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Last Days in Mongolia

Posted on by Philip

I was about to write “of Mongolia” but decided that wasn’t exactly accurate and sounded rather doomsdayish. Tomorrow I will take a taxi on a five hour drive to UB as I begin the next part of my overseas work for this trip: working as an A/V tech and crew for Impact World Tour. Before I go, I want to just rapid fire some impressions and photos of my past few weeks here in Erdenet.For the first couple of weeks here there was too many of us to fit in my brother’s vehicle normally, so I often rode in the back of his small 4×4. Mongolia is very dusty and one day as we drove out into the countryside I bumped along in the back watching the dust billow behind us, spiraling back into the rear window and then cascading down the glass in streams like water.

On that same trip, we went and visited some friends who live in a ger, or yurt. The grandmother fed us homemade yogurt and a lot of candy, along with their traditional tea, which is milky and salty. It grows on you.

Mongolian ger

The Mongolian countryside in this area is a vast expanse of hills, low mountains, and scattered forests. It is primarily sparse grass in a dry and dusty soil. The openness and size of the sky makes you feel tiny.

Mongolian countrysideAfter our walk, the boys of the neighboring gers wanted to show us the wolf cubs they had recently found. Apparently the mother had died and these cubs were only a couple of weeks old. They were very cute, but already ferocious. The boys fed them a few strips of raw meat, then the wolf pups would charge you and try to nibble your toes! I want one.

Wolf cubOn the way home we had run in with a wrench that required a brief stop.Wrench in tireThe colors of the roofs here are striking. In the “ger district” which is the area outside of the main downtown, where people put up gers or rickety houses with no running water, the roofs are all reds, blues, greens. When you are up on a rise and can see across the land, it makes a very contrasting scene against the browns of the fences and dirt roads.

One day we went out to eat at a small little cafe downtown. My brother and wife know the owners through teaching their daughter English. They were very excited to meet other family members and kept the place open later for us so we could eat there after everyone had left! The gave us a feast. It was a treat as we had piles of amazing food. I laughed as the man energetically mimed to us and talked through Jonathan’s translation while The Eagle’s Hotel California and other classic songs played from their boombox. (Funny tangent: I was on a walk one day in the ger district when I heard the Singing In the Rain remix from the VW Golf commercial from years back being blasted inside a ger I walked past.)

Ger districtAnd with that friends, I am about to find a taxi to take me to UB where I will explore for the evening, trying to avoid gangs that like to attack Americans for no reason (history people, did we ever screw Mongolia over?), and board an airplane to the Philippines in the morning.

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