Friday, January 29, 2010

Saving the World

Background: There is a popular drink called aarts here in Mongolia. It is made from sugary crushed curds boiled with water and flour. Usually drunk in winter and hard to find during other seasons (though summer 2009 study claims that aarts ice cream is available!).

Problem: Aarts does not exist (in sizable enough quantities to be sold or noticed at least) in the United States of America or the surrounding countries. The glory of this drink makes it an official criterion for civilized cultures.


Solution: A volunteer group headed by T. Dawer will go throughout the lands of the Americas and bring them both aarts and the knowledge of how to make said drink. This will result in 5,236 citizens displaying a knowledge of the aarts making process by the year 2020. In addition 39,386 individuals will have tasted aarts and acknowledged its glory.

Summary: World saved.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On Distilled Water

There is a Mongolian proverb that goes something like this:

If you drink the water
follow the customs.

This is considered by many to parallel the proverb:

When in Rome
Do as the Romans do.

It comes up every once in a while and something about it has kept me wondering about its validity, particularly in my current situation here in Mongolia. I think that the proverb needs to be metaphorically elongated in my own situation. Here's why: I don't drink the water directly. And this is important: after I get my water from the guy with a horse and cart it goes into my water container and awaits the day when it is put into this:

I drink the water but distilled. Application: Tsagaan Sar + Vegetarianism = invite people over to your place for vegetable buuz from the local vegetarian restaurant. Can you skip the distilling process? Yes. Some people can seemingly do so without any negative consequences. Others of us get giardia.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 Resolutions

1) Spend time with the hashaa families every day.
2) Language study every day. This semester: Mongolian and German. Fall: start French.
3) Dedicate free time to music (Thanks to Mr. Cage's Autobiographical Statement for inspiration).
4) Read Persig's Lila.
5) A bet was made: Can I go from the first of January till Close of Service Conference in May without eating any Super Kontik? Of course!