bucket list

So I’m down to the wire, with 2 weeks to go.  Yesterday, someone asked me what I had left to do before I go, which I guess isn’t something you think about with only 2 weeks left, but better now than later.  So, in thinking about my 10 months here, I’ve got myself a bucket list of sorts.  Of course, I’m biased, writing this after spending this time here, but I do have the advantage of actually knowing what’s going on.  So, the list of things I hope to accomplish/experience/obtain in Mongolia:

  1. Go to the Gobi.  Done. 3 times.
  2. See Hovsgol. Done.
  3. Camp in the Orkhon Valley. Done.  One of my favorite experiences.
  4. See the Eagle Festival. Done.
  5. See the Ice Festival. Won’t happen, unfortunately.
  6. Go East and film gazelle migration. Went East, didn’t see any gazelle.
  7. Learn to make Mongolian food – specifically, tsuivan, buuz, and khuushur. Done! Even learned to make mantuu.
  8. Have copious amounts of vodka. Ha. Of course.
  9. Eat horse meat. Yes.  Quite good.
  10. Eat something gross. Horse intestines.  Not so good.
  11. Go to the spa and get a scrub. Done. Many times over. Need one more.
  12. Go dog sledding. This weekend!
  13. Get some amazing pictures. Oh, definitely done.
  14. See Amarbayasgalant temple. Sadly, no.
  15. See wild horses. Another sad no.
  16. Experience a Mongolian winter. Oh, yes.
  17. Buy felt goods. Shoes and jacket and some kitchen goods.  Just need to get more slippers.
  18. Buy calligraphy. Ordered.
  19. Get a tattoo. Not yet, but still thinking.
  20. Go karaoke. Sadly, not yet!
  21. Buy paintings. Not really, but will go see what is available this week.
  22. Buy carvings of animals. Camels.
  23. Buy Kazakh wall hangings. Two, one made before I was born.
  24. Get an in-depth look at agriculture and livelihoods. Really, the main reason I was here.  I know far more about agriculture in Mongolia than anyone really should.
  25. Ride a camel. Overdone.
  26. Drink airag. Yum.
  27. Go ice skating. Still a chance.
  28. Get a picture on Chinggis Khan’s lap. Nope.
  29. Learn Mongolian dance. Nope.
  30. See the Morin Huur Ensemble. Still waiting to find out when they next perform.
  31. See local cultural performances. Done.
  32. Go to Naadam. Done. Twice.
  33. Ride a boat. Done. Russian research vessel on Hovsgol.
  34. Go to the ger districts. Sort of.
  35. See Avatar. This week!

We’ll leave it at 35, for now.   Of the list above, the vast majority can be checked off.

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