So long Mongolia, and thanks for all the fish…

Some memories of Mongolia..

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Things you don’t know about Buddhism…

Some amusing things I’ve learned about Buddhism whilst in Mongolia.

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Next time you see a Buddhist guy, think to yourself, what a horny old Lama ! At the temple we checked out today, the very back temple was the old Lama’s private tantric meditation parlour. When he was stressed out and needed time to ruminate, the dirty old codger would go hang out in the back temple and get all tantric on your asses. And not just “I’m concentrating really hard” tantric… The pictures on the walls were ex-pli-cit! On top of that, no other monk was allowed back there… So not only was he getting his rocks off, he wasn’t even sharing it around with the other fella’s. Horny and selfish…

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Blood and guts and vengeance is totally a Buddhist thing! You know this whole “don’t step on a butterfly because killing it will change your future”, or you’ll go to hell, or something like that?! Well – it’s totally a load of codswallop! I’ve seen the pictures and those Buddhist guys, they’ll seriously fuck you up if you mess with them. Think ripping your head off, different types of hot and cold hell, and old school giving you the evil eye. I always thought Buddhists were sweet good guys. So, so, so wrong…

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God’s have a penis too . I know, because we saw them. In full statue-y goodness. Those Buddhist God’s were total dog’s. My favourite guy was depicted actually having sex. It’s like, “I know you want to make a statue of me, but I’m in the middle of a REALLY good thing right here, so can you work around me?!” And between you and me, he was working with some quite impressive equipment there…

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And finally, my favourite…. There’s a hell for people who hate on gossips! If you gossip about someone, well that’s just being rude. If you hate on someone who gossips about you, there’s a special Buddhist god devoted to hunting you down and putting you into a place where you will be browbeaten, bullied and bashed for eternity. Yup. That’s right kids. Feel free to gossip – you’re protected!!

Damn, Buddhists. You guys are kooky…

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I know the pictures don’t match the text… It’s the right temple, but all the good stuff was in no-camera zones. You’ll just have to use your imaginations!

Traveling with a red head..,

Here’s a small tip for you. If you have low self esteem, don’t travel through Asia with a redhead. You are nothing in comparison to the glowing halo of hair that a curly redhead provides…
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She gets stopped in the street, stared at, photographed, fawned over and generally adored. As she rightly should, Ee’s adorable. But it does do something to a non-redheads sense of self worth…
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Except in outback Mongolia, when you meet a really drink local who’s been on the vodka all night and is now to afraid to go home to his wife. He might find you attractive. He might even pull out a 2 litre bottle of coke from somewhere in the depths of his traditional Mongolian dressing gown and offer it to you by way of a corsage.

If this were to happen, it would be about 10.30am when being attracted to a vodka infused Mongolian with a wife is enough to make you lose your breakfast. Really….

Or maybe it was just the overwhelming smell of the vodka that did it………

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Bad girls, bad girls, whatcha gonna do?!

Sneaking photos at a lovely Buddhist temple on our last day in Mongolia.
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It continues to amaze me how beautiful these temples are, and this one (Bogd Khan. Winter Palace) was oddly untouched during all of cultural pillaging and destruction which marked the beginning of the century for Mongolia…

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Not that some of this Buddhism stuff isn’t a bit scary…
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The cute one with the animals…

So in addition to being nomadic, Mongolians are also farmers. There are animals everywhere.

Plus, it’s spring – so cute little baby animals wherever you look. Altogether now… “Awwwwwwwwww!!!”

The photos don’t do the cuteness justice, but here’s a taste of what melted our hearts over the last few days….

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He’s a Baatar driver…

Ahh Baatar. He drove us through sand, through grass, through bumpy unpaved roads and over many a mountain.

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I think a good driver can make a roadtrip, much like a good gynecologist can make a Pap smear just by warming up the instruments. What I mean is, the drive had to be done if we want to see anything interesting. It’s how it’s done that makes the difference.

Baatar is this sweet 29 year old who looks about 22, and has been driving tourists around Mongolia for 6 years.

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He doesn’t speak much English. Actually he doesn’t speak a great deal at all. But he’s quick with a smile, shares his snacks with us and even took us home to meet his mum and hang out while he mended the family ger with everyone.

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Everywhere we went he knew the locals and invariably helped the families we stayed with – one day helping a mother with the renovations on her house, the next delivering food stuffs to a local. The day we spent trekking the lake, he helped the family we were staying with move their ger from the winter spot to the summer spot – a full days work.

Along our travels we’ve moved bags of flour and rice, given a lift to an older couple to a small village, moved tiny stools for Baatar’s family’s home and dropped in on his friends for cups of sweet milky tea to take a break from the road.

Gotta love a man who takes two white girls home to meet his mum after driving around for four days, lets us have a whole ger to ourselves while his family of six squeezes into the other ger, and then sends us home with yoghurt his mama made!

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