cleaning by the stream
I don't want to leave mongolia. More than half of my heart is still in Mongolia. Lately, I have attended a lot of weddings. My friends are getting engaged or planning to settle down. I didn't feel the pressure to keep with the peer but as some point, I want to have traveler companion around the world with me. Even if I don't know when, but I like Mongolian wedding and love to have one. This entry is about the last stop before heading back to UB.
The Amarbayasgalant Khiid is blessed to locate in such a lust vegetation area. Water is all around. Green grasses is everywhere. We arrived in the afternoon. Our princess guide asked a family if we could stay for the night. From the look of it, they have 3 gers and a lot of materials, livestocks, car, horses, and satelite, as well as electricity.
we crossed the freezing water, walk in mud to get here before everyone else.
They were better off than some of the ger we had been staying in. Beyond their gers, there were rows of gers. We guessed it was the tourist gers. From the gesture and the conversation before me, I thought they didn't want to accomodate us. The matriarch told us to wait until her husband come back from the wedding. When he did arrived, he welcomed our stay. Turn out, those rows of gers weren't tourist camp. They were wedding camp. The family's daughter is getting married. So, they were busy running back and forth. We were left alone with some crazy looking dog. It was strange to be in someone ger when they are not around. Down a few feet away from the ger, a lovely stream ran through the blacken soil. So, we headed toward the stream to clean the dirts off our face, fingers and wash our hair.
The water was icy cold. But it was so refreshing and clean. From far away, we could hear the music blasting through the night. At time we were very tempted to crash the wedding to see how the Mongolian party. But, having been intruded on the family for our stay, we told ourselves not to push the hospitality button too far. The music was still on very much late into the night. We felt asleep under the warm blanket. The next morning, we woke up early and started to walk to the monastery. We wanted to enjoy the stillness of the morning air. From the ger, it looks about 30 minutes walk. Just when we thought we could enjoy the silence of the early morning, we were wrong. The wedding ger were up. The smokes were rising out of the ger. And the music continue.
Just then and there, I realized what a great idea and the Mongolian really knows how to celebrate. Make the ger for all the guests, and party for days!!! So, yes, it was there and then, I want to have a wedding in a ger and celebrate for days with all that I love and care! Plus, it is outdoor!!!! How great is that!!!!
On we went. We thought crossing the little stream near our ger was the only obstacle. We were wrong. Even though the monastery is only 45 mins walk away. It tooks us 1h30 mins to get there. We have to cross the icy, rocky, slippery stream twice. I didn't want to walk around in wet shoes, so I crossed barefeet. It was freezing!!!! The road was fairly muddy so we have to hop around. Finally, we arrived at the monastery. We were the first one there.
the little monk who showed us around in his limited english and let us in places before everyone arrived.
We wandered around. The main temple was still close. So, we accidentally walk to the monks' quarters. A monk signaled a no sign. We exited and enjoyed the serenity of the monastery with the crazy birds and goffers around us. Soon, a little monk came out and let us in the main temple. He didnt speak much English. So, we used our phrase books and few words we picked up to converse. The conversation was hard but he was willing to put up with our nonsense Mongolian and excessive use of the phrase book. He also expressed desire in learning English. He showed us some of the art in the temple and explain the ceremony. I used what I know in my buddhist believe to inteprete a lot of things he said. He also took us to smaller temples in the back. It was great.
He pointed out little details that I would have missed on my own. Finally, he said he has to go back to his prayers. We thanked him and expressed our gratitude by giving him the phrase book. We thought that he would have more use since it has English phrases that he could use. He was so surprise and didn't know what to say. He took off the beads on his hand and give them to us. Then, it was us who didn't know what to say. We thanked him in our Mongolian and he said it in English. It was beautiful.
Heading back, our princess guide was up and picked us up with our wonderful driver. We were glad to see her this time since we didn't want to walk across the mudd or the icy water again. When we left our host family, the wedding party was still on. They were drinking and still dancing at noon!!!