Yesterday I woke up and drank some tea and took the apple I had taken from orchard hotel in san Francisco. Showered and watched a show on planets—Venus is supercold, an ice belowworld. Jupiter is hotttern hell and its storm is miles across. Then realized that Myanga had no way to come knocking since he didn’t have the below key so I descended.
Theres a movie theater here? I asked happily—the apartment I might live in is close to it—and Otoo said yes silly this is Mongolia, it’s a big country. Otoo is beautiful. She is 28 and has a 4 year old. She came with me (Byamba drove us) to check out an apartment.
Stopped at the Puma Hotel but they only had a Japanese map. So stopped at the Central Post Office—fun to see all the places I had written about in my Mongolian exercises--
The little tykes call out “hi!” when they see me, a white person. I wave.
The apartment owners are a Mongolian couple who lived together in LA for about a year.
Earlier in the office I had met Bettina, the energetic beautiful half Brazilian, and she went from saying its easy, there are lots of gyms here, to saying this is Mongolia you have to rough it. Her husband is Bill Infante, The Asia Foundation’s Mongolia representative. They are both very energetic and bill has green eyes. When I told them a boy had come to Mongolia because of me they said well why don’t you bring him to your apartment? Bettina called it; she said that’s what she was thinking of doing. I explained about the rules and bill was incredulous, but Bettina, who knew about Indonesia (she and bill worked there together for USAID before coming to Mongolia) said hell yeah, in some places that’s a real issue--in Indonesia it's not cool not to be married and be living together. Here, though, it's a common occurence even to have children before tying the knot.
This is important to me. I'm closer to believing I'll be a mother someday than that I'll be a wife. In fact, I decided recently not to be a wife. Ever.