Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mongolian Chic

So... you guys may be wondering where I've been for the past few months, lack of posts and all.

I've been off having adventures in Mongolia.

Part of me wants to spend the rest of my life out on the steppe.

I met some incredible people and made friends so close they're basically family. I learned of new traditions and customs, how to find monuments and walk the length of valleys for days without tiring. I also learned how to keep singing after the third bottle. I ran through thunderstorms and bathed in rivers, drank salted tea and killed my own dinner. I drank too much dairy, ate too much mutton and drank too much vodka. I wrestled and partied up at a Kazakh wedding. I had snowball fights under the heat of a sunny summer day.

A hunter's tamed eagle

The bride and groom. She was much happier once she got rid of that encumbering dress, and promptly joined us to dance to Gangnam Style.

For months my concept of 'indoors' meant sitting by the yurt stove, playing cards as I watched the smoke escape through the hole in the roof and enjoyed the respite from the biting cold of Mongolian nights.
Coming back to civilization was... a bit of a shock. Strangely enough, the one thought that struck me the most was the rediscovery of windows - you can see the outdoors and not get rained on?! And curtains - what a frivolous thing they seem!

Some things seem incredibly luxurious after you've lived under a tent for a month. Like artichoke juice.
And curtains. And showers.

In the week following the return to Ulaan Baator, I trawled markets, embarrassed myself at karaoke and raided the department store's CD section. I bought a mighty fine pair of riding boots, and still ate too much mutton.

Horse belly hotpot!

Making friends with a giant vulture.
They're a hell of a lot more sociable than eagles.

After missing our train to the Gobi for the 3rd day in a row, we decided to head to Darkhan and make a surprise visit to a very special person.
We may have, on a whim, flagged a random car and asked them to take us on a two-day trip out of the city.
His 10-year-old son drove, we camped out and feasted on roasted pickles and ChocoPies while the wolves howled in the nearby hills.

I told you there'd be adventure on this blog.

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