So I survived my trip to Khuvsgul aimag - the wild northern reaches of the wild northern Mongolia. I thought I was supposed to come back on Sunday the 29th, then I realized that my ticket said July 3rd. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but the irony that the destination - Murun, phonetically - is often printed as Mörön is not lost on me, because that's exactly what I was, buying a ticket to the countryside for two weeks. How do I begin to explain why this was a bad idea? Let's start with the fact that I'm a city girl, through and through. I don't know if you've realized this or not, but in spite of coming from the country, there are very few places I've traveled to that neither are city nor have been city. Before Mongolia, there were a couple of hikes in Korea (and let's face it, so many people hike in Korea that even a mountain counts as a city) and Wadi Rum. That's about it. As a result, there's not much to do in the country. Well, I don't think so - I'm sure there's all sorts of fun survival-ly shit Shaggy could come up with, but as previously mentioned, I'm a city girl. I like to visit museums and climb over ruins and eat yummy food and take in the arts. I brought one book with me. ONE. I guess I thought this would be a good time to knock that book off my list because I kept getting distracted at home, but without distractions it only lasted me two days into my camp with the Tsataan. Then there's the fact that I was traveling alone. Admittedly, that's my thing, but traveling alone when nobody around you speaks English and there's not much to do AND you have finished your ONLY book is a bit problematic.
You may say to yourself, "I thought you were an optimist, oh mighty Great One. Aren't you always spouting off about looking for rainbows?" Well, first, no - I'm a cheerful (most of the time) pessimist, not an optimist. Secondly, I thought about that, the last evening I was at the Tsataan camp. Where were the rainbows? I came up with a few, but then the next morning I slipped and came down hard coming back from the river to get water (soaking my boots for the second time that morning and the fifth time in three days), and again later that day (as I was finishing my first shower in four days, and that was a doozy in which I tore or stretched something in my arm that's apparently not supposed to go that way), after which I said, "F*CK THIS SHIT!" I called AeroMongolia and changed my ticket to come back today. One week in the wilderness is more than enough for this girl, and now that I've gotten the whining out of the way, hopefully I'll be able to be a little more objective about the experience.