9. 5. 07
My first day at work at the Writer’s Union
One drop upward, for the sky and the mountain. One drop over the shoulder, for the animals and the peoples. One drop to the gound, for the land. And one drop for me.
He’s a writer, Chilaajav said of Bairaa, so he drinks every day. They offered me a generous amount of vodka at 11am.
After I said I don’t know Mongolian language in Mongolan Chilaajav patted me on the back and sat next to me so I could show him on the map where my family was. Bairaa came in. “41 years old!” (and I am 40 said Chilaajav which means we are both old but HE is very old) filled with crackly energy like Davaa, like a big bear.
Anyhow they offered me a shot of strong vodka—this after Bairaa shoed me the inside to the jacket of one of his book covers, a book of love poems, and there are twelve photos of him with photos of different nationalities.
A lawyer came in, as did the treasurer of the Union, while we were talking. By midday there were five of them in the smoky office, laughing and teaching me Mongolian. Bairaa said my tongue and throat were good which I take as a comment on my pronunciation. A lawyer came in too, and after hearing me say some small words said, according to Chilaajav, "you’re the best.” By midday Chilaajav had invited me on a trip with his family and Bairaa and his family to the countryside. He and Bairaa were anxious to know that I would not go alone to the black market or walking ofte dark. Call me or Bairaa or any of our friends to help you, he said, instead of walking alone.