Today: Making my ger homey. My wonderful sitemate, Austin, gave me a hand in customizing my ger. Until today, I’ve been the proud owner of a freezer- which doesn’t work. Austin volunteered one of his two fridges for my use.
STEP ONE: Yummy Pork
Around noon, I went over to Austin’s neck of the woods, aka the principle’s yard where Austin’s ger is located. First, I plugged in my electronics as my power isn’t, and hasn’t, been working for the past four days. Why? Who knows. Next, we ventured off to one of the many “gazars” (whole-in-the-wall joints too tiny to earn the title of restaurant). The first we walked into had six drunkards sitting around a table. To further the appeal, the gazar was only serving a Mongolian traditional meal called “khuushuur”, aka meat in a fried flour envelope. This was not the Gazar for me. The next gazar was a little pricey, but I ordered an unknown item and sat down. The mysterious meal turned out to be the best seasoned pork I’ve ever tasted. I’ll be revisiting that gazar often.
STEP TWO: Fridge Wheel Barrow
With a full stomach, we set about locating a “water wheelbarrow” that as the name suggests, is reserved for carrying tanks of water from the well. Today, the wheelbarrow would aid in mini-fridge delivery. Austin and I took turns pushing my new beloved mini fridge. A routine has already developed me pushing when no one is looking, turning it over to Austin when a Mongolian appears. We can’t have Mongolians thinking Austin’s a chump, letting a lady do his work for him.
STEP THREE: Remove TV
We get to my ger twenty-five minutes later (it’s a long walk!), and dump the fridge. Aka Ariel rearranges her whole ger to make it nicer and more welcoming, including draping a throw over the broken freezer turning, it into a table. Austin and I had agreed prior that he would take my TV, for three reasons:
1) I’m not going to have enough energy to watch Mongolian tv after teaching all day.
2) I don’t have space for a huge, old-fashioned, dusty tv.
3) It doesn’t even work. Why they gave me a freezer and tv that don’t work, I will never figure out. I’m not alone, Austin got a very, very broken dry sink which he’s been trying to repair for a week without success. The thought process that goes behind dumping broken objects on Americans will forever confuse me. I understand that only a Mongolian can follow this logic but am hoping after two years I might have some insight. Realistically speaking, I probably won’t. Mongolians are extremely rational and wonderful at problem solving… when it comes to traditional Mongolian ways. After all, they’re nomadic herders who have to survive through the toughest winters known to planet earth. For some reason, When foreign objects or concepts enter the equation, these rational thoughts go out the window. Rationale based around foreign notions seem to occur in a different part of the Mongolian brain. Someday I will study brain scans of Mongolians’ thought patterns and prove this obviously well thought out theory.
Written August 28th, 2014