I think being here is letting me get in touch with myself and the world around me. This was certainly not something I set out to do and it even sounds contrite to say it. Saying that you’re getting in touch with things conjures up images of some brooding poet who takes to the mountains or perhaps flees to a little house in the European country side. But for me, life is just more quite here. There are less distractions, less noise, in my town and my apartment. I have started really cooking, getting to know the process it takes to create food. I let silence creep in around me sometimes, a thing I made of habit of never doing in the States. I’m getting the hang of the rhythm of life. It’s an inadvertent thing, this quiet, and it came about so slowly that I’ve only now just noticed it. It wasn’t an epiphany or anything, but a feeling of looking next to you and realizing that someone has been sitting there for quite sometime. I don’t have any plans for today (except perhaps battling the massive hangover brought on by the severely debauched Halloween party last night) and it’s been nice to just clean up, drink coffee and now I’m about to watch a movie.
Alana has been hanging around my apartment, fleeing the frozenness of her ger. It’s nice to have her energy and chatter fill the space. Even though I’m enjoying being alone, I’ll certainly miss her when she leaves in a few months. We chat endlessly as she uses my oven and water distiller and I’ve learned a lot from her- she grew up in the North Carolina country, a far cry from my urban upbringing. We look at the world differently and it’s nice to share views.
I found a pineapple in the market yesterday! It looked lost, sitting among the potatoes and dead sheep with four of it’s fellows. I bought it and excitedly showed it to the vender I buy normally buy vegetables from and she said “oooh, banan.” I don’t think Mongolians know what to do with a pineapple. It was so strange to put it to my face and smell the tropical smell, the specific scent I associate with Hawaii., in the middle of the frigid market. I cut it up today with the intention of sharing it with Alana. Sadly, the core had already started going bad and the middle was a dark purplish color. As we ate around the rotten core, I found it profoundly poetic that this little pineapple had traveled so far from it’s home (I like to think it was on a ship that wrecked and so it found itself on a foreign shore, like “Twelfth Night”… “What country, friend, is this?”) and lost it’s youth and life on the journey. I know it’s just a pineapple but it’s a pretty incredible thing here so I think it deserves a story, however false.