So it seems i left Mongolia 9 days ago and i havent left a post since then, it takes a while to process the departure, im not even sure i can process it now as im in la-la land in Bali, i travelled from UB to Denpasa Bali by train 1st to beijing, stayed 3 days with my lovely, incrediblly hosting cousin, then another train to Hong Kong, easily the weirdest place ive ever been then a flight to Bali. Now i am sitting here at a bar at my ‘Inn’ trying to write this blog.
So the first thing i noticed was when i got off the train in beijing i realised my limited yet survival level Mongolian would not be needed anymore and i probably would not be speaking to any Mongolians anymore and that made me very sad. The whole time in Beijing and Hong Kong i wanted to shout Zogcho and Totzo but knew it would get me nowhere. Also everything i experienced in those cities i wanted to tell my friends about when i got back to UB, but knew i couldnt, that made me sadder.
The hind-sight of having volunteered with VSO and especially in Mongolia has so far made me feel extremely proud, honoured and fulfilled i cannot express it with words, but you will all see that when you leave (those of you reading this from UB). I would not change it for anything, i know that the majority of the people i will speak to in my future will never understand what i experienced the last year and that i can only share it with a limited few, only they understand the joys and pains and pure freakiness of it all and i will always remember them and hopefully, or more certainly i will be able to reminise with them at a later date in another location. I have shared many experiences and maybe too much information with a selected few, they all know who they are.
Again, its taken me a while to get back to writing this. Im now in Kuala Lumpa airport awaiting my departure to London and with 5hours left to go for departure i have time to finish this blog.
Prior to being offered a place in Mongolia Asia was not my 1st option for travel, no offence to Asia but other places caught my attention first. But after a year and 4 countries later i have had the time of my life, especially the people of Indonesia, i hope their smiles and kindness keep me going when i get back to the rudeness and frowns in London. All this travel gives you a different perspective on life and people and what is important and this is what i really hope to take with me forever.
Now back to Mongolia, i promised to Y that i would write my top 10 things i’ll miss in Mongolia as well as the things i wont miss, ive had more than enough time to think about it so here goes.
1-People, people, people, the adoptive family you soon grow.
2-The countryside, every part of it, winter and especially the summer.
3-The feeling you get in the countryside of space, stars and endlessness.
4-Ikh Mongol, sad but true, its not the place but what it represented and all that was shared there.
5-Strangely enough the lack of planning and impulsiveness. As a mild OCDer i loved and embrassed how you can impulsively get away.
6-The hospitality of my co-workers and the effort they made to make me feel welcome.
7-Again strangely enough, although at first it was weird i got used to the staring, especially on the bus and the kids in the street. That fascination of who are you and what are you doing here.
8-Making it through a winter alive and unscaved, also the extreme cold when you are wrapped up warm is quite something. I loved that i did it but wouldnt do it again.
9-Hiking in the hills, however much i complained about it.
10-Sleeping/waking up/cleaning my teeth outdoors. Especially cleaning my teeth outdoors.
1-That winter pollution has got to go, for everyone that lives there something has to be done.
2-Seeing puppies in the winter that havent made it.
3-Violence to foreigners.
4-Falling over endlessly in the winter.
5-Just how damn hard it was somedays to get about/do work or just to face another frozen face day.
6-Sorry but the food leaves alot to be desired.
7-Poverty, its hard to see and harder to know you cant help it.
8-Being so far from family
9-Getting a job done, achieving a goal. I learnt however to let go and that eventually we would get there. Still it was a hard process.
10-Having to say goodbye to those you get close to.
All in all and as cheesy as it sounds its what i learnt the last year that i cherish the most.
Here are some of my favourite moments from the last year