Sunday, August 06, 2006

barefoot around the farm

Well, I guess its not really a farm in the American sense of the word. A large number of people here own live stock, and its no surprise to see pigs, cows, goats, sheep, etc walking around. However, yesterday (Friday the 14th) I went with my family out to the xodoo (countryside). We took the 3pm train that left at 4 and got there about 3 stops and an hour later. The train was pretty normal. The only weird part was that it seemed that people were really pushy to get on and attempt to get their own seat (still normal), but then once they got stuck sitting with strangers, they were very friendly right away. Not really the polite airplane conversation that we are all used to, but a school/work acquaintance type conversation. I guess I just found it amusing that they would push each other around to try to not have to sit and talk with someone they didn’t know but then end up enjoying their time with their seat-mate.
Anyway… we got to the countryside, and my dad’s sister’s husband and son met us at the train. We walked/rode horses about half a mile until we got to a small river that we had to cross on the horses, so we took turns crossing. The water was deep enough to almost covered the horse’s back, so we all got soaked; it was great. When we got to their gers, we did a little bit of greeting, and then moved right on to eating. Over the coarse of the night we cooked up two sheep and a goat, all of which we killed right there. There were a couple of other things available, like a potato or two, cooked in the same pot as the meat, but basically it was all meat and all delicious. We spent the time in between animals singing Mongolian songs and dancing to rock music on the car radio.
We went back to the river to swim, but it turns out the Mongols find the river very dangerous and don’t like swimming in it. So we had a little water fight, and left it at that. We did some cow milking and some other farm things, and then went back to eating, singing and dancing. It really was a great day/night, and I hope I get to make it back out to the xodoo again with my family.


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