Last weekend I encountered an unexpected boon of living in Mongolia. Because Mongolia has such a tiny population most of the time life here seems like living in a very spread out small town. There are less than 3 million people in the whole country; I'm pretty sure there are apartment buildings in Mexico City that house more people than that. So when I found out that my good friend Amra knows the lead singer of my favorite Mongolian band, the Lemons, I was beyond thrilled but not too surprised. She told me he was her brother, which I totally believed in the biological sense until she told me some weeks later that he is more her "brother" because they are such close friends. Apparently they met at church, not in the postnatal wing. Amra and I normally talk in abstract about hanging out with him together which we again joked about last Saturday night while feasting on Amras heavenly pizza. I promised her that I have resolved to marry him and take his babies back to America with me (just kidding, Mom!...kind of). That conversation is pretty par for the course so when she handed me the phone later that night with a grin, I was a little confused. "Bahn yy?" I heard on the other side of the phone. Good Lord! I thought, my eyes bulging, it's him! "Bahn!" I replied shakily, the standard phone greeting. We proceeded to have a short conversation in which he wished me happy birthday while my wit, charm and Mongolian language completely failed me the more crimson my face and ears became. I was completely starstruck, I mean this guy is without doubt by far the coolest person in Mongolia. He always wears sunglasses- no one's seen his eyes. His style is one fit for the Gods and he sings with the voice of an angle. Well perhaps that's a little over the top. But he really is the coolest person out of 3 million, that I promise is true. Talking with him, even if for a few minutes, really made my night and makes me smile even now. Besides Larry the Cable Guy, that's probably the most famous person I've ever talked to. And he's way hotter than Larry.
Though there can be some happy coincidences in a country that boasts such a small population, admittedly the population size is not without its disadvantages. For example, there are way too few politicians to ensure an uncorrupted government, despite their reliability or lack thereof people never get turned down for large loans and the thirst for gossip is only matched by how quickly news spreads. There are plenty of obstacles to deal with when you live in the most sparsely populated country in the world. But on the other hand being part of a small population does bring a lot of great opportunities and Saturday night I could only see its glorious advantages.