It’s been a while since my last blog, which may be due to me settling into a normal life and not being off doing fun and exciting things, but just working and working.
I have been doing my job now for about 6weeks maybe, ive lost count, and it is great and a wonderful opportunity to facilitate a designer team and it’s definitely an opportunity I would not have been able to get back home, so I cherish that everyday. But all that we learnt in training, and by training I mean here our ICT as well as the 4 training courses back in Blighty, all is slowly but surely coming true. We were told we would go through this process of arriving, excitement, enthusiasm, followed by a big slump and this repeated thought of what am I doing here? and immense frustration. I recently hit this phase, it’s been hard but I always remember that it is not the last phase but that once you hit this point you inevitably go back up and you learn from it and work out a new way to achieve what you came to do. I could not have imagined how difficult this was going to be, maybe my imagination is not as great as I thought or maybe if I had imagined how difficult it would be I wouldn’t have come. But me being me, I take on a challenge and I keep going till the end.
So last week was a bad week, without going into too many details as obviously there has to be some confidentiality but work got hard, I witnessed first hand what I was up against and the size of the challenge, I became very frustrated at the lack of organisation and came up against someone who was not willing to listen to any of my advice, not just that they wouldn’t take on the advice but that they wouldn’t even listen. This I have learnt has been partly due to having to communicate using an interpreter, its difficult to communicate when you speak through someone else, if you speak to your interpreter the person you are talking to may not even know you are speaking to them and you then get frustrated. Also I can see that I am this Westerner who has come into a company where people have been working for years, doing their job the way they know how and why on earth would they listen to you, the outsider, what do you know? This was hard as I have so far been very lucky in my job and everyone has been very welcoming and patient with me. So I decided that I had to distance myself from my job, take a step back, look at the situation from afar and then re-enter on Monday morning, open to all and ready for anything and everything. It really worked, I let off my steam away from work, not to say that this week was fine and dandy, it definitely wasn’t but I had realised that I had no control or power, as I can be a control freak and I like things to be the way I like them. I remembered again that I was the new outsider and it was my job to adapt to my surroundings. I had thought I was already doing this but as they say practice makes perfect so I will keep practising. I think I grew up and grew within in the last 2 weeks more than I ever have had to and when I think of how I will be at the end of the year placement, well I cant even imagine, I just hope it doesn’t age me on the outside, I mean grey hairs and wrinkles!!!
I have added a few photos of the wonderful things i am learning at work like the journey of a throw from raw wool to product, for some reason i was only allowed to take photos of the weaving rpocess not of the wool carding and yarn spinning booo!!!
But it hasn’t been all bad, following the first bad week I had a wedding, my colleague got married, as many people from work went, so the universal catalyst for mending friction was used, vodka, alot of, I thought Brits could drink but we wouldn’t stand up against a Mongolian when it comes to vodka. There were many toasts at the wedding and vodka was the toast of choice.
So the night before a few of us went to do karaoke, Japanese style when you hire out a room and pay per hour, I hat karaoke but it just has a strange effect on you and you cant help but find yourself grabbing the microphone from others and singing you tone deaf heart out!!! Yes there was vodka consumed, and yes there was beer, what else, so when I went to bed at 1am I was not a pretty site and my alarm clock went off at 8.30 on the Sunday which allowed me 2 hours of wandering around the house looking for my brain and trying to make myself wedding presentable. It was tough but I did it and even found my own way to the wedding some how! So with a stinking hang over I arrived at the wedding at 11am and the 1st toast was at about 11.30, there is no way to say no in Mongolia and once again “when in Rome” I participated in my first vodka toast.
The wedding was surprisingly similar to a British wedding, the bride wears a white dress and we eat many a course but random people are asked to stand up and sing a song, which everyone knows, but me, then the toast.
Also halfway through the meal the bride changes into traditional dress and the dancing begins, there was a horse head fiddle player, a long song and some modern sort of singer.
I was passed around the dance floor from one dance partner to another, I think I am going to see the videos on Monday so I will see just how silly I look.
Then at some point the cake was cut and the bride and groom stand on the stage and accept the gifts from the guests, including many a prayer scarf as it was a buddhist-ish wedding. All of this is not necessarily in order, I wasn’t taking notes I just know that this is what I remember. The reception finished at 4pm and I thought I could take my drunk-self back home and begin recovering but I wasn’t allowed and we went onto a bar somewhere NW and drank some more, but I only made it till6 then I had to go home I was falling a sleep. I did last later in the week that they kept going until midnight, not that I wouldn’t have been able to manage.
Now this wedding has held on the 10th October in our calendar but in the Tibetan lunar calendar it was a positive day to get married which is why it was chosen, but a few weeks back was THE day to get married in the lunar calendar at the wedding palace in UB so a few of us headed down there to see such an event.
There were back to back weddings for 24hours on this day, and it was a cold day, the 1st day I have seen snow, since then we’ve seen much more snow, its now old news, but anyway there were great big white dresses and guests in deels, hummers covered in balloons, the lot, a great site to have seen.