Went dancing last night with Tsegii. The receptionist I was so afraid of, the beautiful one I had decided was like Katya, was there in the cab. She’s wonderful, very affectionate. She showed me the tattoo she had gotten that day on her upper back of her name in Mongolian script. I showed her my ink.
W made friends with a male Mongolian and went dancing at one point with him. I explained to Tsegii that it was okay with me if will found someone in Moscow. She put her arm around me and said, “You are much crazier than I thought!”
At one point Tsegii came up behind me and started dancing. They dance in circles here, friends in circles, everyone getting crazy, just like my friends and I do at home in Southern California. I felt so grateful to be among such generous and affectionate people, who dance crazy like I do.
I thought again about Jaama’s assertion that American identity is now what’s on TV. It’s also, arguably, what’s on mainstream radio. And those American music videos are the ones in the ever-present afternoon music video shows here in six different Mongolian national television stations, where young Mongolians chat live, using latin characters to form, phonetically, Mongolian words and mixing English in Mongolian: “xey you cain bna yy!”
Every so often a hysterically campy Mongolian video is thrown in for good measure. The same songs the Latino teenagers I worked with (during my time as a social worker) and I used to listen to, the r and b numbers I secretly loved to listen to full blast on the sunset-ridden Highway 101 drives home—all of them played at the club. And I loved dancing to them, and so did Tsegii, who also knew all the words.