Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Nature Life

So... it's been a long time... and many things have happened so it will take me a couple of times to update ya with all the Mongolia story. Let me just start from were I stopped last time for a small detail I forgot to add in, and then we can start the story as it is supposed to be told.

The evening before we left for the countryside we met another Israeli guy who came to our guesthouse, Avner. Avner just arrived from India after traveling for over 9 months. He immediately decided to join us for the trip. Very cool. Now let's start.

The Nature Life

As for Mongolia, I will tell stories and details from the whole period, and not necessary in any chronological order. I will start with the most basic thing, being in nature - shower!


In 21 days I took 3 showers. One of them was in a nearly frozen lake. But I can say that at some point you just don't care anymore and you don't smell your own stink. In fact, you only smell it AFTER taking a shower and trying to wear the same clothes. Only then you realise that you've been wearing the same clothes for a week and that they stink just like the traditional clothes of the Mongolian you were laughing about.


For the first 2 weeks I didn't wash my hair. I got to the point that I almost had dreadlocks and had to decide if to comb my hair now or never. I combed it. And lost half of my hair in that battle.


It was cold. Not as cold as I imagined (meaning not minus 20), but it was cold. One morning when we were sleeping in a Ger (a Mongolian nomad house) instead of our tent, we woke up and found the bottle of oil completely frozen. I don't know if oil freeze at the same point as water but I guess it means that it was cold enough. It rained a lot at nights but was very hot during the days. A few of the nights we got some water through our tent but it wasn't that bad cause we were to tired to notice or to care.


In Israel I was living in a private house, 2 floors, 4 rooms and a garden. Here I had a tiny tent which I was sharing with 2 more people, and I tell ya this - if you have nature as your home in the day you don't need more than that at night. I mean, what the hell did I need all that in Israel?? I guess that over there it is just different cause the outside is never yours and therefore your house is the only space that is really only yours. Sure, you can say that nature isn't really yours as well, but I swear, here in Mongolia it is. You can walk in the countryside for an hour and not meet any human being. Could you do it anywhere in Israel and not get to a road after 5 minutes?

Food and cooking

We cooked a lot. And I have to say I was surprised with the quality! I used to cook a lot and in the last couple of months with my Mom in the hospital before she died I just didn't have the time or power to do it. In Mongolia I fell in love with cooking once again. Rami was a good cook too and our guide and driver were great cooks also. Shlomit was also good with the pasta so we had some good food. Also, since both our driver and our guide were addicted to fishing, we had a lot of fish. Oh yes! On the other side, while trying to eat in restaurants along the way we found out that the Mongolian food is built from mainly one dish - potato noodles with mutton! So we had to pick between the mutton for our noodles since me, Avner and Shlomit are veggies who eat fish.
Mongolians also have a national drink called "Airag". It is horse milk that comes in two variations - basic, which is served warm like tea, and alcoholic which can be mixed with vodka as a cocktail. It tastes OK but after a couple of times you don't want to see it ever again. Mainly cause it is served everywhere. Another odd drink is the salted tea, which is normal tea but with salt instead of sugar. I just convinced my self that it is soup and drank it. I mean, I had to cause Mongolian countryside people get offended for almost everything. So sensitive you can hardly believe that these guys once ruled over both China and Russia, 2 countries populated with some really tough bastards :)


In the beginning, like any fresh tourist, we were afraid to drink the water without boiling them and purifying them with our magic pills, but after a couple of days we started drinking water from just about anywhere - small rivers, big rivers and lakes. The water in Mongolia's lake and rivers are just so good. The big lake "Hofsgol" in the north has top quality water and contains 2% of the world's pure water. So we had no worries about water.

Day dreaming about food

Indeed I said that the food that we cooked was surprisingly good, but still, many times we found our selves talking about some good restaurants in Israel, tasty meals we had and, and, of course, the best Houmos places we've been to in Israel :) A typical conversation would go like that: "hmm... I really feel like eating Falafel..." and someone would say: "oh yes the Falafel near my house is the best!" and another: "No, no, believe me nothing is good like the Falafel in Ra'anana! hmm..." and then: "guys! the crappy pasta is ready!"

Well guys, that's it for now, I have a lot to tell and I hope I can manage to write it all, that was only chapter one, see ya soon in chapter two: "The ride in the Russian van"


Anonymous J. said...

Man you are Fucken good! I think you are wasting your time sitting next to the stupid box, named computer. You just was born to write stories, mo fo!

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 showers in 21 days... now that's a improvement!

2:48 PM  

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