Everywhere But Home

News and musings from wherever my crazy life takes me. My body may be back in Illinois, but at least for now, my mind is still in Mongolia.



More sorry-I-don’t-have-Internet filler, but hey, this is filler has elephants!


And you know what’s cuter than an elephant? A baby elephant!


What’s cuter than a baby elephant? A baby elephant on a log.

This little one attempted to climb up, whereupon he discovered that he had misjudged the size of the log - and was stuck.

This little one attempted to climb up, whereupon he discovered that he had misjudged the size of the log – and was stuck.

And that’s about all I’ve got for you today. There will be more elephants, in story and picture form, when I find Internet that will let me upload more than three pictures in an hour.

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The Nomadic Life

In lieu of actual content, today I bring you a few pictures from my homestay with a family of nomadic herders in Tuv aimag. The homestay was one of my favorite parts of my own Fulbright orientation, and so I asked if I could join the new Fulbrighters on theirs.  Though cold and very wet, it was amazingly fun.

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A Taste of Thailand

I have several thousand pictures of Thailand, but unfortunately, I can’t seem to upload very many of them. So here are the few that I have managed to get onto the internet.

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Back in Mongolia!

Apologies for the long silence, everyone! Thailand was marvelous, and marvelousness is not particularly conducive to blogging. Convalescence is, but I’ve been lazy for the past week. My apologies.

On a related note, did you know that when you Google “Thailand diarrhea abdominal pain,” it gives you a helpful list of diseases you may wish to research further, and that said list includes names like choleradysenterymalaria, and typhoid? Thanks for that one, Google. Highly reassuring.

Happily, I’ve now gotten Thailand almost entirely out of my (digestive) system, so now I’m off to explore Mongolia. I won’t be bringing my computer with me for the next week, which I hope to spend mostly on horseback, so (Internet willing), allow me to provide you with some photo-heavy filler to keep you occupied until I can regale you all with tales from the land of elephants. And, of course, the conclusion to the Hiking Fiasco cliffhanger.

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Thailand: A Snapshot

Sorry to leave you all hanging on that last story, but I’m in Thailand now, and my plan to catch up on blogging while in transit did not go as planned (foiled by an inkless pen!). So perhaps I will catch up on writing while I head north on the train today. In the meantime, I present you with a mental picture of Thailand:

It is swelteringly, unbearably hot, a word whose meaning my body has forgotten. I raise my wrist to check the time, and even that small movement sends rivulets of sweat coursing down my arms. The searing heat on the top of my head reminds me that I will have a killer burn on my scalp – who thinks to put sunscreen in their hair?!

I’m sitting on a plastic stool in a street kitchen, one of what must be thousands dotting the roads of Bangkok. The posted menu, if there is one, is meaningless to me, written in a swirling and utterly indecipherable script. The air is perfumed with hundreds of spices and the sweetness of fruit: vendors at adjoining stalls hawk mangoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, pomegranate juice, and even coconut milk, sipped directly from a shell in whose top they’ve hacked a small hole with a frightening but deftly-handled cleaver.

The chopsticks slip clumsily between my fingers, which have grown unaccustomed to this unfamiliar mode of eating. The food between them is brightly colored and unfamiliar – dark green verbiage, fiery bits of chili, oddly-colored noodles in a Crayola-colored sauce, chunks of meat of unidentifiable origin. It is sweet, and sour, and spicy, and salty, all at once. I have no idea what it is, but it is delicious.