Living with the nomads
Turelj Travel Blog› entry 15 of 37 › view all entries
October 12th, 2007 – by: coolguy
Days are warm enough, but nights are so cold. But it is worth braving the cold for a few minutes at night because the stars here are incredible.
My hosts speak almost no English, so I feel a bit isolated. I tried asking them if I could rent a horse for a couple hours, but nothing ever came of it. I think their horse is an actual working horse and they use him for more important things than dragging around tourists. I read in Lonely Planet that I could trade a ride on my bike for a ride on a horse. The Mongolians have been eager to take my bike for a spin, but not very accommodating about returning the favour!
So I have spent my time hiking around the barren countryside.
My host family, I have learned, are "new nomads," a younger family who live within the nomad community, but also have connections to the city and modern life. They have a television and a DVD player in their ger and they are very fond of Bollywood movies that have been dubbed into Russian, then re-dubbed into Mongolian.
One night they were watching the Mongolian National Broadcaster while I was waiting for dinner. During the "sport" segment, I was extremely surprised to see the headline "Maple Leafs lose 7-1 to Carolina." Apparently bad news travels pretty far! I tried to indicate to my hosts that I was from Toronto, and that the Maple Leafs were unfortunately my favourite team, but maybe it's better that they didn't understand.
The vegetarian meals they have prepared for me have been good and the portions large. But I have really developed a taste for Mongolian tea. Made over the ger fire with tea leaves, water, milk, salt and butter, it is delicious. I commonly drank 3-4 large bowls of it at every meal. Apparently tourists usually cannot drink the tea, but I actually prefer it to Western-style tea.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!