Friday, October 8, 2010

This Is The Part Where I Start To Cry

The internet at our house has been cut off, my suitcase is starting to fill up and I've called a farewell dinner. Sunday morning I get up (or stay awake as the case may be), put on my boots, say goodbye to B, cry for an extended period of time then get on a very, very early flight with Samuel. It ain't gonna be pretty. Last night I looked how I currently feel: like a ghost.

But hey, you gotta jump again some time, right?

Goodbye Ulaanbaatar, hello Melbourne.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Lost Posts...

I've got five days left in this country but no time for anything but lots of B's (buuz/byes/babes/brutalworkschedules). As such, I went back into the archives to examine the 'draft' posts I started but never finished in the hope there would be something I could quickly throw online to prove I am all cutting edge + quick. Alas, there were just more photos of strange things I've eaten and ramblings about snow + frozen snot. Among the whining + wining I also found something that will fit surprising well with my next online incarnation. It's a piece about a little dance called the Melbourne Shuffle, and it will be finished when I ride my bike to a cafe to type while drinking a flat white.

I expect to have a fair amount of free time for cycling + caffeine, so you will be able to find my laments about the lack of yaks at (much ado about) melbourne. I also expect I will be attempting to reconcile my relationship with the city I grew apart from via words, photos and a song+dance if you're well-behaved. See you there soon...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Life Right Now: East Meets West Film Forum + Festival

So sometimes, in between eating strange animals and getting my nails done, I work. Who would have thought? Lately, my working life has been all about this:

Yes, the wonderful Arts Council of Mongolia is hosting the inaugural East Meets West Film Forum + Festival here in Ulaanbaatar next week. Everyone has been working solidly on this for some time now + we've got filmmakers and film-type characters from Asia, Europe, Central Asia + the USA visiting us next week.

It will be epic. And awesome. And exciting. Then I will get on a plane + leave. If you're in town (or even if you're not) please look at the site we've put together + come along/wish you were here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things I Will Miss About Mongolia #1

With less than two weeks to go until I set sail for (much ado about)melbourne, it's time I recap on the wonders of Mongolia I have yet to 'big up' before now. This week's Things I Will Miss About Mongolia post is a shout out to...
aka Meat I Have Eaten That I Possibly Should Not Have Eaten. This post is slightly more poignant given that I (very gently) embraced vegetarianism before getting on a Mongolian Airlines flight almost a year ago. As a general rule, when I go to a place that isn't Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane, I like to eat the food that everyone else eats. In Texas I eat deer jerky, in Dandenong I eat Dandee Donuts and in Mongolia I eat mountains of mutton. Case in point below. Yes, that is one big, old, fatty sheep.

I like to sample the local delicacies, like bull penis in hot pot.

I like to support the manufacture of processed meat goods, particularly those with delicious gelatinous hearts.

And, of course, I like to eat the animals most revered by the country I am visiting, particularly in curries or garlic soups. They go faster.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Clever Friends

So I've been 'makin videos' lately about my holiday exploits and my dad getting pissed. Sure, they might have scored a few chuckles + proved me and iMovie are making friends, but I actually know people who can really, really make videos, like for real. It is here I bow down before them + say, YOU RULE.

First up, my buddies Jess + James prove UB really is a State Of Mind with some help from Mongolian Bling's Benj. Our apartment even makes an appearance at the end of the clip. Tuesday night house parties are the best house parties.

Aaaaaand here are some videos Amelia the Legendary put together about a few issues here in Mongolia. Amelia is my hero. Please watch + learn. I did.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Flyin' In Four

In four weeks exactly, I will be boarding a plane to Australia. This is frightening / awesome / wtf. I have a number of things I need to do before then. They include:
  1. Learning to play my tovshuur
  2. Publicising an international film festival + forum
  3. Getting a new tattoo
  4. Packing a year of belongings into one suitcase
  5. Plotting a course for, um, what next?
I expect many of my upcoming posts will be recaps / shout outs / pleas for help. You have been warned.

P.S. If anyone has requests for things I should do before I leave, please note them in the comments section. I will act accordingly.

P.P.S. GETTING SENTIMENTAL. These are the people I could not have survived without. More on them later. Photo in the interim. Legends.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why My Uncle Tomi Rules

My Uncle Tomi, who resides in Melbourne, is a very smart guy. He works as a translator and lived in Russia once upon a time. He politely investigated the items in my fridge I posted earlier and shared some info with me. Thanks U. Tomi.

Dear Alicia,

I have really enjoyed your latest blog. You have a very good style; one can see the journalist schooling.

For your edification:

The bottle of pomegranate states that it is "a gigt from Azerbajdjan" and it is a "pomegranate juice" (COK = juice).

The next one with the cow on it states that it has a "delicate plum flavour".

And the cheese spread states that it is "molten pateurised cheese with smoked meat products".

Now you know what is (or was) in your fridge.

Look forward to seeing you soon and hearing all your stories.


U. Tomi

Yes, I am very concerned about the "molten pateurised cheese with smoked meat products" and no I do not know what "a gigt from Azerbajdjan" means.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Marmots, Mountains + Mosques

A couple of weeks ago I hit the western-most province of Mongolia, Bayan-Ulgii, with my buddy Katherine. The area borders both China + Russia and is very close to Kazakhstan. Its population is largely Kazakh Mongols and as such, Mongolian isn't the first language for many people out there. It is many kinds of awesome.

We spent a night with a beautiful Tuvan family near the Tavan Bogd mountain range before riding horses to scope a glacier. We watched our driver (who spoke Mongolian, Russian, Kazakh, Tuvan, Uzbek, Kyrgyz + some Chinese but no English) attempt to shoot and kill a marmot. Apparently many have the plague (yes, the mutha trucking bubonic plague best known for its appearance in ye olde medieval England) but we ate one anyway that was cooked in the traditional khorkhog manner. Mmmm. Plague flavour. Delicious.

I got to shoot a gun for the first time and we also warded off potential serial killers and a whole lot of mosquitoes with pepper spray... the gun probably would have been more effective.

It's clearly obvious I have just discovered iMovie on my computer, so here's a video extravaganza of our trip:

And a few shots of the town of Ulgii + Tavan Bogd. Many more pics on Flickr.