Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Mongolia. Seriously. Freddy v. Jason.


Recommended Posts

Well, I have spent all day reading this fascinating saga. I sure hope those folks eventually receive the photos. Do they have maling addresses? I suppose you could mail stuff to Aiyka in Olgii, and then the next time she or her husband are out that way, they could bring the photos. Could take months. What a completely different way of life, almost inconceivable to me.

What do the teenagers do for fun? Do they dream of leaving a life they might find dreary, but is probably much better than life in Ulan Batuur?

Do they listen to rock and roll? I guess they don't have radios. 

Did you hear any Mongolian music? How about throat-singing?

I sure hope you brought back some of those gorgeous textiles.

How in the world did you get the cheese through customs?

Really fascinating. Too bad your friend missed the good part. The landscape in the west is spectacular. I want to go.

On a more serious note . . . I did indeed send pictures to Aiyka almost immediately after returning home. Everyone was so wonderful about having their pictures taken and I promised to send photos -- and I always try to keep my word on that. Aiyka told me to send them to her and she would distribute them all. Some are friends and some are even distant relatives.

I did hear throat singing. It is sort of odd at first but really quite remarkable and very difficult, I would think. I don’t know of any other culture that also practices this same art form.

UB seems to be the place that many of the young people are going to escape the countryside. I did not hear from any of the children about wanting escape the difficult nomadic lifestyle but part of that is likely that I was unable to communicate with them. I do know, however, that there is a mass exodus from Olgii of Kazakhs moving to Kazakhstan. My translator/guide’s mother-in-law has already moved and bought a house. Her son and my translator/guide expect to follow with their two children once they are able to sell their home and car – within a year. Apparently, the quality of life in Kazakhstan is better – salaries are higher and people are better off. When I asked further about this I was a bit confused because while salaries are higher, so is the cost of living. But Olgi is shrinking and there has been no new influx of people in the recent years.

What else? Many of the gers have radios that are battery operated. As far as I can tell, they only listen to it for a news broadcast every night at 9:00 pm. Apparently, no one in Olgii listens to the broadcast but everyone in the countryside does. I never heard any rock music out in the countryside.

The cheese . . . well, I double wrapped it in two zipper bags and then I sealed it into a Chinese take out container – the very same container I had been using to store yogurt on the one occasion when I had the opportunity to buy it (in the Gobi). As it was, I couldn’t really smell it through the two zipper bags and I checked it through in my big bag. Oh, and I sent that bag home with J while I spent an extra week in Beijing. :wink:

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did she answer the security questions truthfully? (Did you pack your own bag? Did anyone give you anything to carry?) I suppose we'll hear about it in the next episode, but I do want to know how J's recuperation went. Was she supposed to go with you to Beijing but decided to go home instead?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too bad your friend missed the good part.

Which "good part" exactly were you referring to? The fur in the food? Maybe you were thinking of the anticipation of seeing the Eagle Hunter hunt with his eagle, I mean train with his eagle, I mean call to his eagle, wait--what I really mean is that maybe you meant the good part was when the Eagle Hunter picked up his eagle and fed it the sheep's lungs. That must have been it because I don't think it could have been the part when I was crippled from horseback riding or when I saw the black spots in front of my eyes or when we went to see Bayan Nuur the ghost town or the Turkic stone. Hum, maybe you were referring to the Turkic stone. Okay, well, maybe you're right, maybe she did miss the good part. :laugh:

You did see some gorgeous scenery, though!

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ellen, did you have any Mongolian Beef when you were in Mongolia? Thats a real dish, right? 

If it were real, I figure they'd make it with mutton. :raz:

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanx so much for your wonderful account!!! It was a remarkable trip,to be sure.I am totally in awe of your ability to capture & recount such a cool experience. You deserve a travel show of your own, in MHO. The culture seems like such an odd tossup of archaic and weird modern that it kind of reminds you of a post-apocalyptic fiction, like Mad Max or something. It seems as though the women enjoy a relatively non-subservient role, Ellen, is that how it is? I will forever watch for any more of your works.Bravo! :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mabelline sorry for the delay in replying. My internet access of late has been sporadic. To answer your question about the role of women -- and I wish I had the in-flight MIAT (the Mongolian national airline) magazine with me to quote from because they go on and on about how women in Mongolia aren't subservient at all, ever, in any way -- I suppose your conclusions would have to depend on how you define words like subservient and equal. Just the facts, then, and you can decide: women and men in Mongolia do have strict gender roles at least in the nomadic society (in the city there is more flexibility, witness the female guides I had, which would be unusual in many countries). Both men and women work hard and if anything the women work a little harder. I imagine the standard hypocrisy and double standards about sexuality and the like are present as well. At the same time the women hardly seem subservient or meek. They're strong people and so are the women. They also seem happy. There were no role-based complaints voiced even in private. I hope that in part answers your question.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...