Friday, October 26, 2007
Hip Hop and the Trip Back to Ulaanbaatar
On Thursday afternoon we said a fond farewell to our friends in Erdenet and hopped in a blue Honda CRV to head back to Ulaanbaatar. Given the excitement of our trip to Erdenet, we were hoping that the trip from Erdenet would be uneventful. Fortunately we experienced absolutely NO car trouble, and we even enjoyed a hip hop soundtrack the whole way back (it's a little surreal to take photos of camels while listening to Eminem, Public Enemy, Outkast, Busta Rhymes, etc.) One of our drivers (Chinzorig, pictured above on the right) has a small hip hop store here in Mongolia (he buys goods in China and resells them) and we discussed lots of interesting topics with him. He asked John questions about U.S. hip hop, like, "Who is the richest hip hop artist in the U.S.?" and he told us that his favorite vehicle is a 2006 Lincoln Navigator. I don't think he was very impressed when he learned that our car is a Honda Civic. Oh, well!
I'm also posting two photos of John's new best friend, Misheel. She is Urna's little cousin, and her name appropriately means "smile" in Mongolian.
The final photo is from our dinner tonight with a lovely, lovely friend and former Mongolian language instructor, Dorjoo! We laughed and talked for about two hours straight-- I was so happy to see her again and after so many years, it was like no time at all had passed! I learned from Dorjoo that my Mongolian host father from Peace Corps training in Zuun Mod has been a Parliament Member for the past 7 years. I no longer had his phone number, but Dorjoo was kind enough to provide it. I'm looking forward to calling him this weekend. I'm sure he's too busy to see me, but after all these years, I'm looking forward to at least saying hello!