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.

All Things Mongolian

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As a college student more focused on doing well in my studies than what I would do when I finished them, and then a resident of a country in which meeting immediate needs far surpassed the importance of future planning (must wash clothes to wear tomorrow! must go grocery shopping or starve! must get the power turned back on or have nothing to teach in class tomorrow!), networking has always seemed to me to be a supremely abstract concept, the sort of thing dealt with mostly by Professional People wearing suits and meeting by the office water cooler to discuss office politics and resume semantics. Instead, it turns out to be something that really matters to the pre-professional people desperate to find their first full-time jobs so that they can move out of their parents’ houses and feel like real adults.

Since I enjoy my 35 hours/week at the local florist, I would classify myself as anxious rather than desperate–but it is, nonetheless, the latter category with which I identify. Floral design is a fun field in which I get to exercise my oft-neglected creative spirit, but part-time employ at a small business covers neither dental nor vision-related expenses, and as a cavity-prone girl with glasses, I sort of need both. So if any of my readers know of any writing- or language-related job openings in Chicagoland, I would be deeply appreciative of a heads-up!

Weirdly, the upshot of having lived in a little-known country is that I often find myself on the other side of the networking paradigm. Even though I’ve been back in the US for six months, I still find myself getting emails and comments from folks seeking connections in Mongolia. Want advice on when/how to travel the country, how to obtain a bottle of whisky exported only to MGL, or how to get hold of the contacts you need for a research visa? Apparently, I’m the girl to ask! My reach in many of these areas is limited, especially as most of my contacts will return to the US this summer, but I promise you, dear readers, that I will always try my best to connect you to the right people to answer your strange and unforeseen questions. After all, on the grand karmic scale of things, that means that someone out there will eventually help me to find the job I’m seeking, right?

In the meantime, it also means that I find myself CC’d on all things Mongolian that cross my friends’ Facebook feeds. Mongolia has apparently been pretty trendy in the past month, so there have been a lot of these things, and some of them are awfully cool! Because I have been so shamefully bad at posting regularly this month (Mea culpa! Working on your feet for seven hours a day is tiring as all get-out!), please allow me to share a few with you while I work on generating new and interesting stories to tickle your collective fancy. (Holy unintentional euphemisms, Batman!)

FreeCreditScore “Mongolian” Slider

At some point in the last year, Mongolian made an appearance on a freecreditscore.com commercial! I thought it was cool to see this language being recognized in something so high-stakes a a US TV commercial, even if only as a novelty.

I’m afraid I can’t comment on the authenticity of the language, though perhaps some of my readers might be able to. I recognize several of the words, but the accent strikes me as… questionable.

Kazakh Eagle Huntress

BBC recently ran a story about Ashol-Pan, a thirteen-year-old Mongolian Kazakh girl apprenticed in the tradition of eagle hunting. The photos are gorgeous, even if the information is a little skimpy. It looks like I’m going to have to move the story of my own experience with a Kazakh eagle hunter up the queue to rectify this deficit!

A girl and her eagle.

Kazakh Photo Essay

For some basic information, as well as more spectacular photos, check out Christo Geoghegan’s photo essay on western Mongolia’s Kazakh population. Though they make up only a small percentage of the population of Mongolia as a whole, the Kazakh people are the majority in Bayan-Ölgii, the country’s western-most province. I was fortunate enough to visit the province during the Eagle Festival last October, and to stay with several Kazakh families. I have lots of stories to tell about the experience, but my pictures in no way compare to this professional’s! I highly suggest you check out his work.

Just one of many gorgeous photos! Seriously, go check these out.

That’s all for now, folks! Enjoy the pretty pictures while I work on generating some more content while also working and also also job searching.

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Author: everywherebuthome

Linguist. Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. Expat in Mongolia. Writer. Scout, dancer, gymnast, equestrienne.

2 thoughts on “All Things Mongolian

  1. Was it hard to adjust to being back in the States?
    I love it when people reach out to me – via blog or FB – about all things Russia and Moscow, even though I know much less than a proper expat would, never having had to deal with visa issues or apartment rental. But I do get a lot of those Qs from Russians and other ppl re: New York City, and I am more than happy to oblige.

    • Adjusting was difficult in some ways and the easiest thing in the world in others. Being back in a place where I know how things work and can communicate with the people around me without having to look up a whole bunch of terms in advance or fumble around with circumlocutory phrasing – that’s an ongoing delight. I make so much small talk with clerks and salespeople and the people next to me in line, simply because I can. And being able to drive myself from place to place on pave roads among people who actually follow traffic laws and drive in a sane manner? Marvelous.

      My first visit to Trader Joe’s, though, was rough. Why do people need twelve flavors of one brand of cracker and sixteen types of curry sauce? This is so extravagant – can’t anyone cook for themselves? How do I handle the waste and the variety? *Brain explodes.*

      In short: I am much more aware of, and grateful for, the ease and superfluity of American life now, but also plagued by guilt for it and much more impatient with others who take it for granted.

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