was finally here.
Two women and a little girl, dressed identically in long black dresses with white bonnets on their heads came out of the store and walked passed us towards the buggies. If they noticed us they didn’t show it, and I wondered how they felt about having us there, gawking at them.
I looked down at my own clothes; cut off jean shorts, a strappy top and flip-flops. What was I thinking? I suddenly felt completely ridiculous but then no matter what I wore, there was no way of blending in here.
Andrew was eager to show me around and I wondered if this is where he took all the girls. Mesopotamia Township (called Mespo by the locals) is home to the 4th largest old order Amish population in the world, located in northeast Ohio, just an hours drive from Andrews house in Cleveland.
Just an hour’s drive and we were in a different world, away from Facebook and Instagram, away from technology altogether, in a place built entirely by the people who populated it. If ever there was a zombie apocalypse, surely these would be the people who would survive it. I can’t even sew a button on my shirt, let alone make my own clothes. The town was completely self-sustainable, with no need for the outside world, (or so I’d thought). I was surprised to see signs for buggy rides, a small restaurant offering authentically cooked Amish food as well as an Amish Hand Craft Store offering souvenirs to its tourists. Here I could buy little Amish dolls as a souvenir, or even an Amish Hat. Instead I wound up buying a wooden honeycomb dipper and I don’t even eat honey.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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