Thursday, July 24, 2008

We Are In Mongolia

As if we could forget...then again maybe we do sometimes, that we're living in such a different place.  

Twice this month I've been reminded at the top of two different Mongolian men's lungs that I'm in Mongolia.

One came when I was helping a horseman handle his foals as they suckled milk from the mare. (They let the foal have a little taste then milk the rest into a pail which becomes the national beverage, fermented mares milk) 

My horseman host showed me how to hold the foal.  Then I showed him how we do it in America in a tone that said, "this is one thing I don't need to be told how to do".  So he firmly reminded me "You're in Mongolia".  Since they have their own way of doing almost everything, this was indeed something, among many others, I needed to be told how to do. 

Second came at the garage where our car has been out of service for a couple weeks awaiting parts.  So after showing frustration at how long things were taking to get me back on the road, the greasy mechanic firmly reminded me "This is Mongolia, these kind of parts can't be found". They're on the way from somewhere far away, probably Japan or China.  So this is why waiting has become a finely tuned art for those who live here long.  

I'm still a novice artist in this medium.  But one thing I'm sure of.  I'm in Mongolia.

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