Monday, July 24, 2006

I Am Jack's Superglued Heart

So...the day after I found out my project would be on hold because all the files went to India, my spirits lifted considerably. I haven't really been able to do much in terms of work, but I have been busy on the computer, applying for jobs, messing around with photos I've taken, etc.

A Mongolian pal, Naraa, and I met up Friday night and went to a movie. The one that was playing right after we got there was Basic Instinct 2, and we thought, okay, why the heck not. I had seen the first Basic Instinct in the auditorium at my university, so why not see the sequel in Mongolia? I don't think I would have ever planned to see it had I been in America, but I really was keen on seeing a movie. The theater itself wasn't that much different from American theaters, except the seats are numbered (I've noticed this in the UK and Germany as well.) We didn't have to sit in our assigned seats, however, as the theater wasn't very packed. But I was so excited to be inside the theater, eating popcorn, that I didn't really care if the film was great or not. Some might remember that I did see "Below Eight" in Shanghai after all, so my standards are quite a bit lower while abroad. I will leave my film critic comments to myself, but I will say it was, as to be expected, violent and, as the ticketseller said, "erotic." I wasn't quite sure how Naraa would like it. It turns out, she didn't. As we walked away from the theater, she consulted her Mongolian-English dictionary to tell me it was "terrible."

Over the weekend I went with Khulan to the tourist camp that her husband runs. It consists of four gers (one is the kitchen ger, where all food is prepared, eaten, etc.) in the middle of beautiful green hills surrounded by a few other gers here and there (about 20 as far as the eye can see, some belonging to his family), and a lot of horses, sheep, and goats. I rode a horse for a while, which was pretty cool. I accidentally spit on the poor thing, though. Oops. I've heard of camels spitting on people, but people spitting on horses? That's just silly.

I also helped Khulan prepare lunch for a Japanese tourist who came to the camp to ride a horse for a while and have traditional Mongolian food in a ger. When he came to the ger for lunch, he wanted his photo taken with me. I thought that was pretty hilarious. But, he also took his photo with Khulan and some other people there, so it's not like I was totally special.

On Monday Oyuka took me to Terelj, a gorgeous national park area east of UB. The weather wasn't great, but it didn't ruin our fun! We walked over a precarious bridge that was constructed of branches and rocks as we waited for our lunch to be prepared. Then we went on an hour-long horse trek, through rivers and streams and meadows covered in colorful flowers as rain drizzled down on our shoulders. It was a setting ideal for a deodorant commercial or a mystical photograph of a unicorn. And it was a delightful time, except for the horse poo on the leg of my jeans where the horse of the girl leading me and my horse let go without warning just as my leg was in the way. Actually, when that happened, I just had to laugh. It did smell a bit, but otherwise, it wasn't too gross. Just really pretty damn funny. And when we got back, we rinsed it off, so my jeans will survive!

Today is Tuesday...I am in the office. Apparently I will help edit a translated document, then, at the end of the work day, I should return home to clean my apt. I was expecting Alexandria to return last night, but her trip to Khovsgol had a two-day delay in returning due to some flooding and closed roads. So, she should return tomorrow. We had planned to see the National Academy Dance and Theatre Ensemble, which features traditional dance, music, contortionism, etc. I think it would be great to go, but I am not sure I want to go solo, and I'm running out of tugrik (Mongolian currency) anyway. So I might skip it. Tomorrow sometime after work we will go out (by we, I mean, my coworkers and pals I've met in UB) for some kind of farewell drinks or something.

Friday morning at 8:05 a.m. my train should depart from the station. Then, about 30 hours later I will arrive in Beijing. I am excited to spend a few days in China, but naturally, leaving here has gotten me all emotional. I will be really sad to leave the great people I've met here and look forward to the day I can return.


MLE said...

Hi Scar,

I don't know if you've kept in touch with Will at all, but he had to come back to the States last week because Aunt Edy got sick. She's OK, and I think Will is going back to China today (?). My mom is going out to TX tomorrow to help Edy move.

Anyhow, I don't know if you'd planned to hang out with Will when you go back to Beijing but I thought you might appreciate the update.

9:33 AM  

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