Left and Leaving (or Zombies and Sasquatches)

Choibalsan Travel Blog

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My Mongolian lessons are slowing as my teachers are left and leaving on break.  I think they all get back the day I leave, which is coming pretty soon!  They have a saying here that translates to, an ass like a Russian woman.  But Degi won’t teach me it as I keep accusing her of only teaching me bad things and Ankha is on break already.  I really want to know how to say it!  That’s the coolest saying ever!  I gave Ankha my e-mail so hopefully she’ll teach it to me via e-mail.  I’ll keep begging Degi anyway. Oh, one word of interest is “buda” which means rice, or nothing, depending how you use it.  If you use it with the word money (can’t quite remember the word, sounds something like muhnek) it means broke.  Muhnek buda, broke.  Something like that anyway. 

They’ve also been slipping in some Russian.  Partly because people sometimes use the Russian words for things here, mostly with food and anything of western influence, but also one of the translators went to a Russian secondary school (in Mongolia) so they’re trying to get me to impress him.  So far I only know hello goodbye and thank you.  Not very impressive.  Though I find the Russian words much easier to learn.

In turn I’ve been teaching them how to swear in French and also some Simpsons quotes.  My favourite is “I’m livin’ in a coo-coo clock!”  I use that one a lot, and I’ve gotten them using it!  Also, “Stop being so unsafe, be… Safe enough!”  Ah Homer, you will unite the world…  They do have The Simpsons here, though in Russian, not in Mongolian.  That would be too cool.  Maybe next set I’ll start on Seinfeld quotes. 

On the work front, a strange cloud has developed over the country as the bosses are converging in Ulaanbaatar for a site visit.  Some of them come Monday and others Wednesday.  I put out a last ditch request for them to bring me a coffee maker.  Its been almost a month without real coffee by my count!  I’ve started rambling unintelligibly about Starbucks.  I’m hoping when the bosses come it’ll mean field trips.  I’ve barely left the office in the last little while; I’ve only been out to the coreshack.  There’s a town called Mardai nearby that I realllllly want to see.  It’s a town the Russians set up as a central community for the uranium mines, but after the downfall of the Soviet Union it was abandoned.  Because its pretty poor here they’ve scrapped everything for metal and sold it to China.  They even dug up the old water pipes.  Pretty Mad Max.  I’m told it looks like it belongs in Iraq.

Other than that my sickness has devolved into a mild case of the sniffles.  No more sympathy for me.  I’m allowed to take showers again, but I’m still banned from drinking anything cold. 

I came up with a joke when I was sick and its been a debate as to whether or not its funny (2 out of 3 Chris’ think its funny, though one of them is me so I don’t know if that counts).  It goes, if regular zombies go around looking for “Braaaaaaains”, does that mean dyslexic zombies go around looking for “Briiiiiiiaaaans”?  Its funniest if you do the voice.  I’m particularly interested in responses from Chris’ and Brian’s, though I appreciate any response.

I’m certainly looking forward to my days off.  First I’m looking forward to shopping etc in Ulaanbaatar.  Then I’m looking forward to Sasquatch! Fest :) and I think somewhere in there the fam’s visiting, or something like that…  I’ve scheduled 4 days of peace and quiet before I come back. 

And tursun odoriin mend hurgie, emee!!!!  That means happy birthday, gramma!!!!  At least I hope it does…

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