[ Ulaanbaatar ]
Tomorrow, it all begins. Really begins.
Yes, I’ve already been here fifteen days. And yes, I’ve gotten to know Ulaanbaatar a bit in that time. I’ve been living with a local family, learned to read Cyrillic, spent hours on public transportation & in coffee shops, visited nightclubs (twenty-somethings in see-through body stockings? Check.) and movies and famous landmarks, survived winds, late-season snows, a fender bender, and The Crystal Horn of Vodka—thrust upon me by two belligerently inebriated, wildly gesticulating Mongols, one of whom was sitting cross-legged in his skivvies, neither of whom spoke a word of English. I’ve also finished a long-overdue software project, faced-off with the Mongolian Border Authority, met a bona fide Hip-Hop star, and eaten lots (and lots and lots) of meat. Home-cooked meat, usually, and one dinner out involving sheep brains, cheek, and tongue—served on the unlucky quadruped’s split skull.
Did I mention that I’m in Mongolia?
Well, I am. But I’m also not. Not by a long shot.
Tomorrow AM, bright and early, I load myself and my belongings into a hired jeep and make a nine-hundred kilometer journey to the easternmost settlement in Mongolia. There, in Kholkhgol, my real Mongolian adventure begins. In the real Mongolia. There will be no roads, no infrastructure, no GPS or phone or other human beings; just one Transglobalist, one bicycle, and a crazy dream.
Even the Mongols think I’m daft.
Love and Kisses,