As much as sometimes it feels like it, my life is far from the proverbial “posh corps”. Life in Mongolia has plenty of physically and emotionally demanding quirks. To not go completely off-my-rocker, this year I am treating myself to a few gifts.
Number One: A broom and dustpan that ACTUALLY work
The average Mongolian (or should I say Chinese) dustpan is one of the least useful pieces of garbage ever created. Half the dust/trash ends up being brushed under it, while another quarter is scattered far and wide (well, as wide a five-wall ger allows). This is not helped by the fact that my ger floor resembles a 3-D topographic map of the Rocky Mountains, rendering the dustpan quite inadequate, to say the least.
Number Two: More plastic water-tight containers
In a perfect world, it would not rain inside my ger. In my world, it does. Often. To make life easier, I will buy some bigger water tight containers so that every time water seeps through the felt walls and creates various small rivers throughout my home I will not have to worry about moving all of my cardboard boxes full of various clothes and objects onto higher, drier regions.
Number Three: An egg cooker
Yes, it is easy to cook eggs in a simple pot. But this takes a bit of water. To the lay American, three cups of water does not seem like much. But to a Peace Corps volunteer who pushes a wheelbarrow to the well once a week to fill up two oil drums turned water containers, every ounce of water counts. Therefore an egg cooker, which only uses half a cup of water, sounds pretty appealing. Plus they come in the shape of little chicks, and who could resist that cuteness?
Number Four: A camel hair blanket
Two words: Mongolian winter. Oh and also, sleeping bags really start to stink after a while.
Number Five: Toasty felt slippers