WOW: Mongolia, I

Only 6 days have passed since I arrived in “Zurck (emphasis on final sound)”–Mongolia. In fact, I’m actually now at Maan Coffee in the Beijing Airport. 

But it was such a wild ride.  

Please sit back & enjoy these photos & initial reflections…

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. If I could marry a Mongolian woman right this day, I would. 

Perhaps a slight exaggeration. But I found so many Mongolian women to be so intriguingly gorgeous: long, flowing hair; alluring characteristics owing to geographic and historical circumstances of exchange among Mongolian tribes, Turkic peoples, Chinese, Kazakh peoples, Russians and others. 

They are beautiful. 

To the tall lady in glasses who walked by last night with friends, in front of the Cirque, laughing. You smiled at me, waved and said “hello” in English. 

After an initial “hello,” I turned back & cried out a Mongolian “San ban oh!” You responded in kind. 

Beautiful lady: please come back. We can go out for tea. 

The language? So interesting.  Since 1941, Mongolians have been instructed to learn the Cyrillic alphabet. When they speak, it sounds to me a heck of a lot like Russian. 

Don’t know if this happens in Russian, but sounds like Mongolian people speak many words with tongue behind back teeth. 

However, Mongolian folks I interacted with most can actually only understand a tiny amount of Russian. So fascinating. 

Due to its 9 month winter, there is not much agriculture in Zurck.  People eat A LOT of meat and drink tons of yak milk. 

In a grocery store last night, I saw a stack of immature, whole cow skulls, with dried skin intact. Entire heads, sitting there on the deli counter just over my cabbage salad. 

But the capital of Ulaanbataar is home to at least 16 completely vegetarian restaurants, 11 of them vegan. Just one of the many ways this is a land of contrasts. 

Sausage pizza at the all-vegan Bosca Verde.
$1 U.S. Dollar= about 2,460 Mongolian Tugrik

I had to travel to Mongolia to find an all vegan Italian restaurant! (with Mongolian dishes, too)

Vegan cookies in Mongolia?! Yes, ma’am-sir. And for about $3 for a big bag–see Veg Art brand in white bag of quality cookies. I’m transporting about 7 bags of the above brands home to Shanghai. 

In NYC, these bad boys would command at least $6 a bag. Minimum. 

Those Dr.Bakes were about .70 cents a bag (granted, they are a few days past due). 

And some of the best store bought tofu I’ve ever had. Eaten beneath a car battery powered light bulb in a ger home in the middle of a huge windswept plain ringed by mountains. 

Tofu was stir fried in a wok atop an 1800’s style iron stove. 

Land of meat…land of TOFU. 

Even my new nomadic friend Botro got in on the vegan action. She’s lived a life steeped in eating meat at every turn & raises animals for a living. She awakens around 0600am every day of summer to milk the yaks. She liked this pizza & loved the cake!

During our second foray to Bosca’s, Botra Google Translated me a message from Mongolian: “If you were here maybe I be vegetarian.” 
Botro: Future Vegan?!

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