Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar

Went to the Steppe Inne, the British embassy’s Friday night social hour, last night. I’ve been one other time this year. I think I went once last year.

Friday night is the worst time for flagging a taxi. Everyone’s going somewhere, and they line the sides of Peace Avenue, arms pointing into the street, a few meters from each other.

But last night wasn’t bad; I didn’t wait long. An old car pulled over, I got in the front seat, said hello to the old guy, and remembered that I had forgotten how to say “embassy.”

“To the British ‘posolstvo,’” I said, using the Russian word.

“Medekhgui,” he said. I don’t know.

“Zaa, zaa, just go straight.” I dug into my satchel and pulled out my pocket dictionary and looked up “embassy.”

“To the British elchin saidin yaam,” I said.

He laughed. “Medekhgui. Where’s the British embassy?”

“Zaa, zaa, just go straight.”

Playing on the radio was a rap-rock song in Mongolian, with an accordion squeezing out a rhythm in the background. After two verses, a voice broke over the tune and drawled in accented English:

“Khi everyone, you’re listening to Tatar’s new shit. This song is called ‘Message.’ Check it out.”

There were eight people at the Steppe Inne; ten including the two bartenders.


Pan said...

"Author of *The Steppe*, the new novel about a man who lives alone in the Mongolian steppe, fighting and eating mythical monsters."

EATING them? good lord.
What brings you to Mongolia?

SoS said...


Indeed eating them. Cool story. Read it while I was in MNG last July. Not a story you want to read while out on the steppe at night, though. You might just encounter those mythical monsters. The Mongolian steppe can do that to your head.

orgil said...

I heard "this is tatar's new song" anyway great journey gluck!!!